LittleBits (or littleBits, as the company refers to itself) is a modular electronic blocks system that may be purchased either as complete kits or as individual modules (or bits). They may be used to put together suggested creations or original inventions.
The modules/bits are colour coded as follows:
The blue Power bits is usually attached to a 9v alkaline battery and a plug. Power bits provide the electricity required for the inventions to work. The pink input bits trigger the action or activity of the green output bits. Pink input bits include: switches, sound triggers, microphones, keyboards, and more. Green output bits include: LED lights, speakers, buzzers, and more. The orange bits enables a connection between the input and output bits extending the inventions using wires or connectors like Makey Makey, Cloudbit, and Bluetooth modules.
When introducing littleBits to students, I find that it’s useful to teach the importance of understanding the concepts behind each of these bits/modules to strengthen the students’ learning. You can download a set of cards for your use in your classroom or makerspace from our TpT Store (it’s free!).
When I first came across littleBits, I wanted to see if it would work well in a primary STEAM Classroom. So, I ordered my first kit, which was the Cloudbit Starter Kit. And, while I thought it was great, it didn’t seem like the best kit to start with, especially for primary school students.
So, I ended up purchasing the littleBits Basic Kit (this kits seems to have been phased out). This was a much better fit for what I had in mind for students.
My collection of littleBits kits have grown a lot since then. As of writing this, I have bought and used the following kits with my students: STEAM kit (1 set), Gadgets and Gizmos 2nd edition (1 set), Rule Your Room (2 sets), Droid Inventors kit (1 set), Synth Korg kit (1 set). I hope to share full reviews of these littleBits kits some time. In the mean time, here are some thoughts and recommendations on littleBits.
In summary: littleBits are great tools to have in any STEAM classroom or makerspace. They come highly recommended. Some favourite kits include Gadgets & Gizmos, Rule Your Room, and Droid Inventor.
Here’s an introductory video on littleBits that you might find useful and inspiring:
Shai Coggins is a Registered Teacher in South Australia, with a Masters' degree in Teaching and Applied Psychology. She is a practicing artist and a published author. She started Creative STEAM Studio to promote holistic and play-based learning in Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics (STEAM) with a strong literacy focus for kids and families in Adelaide and around the world.