We’ve been fans of littleBits, the creative, magnetic, electronic maker toy, for quite a while. Though now that it’s turning our kids into rock stars with their littleBits Synth Kit, we’re total groupies. This is one very satisfying toy with so many different project ideas, you may find yourself with an aspiring DJ before the day is done.
The new Synth Kit, created in collaboration with Japanese musical electronics company Korg, lets kids learn about and test modules that produce and change sound, basically by playing with a deconstructed keyboard. And since every one of the cool, colorful modules fits with every other module, there are endless combinations to experiment with, yielding actual musical instruments they can connect to headphones, speakers and computers.
If you have kids who like to tinker, take apart, and tinker some more, this is like a dream-come-true toy for them.
What’s great is that it’s easy to follow the directions and create a project that actually works the first time around; our own kids’ projects are testament to that. littleBits uses magnets to hold the little modules together, then kids are encouraged to use other items they have lying around the house–tape, cardboard boxes, popsicle sticks, craft supplies–to turn a linear row of modules into something truly impressive, from a Keytar to a Spin Table.
Keep in mind that this is not an inexpensive toy, but more of a system that can grow with your kids either on its own or with additional littleBits’ kits. I really love this endorsement from musician Reggie Watts who demonstrates how you might spend some time with it yourself after the kids go to bed. And though it’s recommended for ages 14+, my nine-year-old has had a blast playing with it, so use your best judgment on whether your kid will be interested.
As for mine, between the accompanying instruction booklet and the additional littleBits projects you can find online, I know he’ll be rocking out for at least a second encore.
Grab the new littleBits Synth Kit at littleBits.cc and if you order today, there’s free US shipping on all orders $149+ through 2/28/14