Anyone who knows me or who has followed my blog long enough, knows how important educational play is to me. It ranks right up there with play time centered around the imagination rather than electronics, toys, etc. As great as educational and imaginative play are, as a I parent I also have to be realistic too. For example, there’s only so much of either you can do on a rainy day..and that’s when we’ll break down and bust out the electronics. Although my family does get limited screen time that focuses on educational purposes, we recently started allowing them to engage in more screen time that is purely for fun and less strict in terms of being purely educational.
Our biggest break down in our rigorous beliefs was the Nintendo Switch. I’ve been a fan of Nintendo for years and am always amazed at what the company is doing in the world. In recent years they’ve started to expand to games that are not only fun but also educational and while we have some of the more “just for fun” games, we also keep current on the educational/teaching games as well. You have no idea how excited I was when I was approached by a representative for the company with a new product that creates the perfect balance of teaching AND fun capabilities!
In an effort to expand their horizons, Nintendo has partnered with the Institute of Play to bring Nintendo Labo kits to mainstream learning environments, such as elementary classrooms nationwide. They’ve done this by successfully merging innovative play from the Labo Kits into the basic principles of science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics. Some of my readers might be familiar with it under the name STEAM, and by incorporating the principles of the program, Nintendo & the Institute of Play are hoping to inspire kids and make learning fun again!
While partnering with the Institute of Play, Nintendo will be providing participating classrooms with Nintendo Labo: Variety Kits and Nintendo Switch Systems to help reinforce key learning skills such as communication, creativity and critical thinking. The program hopes to reach 100 schools and 2,000 students between ages 8 to 11 between the 2018-2019 school year.
How neat is that? Nintendo never fails to impress with each system, game or in this case, program they’ve rolled out and seeing as how this one seeks to combine education/fun play time, it definitely gets my vote.
In addition to the STEAM project their hosting in select schools, Nintendo also offered me a chance to review one of their Lago kits in home as well. I was sent one of their Lago: Vehicle Kits and let me tell you, even before it arrived and I was strictly doing my research, I was impressed. Not only is the end result fun to incorporate into play time with the console, but it also enables your little ones to be a part of creating their own DIY creations such as Toy-Con steering wheel, gas pedal and key for a car, air plane and submarine. It’s a STEAM project that allows them to build an educational model AND play with the end result using the Nintendo Switch, putting them in the drivers seat – literally!
Each kit, whether you’re using the Vehicle or other model, comes with everything your kiddos need to create their DIY Toy-Con invention. This can include:
- Nintendo Labo Vehicle Kit Software
- 25 x Cardboard sheets plus an extra sheet for custom work
- Reflective sticker sheet x 1
- Sponge sticker sheet x 1
- String x 1
- Grommet Set (gray) x 1
- Grommet Set (red) x 2
- Rubber bands (large) x 3 plus spares
- Rubber bands (small) x 12 plus spares