It is worth your dough!
Blending creative expression and science, Dough Universe is truly an amazing toy for kids as young as four.
The basic idea behind Dough Universe is that if you create a circuit you can make things light up, make a sound, or "go". It has been used in toys from the game of Operation to Little Bits' magnetic component construction kits. But, where the former didn't have much science or creativity, and the latter are designed for older kids, Dough Universe finds the perfect way to introduce the "magic" of science with the "power" of creativity!
Kids are guided through the creation of electronic projects via a step-by-step app. The circuits are made by connecting the electrical components with electrically conductive modelling dough. At first, kids make "wires" out of easy-to-roll "worms", but soon graduate to more complex creations using cookie cutters and hand modelling.
The Dough Universe is made up of three sets: Bright Creatures, Electro Machines, and Techno Sounds, giving experience with lights, motors, and sound, respectively. Of course, all the sets can be combined to great projects that are motorized, light up, and even move!
I was impressed with the high quality of the digital instructions. They are easy to follow, animated, and well illustrated. My only concern has to do with the fact that they use text, rather than spoken word. This means that children who are not yet reading may need adult help. However, the instructions are so clear, that that may not always be the case. In any event, working with your child on these projects is a great idea.
I think you will find that the kids are engaging for both children and adults because of their inherent open-endedness. After all, modeling with clay has been a part of humanity's artistic toolkit since almost the beginning of our yearning to express ourselves. It is fun and visceral, and as used here gives us a literally "hands-on" and direct (electrical) connection.
I mentioned at the beginning that the game of Operation. Guess what, using this set you can actually build your own version of that game!
You can buy each of the kits individually (from $29.99) , but combined they are even better. The diversity of projects is part of what makes the universe so compelling, and the fact that all the components can be combined make it even more compelling. In fact, kids can even take it one step further by mixing in Lego blocks onto the electronic controller for even more intricate and playful designs.
Dough Universe's mix of science and creativity is a home-run, one of the very-best of 2017!
Note: Tech Will Save Us is a sponsor of 2017 JameGames TV and Radio Segments. It has no editorial input in our content or messaging.