„Dad, can I play with your tablet? “ Ever since we adults made tablet, smartphone and co a fix part of our everyday life, children automatically get in touch with new technology and new media. Curious as children are it is only logical that they also want to use these parental toys. Some parents are worried about children getting in touch with and using technology too early. Images of children fixated on a screen, forgetting the outside world around them might pop into heads. But essentially it’s just like with every other toy: It depends on how and how often it is used.
It’s without question that children these days already use new media and new technologies. Elementary school kids use smartphone, tablet or computer on average an hour each day. Because it makes for a considerable part of their everyday life it is both important and needed to introduce children to technology and the world of new media early. Furthermore, education experts hold the opinion that children can benefit from early utilization. In their experience tablets and co foster speech development and improve self-assessment of your child. It allows children to recognize connections and improve social interaction. Everyone, who ever watched kids play with a tablet, knows they often have the most fun, if they are with at least one more friend.
Be it analog or digital playing or toys, children get to know the world through play. They learn how things work, their creativity and curiosity is sparked and they learn important social skills when interacting with their friends. However, at the bottom of everything it remains the most important that the playing itself stays an active act. If children become passively consumed by technology, any tablet or computer loses its educational value. Just as it wasn’t a good idea to place a kid in front of the TV all the time ten years ago, it isn’t either to allow your child to watch videos on a tablet for too long today. It is easy to get lost inside the world of screens, especially as a child that has only little experience. Manual, meaning analog playing therefore remains of course a fundamentally important element of growing up. So what would be better than a toy combining analog and digital, the well-established with what is new and exciting. With these considerations in mind, especially building sets are popular as technics toys and gift ideas with both young and old. With the little ones, because they not just get one ready-made toy but are able to let their seemingly endless imagination run wild and freely create all sorts of things. With adults, exactly because it doesn’t let children become passive and instead teaches them lots of things with high educational value all while having fun. Motor function, creativity and cognitive thinking are trained and fostered.
We at Tinkerbots are convinced as well that building sets make for great toys and kids can learn a whole lot from new technologies. It’s because of this that we developed our very own technics building set for children introducing them to the new digital world of technology hands on without forgetting the physical world. With Tinkerbots, children can build and control their own robots – all without previous knowledge. You don’t get one ready-made robot but a building set giving you the opportunity to create many different ones. Simply put together the different motion modules with the red Powerbrain, design the robot some more with additional bricks and you’re good to go! Sounds pretty hands on so far, doesn’t it? That’s because it is. So what does this have to do with digital play, you ask? The special gimmick with Tinkerbots is that you can easily control them via app through your smartphone or tablet as soon as you assembled them. Now you have the ultimate connection between analog and digital, between physical world and the world of tablet and co. Tinkerbots work intuitively and children quickly learn how they can build their own cool robots. Through the Powerbrain they can teach movements to the individual motion modules, which bring the robots to life in the first place, and have them execute these movements. As you can see, there are many possibilities to get to know the technology of Tinkerbots. You can even code them yourself through the open Arduino platform by connecting the Powerbrain to your computer.
With Tinkerbots, children as young as 6 years old learn about new technology while playing. They learn about robotics, mechanics and sensor technology. At the same time, the modular character of Tinkerbots keeps all the important and classic elements of analog play: Assembling the parts and controlling the robots requires a bit of finesse and therefore fosters motor skills. Due to the freedom of the modular system children can let their creativity run wild. Also, to develop, build and finally control a robot is most definitely way more fun when doing so together with friends or parents. One more, great last thing: Because of our adapter bricks you’re also able to combine your Tinkerbots with LEGO® bricks, making them look even cooler!