Product Review: Cubelets Discovery Set by Modular Robotics



Cubelets Discovery Set by Modular Robotics is a great way to integrate fun, learning, STEAM, STEM learning along with coding and more! As a parent, when getting my kids things I try to think of not only the educational value of the item but I also like to think about usability. I tested Cubelets Discovery Set with my boys – and took a step back after opening the box to see what they would create. One of the best parts of Cubelets Discovery Set is that they are modular making putting them together even for the smaller of hands (preschool) easy using cause and effect. If I place the blocks this way they will work. One of my favorite new enhancements is the Bluetooth Hat which means we can customize our creation, without having to worry about where to place the Bluetooth block. Cubelets are designed for builders ages 4+. Read our original review.

What we love…

Cubelets Discovery Set is a fun, affordable modular robot which teaches cause and effect, coding, STEM and STEAM

What we’d love to see…

option for an extra Bluetooth hat (I was most afraid of losing this one)!

Summary

ubelets do more which makes them a tool that grows with your child!

Our Rating

recommended-by-the-imums

Using the Cubelets Discovery Set, both my boys were able to build their first robot in less than five minutes after installing the Cubelets app on our iPad. Using the app, you can remotely control the robot and look at different robot building options using a fun new feature called Personality Swap which changes the behavior of a Cubelet with the touch of a button. As a mom, personality swap was great especially for my preschooler who built his creation and didn’t want to have to change it after building it. Cubelets snap together using magnets, which means no tough connectors. The blocks work collaboratively to do different actions and really encouraged my kids to explore and build a variety of different creations. My preschooler actually asked if we could make robots longer than the 25 minutes I allotted because he was having so much fun! That is a huge win in my book!

We loved the Cubelets Discovery Set overall, especially compared to the original set that we tried. My kids also made some Lego creations which we snapped on the Lego adapter and then brought power to! With my older son, I sat back and watched him create. He made a few fun creations and when they didn’t do exactly what he originally wanted them to, we tried moving around the blocks to show how each block had a cause and effect.

Cubelets Discovery Set can be used with or without a screen. Users learn programming and troubleshooting just by figuring out how to put the Cubelets together. Once they have made a creation you can open the app and start having more fun! The app uses Blockly or C with Cubelets within the app – which means that they are practicing a great skill that ties in STEM and STEAM. Last year, we tested Cubelets and did a robotics requirement with our local Cub Scout pack, seeing the engagement from the Cub Scouts was so fun especially when they were learning. Having your robot move, turn on it’s headlight and drive was so much fun and really satisfying.

In terms of enhancements, I wish that there were two Bluetooth “hats” included. When I played with Cubelets with both my boys – I was careful to make sure we didn’t misplace it. We loved Cubelets and it’s a gift I’m going to give over the holidays!

Overall, Cubelets Discovery Set is a fun addition to our technology tool suite. Seeing my kids engage with the robots and learn real world skills like coding, cause and effect and most of all fun was a great way to engage and spend time with them. Cubelets Discovery Set is a great addition for kids from age 4 and up – plus as they get bigger Cubelets do more which makes them a tool that grows with your child! It makes coding for kids and learning fun!

Available at Amazon and Modular Robotics for $139 USD

Cubelets Blockly
Cubelets Blockly
by Modular Robotics

Category: Education, Entertainment
Requirements: Compatible with iPad2Wifi-iPad2Wifi, iPad23G-iPad23G, iPadThirdGen-iPadThirdGen, iPadThirdGen4G-iPadThirdGen4G, iPadFourthGen-iPadFourthGen, iPadFourthGen4G-iPadFourthGen4G, iPadMini-iPadMini, iPadMini4G-iPadMini4G, iPadAir-iPadAir, iPadAirCellular-iPadAirCellular, iPadMiniRetina-iPadMiniRetina, iPadMiniRetinaCellular-iPadMiniRetinaCellular, iPadAir2-iPadAir2, iPadAir2Cellular-iPadAir2Cellular, iPadMini3-iPadMini3, iPadMini3Cellular-iPadMini3Cellular, iPadMini4-iPadMini4, iPadMini4Cellular-iPadMini4Cellular, iPadPro-iPadPro, iPadProCellular-iPadProCellular, iPadPro97-iPadPro97, iPadPro97Cellular-iPadPro97Cellular, iPad611-iPad611, iPad612-iPad612, iPad71-iPad71, iPad72-iPad72, iPad73-iPad73, iPad74-iPad74, iPad75-iPad75, iPad76-iPad76, iPad812-iPad812, iPad834-iPad834, iPad856-iPad856, iPad878-iPad878
Size: 36.33 MB

$FREE

Screenshots for iPad
(Click to enlarge)

Cubelets Discovery
Cubelets Discovery
by Modular Robotics

Category: Education, Entertainment
Requirements: Compatible with iPad2Wifi-iPad2Wifi, iPad23G-iPad23G, iPhone4S-iPhone4S, iPadThirdGen-iPadThirdGen, iPadThirdGen4G-iPadThirdGen4G, iPhone5-iPhone5, iPodTouchFifthGen-iPodTouchFifthGen, iPadFourthGen-iPadFourthGen, iPadFourthGen4G-iPadFourthGen4G, iPadMini-iPadMini, iPadMini4G-iPadMini4G, iPhone5c-iPhone5c, iPhone5s-iPhone5s, iPadAir-iPadAir, iPadAirCellular-iPadAirCellular, iPadMiniRetina-iPadMiniRetina, iPadMiniRetinaCellular-iPadMiniRetinaCellular, iPhone6-iPhone6, iPhone6Plus-iPhone6Plus, iPadAir2-iPadAir2, iPadAir2Cellular-iPadAir2Cellular, iPadMini3-iPadMini3, iPadMini3Cellular-iPadMini3Cellular, iPodTouchSixthGen-iPodTouchSixthGen, iPhone6s-iPhone6s, iPhone6sPlus-iPhone6sPlus, iPadMini4-iPadMini4, iPadMini4Cellular-iPadMini4Cellular, iPadPro-iPadPro, iPadProCellular-iPadProCellular, iPadPro97-iPadPro97, iPadPro97Cellular-iPadPro97Cellular, iPhoneSE-iPhoneSE, iPhone7-iPhone7, iPhone7Plus-iPhone7Plus, iPad611-iPad611, iPad612-iPad612, iPad71-iPad71, iPad72-iPad72, iPad73-iPad73, iPad74-iPad74, iPhone8-iPhone8, iPhone8Plus-iPhone8Plus, iPhoneX-iPhoneX, iPad75-iPad75, iPad76-iPad76, iPhoneXS-iPhoneXS, iPhoneXSMax-iPhoneXSMax, iPhoneXR-iPhoneXR, iPad812-iPad812, iPad834-iPad834, iPad856-iPad856, iPad878-iPad878
Size: 32.86 MB

$FREE

Screenshots
(Click to enlarge)
Screenshots for iPad
(Click to enlarge)

NOTE: A product was supplied by the company for review purposes, no other form of compensation was received, all opinions stated in the review are those of the author and have been offered honestly.The links in this post may contain affiliate links where The iMums will receive a small commission if you make a purchase after clicking on our link, this helps to support the costs of running this site and we appreciate your support.

Cubelets by Modular Robotics – Review



Cubelets by Modular Robotics

Cubelets are robot blocks which allow children and adults to build robots and learn. You first combine three types of Cublets to make a robot – by switching the different types of Cubelets you use, you can make a different robot just by changing one block. Every robot requires the use of a gray Cublet which is the battery Cublet who powers the fun! For this review I tested the Cubelets TWELVE which includes 12 robot blocks and two Brick Adapters which allow you to connect Lego’s to your creation. Inside the box are Cubelets – each one has a different job to do, they snap together with magnets to help them do each of their specific tasks. There are two drive modules, a rotate, a flashlight, two distance,

  • Drive: Contains a motor and roller wheels for moving on a horizontal surface.
  • Rotate: One face spins at a rate corresponding to the block’s input values.
  • Flashlight: The Flashlight Cubelet emits a focused beam of light from a powerful white LED. This can be used to “shine the way” for your robot to move or simply for fun!
  • Distance: Detects how far it is from an object. It uses infrared light and is accurate between 10 and 80 cm.
  • Brightness: Brightness Cubelet has an analog photocell that responds to varying light conditions
  • Inverse: Inverse Cubelet will (weighted) average its inputs and then output a value of one minus that average.

 

What we love…

Cubelets are an easy to use fun robotics for kids of all ages, there are so many different things each block robot does. Kids were so engaged they didn’t realize they were learning.

What we’d love to see…

the ability to have an extra power included in the 12 block set allowing for multiple users

Summary

Cubelets by Modular Robotics were a huge hit both with my kids and anyone else I tried them with. It’s a great way to teach STEM and encourage kids to practice cause and effect, learn programming and have fun without realizing they are learning.

Our Rating

 

recommended-by-the-imums

My kids and I loved playing with Cubelets by Modular Robotics. It was amazing to see all the different combinations that we could create and quickly! We even used Cubelets at a recent Cub Scout meeting as part of the robotics requirement – it was quick and easy and the Cub Scouts could easily see the cause and effect when they added or removed blocks. We also experimented with different surfaces, using Bluetooth and Blocky with our Cubelets as well as using light detection. When I have used Cubelets with my kids and with the Cub Scouts I was amazed at how engaged they were and ready to learn. At the end of the meeting, my Cub Scouts were asking to spend more time with the robots – and as a results we decided to work on a special project that involved them. I also loved that the kids were able to take what they learned, do some research at home and then share more about the robots that they learned about. We talked about the manufacturing process and how each block was actually a small robot each with a discrete task. They are easily portable in a small box – and I know I will be keeping them in my Scout bag just in case we have extra time at the end of a meeting. I also loved there were no “wrong” ways for Cubelets to be built – this way we could mix, match and experiment to see what each robot cube did. You can even build a lego creation and using Cubelets Brick adapters bring it to life.

The only thing I wished was that the Cubelets package I was using had a second power because we split into groups at our meeting – and so we had to pass the power back and forth to power our robots.

Overall, Cubelets by Modular Robotics were a huge hit both with my kids and anyone else I tried them with. It’s a great way to teach STEM and encourage kids to practice cause and effect, learn programming and have fun without realizing they are learning.

Cublets are available from many retailers including Amazon. Prices range from $129.95 to $499.95 depending on configuration chosen.

For more great tech toys check out our Holiday Gift Guide 2017 or our #STEM toy guide.

Cubelets
Cubelets
by Modular Robotics

Category: Education, Entertainment
Requirements: Compatible with iPad2Wifi-iPad2Wifi, iPad23G-iPad23G, iPhone4S-iPhone4S, iPadThirdGen-iPadThirdGen, iPadThirdGen4G-iPadThirdGen4G, iPhone5-iPhone5, iPodTouchFifthGen-iPodTouchFifthGen, iPadFourthGen-iPadFourthGen, iPadFourthGen4G-iPadFourthGen4G, iPadMini-iPadMini, iPadMini4G-iPadMini4G, iPhone5c-iPhone5c, iPhone5s-iPhone5s, iPadAir-iPadAir, iPadAirCellular-iPadAirCellular, iPadMiniRetina-iPadMiniRetina, iPadMiniRetinaCellular-iPadMiniRetinaCellular, iPhone6-iPhone6, iPhone6Plus-iPhone6Plus, iPadAir2-iPadAir2, iPadAir2Cellular-iPadAir2Cellular, iPadMini3-iPadMini3, iPadMini3Cellular-iPadMini3Cellular, iPodTouchSixthGen-iPodTouchSixthGen, iPhone6s-iPhone6s, iPhone6sPlus-iPhone6sPlus, iPadMini4-iPadMini4, iPadMini4Cellular-iPadMini4Cellular, iPadPro-iPadPro, iPadProCellular-iPadProCellular, iPadPro97-iPadPro97, iPadPro97Cellular-iPadPro97Cellular, iPhoneSE-iPhoneSE, iPhone7-iPhone7, iPhone7Plus-iPhone7Plus, iPad611-iPad611, iPad612-iPad612, iPad71-iPad71, iPad72-iPad72, iPad73-iPad73, iPad74-iPad74, iPhone8-iPhone8, iPhone8Plus-iPhone8Plus, iPhoneX-iPhoneX, iPad75-iPad75, iPad76-iPad76, iPhoneXS-iPhoneXS, iPhoneXSMax-iPhoneXSMax, iPhoneXR-iPhoneXR, iPad812-iPad812, iPad834-iPad834, iPad856-iPad856, iPad878-iPad878
Size: 7.25 MB

$FREE

Screenshots
(Click to enlarge)
Screenshots for iPad
(Click to enlarge)


Cubelets Blockly
Cubelets Blockly
by Modular Robotics

Category: Education, Entertainment
Requirements: Compatible with iPad2Wifi-iPad2Wifi, iPad23G-iPad23G, iPadThirdGen-iPadThirdGen, iPadThirdGen4G-iPadThirdGen4G, iPadFourthGen-iPadFourthGen, iPadFourthGen4G-iPadFourthGen4G, iPadMini-iPadMini, iPadMini4G-iPadMini4G, iPadAir-iPadAir, iPadAirCellular-iPadAirCellular, iPadMiniRetina-iPadMiniRetina, iPadMiniRetinaCellular-iPadMiniRetinaCellular, iPadAir2-iPadAir2, iPadAir2Cellular-iPadAir2Cellular, iPadMini3-iPadMini3, iPadMini3Cellular-iPadMini3Cellular, iPadMini4-iPadMini4, iPadMini4Cellular-iPadMini4Cellular, iPadPro-iPadPro, iPadProCellular-iPadProCellular, iPadPro97-iPadPro97, iPadPro97Cellular-iPadPro97Cellular, iPad611-iPad611, iPad612-iPad612, iPad71-iPad71, iPad72-iPad72, iPad73-iPad73, iPad74-iPad74, iPad75-iPad75, iPad76-iPad76, iPad812-iPad812, iPad834-iPad834, iPad856-iPad856, iPad878-iPad878
Size: 36.33 MB

$FREE

Screenshots for iPad
(Click to enlarge)


NOTE: A product was supplied by the company for review purposes, no other form of compensation was received, all opinions stated in the review are those of the author and have been offered honestly.The links in this post may contain affiliate links where The iMums will receive a small commission if you make a purchase after clicking on our link, this helps to support the costs of running this site and we appreciate your support.

Learning Upgrade – Review


What we love…

Step-by-step instructions, summaries, examples in lessons are presented through fun videos and songs.

What we’d love to see…

An option to remove or adjust the timer for the final challenge in each course.

Summary

A complete Math and English learning app that keeps students engaged and motivated to learn and upgrade.

Our Rating

Is your child having problems mastering a particular Math or English lesson no matter what you do to help? My youngest has been struggling to remember the basic rules of writing a simple sentence despite having done many written exercises. Then I let him have a go at the app, Learning Upgrade. To my surprise, he picked up the skills easily within the day!

What worked for my son (who is a visual learner) is the combination of teaching through catchy songs, lively animations and entertaining videos plus game-like exercises that are fun to do. Learning Upgrade is a very engaging learning app. It has lessons that he likes to watch again and again, pop-style songs (highlighting the key words) that he tries to sing along with and exercises that he is willing to redo because all the questions are attractively presented and it is easy for him to input his answers. He especially likes the app’s positive and enthusiastic response whenever he submits a correct answer.

What I like, on the other hand, is the use of visual representations, summaries and examples to teach, the helpful guided exercises that reinforce the learning points, the different ways of questioning to ensure a student’s full understanding of the topic, the comprehensive coverage and the gradual and progressive manner in which skills are being taught.

Students are allowed to progress to the next lesson only when they have earned 100 points (from correct answers) and attained at least 75% correct. A rewards system is in place to encourage students to repeat the exercises in order to improve on their scores. At the completion of a course, students have to pass the final challenge before moving to the next course. But you can also choose to unlock all the lessons in your account settings so that your child can jump to any lesson.

I appreciate how the app supports students who need a little extra help in answering the questions in the learning games that follow each video lesson. Lines in passages are underlined as they are read out. There is a speaker button to tap if students need to hear the questions or instructions again. For answers that require reading, students can hear the individual words before attempting to answer. They also have the opportunity to check their answers before submitting.

The app doesn’t miss any teaching moments either. A short animation repeating the answer follows the correct answer to give further reinforcement. When an incorrect answer is submitted, the correct answer is always demonstrated and the app does not move to the next screen until the student has enough time to review the answer.

Learning Upgrade is free to download and comes with a video on the course descriptions and 6 demo lessons (with exercises) – 3 each for Math and English. If you register with an email, you will have free access to 8 lessons for each subject. To begin, choose between English or Math and then decide between 3 starting points. You can choose to start from the beginning of the curriculum, take a placement test to determine a course that is appropriate for your child’s learning needs or just select a course level that you want to review.

Currently, the app offers 60 lessons for each of the English Upgrade level 1-5 and Math Upgrade level K-8 courses, that’s more than 900 lessons in total. A course on Algebra was also added recently. To continue beyond the free lessons, you have 3 subscription plans to choose from – $7.99 for 1 month access to all lessons, $19.99 for 3 months and $59.99 for 12 months. You can access your lessons from the web as well as your smart phones and tablets. An internet connection is required for loading the lessons and saving the student’s progress.

Learning Upgrade is a comprehensive Math and English learning app that complements the school curriculum. Lessons are professionally done and enjoyable. Review exercises are varied and effective. Whether your child is trying to catch up or stay ahead of the class, Learning Upgrade is an excellent learning companion to have.

 

 

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Learning Upgrade

Learning Upgrade Learning Upgrade by Learning Upgrade

Price: $FREE

Students of all ages and abilities can successfully improve and master basic math, English, and reading skills with the Learning Upgrade app.

Since 1998, Learning Upgrade courses have been successfully.

 

 

NOTE: A fee was received to expedite this review to the top of our waiting list but this payment has not influenced the objectivity of the review and all opinions have been offered honestly.

Dragon Times – A math adventure card game for kids by Dragon Times

Dragon Times is a fun interactive card game designed for kids six and over that helps kids learn multiplication.  With the advent of common core math, my older son has struggled to understand the variety of ways to solve a math problem.  Dragon Times has helped him to memorize his multiplication factors in a fun easy way that makes him engaged.  Inside the box are 60 spell cards, 42 dragon cards, two times spinner grids, a spinner and instructions.  My son is a visual learner and seeing the differences on the dragon cards helped him to differentiate even versus odd, and look to identify unique features on each of the cards.

What we love…

fun way to teach kids about multiplication that involves a math game instead of worksheets

What we’d love to see…

a larger printable times table or spell book so that my son could reference it during gameplay.

Summary

Fun interactive game which encourages kids to learn their times tables while doing spells and practicing real time learning.

Our Rating

 

recommended-by-the-imums

Gameplay is fun – although it takes a bit of practice to make sure kids are really looking at the cards to understand the features on each one.  In level 1, the dealer passes out six spell cards to each player (2 or more can play).  Next, the dealer places eight cards down with the dragons facing upward.  The first player then looks at their cards and tries to find a pair of numbers that when multiplied gives as a product of one the Dragon numbers that are down – there is a Times Table (aka spell book) that can help them.  When we were first playing this, a parent paired with our son to help him look at the cards and identify the characteristics.  If the player makes a lucky pair, they show the other players and get to pick up the Dragon card.  Gameplay continues until one player finishes their spell cards or until all the Dragons are saved.  The winner of this stage is the person who has the most Dragon cards.

After your child has mastered Level 1, there is a second level where they can tame dragons and guide them to safety.  This uses the spinner and previously saved Dragons from the first stage.  Each player spins the spinner.  At each spin, players look at the Dragons and numbers to see if one has a particular feature that the spinner landed on.  This could be a factor, even/odd, square number.  If it matches, they keep the Dragon near the spinner and it is considered tamed.  When a player does not have a lucky Dragon, they wait for the next spin.  There is also an Evil Swap Spell card where players exchange Dragons in their hand clockwise around.  The Evil Swap spell was confusing for my son, because he didn’t understand why he needed to pass his cards on.  For the first few games we didn’t use it until he got a better hang of how the game worked and started looking at the different characteristics of the cards.  The winner of this phase is when only one or none of the players have any Dragon Cards.  The winner is the one that has the most tamed dragons near the spinner.

Sample of the Dragon Cards

Dragon Cards – these cards represent multiples of numbers 1 to 10 – every number is a dragon.  Each dragon has features to help children know the factors of the number, if the number is even or odd or if it’s a square number.  Numbers 1-10 are Baby Dragons, odd numbers are Snake Dragons, even numbers stand on four legs. Multiples of 3  (or numbers divisible by 3) have one horn, multiples of 4 have wings, multiples of  5 have big ears, multiples of have a double tail, multiples of have pointy tails, multiples of 8 have a mane, multiples of have three horns, multiples of 10 have two heads, and  Square numbers breathe or throw fire.

Sample of the Spell Cards

Spell Cards – these are the numbers from one to 10. There is also a “Wizard’s Choice” Spell card which can replace any spell card.  The “Wizard’s Choice” card can also be used as a “wild” card to help the player capture a dragon in Stage 1.

I enjoyed playing this game with my son.  I noticed that it helped him take on more perspective about which cards had which features were on each card and his math skills improved quite a bit!

In terms of enhancements, I wish there were a printable on the Dragon Times table as I just found one online and printed it out – the reference one for my son was a bit too small when he wanted to play quickly.  There is an included spellbook which is likely perfect for most kids, but my son wanted a larger visual to help him quickly run his finger down the times table.

Overall, this is a fun game that teaches while you learn and engages kids to learn a fundamental math skill.  I enjoyed it because I didn’t have to draw diagrams, make circles or have to show my son how to solve the problem in multiple ways.  It was simply pure enjoyment as we learned math times tables and real time learning.

Pricing – Dragontimes is available for CAN $19.99 on their website or Amazon.

NOTE: A product was supplied by the company for review purposes, no other form of compensation was received, all opinions stated in the review are those of the author and have been offered honestly.The links in this post may contain affiliate links where The iMums will receive a small commission if you make a purchase after clicking on our link, this helps to support the costs of running this site and we appreciate your support.