I’ve always been a big fan of Legos - they give an outlet to a creative mind, allowing rapid creation of simple and complex structures. I’ve happily passed that torch to the next generation of Pavicheviches - my kids love Legos. Sure, they’re a little young to totally grasp the awesomeness, but they know enough to snap things together and play for hours.
I stumbled across “LittleBits” on the twittersphere this morning - the concept is to apply Lego’s ease of architectural creation to electronic gadgetry. So rather than have tools and programming know-how to develop machines that beep and move and, well, do things, now you take magnetic, color-coded “littlebits” and can quickly make something fantastic.
The video on their website (http://tinyurl.com/c6hmay6) should give you an idea of what they can do, even in the company’s infancy (well, I think they’re a new company). I’m kind of excited to get a kit and put some things together with my kids - it would certainly be a fun way to introduce them to science concepts and engineering terminology whilst they make something cool.