We bought the Elenco SNap circuit from Amazon and received the box on a Friday afternoon. Our 8-year old son cannot contain his excitement that he opened the box right away. He played with it until late that night. At 6 AM the following morning, he was awake playing with the Snap Circuit again! Even our 2 year old was enjoying it, especially the project# 11 Flying saucer. He was giggling as the flying saucer spins & flies out the electronic circuit board!
Saturday morning, I was awakened by a loud alarm that our son created out of the snap circuit project 53 Flashing laser lights with sound.
After just 24 hours, our son is on the 54th project! I even saw drawings on a paper about circuitry, to which he said his “his own creation project”.
Sunday morning, I was awakened by the sound of radio playing music and AM news that my husband created out of the Elenco SNap circuit project 242 AM Radio!
- No soldering required
This feature is truly awesome! No need for messy & tedious process of soldering the components to create a project. Projects can be done quickly by snapping each component in place. Snapping the parts on & off can be done unlimited times.
- Easy to follow instruction manuals
All of the projects have instructions & graphics that are well laid out. Parts are color coded & properly labeled components instructions manual. “R1” to “R5” are labels for “Resistor” depending on the resistance value. “1” -“7” are labels for “connector” based on length. It is very easy to follow where to put the component on the base because it has a grid lines labelled from 1 to 10 horizontally and A to G vertically.
- Key electronics concepts are explained
Each project has notes explaining what each components do as part of the electronic circuitry. This is where learning takes places. The concept of electronic parts, such as “What is a capacitor?”, “How do they look like?”, “What do they do?” are all answered effortlessly as they physically touch and connect them with the other components of the electronic circuitry. This Elenco Snap Circuits SC-300 toy is truly a brilliant way to learn electronic circuitry at a very young age. As they say, “Experience is the best teacher”. This kind of learning is actually enabling the kids to fully understand the basic concept of electronics in a way that they can explain it through their own words. This is by far effective than a classroom lecture or a video they watch in TV. In a span of 2 days, our 8-year is able to explain what is a resistor, a capacitor, an amplifier, an antenna, a variable resistor, a variable capacitor! With dad’s help on explaining some of the more complicated concepts, of course.
- Multiple Projects in one box
Elenco SNap circuit has 305 projects! That means using the same 60 components in one box, 305 different circuit configurations or projects can be done. There is also a possibility of creating your very own, unique circuitry. Each project showcases a unique capability, from simple circuitry to a more complicated one. Project#1 Electric Light and Switch is an easy one with few components, consisting a mini light bulb and an on/off switch. Two pieces of AA batteries is required as an electric source. Project # 242 AM Radio is a more complicated project on completing a working AM radio. It consists of resistors, capacitors, variable capacitor, integrated circuit, adjustable resistor, power amplifier, speaker, slide switch and two sets of batteries.
- Components looks and feels a little fragile
Some plastic components, the resistor’s tiny wires and the capacitor’s protruding parts looks and feel fragile, that could easily be knocked off. Once any of these parts got broken, the whole project using the part can no longer work because of a disconnection. Good thing there are several pieces on each type of parts.
- Contains small parts
The small parts can easily get lost and are choking hazards for kids under 3 years old.
I guess that is why this STEM toy is actually built for ages 8 to 108, it needs to be played carefully and responsibly.
A word of advice
The second book, which contains projects 102-305, are a lot more complicated than the first book, which contains projects 1-105. This is why it is important to start with the most basic project #1. First and foremost, it is important to read the cautions about “What not to do”. Be sure not to create circuit configurations that could short the circuit. Understanding the instructions becomes easier as the project # progresses and as you gain familiarity with the locations of the parts and snapping the components in place.
Elenco SNap circuit is the best STEM toy that promotes early hands-on learning about electronic circuits. It’s never been easy to remember and differentiate a capacitor from a resistor and actually experience first-hand what do each component do as a part of a circuit. As my 8-year old puts it “I like snap circuit because is makes me smarter!”
If you want to give your kids a head start to stay relevant in this fast paced world, where jobs are at risk of being replaced by automation and robotics, STEM jobs are set to be continuously grow in demand. These Electronic Snap Circuits STEM toys are definitely good tools to have.
Lots of Choices
A wide variety of choices is available in Amazon. Below are the most popular options.
Elenco SC-750 Snap Circuits Extreme SC-750
This Snap circuit kit offers more than 750 projects using the same 80 components designed for ages 8 to 108. Featured experiments include lie detector, sound activated switch, rechargeable battery, AM radio, adjustable light controllers and a lot more totally interesting projects. This option has the capability to convert your computer monitor into an oscilloscope to be able to see the signals in process in the assembled circuit using Windows PC and the included CI-73 Computer Interface. Parts include all the parts in the SC-300 model plus photoresistor, analog meter, solar cell and computer interface.
SCL-175 model is designed for ages 8+ with over 175 electronic projects and 55 components. It is geared towards creating light shows projects using color changing LED, glow in the dark propeller, strobe Integrated Circuit, infrared receiver, fiber optic communication and a lot more.
This “Green Energy” options is designed for students ages 8 to 108 with over 125 electronic projects, which include Hand crank solar cell, FM Radio, Energy Compartment, Rechargeable Battery, Windmill, Clock, Analog Meter, an a lot more, and contains over 40 components. It is specially made to investigate alternative energy strategies.
What do you think of these Elenco Snap Circuits? Share your thoughts below! 🙂