Parent’s Guide to the Amazing Annoyatron

We get a lot of parents wondering about whether letting an Amazing Annoyatron into their house is going to be a good thing or not. We say it’s going to be better than good, it’s going to be great!

The Amazing Annoyatron was created to get kids and teens excited about using electronics and coding or at least give it a try. As a parent, there are a number of ways that you can help your kid get the most out of the kit. The good news is that it’s super simple, and great fun as well.

1. Be part of the project

Depending on your child’s age, you will probably want to be on hand to help out or just to observe for the first project. To be able to use the Annoyatron you’re going to need some software on your computer which will allow your computer to talk to the programmable board. It’s a bit like when you get a new printer and need to install a printer driver.  There’s a separate program for Windows and for Mac and we give links to it from our Quickstart Guide.

Once you have the software on your computer go to the first project “The Ticking Clock” and make sure you watch the instructional video.

2. Your reactions are key

While the product is called the Amazing Annoyatron, most projects are clever rather than annoying. As a parent, your participation and reaction to the various pranks and gags will play a large part in terms of how far your child is willing to push their learning.

3. Ask questions

As your child interacts with the electronics and coding through the Annoyatron be sure to ask plenty of questions.  Things like:

  • “Your grandfather is coming over, could you make a prank to set off when he approaches the front door!”
  • “Tell me how it works.”
  • “How could you integrate that into one of your LEGO toys?”
  • “Could you make a more hideous noise come out from your invention?”
  • “How do you think the technology and coding you’ve just done is used in other machines we commonly use?”

Wrapping it up

So hopefully you are getting the picture that the Amazing Annoyatron is a social toy. To play a prank or a gag you need to involve other people. You as a parent are the most accessible person and also the most influential in your child’s learning journey.