10 Awesome Electronics Kits for Kids

Best Electronics Kits for Children - An Everyday Story

Top Electronics Kits for Kids - An Everyday Story

Electronics kits are so awesome. A few years ago we walked into an electronics store for something completely unrelated and I stumbled upon a kids electronics kit. Electronics is not my strong point - my husband (who is quite the science geek) was actually quite amused that I knew so little about electronics - and so when Jack developed an interest in electricity, I knew it was time for me to learn a little. 

We bought Jack his first electronics kit that day and have never looked back! Electronics and electricity has been Jack's longest standing interest to date. Not many days go past before Jack is tinkering with his electronics again. 

Here are 10 awesome electronics kit for beginners right through to advanced inventors. 

Best Electronics Kits for Children - An Everyday Story Best Electronics Kits for Children - An Everyday Story

Snap Circuits Junior is a great place to get started with electronics. Each of the components are securely contained and snap together easily with just a simple push; no tools required. There's no wires or small loose components which means young children can use this kit easily. 

Also in the Snap Circuits range is the Discovery Kit (with 300+ projects) and the Extreme Discovery Kit (with 750+ projects). They are a fantastic introduction to electronics. 

Snap Circuits Green Alternative Energy is another kit from the Snap Circuits range - they are such a great range and so affordable. This one though focuses on green energy. There are over a hundred projects included in this kit and each one focuses on how alternative energy is generated.  The experiments include solar power, hydroelectric power, windmills, rechargeable batteries, liquid batteries and more.

Gigo Clear Electricity Kit II - This great little kit introduces the child to wires - red wire out, black wire in. It uses a really simple system of plugs to connect the wires. It's a simple kit which also includes bulbs and a fan. The project book includes experiments for testing conductivity by introducing different everyday materials. 

The kit is half price at the moment (as of August 22, 2015) so it's definitely worth checking out. Here's a short video of Jack working with the kit

Best Electronics Kits for Children - An Everyday StoryComponents from the Short Circuits 1 Book and Kit

Short Circuits Book 1 - This kit is my favourite kit for getting kids into working with real components; resistors, LEDs, diodes, transistors as well as introduces kids to real circuit diagrams. There's still no soldering though; the kit comes with a plastic baseboard and the circuits are created by pushing little springs (called terminal springs) into holes in the baseboard. 

These springs act as connecting points for the circuit. So if the wires aren't touching, the child learns that the circuit won't work. It's a little more fiddly work, but watching Jack do it, he is really getting a solid understanding of how to create working circuits. 

Short Circuits Book 1 is the first in a three book series. It's only about $40 for the book and all the components which makes it incredible value. Unfortunately, it is only available in Australia.

Solar Lab 1.0 Solar Electricity Learning Kit - I've had my eye on this kit for a little while now. I like that it includes real components as well as teaches children about voltage and current through a multimeter. The kit allows a child to learn how a solar cell works and how to build circuits to solar power devices as well as how to make a build a solar batter charger. 

I have this one in my cart for Christmas time. 

littleBits (here on Amazon) are AMAZING! These little modules click together with magnets. littleBits are quite different to other electronics kits that I've seen. These modules just do so much; you can honestly create almost anything. Using just some simple household materials, you can make incredible projects. 

Jack has made a torch with a cardboard tube, a flickering fire with a fan and some tissue paper, a LEGO car that drives itself, a little bot which draws when you press a button and so much more. Today he made a novelty hand buzzer. The littleBits website has hundreds of amazing projects that people have submitted - click over and be inspired. They are fantastic. 

littleBits are an investment material. They are top quality though and I am certain that these incredible little modules are going to last us a very long time.

Best Electronics Kits for Children - An Everyday Story Little Bits Project - STEM Activities - An Everyday Story Little Bits Projects - An Everyday Story

These are the kits that I have been looking at for when Jack moves into more complex electronics. These kits allow the child to create circuits using breadboards and moving on to soldering. 

A breadboard is a plastic board with lots of rows of little holes. I'm still learning how they work, but from what I understand, when you put one wire into a hole, it is electronically connected to all the other holes in that row. So you can connect a bunch of components to make increasingly complex circuits. 

I'm still trying to wrap my head around it all (here's a tutorial explaining breadboards) but that's the beauty of being able to learn alongside our children.

Arduino Experiments Kit - This kit introduces the Arduino board. The Arduino board is a programmable board which you connect to your computer to load programs on to it via USB. So these sets also introduce computer programming. This set comes with a heap of components and projects. Here's a YouTube channel called Kid Arduino with a heap of videos showing what you can do with an Arduino board. 

Arduino Uno Ultimate Starter Kit - This kit comes with both a breadboard and an Arduino board. You can see both there in the picture. The breadboard is on the left, and the programmable Arduino board is on the right. I liked this kit also because the manual says it breaks down the computer programming into very easy to understand language, making it perfect for a beginner.  This is still an advanced kit though; there is some soldering involved. I really liked the look of the components though and it has really good reviews for being a quality set. 

Short Circuits Book 2 and 3 - These two books follow on from Book 1 in the Short Circuits series. These books get into some serious electronics. Book 2 teaches the child how to use a soldering iron and multi-meter to create projects like mini strobe lights, powerful radio transmitters and a mini organ. 

Book 3 calls itself the 'definitive electronics training manual' and boy does it look it! There is some serious electronics projects in this book. This book is definitely intended for children with significant experience in electronics.

Electronics has been a passion of Jack's for a few years now. He tinkers and creates circuits most days; there is always a project on the go.

So if you have a little inventor like me; why not give electronics a go?! All these kits make electronics safe and accessible to children while still teaching them sound knowledge and skills which they can use and build on. 

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21 Replies to “10 Awesome Electronics Kits for Kids”

  1. They all look so incredible! Really, my son would love them all! He is only 5 though, so I think maybe the Snap Circuits might be a good place for him to start. What do you think?

    1. Snap Circuits are a great place to start. They are really reasonably priced and come with heaps of projects. If you are in Australia, I would really recommend checking out the Jaycar Short Circuit Book 1 – it’s a fabulous kit and really encourages tinkering.

  2. What is the kit that is pictured in the blue plastic box with small square compartments? It is pictured at the beginning of the section titled “kits for growing inventors.” Thank you 🙂

    1. Hi Sherah, they are the components from the Short Circuits Book 1 kit.

  3. Thanks for the heads up on these options.

    I am thinking snap circuits for my 3 almost 4 yr old but knowing I can get the intermediate kit means I will pick it up and put it away.

    Kind regards
    Belinda

    1. Yeah the Snap Circuits are a really fantastic introduction to electronics. And the larger kits aren’t that much more expensive than the Junior kit, so I think getting one of the bigger kits is a good idea for a four year old.

  4. This is brilliant Kate! You have made my day!! xx

    1. 🙂 I think J will like the solar kit – I’m thinking of getting that one for Jack for Christmas. And the conductivity experiments in the Gigo kit are really great. Jack’s really loving those too at the moment.

  5. oh wow, most of this went totally over my head, lol!!!! but these are amazing and I could see the kids just loving tinkering w these. great selection, i will file away for xmas! (pinning) xx

    1. hahaha yeah I was a bit like that too at first but well you know Jack, he’s taught me all I know lol

  6. So cool Kate! I’m looking to get Cam a Little Bits kit and I’m just as excited as he is! I didn’t realise there were so many great kits!

    1. Little Bits are soooooo cool! The projects that you can make are amazing. And it’s so fun to think up new projects with different things laying around. Cam will love them…and you 🙂

  7. I’m curious as to how you used snap circuits – did Jack just work through constructing the projects in the manual or did you do anything more than that? We’ve been working through the projects (though not necessarily in the right order!) but although they are fun for my son and he has definitely learned things, I’m not sure how good they are for giving him an understanding of what the various components do or how to construct circuits on his own – indeed I’m not sure I’m that much the wiser than I was before!

    1. Yeah he mostly worked with the projects although not in order either. I think Snap Circuits are great for getting started with electronics – there are a lot of really cool projects – but I agree, it is difficult to understand how each component works in the circuit because they are enclosed. That’s why we moved on to the Short Circuits kit and the Gigo set. These ones are more about tinkering, I find, with Jack. The Snap Circuits ones were about doing a project and having an outcome (much like the Little Bits too) but with the Short Circuits and the Gigo set, he experiments a lot. Many of his circuits don’t work but he is learning why and moving wires and things around to try and get things to work. Both the Short Circuits and the Gigo set have a project book so he can still make working circuits but I am also finding that Jack is starting to combine his knowledge of circuits to make new circuits.

  8. Thanks for this product list, they look like fun! Maybe I’ll get one for my girls for Christmas and see how they go with it.

  9. Have a look at the Raspberry Pi for more advanced electronics. It can use scratch for programming which is easier to learn than python. My kids have really enjoyed attending Pi Jams which have talks, exhibits and workshops. My 12 year old has used the Pi to build a robot which is controlled using a Wii controller!

  10. Hi Kate, thank you so much for sharing this… it’s awesome!!!! I’ve been looking for these kits for my boys… could you let me know where or how to purchase these sets???? I am currently staying in Malaysia….thank you.

  11. Have you tried making squishy circuits? Look them up online. A great provocation and your son seems really interested in circuits. I’m a school JP teacher and am getting many great ideas from your blog thanks for sharing

    1. I have seen them but haven’t tried them….yet! 🙂 I know Jack would really love them. They look incredible.

  12. Thanks for the post Kate! This is a great list. It can be difficult to know where to start with stuff like this – there are so many options!! – but this is great. I’ve started them off with some smaller projects like this Pizza Box Circuit before – http://www.elex.co.nz/2016/04/7-diy-electronic-design-projects-for-beginners/ – using stuff around the house (seriously. Such a great way to spark their imagination!), so as others have mentioned, I think the Snap Circuit kits might be the first ones I pick up. Though I have a feeling the kids will have a hard time getting any time with these…they look like too much fun!…

    Will be sure to report back with their thoughts once we have our hands on them! 🙂

  13. How to buy it…

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