Tinker Crate will have your kids bolting to the mailbox for monthly tech projects

Let’s talk about DIY kits for kids! Ever since my nephew celebrated his fourth birthday, I’ve been buying him DIY kits. Robot kits. Science project kits. All that fun stuff. We like to geek out together, though I wish I had this stuff when I was young!

I recently discovered Tinker Crate. It’s a subscription service where you pay $20/month get a new toy every month to put together. Just like LootCrate for us adults!

Tinker Crates are a fantastic way to get your kid’s brain working on STEM projects (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math). The more exposure they have to ideas that they can create something, the more chances are that they’ll build stuff on their own later in life, right?

Tinker Crates are a fantastic way to get your kid’s brain working on STEM projects.

There are crates for ages 3-4, then 5-8, then 9-16. In the older age range, they have both the Doodle Crate for building creative confidence, as they say.

The crate comes with all the parts needed. Sometimes you might need something like scissors that they don’t include. But you won’t have to go out and buy anything. You should already have scissors. You do have scissors, right….? Anyway! It also includes directions (they call it a blueprint), a magazine full of cool information, and all the parts.

What I’m most impressed by was how well-made the directions are. My nephew is very smart (not that I’m biased), but there was never a moment of … wait, what am I supposed to do? I was also worried about getting him to sit down and focus on the project. And I’ve heard that same fear from other people who have thought about getting these crates. But that wasn’t at all a problem! I thought it might take two or three hours to get through the project, but he worked through it in about 30 minutes. This was the Drawbot, and the crates all vary for amounts of time or level of involvement.

Some of the others include Drip Irrigation, the Biomechanical Hand, a Hand Crank Flashlight, the Gravity Game, and even a Motion Sensing Spider that can detect when people are close and pounce on them!

These aren’t made of the type of material that’s going to last for years. It’s 20 bucks per package, after all. But it is a great way to keep the mind engaged on a regular basis and give your kids something to look forward to each month.

And they actually CAN look forward to getting it because the package is sent to them! Not you. It has their name on the box. Which I think is a great touch!

What kinds of things do your kids like to create? I’d love to hear! Leave a comment below.

Emerging Tech

How 3D printing has changed the world of prosthetic limbs forever

When he was 13 years old, Christophe Debard had his leg amputated. Here in 2019, Debard's Print My Leg startup helps others to create 3D-printed prostheses. Welcome to a growing revolution!
Emerging Tech

Inside the Ocean Cleanup’s ambitious plan to rid the ocean of plastic waste

In 2013, Boyan Slat crowdfunded $2.2 million to fund the Ocean Cleanup, a nonprofit organization that builds big, floating trash collectors and sets them out to sea, where they’re designed to autonomously gobble up garbage.
Home Theater

Puro’s kids headphones don’t just sound great, they help prevent hearing damage

Puro Sound Labs' PuroQuiet headphones are a pair of noise-canceling over-ears that are designed for young listeners, allowing them to jam out to their favorite tunes, but limiting volume to avoid long-term hearing damage.
Gaming

The best video games for kids, sorted by age group, for April 2019

There are a wealth of great games out there that both parents and kids can enjoy together. We compiled a list of 30-plus games across all genres that are sure to make family game night a great time.
Smart Home

These are the 13 best games to play on your new Google Home

Google Home is a handy device, but did you know you can play games with it? There are a ton to play, and we tested them all. Here are some of favorites that you can play on your Google Home device.
Smart Home

Best Buy zaps price on Nest Secure alarm, Nest Cam, and Google Home Mini bundle

Best Buy zapped the price of Nest smart home security Nest Secure Alarm and Nest Cam Outdoor bundle and added a Google Home Mini. Nest Detect sensors watch your home inside and out. Stream Nest Cam video in real-time or view clips later.
Smart Home

Amazon Echo Show and Google Home Hub get huge price cuts

If you act today you can get an amazing deal on the first-gen Amazon Echo Show on Woot or the current generation Google Home Hub on Rakuten. The Echo Show works with Alexa and the Google Home Hub with Google Assistant.
Smart Home

Video doorbell alert leads homeowner to confront suspected porch pirate

Video doorbells are doing their bit to help homeowners fight back against porch pirates, as this recent incident in California shows. The motion-activated device alerted the owner, who challenged the suspect right on the doorstep.
Deals

The best iRobot Roomba deals to make cleaning your home a breeze

Keep your home clean without lifting a finger using a robot vacuum cleaner. These nine iRobot Roomba deals not only help you keep your home tidy, but many also come with advanced features such as automatic scheduling and Wi-Fi connectivity.
Smart Home

Fast and efficient: LG’s new washer rocks the laundry in half an hour

Laundry is almost always a drag but for those with the means, LG's new high-end, Wi-Fi-enabled washing machines can deliver clean clothes in under 30 minutes using the company's new patented technology.
Smart Home

Grocery shopping wreaks greater havoc on the environment than meal kits

A study by the University of Michigan showed meal kits cause less environmental damage than meals from grocery store ingredients. According to the U-M researchers, grocery store meals produced more greenhouse gas emissions than meal kits.
Smart Home

You can now have your Amazon packages delivered in your garage

Amazon is expanding its Amazon Key service with Key for Garage. Eligible Amazon Prime subscribers in 50 U.S. cities will be able to sign up, assuming they have a myQ-enabled smart garage door opener.
Smart Home

The Houzz app now lets you virtually tile your floor with augmented reality

Augmented reality is starting to be a real bonus to apps like Houzz's View in My Room 3D tool, which recently added the ability to measure how a tiled floor might look in your living space.
Smart Home

The Dyson Pure Cool air purifier fan gets a massive $210 price drop

Allergy season is here in strength, but you don't have to suffer. NewEgg and Rakuten have refurbished Dyson AM11 Pure Cool Tower Purifier Fans for $210 off, less than half the regular price. This unit cools in summer and purifies all year.