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Are you looking for educational gifts that involve critical thinking to solve problems or an exciting way to turn abstract scientific concepts into tangible learning experiences? Thames & Kosmos has a wide range of educational kits, toys, and games that allow children to see firsthand how fun learning can be for them. We were lucky to try two of their products:
The Happy Atoms Intro Set takes the smallest particles of our existence and turns them into large, touchable systems that you can watch work by using an app on your smartphone or tablet. Sometimes a hard concept to grasp, Happy Atoms uses 17 atom models to show you how to construct your own molecular models by physically snapping the pieces together and observing their behavior digitally. It reinforces the thought that happy atoms are those that stick together and offers you the chance to experience why others do not. The amazing part about this kit is that once you’ve snapped together your molecules you can scan your creation and learn information on the uses, composition, hazards, properties, and more. With the ability to recognize hundreds of molecules, the options seem endless. To start creating your own molecular bonds, you need a smartphone or tablet that is at least running iOS 8 or a minimum of Android 4.4 all with 1GB RAM, dual-core processor, and a camera.
On the opposite end of the learning spectrum is Word Slam. Applying all the critical thinking that accompanies science, Word Slam lets two teams battle it out to guess the correct answer from each of their respective storytellers. Each storyteller has not only the answer term card, but a stack of 105 nouns, verbs, adjectives, and prepositions to give as clues to their team to help them guess the answer. The only drawback is that the other team can always hear your storyteller’s clues and guesses giving them the opportunity to use your clues as well as their own to guess the correct answer. Both teams are racing the clock to be the first to guess correctly. It’s a high speed game for quick thinkers ages 12 or older.