The world is different from when we grew up. Technology abounds us at every turn, and our children are integrated into a world where technology is used in almost every capacity of our lives. We see more kids playing video games, on iPads or other devices, and watching television than who are outside playing. When we try to drag our kids off these devices, we get moans and groans. However, technology like this is the future. Creating advanced technologies are what our kids will be doing or utilizing as they grow older. So why not take this love of technology and utilize it to motivate them to do more creative and educational activities?
Using Technology as a Motivator
Kids love to learn, but not in the traditional sense of sitting down and doing worksheets or listening to a teacher. Learning through “play” or kinetic and tactile learning continues to be one of the best ways to motivate children in a learning activity. They want to explore, experiment, and create.
STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and math) has become one of the forefronts of education in recent years. Because of the increased technology around us, it has become necessary to have programs in which these areas are explored. STEAM activities often take a kinetic or tactile approach making them fun for children to do. Some STEAM activities that you might see your child do in school are things like building a robot, creating electric circuits, or build a structure.
But what if we took it one step further- instead of having our children build a simple machine we could teach them the advanced technology behind it? We could explore what would happen if we changed the coding on a robot or rewrote a program for a vehicle. With the right tools, our children could begin to see first hand how their video game works “behind the scenes” or how our homes were built to create the perfect infrastructure. We could take their love of advanced technologies and use that as a motivator for more educational activities at home.
Spend the Summer in STEAM
As we reach the middle of summer it becomes increasingly apparent on how much our kids utilize technology. There is a lot more television watching or video game playing with decreased learning activities. It can be hard to find something that your child loves to do while learning and gaining experience. Microduino understands that kids love technology but it also knows that parents want activities, especially during the slow days of summer, that continue to teach their children despite being out of school.
Microduino was founded in 2012, and since then they have continued to provide educational activities based on STEAM learning systems. Their stackable electronic building blocks help children to learn through projects that they invent and create themselves. Microduino offers projects that allow children to advance their learning through critical thinking and problem-solving. They provide fun, hands-on learning tools that motivate children to think critically and explore science, technology, engineering, arts, and math.
One of the biggest pieces of technology today is programming and coding. That is the basis for how most of the things we use daily work and function. Microduino projects allow children to see how the engineering, product design, and coding all work together to create a project. They help children get hands-on experience in programming, design, and the building of structures so that they are better equipped for higher education and future careers in STEAM such as engineering, research, and programming.
Micoduino’s Itty Bitty City is a great summer activity that will give your children the opportunity to play through learning. This activity is actually 8 activities in one box, with each activity exploring project design, electronics, and programming so your child can have endless fun configuring different structures. It features Microduino’s mCookie modules for programming and coding, and can be altered per your child’s imagination. Like all their project activity kits, the Itty Bitty City is aligned with the the most recent Next Generation of Science Standards (NGSS), International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE), and Common Core guidelines for STEM instruction, giving parents the assurance that their child is learning based on educational guidelines.
Itty Bitty City is a perfect beginner activity for ages 8 and older, teaching electronics and programming at a basic level and increasing in difficulty as you complete new projects. With projects like a piggy bank that makes noise when you drop coins into it or a smart car that can be programmed to go along a track remotely, your child will begin to love learning, creating, and coding.
One of the best parts about Micrduino’s learning activity kits is that the possibility are endless. Itty Bitty City is compatible with LEGO pieces so the possibilities are endless. Your child can add to their project to make larger, more complicated structures using the concepts they have learned completing the other 8 projects to design an amazing product of their own. It is a perfect summer time activity to get your kids away from the iPads and begin to learn how the technology behind their favorite game is actually created.
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The summer slump is real. Our children are engrained with technology and it’s the first thing they reach for when they are bored. But what if we could use this love of gaming or television watching to motivate our children to do more educational activities? With learning activity kits like the Itty Bitty City from Microduino, our kids can now design, program, and code their own structures setting up the basis for STEAM-related education and career paths as they grow older. Instead of just utilizing the technology, they can learn to create it. What a fun way to spend the summer!