Electronics kits are a fun way of introducing children to electricity and study the wonders of science. Plus kit building offers parents valuable time with their children learning and exploring.
Today they're numerous easy to build kits with colorful blinking lights, loud sirens, and alarms to keep the interest of little ones. Kits are available with spring terminal contacts for easy wire connections with very little effort. The spring terminals are perfect for small hands and often kids are able to connect the wires better than parents. Another advantage is no soldering is required.
A number of manufacturer's offer a variety of kits for kids including Datak, Elenco Electronics, Maxitronix, Ramsey Electronics, and Velleman. A very popular selection of kits worth a look is The Electronic Lab series for ages 10 and up. The Electronics Lab is available with 50, 75, 130, 300, and 500 projects. The Lab offers the spring terminals connected right to the corresponding components and includes pre cut wires. A nice starter kit is order No. EP50, which has 50 projects including:
Finger Touch Lamp
Electronic Keyboard Transistor Radio
The Electronic Labs would be a nice way to get kids started and comfortable in simple wiring and spring terminal construction.
Another very simple kit with a long history behind it is the crystal radio order no. MX-901. This kit is recommend for ages 8-12, but we know a few adults still enjoy this kit, myself included. This crystal radio offers the spring terminals and only a small handful of components. The key to the circuit is a good solid ground connection and fully extend the wire antenna which is included. The crystal radio is unique because no battery is required. The fun part is to see how many radio stations you can pull in. Many longtime kit builders say crystal radios were the first kit they ever assembled. The crystal radio is a true classic kit.
AM, FM, and shortwave radios are also available using spring terminals and are very easy to assemble but need batteries to provide power.
Electronic kit building gets young minds thinking and exploring with a hands on approach that will build confidence with a finished project they will be proud of.