Over the holiday break, there is never a better time to keep kids’ minds stimulated with fun and educational games from Thames and Kosmos. Here are some of our favorite ways to play and have fun with our kiddos.
About Thames & Kosmos:
Thames & Kosmos was founded in 2001 when a Rhode Island science museum director and her son partnered with a 200-year old German publishing house to help fulfill the great need for science education materials that were more stimulating, effective, relevant – and of course, fun!
For the past 20 years, we have dedicated ourselves to that mission, publishing and distributing toys and games that are both engaging and educational. We believe that authentic learning experiences combined with hands-on exploration are a powerful way to captivate curious young minds, and to keep them hungry for knowledge as they continue their journey into adulthood. Whether it’s building a robot, playing a board game, or performing a magic trick, we strive for our products empower kids to take risks, experiment, innovate, cooperate, problem-solve, and sometimes even fail.
Creatto is a simple yet versatile building system that consists of just two primary components that can be woven together into countless 3D creations. The flexible yet durable plastic tiles interlock quickly and easily for all skill levels; no additional materials or hardware is required!With 154 Creatto pieces and a string of 80 LED lights, you can build a friendly Sabertooth Tiger, a Rhino head, a Mammoth, and an Elasmosaurus. Lights are powered by a USB cable that are easily rechargeable. The kit sells for $32.95 and is recommended for ages 8+.
Grab your tools, it’s time to get building! Learn how to use tools and build your own workbench with this introductory mechanical engineering kit for kids ages three and up. Join Ty and Karlie — the young engineers featured in the other Kids First early engineering kits — to learn how to use a hammer, screwdriver, and wrench, and the basic engineering principles behind how these tools work.This kit features large tools that are comfortable for kids to hold, while also being lightweight and safe. In addition to the workbench, build five other awesome models with the included modular building parts, including a race car, airplane, house, scissors, and a toolbox to carry your tools. Then let your imagination run wild and build your own creations!
Intro to Tools & Building is a fun and engaging way to teach simple engineering concepts to young children, allowing parents, teachers, and caregivers to lay the groundwork for strong STEM-related skills and comprehension at an early age. Model building helps develop fine motor skills, mechanical engineering skills, visual-spatial skills, and reasoning and concept development skills.
The parts in this kit are compatible with the parts of other Thames & Kosmos Kids First engineering kits. The kit sells for $39.95 and is recommended for ages 3+.Huey: The Line-Tracking, Color-Sensing Robot
Learn to code with Huey, your color-sensing robot pal. This kit offers kids a hands-on, screen-free introduction to the world of robotics and coding. With a built-in color sensor, Huey navigates around maps that you create using 81 puzzle-shaped tiles. Huey recognizes the colors of the 32 coding discs, which tell it whether to turn right, turn left, or continue straight.
Huey makes fun sounds and movements as it travels around the map, revving its engine as it gets started, and doing a little dance when it reaches home. Huey can be muted for quiet play. Build one of the 18 maps included in the full-color, 16-page challenge book and figure out where to place the coding discs to help Huey find its way home.Make sure to watch out for the red ghosts! If you hit one, you’ll have to debug your code and try again. There are four levels of challenges, which are appropriate for kids ages 5 and up. The size of the map grows with the difficulty of the challenge. Beginner maps use nine map tiles, while advanced ones use all 81 tiles!
You can also create your own maps and then challenge your friends to solve them. The possibilities are virtually infinite! Learn about how Huey’s color sensor works in the full-color, 4-page instruction manual. A bonus online challenge book includes more than 40 additional challenges — 60 challenges in all! Can you solve them all? Huey does not require a computer, tablet, or smartphone to operate. The kit sells for $59.95 and is recommended for ages 5+.
Super sweet stunts! Build your own gumball machines and learn physics lessons in the process. A turn of a handle dispenses one gumball at a time out of the clear storage globe and down the track. The gumballs land in a collection cup and can easily and sanitarily be returned to the globe for another run.The track segments can be moved around on the base to create an almost limitless number of different gumball machines. As the gumballs roll down the track, they perform cool stunts and tricks. Stunts include a pulley lift, pendulum, funnel, trampoline, variable-slope ramp, pinball launcher, and domino slide. Each segment of the track teaches a different lesson in mechanical physics, allowing users to explore topics including simple machines, force, motion, momentum, gravity, Newton’s laws, energy transfer, and more.
Trial-and-error experiments teach in a fun, hands-on way: Will your gumball successfully make it to the end of the track, or will you have to reengineer your gumball machine to make it work? The kit works with standard machine-size, 16-mm (5/8-inch) gumballs and includes a small supply of gumballs to get started. The kit sells for $39.95 and is recommended for ages 6-12+.
Thames and Kosmos offers many different games and products for anyone ages 3+ and they even have them separated out by age groups to find that perfect gift for your kids.
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We’ve added Thames and Kosmos to our 2022 Mega Christmas Gift Guide.