Teach Children about Solar Energy with Solar Toys

by happynutritionist

Teach solar power facts with solar toys as well as science and experiment kits for kids that are fun and educational. Electricity projects for kids powered by the sun are fun!

I can imagine what fun my father and grandfather would have had with solar powered toys and kits if there had been such a thing when they were young. My dear father and loving grandfather both loved electronics and worked in the field. My dad was an electrical engineer, and though he didn't have toys like the ones pictured on this page when he was growing up, he used his creativity and interest in flight to design and make model airplanes. He worked for many years in the aeronautics department of a large company during the early years of the NASA space program when we were making history by sending men to the moon and doing many other space missions. He designed moving parts for some of the space missions including Apollo and Viking missions, as well as planes and jets.

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My grandfather also loved electronics, but being from an earlier time in history, his involvement was with radio electronics...an interest developed when he was in the Navy and was to become part of his career in the Air Force.

And I can't forget my husband, he also loves electronics, but his love is more focused on the workings of electricity itself than engineering. 

So, there is where my fascination comes from. I may have to buy some solar toys for my husband because he loves fun and gadgets, and wish my dad and grandfather were around to see all the new and amazing things that are being discovered in the field of solar power. They saw the beginnings of it, but green energy has come a long way, and still has a long way to go. Toys like the ones on this page may just inspire your child's future career

Image Credit: swpc.noaa.gov

Content by Claudia Meydrech a/k/a happynutritionist
New on Wizzley August 2011 Updated 10/26/16

Award Winning Physics Solar Workshop Kit

A Thames and Kosmos Kit
Thames and Kosmos Physics Solar Workshop
Only $38.0

How Does Solar Energy Produce Electricity?

This above winner of the Parents Choice Award will help you and your children learn the answer to this question

The Thames and Kosmos Physics Solar Workshop kit above is a little more advanced than the single solar powered toy items pictured on this page. You can build 12 different models, and the kit is very educational.  It costs a bit more, but it's worth it. This kit has received the Silver Honor Parents Choice Award, which sets it apart as something special as these awards are not given out quickly or easily. The toy or product must benefit the child in a number of ways.  Depending upon what the toy or product is, it must benefit the recipient on a social, emotional, ethical, physical and intellectual level. The products cannot be violent or promote violence, or be biased in any way...so receiving an award like this is quite an honor. 

With the solar-powered kit pictured above, you can make a solar-powered truck, car, fan, airplane, construction and mobile crane, a drawbridge, tractor, and more.

Teach Your Children or School and Homeschool Students the History of Solar Power

Here are a few facts to get you started

Here is a little information I found that might help you to turn fun time into a learning experience, things to share while the children play or to use as part of a curriculum. 

  • Solar technology began as early as the mid-1800's. 
  • Interest in solar technology ebbed and flowed depending upon what was currently happening in the heating industry.
  • The earliest interest was inspired by the thought that coal would become scarce, then when coal and oil seemed plentiful, interest in researching solar energy was put aside.
  • With the increased interest in sustainable living, living off the land and off the power grid came an increased interest in solar power around the mid-1960's and early 1970's.  Still, it is estimated that only a few homes homes in the USA were cooled and heated entirely by solar power in the mid-1970's. 
  • When the oil embargo of the early 1970's and energy crisis of the late 1970's took place, interest in changing energy policies globally brought renewed interest in solar technology.

Since that time the interest in solar power continues to increase and decline with the rise and fall of oil prices. The trend now is for solar power and since many have continued to pursue this technology in spite of the trends, almost anyone can energize their homes completely or partially with solar energy, and of course, we can enjoy wonderful solar powered gadgets and toys like you see on this page.

Learn and Teach Solar Power Facts with Toys

Fun and Educational

Whether you are home schooling and looking for a fun way to teach a child about solar energy, or shopping for a birthday or Christmas gift, the following little kits are an excellent way to introduce children to the concept and science of solar energy.  Learning with "hands on" is much better than just listening to talk, and much more fun. 

Each of these toys, from the small little grasshopper to the solar powered robots and other toys teaches your child not only how to work with their hands by putting the kits together, but how solar energy generates electricity.  The energy that radiates from the sun is transformed to electrical energy, which powers motors and any other parts that require electricity to run.

Not enough Sun? Try these Water Powered Toys

Learn about another green energy power source

Sometimes it doesn't require a lot of sun to provide the power needed to operate some solar powered toys, but on days when the sun or your heavily shaded or indoor environment isn't cooperating, you can have fun and learn about another power source, water power. 

The items pictured here are fun and you'll learn about hydro-pneumatic energy and how this green energy source drives your vehicles. 

I think these toys, and all others on this page might be fun for all ages...including me, they didn't have toys like this when I was young.

Water-Powered Vehicles Science Kit

By Perisphere And Trylon
OWI Salt Water Fuel Cell Car
Only $57.45
OWI Salt Water Fuel Cell Monster Truck
Only $29.99

Solar or Battery Powered Toys - Which do You Prefer?

Let us know about your experiences with solar powered toys
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I like solar powered toys
sheilamarie on 09/24/2012

I remember when my sons were in middle school in the 90's. They made solar powered race cars as a school project.
Today my husband and I use solar power for our electricity at home.

Tolovaj on 06/03/2012

I prefer solar power.

barbarab on 09/15/2011

well there is Christmas!! these are fantastic for the grandkids arent they!
and a wonderfully presente article too !!

happynutritionist on 08/12/2011

I am completely and totally fascinated by solar power and solar toys...imagine not having to buy batteries when giving children motorized gifts? We try to live as "green" as we can...there is only one thing we'd need to do to be completely self-sustaining, that would be utilizing solar energy for our home.

Other Solar Energy Sites

Sites for learning and/or shopping
Updated: 10/26/2016, happynutritionist
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happynutritionist on 10/10/2014

I do too, let the sun do all the work, such a wonderful thing!

RuthCox on 10/08/2014

What a splendid way to introduce children to the power of the sun--and fun! I like the idea of no more battery replacement. Now, this big girl kid has her eye on that Happy Hopping Frog..:-)

sheilamarie on 09/24/2012

I think all these solar powered toys are a great idea! Beats having to buy new batteries all the time!

Tolovaj on 06/03/2012

I don't have solar powered toy but I have scientific calculator operating exclusively on solar cells. When I decided for it, the same model was available with batteries and solar powered was exactly twice the price. But I took the solar powered one and it still works, believe it or not, it is 28 (!) years old and it served me without any problem throw full high school and college + many years after. It is still working!
Note: now is hard to find scientific calculator powered with solar cells only, in most cases solar cells are just an addition to batteries.
Conclusion: I was lucky:)

ohcaroline on 08/13/2011

What great toys to have...and what better way to teach kids about solar energy. Great article.

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