Friday, 12 August 2016

Rule Your Room with littleBits

littleBits have launched a new electronics kit for kids called Rule Your Room. The idea is to get kids inventing stuff they want and need... in their rooms. Important things like protecting your savings or making a really good "keep out" sign for your door.

littleBits are brilliant tools to help kids get to grips with electronics and have fun inventing and making. They work with magnetic snap connectors, which connects inputs with outputs to perform a certain task. We've written lots about littleBits in the past.

What's in the Rule your Room Kit

The littleBits Rule your Room Kit includes 3 outputs, a bargraph, buzzer and servo; 2 inputs, a dimmer and sound trigger; power and a Makey Makey bit.

In addition, you will get a whole range of accessories, which makes inventing and making more achievable. Sometimes the hardest design problems with littleBits is attaching your bits to your invention. With this kit you get several mounting accessories to make this process easier, including a servo mount, shoes (attachments for bits) and mounting board. This kit is certainly one to test your creative thinking and engineering skills.

The Invention Guide included, helps you get started with projects immediately. Once you have made something, your littleBits are reusable, for you to come up with your own creations.

The Rule your Room Kit is recommended for ages 8+ but we find younger kids can benefit from working with parents or older siblings on projects. I have certainly used littleBits very successfully with my younger kids (ages 5 and 7). (See our Moving Mother's Day Card)

Project you can Make

The Rule your Room kit allows you to make at least eight projects straight out of the box (and you use the box for your projects too) We love a bit of recycling! After you've completed the project, or in our case, when you wish to vear off on your own tangent, the parts are reusable and can also be combined with other littleBits in your collection.

littleBits is truly like LEGO, as your inventory grows, you can make more and more of your own projects.

There's also an app availbel for iOS and Andriod, where you can find more project ideas, challenges and join the community of other littleBit makers.

Compared with other Kits

We already have the Premium Kit (and Space Kit) from littleBits, and so interested how the kits compare. Taking a closer look the Rule your Room Kit can be a great add-on to existing littleBits you own, as it contains a few bits not in other kits.

For one the Makey Makey bit is a great addition and on it's own it's half the price of the Rule your Room Kit. You'll also get a dimmer, bargraph and buzzer, which aren't included in the Premium Kit.

If you already own the Gizmos and Gadgets Kit (read our review), which we think provides great value for money, you'll get the Makey Makey, a dimmer and sound trigger in addition with the Rule your Room Kit.

You can compare your kits here, to see what would be the best value for money if you're thinking to add to an existing littleBits collection.

Tech Age Kids Verdict

littleBits are well thought out electronic kits and provide you with lots of projects to try straight out of the box. You can build onto your kits and reuse the bits in a variety of projects.

Your own inventions are somewhat limited by the constraints of how the circuits are put together. However with some clever design, you can mostly overcome these limitations.

littleBits is on the expensive side of electronic kits for kids, but they do offer a lot of value and there is a growing community to share your inventions, get inspiration and ask questions.

Image Credit: littleBits

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