7 electronics kits for kids


I had one of those “XX-in-1” kits as a lad – one of those that had all the pre-wired spring terminals (awesome things, spring terminals!) and a bunch of components and wire lengths. I can’t say it was particularly educational, alas. It was largely just a matter of following directions and didn’t teach me much about amplifier circuitry – nastily complicated stuff that I really only learned about years later in a proper electronics class with complex arithmetic and such.

Not sure if these are much better, but they seem to be a lot more expensive.

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sometimes getting your hands dirty is its own education. I took some circuits classes in university, and got fairly little out of it (electronics for comp sci classes were pretty weak) but the fact of having plugged something in to a breadboard made the whole thing seem more approachable when I came back to electronics years later

I would have loved this… seems like there was a developmental gap in educational electronics when I was young. I had a random assortment of toys that didnt have much to offer after the first couple of hours, then I found myself in a Heathkit store being told I was too young and couldnt afford a HERO.

For many years, my only electronics experience came from secretly taking apart radios and unused computers. Unfortunately, this just lead to more discipline and less learning.

Sure, but you probably did learn what sort of things resistors, capacitors, etc were. Which is a lot more than most.

Picked up two of these at a Radio Shack a couple years ago for $20 http://www.elenco.com/search/searchdetails/130-in-1_electronics_playground=MjA0

The little bits and snap circuits are much more expensive. It also removes the bit of troubleshooting when you don’t have a wire making full contact, or, you hit one with your hand and it’s somewhere else entirely. I guess that’s what is so different with the kits, you can do a lot wrong and have to actually figure out where it was on the old ones!

The old Radio Shack Science Fair 100-in-1, 50-in-1 or whatever kits are interesting, but I used to buy single-purpose kits called P-Boxes at Radio Shack with my paper route money, and I found them more interesting and educational. When I finished building them I wouldn’t just take them apart again, instead I’d have ready-to-use gadgets like a fully functional interocitor to amaze my friends and communicate with with friendly space aliens.



I never built any with an actual fruit interface though.

Just look at it:

Are you kidding?! I loved mine! I took it a step further and bought manuals on electronics, learned to solder and began making my own projects. I set up an alarm system for my bedroom to keep my sister out. I added extra speakers to a radio (fake stereo, awesome!), built all sorts of little timer projects…
I was sad the day I walked into a Radio Shack and found they no longer sold electronic parts.

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