The Old Schoolhouse® Product & Curriculum Reviews

With so many products available we often need a little help in making our curriculum choices. The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine family understands because we are in the same boat! Do you need more information on a product before you buy? With over 5,500 products listed in 52 easy-to-use categories, much of the information you need to know is only a click away! Let our reviewer-families help yours.
Do you want to get the word out about your product or service to the homeschool community? Email Jenny Higgins and share a little about what you´d like showcased, and we can help with that!

Smart Circuits: Games & Gadgets Electronics Lab Review by Kelly Burgess

SmartLab Toys
11120 NE 33rd Place, Suite 101
Bellevue, WA 98004

The Smart Circuits: Games & Gadgets Electronics Lab is a fun learning kit intended for children ages eight and up. It includes plenty of components, including a microprocessor module, battery module, variable resistor module, tricolor LED module, speaker module, photodiode module, tilt switch module, six-LED array module, two push button modules, thirty-one jumper wires, six base boards, and a forty-eight-page book with instructions for building a variety of projects! 

In addition to the fifty projects in the book, you can also download eighteen additional projects from the website! Now that's a lot of fun! The first eleven projects in the book are very simple and are intended to be completed in order so that the user can learn the basic principles of electronics. Then the others can be done in any order you choose. This kit is available for just $49.99, and there are certainly plenty of activities there to keep any child busy for quite some time! The projects include a variety of games and gadgets, such as a sound box, a drag race game, a motion-sensing room alarm, a dance party light show, an electronic drum kit, and so much more! 

I got this kit with my eight-year old son in mind, but in the end, it inevitably caught the attention of my twelve-year old daughter, as well! I knew it would be a perfect father/son activity, as my husband is a master electrician by trade. They started the kit together on a long weekend, and they barely scratched the surface of all that it offers! My husband said the full-color instructions were so easy to follow, even for our young son, and the only thing he needed help with was inserting and removing the jumper wires. My husband was there to explain the how and why of it all to add to the learning experience, and my son has barely been able to keep his hands off the kit since we opened it!

As if the included projects weren't awesome enough on their own, I think the added bonus of this kit is the way it sparks the imagination in such a way that a child can begin to create their own projects once they understand the basics of what the pieces do. The two of them had a great time making random projects on their own and quickly strayed from the provided instructions to their own wonderful creations. They left one such invention out on the dinner table this weekend, and every time one of my kids walks by it, they can't help but play with it! 

I can definitely see this kit continuing to provide hours of entertainment and learning for all of my kids of varying ages. In fact, I can hardly believe all of the wonderful things you can create with everything that's included. It would make a wonderful gift for the holidays or for a special birthday for the gadget-loving, creative-minded child in your house!

-Product review by Kelly Burgess, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, January, 2017