I have yet to meet a child who doesn’t get excited about a remote-control toy! There is something exhilarating about sending a small car whizzing across the floor or making a robot shake hands with your gran! Remote control toys are a super lesson in cause and effect – when I do this, the toy does that – and problem solving (how can I stop it from disappearing under the sofa?)
There are some great remote-control toys for little hands which really develop that visual-motor coordination and spatial awareness but it’s when they are designed for older children that they really come into their own. Bringing an extra level of developmental benefits, playing with a remote-control toy teaches children a whole new set of important skills (while they are having a great time!)
Remote control cars are probably the biggest seller in this area and that’s no surprise really. Most children grow up watching adults drive, manoeuvring vehicles through tricky gaps, reverse parking and so on. They already have a subconscious grasp of the spatial constraints of driving and understand the concept of changing gears, using accelerators and brakes. Sitting in the back of a car allows them to ‘feel’ when the car is driven well. Good remote-control cars allow children to put all that knowledge into action. And what a great way to get them outdoors!
For older children, there are a variety of remote-control toys and machines which need to be constructed. This is a really fantastic way of developing an understanding of engineering and mechanics. This construction kit from Thames and Kosmos is brilliant as not only are there guided models to build, there is encouragement to create your own using the same parts (speaking from personal experience, a bit of trial and improvement might be necessary!). Building from scratch allows a child to really see how the machinery fits together and works. Once the motor goes in, the steps towards making it move remotely are fascinating in themselves. We once did a Year 6 combined DT & science lesson (loosely based around circuits and making monsters) where the children tested the range of a variety of infrared units and remotes. Lots of fun and some really good critical thinking from a whole range of abilities.
There are some wonderful social benefits of remote-control toys. Get a small group of children together and watch them organise themselves – there’ll usually be a leader who decides the order of turns and a natural timekeeper who will make sure everyone gets the same amount of time with the control. There will be those who set out the course, creating (and justifying) amazing tracks and those who predict timings or problems. There will be discussion on whether this particular vehicle will manage that particular incline. They build on each other’s successes and failures, using what they learn to get the most out of the toy. Of course, there are exceptions, but generally even the most disparate group of children will come together to get the most out of a remote-control toy!
Whether it be making a creepy spider crawl across the carpet, controlling a super robot, driving a car up a wall or battling two giant Hexbugs, remote control toys really can be enjoyed by any age!
by Allie White, educational consultant to BrightMinds
As a parent and former-teacher, Allie has a hands-on approach to home learning, believing that the best learning is done together in a relaxed environment. Coming from a make-do and mend background, she likes to create activities for her children that use things already in the home.
Our mission at BrightMinds is to foster “a brighter way to play” to inspire your child to be curious about the world around them & encourage creativity in a fun & relaxed way.
We curate a world-class range of educational toys, games, gifts & books which are good quality, safe and backed by our extraordinary customer service. Remote Control Toys are our speciality and a Remote Control Toy from BrightMinds is a wonderful gift for your special boy or girl. Backed by our 90 day guarantee we are the number one site for thoughtful toys for kids!
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