This post was sponsored by Sphero as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central and all opinions expressed in my post are my own. We were excited to experience the Sphero products and some of the best STEAM holiday gift ideas this year! Our Sphero BOLT and Sphero Mini Review will show you why it should be on your shopping list this year!
Sphero BOLT & Sphero Mini Review
As a former teacher, I’ve spent a lot of time with kids in education. One thing I could always count on with my students is that they’re always engaged when technology was involved. I also learn about how important play is when it comes to learning.
I’m a firm believer in the power of play in education and that technology is a part of our kids’ lives. STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, and mathematics) education is also a huge part of our kids’ lives. Weston does weekly STEAM challenges at school and comes home so enthusiastic about what he’s learning and exploring.
The great thing about Sphero BOLT and Sphero Mini is that I can bring that fun STEAM learning into our home!
If you’ve never heard of Sphero, this is the perfect time of year to meet Sphero BOLT and Sphero Mini.
The robots are super engaging and you’ll find your kids wanting to play with them for hours. (You’ll find yourself wanting to play right along with them!) The robots offer app-enabled driving, games, and sports. As soon as the light illuminates on the Sphero BOLT or Sphero Mini, your child is learning and playing at the same time!
MORE ABOUT SPHERO BOLT
The Sphero BOLT app-enabled robot is so gorgeous! No, the kids didn’t tell me about that but it was the first thing I noticed. It has an 8×8 light matrix that you can program. It animates and can show real-time data about your Sphero BOLT.
Here’s what you get in the Sphero BOLT box:
- Sphero BOLT
- Inductive charging base with USB charging cable
- Protractor with heading, directions, and clock
- Quick Start guide to get you rolling
- Sticker sheet
There are three options for apps that you can download to use with your robot:
- Sphero Play app (available for iOS and Android)
- Swift Playgrounds app (available on iOS) that works with the Sphero Arcade and Sphero Template playgrounds
- Sphero Edu app (available for iOS, Android, Kindle, Mac, Windows, and Chrome)
We use the Sphero Play app to play games and to explore moving the robot around. You can control the Sphero BOLT using the app and we loved that the lights on the LED matrix changes as it moves.
If you happen to run your Sphero BOLT into something, listen carefully!
The LED matrix is definitely one of the kids favorite things even though they didn’t call it gorgeous. It’s super cool to them because it can display text, emojis, and more!
Creating obstacle courses for the Sphero BOLT has kept my kids busy for hours!
The Sphero EDU app takes things with the Sphero BOLT to a whole new level. It’s where kids can learn to code even if they’ve never done anything with robotics or coding before!
SPHERO MINI REVIEW
I didn’t realize so much fun could be packed into a ping pong ball sized mini robot, but the Sphero Mini is packed full of fun and engaging technology! The Sphero Mini has a gyroscope, accelerometer, and LED lights that light up!
WHAT YOU GET IN THE BOX
Here’s a list of everything that comes in the Sphero Mini box:
- Sphero Mini
- Micro USB charging cable (you plug the Sphero Mini in to recharge it)
- 3 Mini Traffic Cones
- 6 Mini Bowling Pins
And you can download these apps to use with the Sphero Mini:
- Sphero Play app (available for iOS and Android)
- Sphero Edu app (available for download on iOS, Android, Kindle, Mac, Windows, and Chrome)
It has everything you need to start having fun right out of the box. We started with the Sphero Play app and we were playing in minutes!
CONTROLLING THE SPHERO MINI
One of the most important things we learned during our Sphero Mini review was how to control our little robot. With the Sphero Mini app, there are four different ways to control the robot!
You can use:
- Joystick – To control the robot’s speed and direction you drag your finger around the screen of your device.
- Tilt – For this mode, you tilt the device the direction you want your Sphero Mini to go. If you want it to go faster, you simply tilt the phone or tablet more.
- Slingshot – This was one of our favorite ways to control the movement. You can give the little robot a big boost of power by touching and pulling back on the screen. The farther back you pull, the more power you get!
- Face Drive – This mode uses facial expressions to control the Sphero Mini. You can smile to make it move forward or look sad to make it go backward.
Face Drive is our favorite way to control our Sphero Mini. It’s not the easiest way to control it but it’s the one that always has us laughing!
PLAYING GAMES WITH SPHERO MINI
One thing both of my kids loved was the games that you can play with the Sphero Mini and the Sphero App. You can play three different games:
- Round Trip – In this game, you use the Sphero Mini to rotate a hexagon and destroy bricks with a bouncing ball.
- Lightspeed Drifter – This game has a race car aspect to it. You have to avoid obstacles, collect power-ups, and boost your speeding car.
- Exile II – In this game, the Sphero Mini is a spaceship that you direct while you shoot and avoid asteroids in space!
We all love playing Exile II and Sphero says there are more games to come with future updates so we’re looking forward to that!
But the fun goes beyond the games you can play in the Sphero App. The Sphero Mini comes with a set of traffic cones and bowling pins.
The kids love trying to bowl with the pins, but they also love using the traffic cones and the bowling pins together with other small toys we have to create obstacle courses and paths for our Sphero Mini to accomplish.
Our Sphero Mini has given us hours of fun already and I cannot wait to see what else the kids dream up!
SPHERO BOLT & SPHERO MINI SPECIAL OFFERS
Right now there’s a great holiday promotion going on to help you save on these great gifts for kids! From now through December 1st, if you spend $100, you’ll get 15% off! Visit Sphero.com to take advantage of these savings!
It’s a great time to add a little technology to the gifts under the tree! If you want to give a present that will keep your kids having fun while they learn, Sphero BOLT and Sphero Mini are highly recommended by us!