NOW THAT SENSORS are on everything from underwear to blenders, the Internet of Things can sound like something a kid made up. And withSAM Blocks, a series of wireless modules that can talk to each other and to a computer, your youngling can start doing just that. Get them going with something that benefits you too: this connected chore board. Once your minion completes a task, they press a button to turn on a light. It’s a fun, quick way for parents to track progress at a glance. Kids can even program the setup to perform a light-and-sound show when all the chores are done. After all, they need a better payoff than just making you happy.
Craft the light covers
Set up the whiteboard
Code the circuits
The SAM desktop app makes it drag-and-drop easy to set how the blocks interact. We programmed the AM lights to turn off after 20 minutes (to save battery juice), then turn back on and stay on after school until a parent resets them with the New Day button. Chores done? Time to soup up your old Tonka truck!