Do you have a child with an interest in electronics? Do you find small bits of wire hiding in your fuzzy house slippers on a regular basis? Are you intimately familiar with the smell of smoking ICs? Here are some of our family-tested, favorite resources for the electronically inclined explorer.
1. Snap Circuits
Great for even the youngest electronics enthusiast. No wire, no soldering; just nice chunky blocks that help you build over 300 projects. Works well for an introductory kit.
2. 130-in-1 Electronics Kit
Next step up. No soldering; wire ends are hooked into a spring. This kit provides room for growth (we went through two) and a basic understanding of each component’s role in the circuit.
3. Getting Started in Electronics by Forest M. Mims III
Next it’s time to assemble your own components, hook up a breadboard and try your own circuits. An easy to follow, introductory book that can help you get started. Try his other books for more ideas.
4. Elenco XK-700k Digital/Analog Trainer in Case
If you are willing to invest in an electronics lab that will fit a high school student from DC to AC to programmable devices, you may be interested in this kit from Elenco. No soldering; all of the components are included. This is a perfect replacement for the now discontinued kit we used. You can view the manual at the manufacturer’s site.
5. AC/DC Electric Circuit Card Game
A card game from those fun folks at Ampersand Press. Can be enjoyed by all ages regardless of electronic aptitude.
Update: No longer available. But still fun if you can find it!
Most of these resources can be purchased at your favorite homeschool science supplier or at Edmund Scientific. A casual look through the electronics section will yield a whole new world of ideas for your budding electronic genius!