Wednesday, December 29, 2010

A snap -- really

This is a love letter to a product.  I'm not a compensated endorser -- just a happy customer.

When I heard that Noel had put an electronics project kit on Archer's Amazon wishlist, I was dubious.  I pictured a box full of wires and diodes and resistors, tiny parts that would get lost and break, the risk of injury.

Archer opened the kit Christmas morning, courtesy of his aunt and uncle in Nashville.  It was clearly something he was drawn to; "100 Exciting Projects!" he read with stirring inflection off the box.  And he could barely wait to get everything out of his stocking and be done with presents so that he could study the instruction manual.

To my surprise, this Elenco Snap Circuits system was nothing like what I had pictured.  The components were sturdy and modular, designed to fit on a thick plastic grid.  They snapped together like snaps on clothing, with no little wires or tenuous connections.  Everything was labeled and easy to identify.  And because the large grid keeps everything in order, recreating the configurations in the project book is easy.

In fact, Cady Gray took to it as quickly as Archer.  The two of them have been snapping and unsnapping, testing, reconfiguring, and explaining their creations to us ever since.  And I've been marveling at how well designed this kit is and scheming to get the kids more of the same.

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