One of the biggest challenges that parents face is over screen time and while lots can be learned from content consumed through screens, it’s not the only way to learn. Kids learn best when presented with different kinds of learning experiences ranging from paper and pencil tasks to immersive ones that provide hands-on learning. Even though you might be reading this and thinking that there is nothing that could trump the allure of the screen in your house, stop to consider what your kids love doing most and how they like to learn. Chances are there’s a way to engage them in meaningful learning away from the screen.
Older elementary age kids who love to tinker and build will find themselves captivated by the VEX® Robotics Robotic Arm by HEXBUG® ($49.99).
What are Robotic Arms and What Do They Do?
Often used in manufacturing, robotic arms are controlled by computers and used for repetitive manufacturing work. According to How Stuff Works, robotic arms “handle tasks that are difficult, dangerous or boring to human beings.” Made up of segments and joints, robotics arms can move precisely to perform the same movement over and over again.
They’re used to help NASA lift large objects in space, complete industrial tasks like welding and drilling on a car assembly line, and even be used to entertain! Take a look at how industrial robot arms held on to screens and made them dance!
About the VEX® Robotics Robotic Arm
The VEX® Robotics Robotic Arm is a completely functional construction kit inspired by real industrial robot arms.
This hand powered robotic arm can be used to pick things up with the articulated grabber hand before relocating using four degrees of freedom. With a crane that can rotate 360 degrees, this miniature robot can perform the complex actions of real life counterparts.
5 Skills the VEX® Robotics Robotic Arm Teaches Kids
VEX Robotics has a history of providing pre-engineering foundations and STEM skills to kids at a young age but now the VEX® Robotics Robotic Arm brings the learning into your home and teaches:
- Patience and persistence—While the snap-together pieces are fairly easy to assemble, it takes about 4-6 hours to assemble the 350+ pieces.
- Sequential order— Much like assembling a piece of furniture from Ikea or a new LEGO set, the VEX® Robotics Robotic Arm comes with a booklet of instructions that kids need to follow in order to assemble their robotic arm. Handy features in the beginning of the instruction book like the angle measurement tool and the image that helps kids measure the black pieces help minimize frustration and sets them up for success.
- Engineering— Even at a young age kids are interested in building and figuring out things work. Engineering is a distinct skill that is connected to science and technology. Figuring out how the VEX® Robotics Robotic Arm works in order to get it pick up the things you want is an important part of the engineering learning process.
- Scientific principals— While kids experiment with the control knob to pick up pieces, they’ll also be experiencing gear reductions and power transfer through the robotic arm’s intricate gearing techniques. Learning has never been so fun!
- Hands on creativity— Thinking outside the box is also an important skill and once kids build the robotic arm, they can disassemble it and reconstruct it into a helicopter or scorpion using directions from Hexbug.
For parents of kids who love to build and create, the VEX® Robotics Robotic Arm is a way to provide a fun and educational experience away from screens. I love how it inspires kids to learn, build, and grow through the summer and beyond thanks to a fun hands-on kit that’s well worth the investment. The VEX® Robotics Robotic Arm by HEXBUG® and other Hexbug Vex products are available through Best Buy.
I was compensated in the form of a Best Buy Gift Card and/or received the product/service at a reduced price or for free.