During April’s meeting we played with littleBits, magnetic modules that snap together to form circuits. LittleBits are very easy to use and are great way to teach children of all ages the basics of circuits.
Each module is color coded depending on its function.
Blue modules are the power source of the circuit. Each circuit starts with a blue bit.
Pink modules are inputs such as buttons, sensors, dimmers, and triggers. An input makes an output occur.
Orange modules are wires that allow you to make more complicated circuits. Wire modules can allow you to have multiple inputs and outputs. Some wire modules allow you to connect to the Internet, such as the Arduino and cloud bit.
Green modules are outputs such as sounds, lights, and motors. An output is what occurs in your circuit.
LittleBits can be bought individually or as kits. A base kit of 10 modules costs $99. However, libraries can apply for an educator discount. New bits are constantly being added to the collection, and the company does a great job on obtaining user input on new bits.
The littleBits website contains lots of information about the types of bits, and also has a page where users can post their littleBits projects. The projects can be filtered by the type of littleBits you have.
At the Barrington Area Library littleBits are available in our makerspace for patrons to check out and use within the makerspace. Since they are so easy and fun to use, it is one of our highest circulating kits within the makerspace. We also include Lego pieces within the kit so that patrons can add movement, light, and sound to their Lego projects.
All in all littleBits are loads of fun, and a great way for kids to tinker with circuits.
For more information, contact Ann McWilliams-Piraino at firstname.lastname@example.org.