I’ve said it before in previous articles, but I’m going to say it again…I’m obsessed with STEM education. I don’t know if it’s because I’m SO left-brained or if it’s my admittedly nerdy fascination with math OR my disdain for writing (wait, what?!), but I just think it makes sense. We have always done a lot of science and math at home, but I’m trying to make a conscious effort in implementing more learning with technology and engineering, I even have a Pinterest board dedicated to it (check it out, there are some good ideas there). When we got the opportunity to review the Stikbots by Zing, I knew it would be something that my 4 year old would LOVE. And sure enough, he does. Not only is my camera roll full of his ‘movies’, but the Stikbots have become his new favorite poseable action figures. I find them in all kinds of crazy positions scattered around the house. I have also talked about the importance of fidget toys for my spirited one, having something in his hands for him to fidget and play with helps him focus on what he is doing. Seem counterintuitive? Trust me, it works. These little men have become the perfect fidget toy for him!
Now to get to the nitty gritty…there are so many awesome features with this toy that can really encourage creativity and imagination in kids. These little figures have suction cup hands and feet, allowing them to stick to nearly any surface and to each other. Now keep the word ‘nearly’ in mind, this was our ONLY issue with these little guys. As you can imagine (or maybe you can’t but then I’m really jealous) my house with three little kids is always a disaster area of toys, cracker crumbs and princess tutus, so clearing off a work surface to make our Stikbot movies was no small feat. We got the top of our wooden toy chest cleared off and ready for action…but the suction cups wanted nothing to do with that surface. Our little men were falling all over the place while we were trying to piece together a movie about…wait for it…the good guy defeating the bad guy…novel right? Did I mention I had a 4 year old boy? Anyway, we have since tried other surfaces, like our kitchen table, and have not had any issues with the suction cups working. We have a plan for creating a movie with our men scaling up the window, that will be a fun one! By downloading the free StikBot Studio app, available on iPhone and Android, kids can use their creativity and imagination to design their own stop-motion film by taking a number of still photos. My son had a great time posing the figures, snapping a picture, and re-posing them to create a sequence. It took a few tries for him to understand the concept, that he wasn’t just taking a video, but once he got the hang of it he was making some neat little video clips! And then he saw that there were even sound effects AND a place where he could record his own voice. Mind blown. Check out the one below:
Another fun feature for kids (older than mine) is the social sharing by using the #Stikbot. He will certainly enjoy watching what others have created even though he doesn’t quite know how to use social media yet (thank God). Kids can browse other videos that have been made, gathering inspiration from them. Overall, we love this toy. We had the starter kit which includes 2 figures and a tripod (genius) and 2 other figures.
There are a variety of colors of Stikbots that you can purchase individually and I guarantee that my son will want to add to his collection! They are available for purchase at Amazon, Target, WalMart and Toys R Us.
Disclaimer: I received these products for free with the hope that I would mention the product on my blog. All opinions are my own.
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