The Snap Circuits Series by Elenco is an award-winning product line that offers versatile, interactive play that is also educational! What more could a parent ask for? Each kit features a variety of components that work together to create common electronic mechanisms. The size of the kits vary, offering affordable or extreme options. Even at the lower end of this product line, however, parents and kids are raving about the learning potential and fun-factor of these innovative toys.
Snap Circuits Jr. SC-100
The Snap Circuits Jr. SC-100 offers a great way to introduce your child to the concepts of electronic circuits and devices.
The kit can open up a whole new world of ideas for children who were previously unfamiliar with how common electronics such as radios and televisions actually work. Then, there’s the intrinsic value of starting a finishing a project and being proud of their workmanship—a valuable lesson in and of itself.
The 30 different pieces that come with this kit, including slide switches, snap wires, a music integrated circuit, and more can be combined to create over 100 products—101 to be precise. Since the projects vary in difficulty-level, children can start out simple and work their way up to more complex tasks as they become older or more skilled.
- Easy to Use
This kit, which is designed for ages 8 and up, makes learning about electronics easy with color-coded and number- labeled pieces and clear instructions.
- Lots of pieces
If you’re a parent who doesn’t like toys that come with more than a few pieces—perhaps you have small children in the house, for instance—then this toy may not be for you. It’s not as bad as Knex as far as this is concerned, but there are more than a few small pieces to deal with.
- Can short-circuit
The fact that the toy can short-circuit if the pieces aren’t combined correctly takes a little bit away from the child’s ability to experiment with the kit.
What Others Are Saying
- “Kids love it, exceptionally educational and fun to play with”
- “Great learning toy even for younger children”
- “Wonderful for inquisitive minds”
- “Not a Toy”
I was hard-pressed to find any negative reviews about the Snap Circuits Jr. SC-100, barring the warning label which cites some degree of lead in the product, which according to the manufacturer has been since removed, as well as the concern that the kit has more educational value than fun-factor.
Snap Circuits SC-300
- Very Versatile
A step-up from the Snap Circuits Jr. SC-100, this deluxe kit contains twice the components and three times the number of potential projects, thus ensuring hours and hours of educational fun as children learn how to combine electronic components to build an alarm, doorbell, and much, much more. Like the Jr. version, the projects vary from simple to complex so that children can build on their skills as they go.
- Easy to Use
The kit contains easy-to-follow, illustrated instructions that are also available online just in case you misplace the paper version. There are also no tools required, and each component is coded by color and number.
As if it the kit itself doesn’t contain enough possibilities, it is also upgradeable—just in case your child’s curiosity isn’t yet satiated. To expand the project possibilities, you can buy upgrade kits that allow for even more fun and experimentation.
- Even more pieces.
This kit contains 60 pieces, varying in size, so if you’re not a pieces person—or parent, as it were—consider the smaller version or look for another toy.
What Others Are Saying
- “THIS TOY IS DA-BOMB!!!”
- “A toy like they used to make them—only better!”
- “Hours of fun!”
- GREAT investment for mixing education and fun!”
- “Great set, bad manual”
Reviews citing anything less than complete satisfaction were hard to come by, but there were a few that reported a lack of interest from their children, components that didn’t work quite right, and the lack of clear and detailed explanations for how each project actually worked.
Elenco Snap Circuits Green-Alternative Energy Kit
- Educational and Relevant
Like all of the Snap Circuit products, this toy packs an educational punch, but this one goes one step further to provide hands-on education and information on a highly relevant and current topic—alternative energy. The kit also contains a green energy manual that further explains how alternative energy works—a component that is lacking in some other Snap Circuit programs.
With over 40 pieces and 125 potential projects, there’s sure to be something in this kit to peak your child’s interest. The myriad of projects to choose from promises hours of play and curiosity-driven exploration.
Since this kit is compatible with other kits in the Snap Circuits series, you can expand your collection over time to increase the fun factor!
What Others Are Saying
- “Yes Great Toys Still Exist”
- “Son LOVES this”
- “Greatest Toy Ever!”
- “Terrific Teaching Toy”
- “Best toy purchase EVER”
- “Great science-based toy”
Since I literally couldn’t find a single complaint about this toy, it appears that you can’t go wrong! Since this is a newer product in the Snap Circuits line, however, the jury is still out on its durability and capacity to hold a child’s interest long-term.
Snap Circuits Extreme SC-750
- Extremely Versatile
As its name implies, this Snap Circuits kit offers some extreme possibilities in terms of electronic projects. The 80 different parts in the kit can be snapped together to build more than 750 experiments including a lie detector, power amplifier, and computer interface just to name a few.
- Even More Educational
More projects means more learning potential and teachable moments!
If you want the extreme factor, you’re going to pay for it. Although the kit got great reviews and many awards, there’s always the chance that your kid just won’t be that into it, and then you’ve wasted the better part of $100.
The Bottom Line
The Snap Circuit series has won numerous toy awards for its ability to artfully combine both science and amusement to create an intriguing and educational product perfect for birthday and Christmas kits or as an addition to your homeschool supplies. The numerous rave reviews make it pretty clear that Snap Circuit products are a good investment in both learning and good-old fashioned fun.