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Solar Powered Toys

There are many items that teach solar power along with promoting fun. Kids of all ages can learn about science, green energy and how solar power really works by seeing it firsthand. The following are a few ideas for play where solar power’s fun side definitely shows up.

There are an ever increasing assortment of solar powered robots, remote control cars and even kits that allow you to build your own solar propelled designs.

The OWI 6 In 1 Solar Kit from Edmund Scientifics is a miniature solar building set with interesting combinations. It can be turned into six different small-scale models that really move by using solar energy. Parents and kids can work together to assemble the parts, which piece together. Check out their demonstration to see the solar gadgets in motion.

Science lovers may be interested in the Solar Balloon. It is a large 9 foot/2.5 meter inflatable on a string that gets its lift from solar power. As the air in the balloon gets warmed up from the sun it expands, causing it to take flight. Another neat idea is the Solar Bottle Boats Kit by Solar World. Save your soda or water bottles and then choose from three different boat designs. The kit includes a solar panel, motor and building supplies to get your recycled boats going.

The Thames and Kosmos Power House may appear pricey but it does seem stimulating as well as entertaining for older children. It teaches the importance of sustainability through seventy experiments and twenty construction tasks. The projects include a greenhouse kit, solar panel and motor, light emitting diode, compass and various other materials. Along with building the projects, experimenters can also read diary logs from island explorers who rely on sustainable living.

Although the Kikkerland Solar-Powered Rainbow Maker is not a toy, children of all ages will love it. It can be placed in a sunny window and the solar panel picks up sunlight then reflects it from a swirling genuine Swarovski crystal. The gears can be observed as they turn, and the fun begins. Rainbows will skirt all over the room as long as there is sun to power it. Check out their video to see how the Rainbow Maker works.

And just in case you have other toys that still require batteries to operate, consider Sunbender Do-It-Yourself Solar Battery Charger Kits. It lets solar enthusiasts build AA solar battery chargers with solar panels in order to recharge and power up as needed.

With the countless tons of batteries that are tossed out each year, it is refreshing to have more toys on the market that do not require them. Equally inspiring are toys that do more than provide playtime, but also give lessons in solar energy and resourcefulness. So choose smarter, even when you play.

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