Nintendo Labo, the cardboard accessories that work with the gaming firm’s Switch console, has made the jump to the classroom thanks to one primary school teacher.
Chris McGivern, a Year 6 teacher at Southgate Primary School in Crawley, has created a lesson based around building Labo’s interactive cardboard Toy-Cons that he says is designed to stimulate creativity and complement the school curriculum.
Students were asked to build the remote control car Toy-Con using the flatpack cardboard sheets that comprise Labo, before being asked to customise them so that they could successfully carry a biscuit between two points.
Nintendo Labo launched in April as the Japanese gaming giant’s latest experience for its mobile Switch console and enables users to build a range of Toy-Cons including a piano, motorbike handlebars and fishing rod.
McGivern said using the Toy-Cons in the classroom involves using skills that touch upon multiple parts of the school curriculum, from design and creativity to construct the toys to science skills in working out how to set the correct vibration frequencies in the Switch controllers which are used to move the RC Car.
“Nintendo Labo is a fun and creative way to access the curriculum,” he said.
“The magic of Nintendo Labo is matching a product with the opportunity to make, play and discover, in such an imaginative way – and the children’s enthusiasm for the product is just the first step.
“Then it’s encouraging collaboration, the sharing of ideas, and ultimately the testing of them.”
The RC Car built in the lesson – which also featured involvement from parents – uses the detachable Joy-Con controllers from the Nintendo Switch and their ability to vibrate, which is used to move the handful of “legs” on the car and help move it forward.
Pupils were each given a worksheet to fill in as they worked, and were asked to describe how they thought each part of the Toy-Con worked, as well as come up with ideas for other Toy-Con creations.
Earlier this week Nintendo announced the first non-Labo based game to be compatible with the cardboard toys, with players now able to control characters in Mart Kart 8 Deluxe on the Switch using the Toy-Con motorbike.