Robots are a fun and educational learning tool for children of any age. Whether you want to build a cool toy with early elementary school children or develop a basic understanding of technology with slightly older grade school students, there is a range of difficulty and complexity levels with robot projects.
Robots from Recyclables
Young children can exercise their imagination by choosing any variety of household items to create a robot. Cereal boxes, potato chip cans, toilet paper rolls, aluminum foil, Slinky-type toys, buttons, bottle caps, and empty milk jugs or juice bottles are just a few examples of household supplies kids can use. Attach arms, legs and a head onto a body using glue, tape or metal brads. To give the robot a metallic appearance, help the child wrap all pieces with aluminum foil or paint the whole thing silver before drawing on facial features and other decorative details. Robots can be made small enough to carry around or large enough to wear as a costume, as little kids absolutely love to play dress-up.
If you want to create a robot that is slightly more advanced, with controllable battery-operated movements, buying a kit is the best way to go. Kits will take your robot project to a whole new level, and will provide you with all necessary parts, including mini motors, battery cases, wires and remote controls. Typically, you will need to supply your own batteries.
Robots from Common Construction Toys
Construction toys are excellent materials to use for building robots, and allow more room for imagination than the above-mentioned robot kits because of the products' endless possibilities. Robot kits are available for purchase from a variety of construction toy companies, designed for a wide variety of age groups. Combining these kits with the associated software and activity pack (sold separately), children will develop their skills in math, science and technology, and even be introduced to the world of programming in a fun and exciting way.
robot image by Paul Moore from Fotolia.com