Hooray Science! Spring is here, and the sun is out. It’s the perfect season to learn about sunlight and play with solar power. Seize a cloudless day and try these toys for outdoor fun:
Solar Paper Kits and refills, $6-14 – This classic combines creative collage with sun science. Lay the sheet of light-sensitive blue paper outside on a sunny day with various objects on top. Within minutes, the areas that are exposed turn white. Rinse the sheet in water. As the paper dries, the exposed areas turn deep blue, leaving behind a white "picture" of the objects. Try lots of different objects and materials to make totally frame-worthy art. Ages 5+.
"Frightened Grasshopper", $11 – He’s an adorable plastic buggyboo with a solar panel that makes him quiver and jiggle in the sun. Kids get a kick out of how he only calms down when he’s "hiding" in the shadows they make with their hands. Recommended for ages 10+ because there is a bit of (fairly simple) assembly. Or build it yourself and present it to kids ages 5+.
Solar Racers and Solar Robots, $12.50 – Here are more cool toys that move in sunlight. Sun-powered microbots and super speedy cars. To a child, the bright yellow robot appears as a lumbering warrior; I think he walks like a baby duck. The racer cars are somewhat more popular because they are tiny and super-speedy. No assembly required, ages 6+.
RainbowMaker, $25 – The rainbow maker puts a new spin on the popular prism. A solar panel perches atop a box with rainbow colored gears which power a swarovski crystal to cast rainbows that move around the room.