***Disclosure: The reviewer has been compensated in the form of a Best Buy Gift Card and/or received the product/service at a reduced price or for free.***
As homeschooling parents, we're always looking for ways to incorporate learning into our every day activities. Whether it's the kids helping measure ingredients in the kitchen, or finding ways to make playtime an educational experience, we're always in search of ways to make learning fun and engaging....especially during the summer months.
During the summer, not only do the kiddos get used to the lack of homework and school assignments, they also get bitten by the Boredom Bug. Because I cannot in good conscience allow them to do nothing but play Minecraft 24/7, I've been on the hunt for hands-on activities that support the same STEM skills that their favorite video game is known for.
Recently, we headed to Best Buy, and we were absolutely thrilled to see a nice selection of tech toys that are sure to make any kids interested in learning, even during summer break!
Our favorite of these great tech toys would have to be the Hexbug - VEX Robotics Robotic Arm. For one, who doesn't love robots?! Kids learn how industrial robots operate while constructing your own miniature version with this VEX robotic arm kit. It has four points of motion that let it rotate 360 degrees while raising objects up to 14 inches in the air and extending them 10 inches. The VEX robotic arm kit teaches important STEM principles.
Have you ever wondered how industrial robots work? You know, the kind of robots that work on assembly lines building other complex pieces of machinery?
Now you can unlock the mystery behind these sophisticated robots by building one of your own! Exclusively from HEXBUG® comes the VEX® Robotics Robotic Arm - a completely functional construction kit inspired by real industrial robot arms.
This unique Robotic Arm is hand powered and can pick up and relocate items using four degrees of freedom and an articulated grabber hand. The whole crane can rotate 360 degrees, allowing this miniature robot to perform the complex actions of its real life counterpart. Kids and robotics enthusiasts alike will have fun building this STEM-based kit that pays special attention to important scientific principals including gear reductions and power transfer through the robotic arm’s intricate gearing techniques.
HEXBUG® hopes to inspire future generations of engineers and designers by allowing them to explore this exciting field through the fun of hands-on creative play.
We couldn't wait to assemble our Hexbug VEX Robotics Robotic Arm. There are a few different building options, but we decided to keep it simple for now and went with the Robotic Arm.
This toy is recommended for kids ages 8+, but younger kids can build, too, with proper adult supervision. Sophie and Xander fall into the younger category, but they were able to help their Daddy assemble this robotic arm, and they really enjoyed just watching him follow the easy instructions that were provided with the toy.
The kit has 350+ pieces, so building is a wonderful activity on a rainy afternoon, and will definitely keep kids busy and engaged. It is a bit time consuming to put together, but this isn't a bad thing, in my opinion. My kids didn't seem to mind the wait, either.
Once the VEX Robotics Robotic Arm is fully assembled, the real magic begins. Using a series of knobs, you can use the robotic articulated grabber hand or "claw" to pick up and move small objects or toys.
These controls are easy to operate, even for younger kids like mine. All you have to do is turn the knobs and the VEX Robotics Robotic Arm rotates a full 360 degrees, allowing this miniature robot to perform the complex actions of its real life counterpart. How cool is that?!
The grabber hand is actually very effective at picking up and holding small items. We were surprised to see just how sturdy this toy is!
Here's Dan, picking up the cap to a bottle of bubbles. This is a small object, so the grabbing action is quite precise. It really takes a solid hold of different items, and doesn't release or drop them until the user makes it do so.
After Daddy had his turn testing out this awesome STEM toy, it was time for the kids to explore. They found a very interesting use for it, which was super-creative. They like using their VEX Robotics Robotic Arm as a construction crane for their Legos and building blocks. Who says science can't be fun?!
Overall, we're absolutely thrilled with our Hexbug VEX Robotics Robotic Arm experience, and we look forward to purchasing more kits by this brand. They have several to choose from, and they all support creativity and add some STEM fun into our summer activities!
We would definitely recommend this and other great Hexbug Tech Toys for any families looking for a great way to keep education alive during these long summer days.
Get it at best buy Today:
The VEX Robotics Robotic Arm is available right now at Best Buy for a MSRP of $49.99.
Batteries not required.
Ages: 8 years and up.
PR Friendly Mama!
I'm Brandy, a happily married, proud mama of two munchkins and a teen. You can read more about me HERE. If you're interested in building a working relationship, please feel free to e-mail me at: NewlyCrunchyMamaOf3@gmail.com
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