Building toys are great for kids, because they are so open ended and allow them to have hours of fun while they learn. I recently had the chance to review a number of Kâ€™nex Education kits, and I was very impressed by how fun these kits make learning!Â My kids have lots of Kâ€™nex, and have always enjoyed building with them, but these kits really take the learning to a new level.
Here are the four kits I received to review:
- Kâ€™NEX Education: INVESTIGATING SOLARÂ ENERGY #77075 – With this kit you can build six renewable energy models, including a cars and an amusement park ride.
- Kâ€™NEX Education: SIMPLE AND COMPOUND MACHINES #77053 – This kit allows you to build 16 models, including things like a paddle wheel boat, Archimedes screw and a conveyor belt.
- Kâ€™NEX Education: EXPLORING WIND & WATER ENERGY #77051 – This kit lets you build 6 renewable energy models, including a hydroelectric generator and a windmill.
- Kâ€™NEX Education: FORCE & NEWTONâ€™S LAWS #77052 – With this kit you can build a bunch of vehicles, including a rubber band racer, spring racer and flywheel racer.
With these kits it is easy to make Physics come alive! In addition to the instruction manuals all of them also have free Teacherâ€™s Guides online.Â These guides go beyond just building the models and tell you how to design experiments and extend the learning.Â Your kids can enjoy the kits with just the instruction manuals, but Iâ€™d recommend downloading the Teacherâ€™s Guides too, even if you are just using these for your family.
The Teacherâ€™s Guide includes things that are easy to do, but I would not have though of!Â For example in the after building a solar powered car the guide suggests testing the car with different wattage light bulbs, and seeing how close to the solar panel you have to get with each to make it move.Â Then you can have your child graph the data, and learn about simple experiments, data collection and graphing.Â I love it when my kids can learn while having fun.
My son was happy to test these out for me.Â He wanted to build a race car, so he started with the Spring racer.Â He thought the spring was cool, and wanted to see how fast the car would go.
After he got it together we ran it around the kitchen!Â Then we used the Teacherâ€™s Guide to talk about how it works, and how it changes mechanical energy to kinetic energy.Â Here is a video of the racer in action!
I canâ€™t wait try out the renewable energy models, especially the hydroelectric generator!Â I like the kits so much I volunteered to use them to teach Middle School Physics at our homeschool co-op this winter, because they make learning so engaging, and donâ€™t take much effort from me since they are so well planned out.
These kits are perfect for middle school aged children, and high schoolers will get quite a lot out of them too.Â Kâ€™nex makes a great Christmas present for kids of all ages, so if you are looking for gifts that are hands on and open check out the possibilities that Kâ€™nex offers!
Learn more by connecting with Kâ€™nex on Facebook and Twitter @KNEX.