I received the following product(s) free or discounted in the hopes that I would share my honest opinion. All opinions are my own.

STEM is the buzzword of our time and parents are in hot pursuit of toys that get kids building and thinking. Things that move and light up are great at grabbing their attention. I recently had the chance to try the (affiliate link) Tenergy Odev Dynamo Lantern STEM Building Toy kit with my son.

Credit: http://tyrneathem.com/

Xander is six years old… a little under the age requirements of this toy… so we were there to guide him through every step. Though he was a bit young, he has always excelled at building skills, so he found this pretty easy. The pieces are solidly constructed of plastic. The motor is metal. It took him only about 10 minutes to construct this Tenergy Odev Dynamo Lantern STEM Building Toy. He did have a little help from us on a couple steps, but overall it would be a simple project to occupy a child.

I like that the light changes color from blue to green. If you crank in one direction it’s blue… crank the opposite direction and it’s green. I was a little disappointed to find that the light does not stay on unless you continuously crank, but I suppose a toy that did that would be substantially pricier.

We ran into a little issue with step five and six of the instructions. The parts are not clearly lined up in visuals, so it took us a moment to work out where the pieces actually needed to go in this step. It did give us a chance to practice some problem-solving skills, but those on the younger side of the 8+ this is recommended for may get a bit frustrated. Parents should be there to help, but even we got a little frustrated at this point. 😉

The reverse of the instructions includes some great Q&A style information on the mechanics of the lantern. You can learn about the inventor of the hand crank, how the electricity is generated, what role the gears play, and a bit about LEDs. It’s interesting information for all ages.

Credit: http://tyrneathem.com/

Pros: Great hands-on lesson. Additional educational material included to round out the lesson.

Cons: Light only stays on with cranking. Directions were unclear.

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