On our previous post, we shed light on why early exposure to Python can work wonders for your kids’ future and career. And on this post, we will introduce your kid to robotics and help you understand that a in imaginative mind is all that it takes to make a difference. Robots are fascination not just for kids but for adults as well. If you take a look at the CES (Consumer Electronics Show) or any Robotics symposiums for that matter, we, as adults, are the first one to look at them with awe. No matter how simple the tasks for the robots are, we still see them as engineering marvels. So that is exactly why we decided to tone it down for the kids and give them an idea of what robotics is all about.
As you know, learning by doing is one of the greatest ways of learning, we decided we would share a few robotic projects your kids can work on spark imagination and logic within. Though you can’t call them completely robots because of the absence of computers, chips or sensor, they still orient your kids to the essentials of building robots and work on their levels of comprehension.
But before you start, here are a few guidelines for the parents:
- Firstly, do not become too judgmental or be a typical parent when it comes to introducing them to robotics. Be a guide and understand their comprehensions. Let imagination take over the technicalities of building a robot and do not force them into fitting into conventions.
- Always be around your kid when they are building a robot. Some of the pieces can be choking and constant adult supervision is needed.
- Ask them orally what they intend to do and ask them to name the parts before they begin to do things practically. Also, ask them the logics behind their approach and decisions to help them develop judgments and visualization skills.
- Let your kids do all the building and let them decide if their approach is right or wrong. There is no deadline on who finishes first.
- Make them enjoy the experience of building a robot and be appreciative.
Apart from being a learning experience, this could be a solid family bonding time, enabling you to understand your kids’ thought processes. Go with the flow!
Perfect for those below the 5th grade, this very easy-to-make robot car is made from foam or sponge and looks adorable. With just motors, a couple of wires and materials like straws, bottle caps, and toothpicks, you can make your kid create a car that will actually move. The aesthetics depend on your kids’ creativity and it could as imaginative as a sci-fi car or as simple as a normal four-wheeler. Since a lot of tools like scissors and knives are involved, adult supervision is strongly recommended.
Price: Less than Rs. 500
Duration to make: Approximately 1 hour
Again, an adorable robot that will make your kids feel proud of their creation and simultaneously keep them entertained. Some of the basic things required for the project include a blank DVD, a dome-shaped lid from a take-away drink, cables, googly eyes, cardboard pieces, and a motor. Tools used in the above projects are used on this project so adult supervision is mandatory for this as well. This project is perfect for those in middle school and it will give them exposure to art alongside robotics.
Price: Less than Rs. 700
Duration to make: Approximately 1 hour
This one takes creativity to the next level. Made of things as common as a toothbrush, the brushbot is not just cute but a fun way to get started with robotics as well. The final output makes you wonder if it’s really a toothbrush that you’ve used for your project and never look at a toothbrush normally again. To make a brushbot, you will need an old toothbrush, googly eyes, a battery, tapes, and a few tools like cutting plier and scissors. You can use toothbrushes of multiple sizes to create a brushbot family and make the concept more interesting. Besides, these make for perfect Halloween accessories for your kids. We recommend starting with this project and then moving on to the other projects we have mentioned earlier.
Price: Less than Rs. 300
Duration: Approximately 1 hour
So, what do you think about the robots? Cute, right? We all could make learning fun and engaging by adding in elements of creativity and logic. By this way, you can inculcate interest in your kids for a concept that is going to change the way the world would work in the coming years. Not just for fun, this early exposure can prove to be helpful for your kid in deciding his career.