Colorwheel Toys

“Can we keep these?”

Posted on: February 10, 2012

We went to Duveneck Elementary School’s after school program to test our set with a larger group of children. There were nineteen kids there ranging from second to fifth grade. We had a great time playing with all the kids, watching them assemble our car, and teaching them about circuits. Because of the lessons learned from the toys we distributed last week, both on the production and on the consumer end, we updated our cars before visiting Duveneck.

The kids had a great time playing with our toys, several of them made their parents wait around for a while before they would consent to leave and go home.

– about internet usage, mom: “my son has to ask permission for everything”
– “I just have one last question, can we keep playing?”
– “Can we keep these?”
– “When are you coming back?”

Hypotheses and Results:

Will our toy would work well with a large group of children? Yes! They loved playing with the cars together, one kid would start the car and another one would catch it. They organized races between the different groups

How much learning about circuits can be done with our toy and will kids would actually be interested in learning about circuits? Also, are our simplified instructions any good? Yes, our simplified instructions were helpful. However, they definitely still need to be improved. The kids seemed to understand how circuits worked and were asking us questions.

Key Learnings:
– Social play, the kids were teaching each other how to make the cars and how to improve them. They also loved explaining concepts to each other
– competition defeats short attention span. Kids also will naturally organize a competition without much help from parents/teachers
– parents wary about letting their kids online alone – more likely if they’ve approved/know about a particular site. They still strictly limit the amount of time kids spend on approved sites.
– with competition involved, kids naturally want to make their thing better
– learning circuits to make their car better – hook them first then tell them they’ll beat the other people
– both genders are competitive (not just guys)
– kids are more scared of racing against older kids than of racing against the opposite gender
-These kids are pretty advanced, a lot of the older ones had a basic understanding of circuits
-We need to come up with a good way to explain polarity
-Even with a very basic circuit diagram the kids didn’t have much problem putting the circuit together
-We need to get the car to a point half way between what we had last week (way too hard) and just having the circuit to attach (much too easy)
-Kids love showing off their creations, several of them showed us lego creations they had built or some way in which they improved the car

All of these learnings will be really helpful as we prepare to test on children at the Children’s Creativity Museum in San Francisco next weekend.

Unfortunately, because this is a school and there was no way to contact every parent individually ahead of time, we do not have any photos or videos from this session.

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