Snap Circuits: My Home
Snap Circuits: My Home by Elenco is a circuit building set for children ages eight and up.
The set comes with over 60 circuit pieces including wires, resistors, switches, LEDs, a fan, a speaker, and building grids. It also comes with a manual that contains detailed instructions for over 30 projects. The set requires three AA batteries, which are not included.
This Snap Circuits set explores electricity through the lens of a child’s home. Children explore projects discussing topics such as overhead lighting, home security, and an electric heater, among many others. The manual begins with an introduction to electricity and the set components; explaining how electricity works and how to use each of the pieces in the set. The explanations are written very well, and in a way that younger users will easily understand. The manual then moves on to projects that gradually increase in complexity, utilizing more and more parts from the set. Children follow the provided circuit schematics to create the circuit on their base building grids. Each project also contains information about what is happening in each circuit and how it relates to the child’s home. The pieces are very easy to snap into the grids to create circuits. When assembling the grids 3-dimensionally into a house-shaped structure, it can be a little difficult to understand how to fit the pieces together, so younger users may require some assistance initially.
Snap Circuits teaches children about circuits and electricity while also promoting skills such as spatial reasoning, critical thinking, and design. The set does an excellent job of breaking down a complex concept into a fun activity that children over a wide range of ages can enjoy. Children are encouraged to experiment and try different things within the projects to see what will happen, encouraging creative thinking and iterative design.
Engineering Design Process
Apply Science, Engineering, Mathematics Knowledge
Moore, T.J., Glancy, A.W., Tank, K.M., Kersten, J.A., Smith, K.A., & Stohlmann, M.S. (2014). A framework for quality K-12 engineering education: Research and development. Journal of Precollege Engineering Education Research, 4(1), 1-13.
One reviewer said,
"I really liked this snap circuits. The way the kit relates circuits to a child's house I think is a great way to make it understandable. I absolutely loved the explanation of electricity in this kit. The manual explained electricity in terms of water going through a pipe. This is possibly the most relatable way I have ever seen electricity explained to a young age group."