Friday, 15 November 2013

Miniland Electrokit 88 - a review

Like a lot of bloggers I get many great offers, and this month I was offered a Miniland Electokit 88 from DKL to use and see what we thought of it.

Miniland tell us

First steps in the world of electricity and a way to understand the importance it has in the world we live in.
Easily connected battery compartments, engines, loudspeakers, propellers, switches, light-bulb holders with light-bulbs, magnets, etc, to create the assembled models that appear in the manuals.
Additional information:
88 examples with step-by-step instructionsBatteries neededMake sound and lightDidactic guide 

starting off simply

So I introduced this to Fifi as it is designed for age 8 upwards and Bob is a bit on the young side. When I first handed Fifi the set she told me they had been doing a similar idea at school using batteries and wires and been making a robot with lighting up eyes and a fan in its bum.

Now normally Fifi has the attention span of a gnat on hot bricks and sticks at nothing for any more than ten seconds. She sat down with this, looked at the book and said "this looks too complicated". But she then looked at it a bit closer and settled down to see what she could achieve.

rotating on the ceiling (frozen by flash)

The book that comes with the set is amazing, it has detailed diagrams that makes the assembly of the circuits very easy. All the parts are clearly marked with numbers aiding the simple assembly. Fifi actually sat and worked her way right through the book. It took her an hour and a half but she was loving every minute of it. They especially loved where both battery packs were attached to the fan, the fan flies off and hits the ceiling and keeps spinning as it sticks itself to the ceiling.

working in parallel
a complex model. 
The set started from a simple switch to turn a light bulb on, through to double sets of batteries to run a fan, and then moved onto teaching them about "in series" and "in parallel", through to much more complex structures to make different noises. There are questions being asked as you go along to get you thinking about what you are doing and why you get the results you get.

The only bit Fifi struggled with  was the red LED piece, she wasn't concentrating the first time she used it.
undoing and redoing different experiments
Every other piece can be placed in any which way, the red LED piece only works if inserted correctly, until she remembered to out it on the correct way.

I like the layout of the box as the diagrams inside show you where all the pieces should be stored, encouraging children to return it to the box correctly.

Bob managed a quite complex build. 
Bob is a typical child, always feels he is being hard done by if he does not get to use what his sister has. So this morning he sat down with the set. I have to say I did not think he would manage for two reasons; one the strength in his hands and secondly to actually follow the diagrams correctly. So while I went for a shower I left him exploring the set. Time I came back out the shower he had managed to work his way through the book to the point of two battery packs and the fan, because he wanted to get it to hit the ceiling!! I was pleasantly surprised. He is too young to understand the full concept of what he was doing, but had fun doing it regardless. It was great for his hand eye coordination, which is quite immature,   as well as following instructions and diagrams.

Fifi wrote;

I had lots of fun playing with it and I liked figuring out how the switches worked and why the lamp/fan/LED would not work when I pressed one switch but would when I pressed two switches. I liked seeing the fan rotate so fast it would fly upwards and stick to the ceiling.
The noises from the speaker were interesting and I liked how to figure out how to make each sound. I loved the Electrokit it was superb. 

 This got a big thumbs up from both the children, and anything in my book that keeps my granddaughters attention for any more than ten seconds is a winner.

Disclaimer we were sent this set to review, but the findings are not influenced by that.

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