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Tenergy Odev Dynamo Lantern STEM Building Toy (Assemble a simple motor into a hand-cranked generator to light up a bulb)


Tenergy Odev Dynamo Lantern STEM Building Toy (Assemble a simple motor into a hand-cranked generator to light up a bulb)

(9/10)

Cool learning toy that sheds green and blue light on how electricity works

I’m an old guy so my idea of fun toys is probably skewed in today’s world. I expect toys to educate and make kids use their imagination. I want their creativity to be pushed out not pulled back and if they can learn some hand/eye coordination without a video screen being involved that makes it even better. The fact that a child can also learn about something like making electricity helps encourage curiosity in something beyond what it was that Elmo was yabbering about.

The toy is simple enough to assemble once you have an understanding of how the pieces are to be used. Pieces fit together snugly and the whole thing feels study enough to last for a while. The spread out manual does a good job of explaining assembly with directions and plenty of pictures but it’s more than a 6 year old can handle even if the six year old is two years ahead in his reading capability. I decided that I was going to be part of the process and help build it so that the small pieces didn’t get lost but also that I could eliminate any frustration and make it a fun time for both of us. As it turned out the younger of the two was just as into it and had a hoot playing with the generator for hours afterwards.

The fact that the LED lights up blue when the handle is cranked in one direction and green when cranked in the other made for a lot of questions which opened the door for an enquiring mind to learn the basics about DC voltage. There will be other discussions with this one and someday I expect he’ll assemble a nuclear reactor in the basement but we’ll deal with that when it happens. Point is the toy opened a door for encouraging understanding in an area that might not have been opened otherwise.

So it took 15 minutes to get assembled but then it’s going to provide hours of discovery plus I dare say it will fuel a few excursions into the basement where tunnels will be explored while searching for some mythical creature. There’s nothing better than imagination fuelled fun for kids.

Only improvement I’d like to see is that the four corner pieces held better, they sometimes come lose and will likely get lost.

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