Cardboard Cutouts Expansion Set
- What: Nintendo Switch Labo Variety Pack
- When: Ages 4 and up
- Why: Interactive, three dimensional, novel
- Where: Amazon or other retailers
You’ve probably already heard about Nintendo’s newest gaming system, called Switch. But perhaps you want to take your Switch experience one step further. If so, or if you need a really awesome gift set, add the Nintendo Labo Variety Pack to a Switch for a complete experience.
Labo Cardboard offers interactive building experiences for a variety of ages. Users fold cardboard to build vehicles, a house, a piano, and a fishing rod. With controllers inserted, these paper toys become moving, interactive games and toys.
The first flat pieces of cardboard fold to create a remote control car. Assembly for this beginning item takes around 10 minutes, but the learning curve grows exponentially. While my kids had no trouble building it, it didn’t move smoothly and they lost interest after only a couple nights.
But then we moved onto the house, and we haven’t moved since. They built the house in one evening and all its accompanying switches over the course of a couple days, and have enjoyed the “kitty game” ever since. The game mostly involves taking care of a cat by exercising it, feeding it, and otherwise caring for it, The kicker? The different gadgets built from cardboard to interact with the cardboard house open up different activities and opportunities to learn more.
While my four year old may not be able to assemble the constructions using the step by step instructions on the screen (no reading necessary, much like IKEA assembly booklets only on screen instead), my six year old needed very little assistance and only occasional orientation corrections.
The Labo variety pack offers plenty more building options, including a fishing rod, a motorbike, and a piano. Other sets include robots and vehicles. Kids can decorate their cardboard creations with old school stickers, markers, and paint for even more fun (or when electronics aren’t allowed during travel). The Labo packs don’t include the Nintendo Switch, which you have to buy separately.
It’s no Coding with Awbie for education gaming, but it does feel better than zoning out in front of the big screen. Most of the games allow players to move about, and it definitely adds a new dimension to an already novel gaming experience.