If your child is interested in electricity, these educational Snap Circuits are the hottest hands-on educational toys on the market today! These colorful circuits simply snap onto a plastic grid, creating projects that generate currents of electricity. They’re even battery-powered instead of having to deal with the hassle of cords and plugs, which makes these sets completely safe for children. Each Snap Circuit comes with easy-to-follow directions, complete with bright, full-colored illustrations so that your kids can gain some independence by working on these themselves. However, while the directions are easy to follow, it is recommended that with the first project your child does, parents should help their child get started, and explain a few of the basic concepts of why and how these can work with something as simple as a battery.
Each of these kits consists of parts and project instructions to complete a number of projects per kit. Additional, different kits will offer your child an almost endless amount of projects that they can undertake. After your child completes his/her first experiment, they can move along to the next project in the instruction booklet, learning about electricity as they go. Each subsequent experiment builds onto the next one, with the tougher ones being last to complete in each kit. There are Snap Circuit sets on the market that make an assortment of experiments perfect for kids to try and they range from a few simple ones to ones that have more than 750 different experiments that children can try.
Children can even make up their own combinations using pieces from multiple kits, as most pieces are compatible with each other. Like LEGO sets, children can mix or match pieces to craft their own electrical masterpiece. The number of projects these sets include sirens, flying saucers, radios, doorbells, alarms, and flashlights, to name just a few. Skills that children can learn from doing these experiments are fine-motor, concentration, hand–eye coordination, cognitive abilities, construction, precision, creativity, and the ability to follow directions. There are many schools that promote STEM-oriented (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) curriculums and use Snap Circuit kits to teach the basics of electricity and possibly spark an interest in this type of field in children at a young age. These imaginative toys have won a number of awards because they are so fun, practical and educational. Here are our picks of the best Snap Circuits kits for for kids in 2018.
The Best Snap Circuits & Snap Kits for Kids Reviewed in 2018
Criteria Used in Evaluation of the Best Snap Circuits and Kits
All Kits are Genuine Snap Circuits Products
Each item listed has the licensed Snap Circuits included. These are not just science toys that can explain how electricity works. These really work as circuits when assembled correctly. Some reviewers posted that the projects had bad results and did not work, but it is very possible that the directions were not followed precisely or all of the pieces were not used. These kits provide many simple projects to create a working electric grid so children can be a part of the power that makes most of our electronic devices function. It is important that they understand how and why things operate because they are the future environmentalists, scientists, electricians, and consumers.
Appropriate Age for Items
Manufacturers of Snap Circuits recommend that children aged 8 and older use these toys. The main reason is that the kits contain many small parts that may pose a choking hazard for very young kids who may try to put them in their mouths. If children younger than 8 play with Snap Circuits, constant adult supervision is required.
Older kids will possibly enjoy the sets more because they will have a better understanding of the science concepts as they work with the parts. Kids at least 8 years old will be able to read the instructions and construct the projects on their own, thus deriving the most use from the Snap Circuit models. Smaller children will like the pieces and the assembly of the experiments, but they may not get the full understanding of what they are doing or why.
Function and Purpose of Products
The main purpose of Snap Circuits and the projects are to make science and learning about electricity fun for kids. It is hands-on participation in building something that closely resembles real electricity, plus the models actually work. The boards and the circuits make it possible for children to put the pieces together following precise directions and create a product that gives a predetermined result if done correctly. Kids can do all of the experiments on their own or with adults who can possibly explain why and how these projects work. Schools can use these kits to teach children in science classes and labs, the fundamental concepts of electricity in an exciting way that will make kids want to learn about electrical power. These projects are perfect for home, school, or travel.
Other Skills and Abilities Developed from Snap Circuits
Other than the education about electricity and building the models, Snap Circuits exercise the fine-motor skills, eye-to-hand coordination, thought processes and problem-solving abilities, concentration, creativity, and the ability to follow directions. Just by putting these projects together using the instructions, kids gain all of these skills. It takes a lot of human functions to do even the simplest of tasks, including these experiments. Since children can use the parts to create their own projects, Snap Circuit kits also tap into a child’s creativity.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: How many kids can play with one of these Snap Circuit sets at a time? Could a group of children use it and learn together or would just a few kids be the maximum that could use it at one time?
A: The boards for the Snap Circuit sets are about as big as an iPad, so two or three kids can use it comfortably at one time. More than that and some kids would have to only watch and wait for a turn to do some hands-on work with the set.
Q: Do the projects repeat in some of the sets? It is hard to decide which one to get based on how many projects come in a kit and then later to upgrade for more projects.
A: The basic SC100 set repeats in the other sets with added projects. For example, the SC300 kit has the same 101 projects as the SC100, plus projects 102 to 305 also. Each kit expands the one before it, but also includes the same projects as the previous kit.
Q: Can these Snap Circuit sets be used as a travel toy in the car while on road trips?
A: Concern would be losing the very small pieces, but sure it is possible to do in a car. A child could possibly have the grid on their lap and maybe in a large tray to catch any small pieces that might fall off.
Q: What is the most appropriate age for these sets? The boxes and manufacturer recommend 8 years old and older, but what about kids who are interested in assembly toys and science who are much younger, say 4 or 5 years old?
A: Any child, no matter the age, who shows an interest in such a toy should be allowed to play with a Snap Circuit set. Every child has their own mental and physical pace, so this will be a personal judgment call for the parents to make. The only concern would be the small parts and choking hazards. With proper parental supervision, this problem should be eliminated.
Q: Do these Snap Circuit kits require batteries, tools, or other supplies?
A: The kits do require two AA batteries that are not included with any of the sets. These must be bought separately. No tools are required for assembly of any of the projects and no other supplies are needed.
Q: Are these kits suitable for an adult?
A: These are not intended for adults. The projects are more for kids because the purpose is for hands-on experience to learn about electricity. The projects are simple and easy things that would appeal to children. Parents love doing these with their kids though, as they learn together.
Q: Two packaging types are offered with the Snap Circuit kits. You can choose standard packaging or frustration-free packaging. What is the difference?
A: Standard packaging comes with all of the necessary things like Styrofoam peanuts, bubble wrap, and tape to help prevent damage, and thus makes the item harder to open. Frustration-free comes without all the extras that make the package hard to open. This is being offered because the item is geared more towards kids, presuming they will be opening the kit.
Q: Being that these are experiments with electricity, can kids be hurt in the process of doing the projects and learning?
A: No, because the power source is batteries for all of the projects. These are completely safe for all children and adults.
Q: If one were to use this as a science project, roughly how long would it take to complete?
A: Every child is different which means that they’ll all learn how to build circuit boards differently than the next. It might come easier to some kids while others could be slightly thrown off or initially confused, which is why parental supervision is always a good idea, at least to start. If you’re looking to help your child build one in a decent amount of time, it’s a good idea to go with one of the beginner sets. If you’re looking for a challenge for both you and your child, and have the time to complete one, the intermediate sets are a lot of fun and allow you to take your time while completing them. Either way, it’s a great addition to a science project about electricity and battery power!