Electronics for children

Discussion in 'General Electronics Chat' started by hedron, Oct 10, 2017.

  1. hedron

    Thread Starter New Member

    Oct 10, 2017
    My nephew is about the age where he can understand electronics. I haven't done much with electronics since I was a child, so I'm a bit out of my facility with this. So, I'm wondering where to start? Especially, with the idea of robotics. What are some good basic children's books? Is there an online store that sells kits for children? I remember having these boards that all kinds of electronic devices on them and you would attach wires to springs and you would make a radio or flash some LEDs or whatever. I just have no idea where to buy these things or what is a good book.
  2. GopherT

    AAC Fanatic!

    Nov 23, 2012

    That’s in the past. Buy him an arduino board and some motor control “shields”, sensor shields and LEd shields to interface with it. He can write programs on a PC, download them to the Arduino and away he goes.

    You can get arduino anywhere - Amazon, SparkFun, AdaFruit, (all dot coms).

    I assume he is in the 13-15 range or is he much younger?
    hedron and xox like this.
  3. bertus


    Apr 5, 2008
  4. MrChips


    Oct 2, 2009
    My recommendation would be to start with a specific DIY construction kit. There are many available for children.

    Google Electronics Kits for Beginners

    Here are some links to look at:






    The next choice would be a multi-project kit.




    There is nothing wrong with spring clips and perforated peg-board. However, you need a manual with working examples for someone now learning about circuits.

    Lots to choose from as per examples above.
  5. MrSoftware

    Active Member

    Oct 29, 2013
  6. joeyd999

    AAC Fanatic!

    Jun 6, 2011
    You can start with any number of Science Fair kits -- if they still make them.

    They are very approachable, easy to use, and require very little adult supervision to make things work.

    I started with the Crystal Set Radio Kit around 5 y.o. and I was on my way.
  7. ian field

    AAC Fanatic!

    Oct 27, 2012

    Have a look here:- http://ee.old.no/library/ The kits have been out of production for decades, but you might get lucky on eBay.

    The manuals cover a decent number of discrete component functional blocks, and the selection of projects combine them to a gadget that actually does something. Some of the manuals have in annotated schematics, but there's packs of overlay cards with pictorial and component values. there were electromechanical kits just about heading in the right direction for robotic projects.

    hobby robotics have been big business since the TV shows with robots smashing each other up - you shouldn't need any help finding those resources.
  8. BobTPH

    Well-Known Member

    Jun 5, 2013
    Does that translate into a number? 8 is a lot different than 17.

  9. MrChips


    Oct 2, 2009
    Electronics for the young and old. Check this out.

    TalkingElectronics from Colin Mitchell in Australia.
  10. Tonyr1084

    Well-Known Member

    Sep 24, 2015
    Three to five years ago Radio Shack (United States) was closing down a whole bunch of their stores and they were having unbelievable sales on all kinds of stuff. I got a 400 watt amplifier and two large loud speakers for around $60 (US dollars). I also got one of those electronics study labs that has three different built in pots, a string of 10 LED's, push button switches, SPDT and DPDT switches, an audio transformer, speaker and an amp meter (must be used correctly or it can be blown out). Don't remember what I paid for that, but it comes with a large breadboard section where you make connections by just pushing wires into them. It's been quite useful in building things for temporary use and for testing out construction of projects. I still have it but hardly use it. I have a couple breadboards I still use to mock up a circuit and test it before committing it to solder. Unfortunately searching on their website I wasn't able to find anything like what I have.

    [edit] Actually found an image of one just like the one I have. I had to dig and dig and dig just to find mine, that's how long I haven't used it.

  11. Wendy


    Mar 24, 2008