On Jaycee’s 4th birthday, we decided to bring him on an educational trip — KL Bird Park. Personally, I have been there twice before and I must say that there have been some positive changes in the past ten years. We arrived there around 10 plus. There were already many visitors there. The bird park opens from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. every day, including Public Holidays.
So, my son has been clamoring for a robot ever since he saw Robi. While we couldn’t afford Robi (over $600), his dad got him another alternative — R2 Cady Wida — which sells for under $25. JJRC is a company well known for producing remote-controlled drones and cars but now it has decided to venture into a new market: remote-controlled toy robots (which are fast gaining popularity). At a glance, the Cady Wida (CW) has a slight resemblance to Robi but without the hefty price tag. For a sub-$25 toy, the features aren’t that impressive but it does guarantee a lot of fun and entertainment for kids aged 3 to 10 years old. Also, if a boy robot is not your child’s preference, there is a female version too called Cady Wini (its body is pink instead of blue).
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It’s Christmas time and Jaycee’s birthday is also in December. Therefore, this is one of his favorite months as he gets so many ‘presents’ to unwrap. One such present is the JJRC Q39 Highlander which is an RC car that offers him plenty of fun. It costs around $70 but has features that you can find on more expensive RC cars.
As my son grows older, I notice that he has a curious nature. He would ask, “Why this …? Why that …?” which I would be only too happy to answer except for my own inadequate knowledge. Because of this and the fact that I would also like to get him interested in nature, the world around us, the environment, etc. I began my research on educational science kits. The choices out there boggle the mind: weather kits, insect habitats, terrariums, solar power kits, etc.; I was spoilt for choice.
It’s going to be Christmas soon and I’m sure many of us still have more shopping to do. Knowing my son’s fascination with toy robots, I have been researching for toy robots he’ll be interested in that will also be educational for him. A few weeks ago, I wrote a blog on toy robots under $50 for those under budget constraint. Therefore, this is a list of toys under $200 that I wish I could get for him.
I love Maths. I remember a time when I won first place in a Maths challenge despite being younger than the other participants. I was so proud of myself for counting faster than the other kids. It was always easy to get good scores in elementary school. Then came secondary school. Maths got harder but it was still fun and challenging. Good scores were more difficult to achieve but I was fascinated with algebra. I played with trigonometry. I was still having fun. Unfortunately, I stumbled with calculus. Following this block, my interest in Maths waned. In retrospect, if I had persisted or found a Maths teacher who could get through that time with me, Maths would have been my favorite subject instead of English.
When Robi the Robot by DeAgostini was launched, my son took a liking to him immediately. Well, I guess, most people did, judging by the crowd at the roadshow. What I liked about it was that it was the first robot I saw that had artificial intelligence. It could move, sing, dance, respond to over 250 voice commands as well as act as an infrared TV remote control. Yes, definitely a cool toy to have except that it isn’t sold over the counter. You would have to assemble it from parts that are collected over 70 magazine issues sent over 70 weeks. And even if that doesn’t deter you, the price of over $2000 might. So, knowing that it may not be in my Christmas list in the near future, I did some research and was delighted to find out that there are more affordable toy robots in the market.
Helicopter Mommy — I am one. Not. Well, maybe.
Being a first-time mother, doubts assail me almost every day on how to properly bring up my son. It doesn’t help when constant comments and well-meaning suggestions (“He is too thin. Feed him more. / The diapers are not suitable. Leaking all the time. / Cover him with blanket at night. It gets chilly”) are turning me into a hovering or “helicopter mommy”.
Recently, 3D printing has become more prominent in the world of designing and machining. Besides printing PLA, ABS, wood, metal products for industrial purposes, 3D printers have even evolved into printing food and prosthetic limbs. So, don’t you think that it will be a waste if all these exciting ‘toys’ were only catered to the adults and professionals? Well, thankfully, they are not. You may have seen 3D printing pens for kids. You may also know about the colorful da Vinci mini 3D Printer by XYZ Printing.