This is a fun project from Adafruit. I didn’t track creation as they does a pretty good job of walking you through it. It was a bigger hit with the neighborhood kids than I expected. Their favorite thing was to turn it sideways and spin it.
When I was talking with the family about getting setup for electronics projects, I first tried the robot approach. Unfortunately, Johnny 5 didn’t fly with my daughter.
Finally playing with hardware bits instead of just software bits after so many years has been fun. But here is my first real success:
After watching a few practice solders, my daughter decided it was time to do it herself. No problem – heat the wire, apply the solder to the wire, heat wrap, done. Nice work.
We actually started with safety. Especially if you have a limited-space environment like we do, you have to assume the kids will be nearby while relatively dangerous things are going on.
Lay out all the things that kids will have even temporary access to.
Have and/or help them classify each item with sounds, faces, etc. as “Ouch!” or “Hot!” or “OK”. Basically act out what could happen with each item. Although with kids anything can magically become dangerous, I think this covers most of the bases while remaining mildly entertaining.
If they like to draw, have them make some Safety Materials.
Pop quiz them over the next few days with the actual items.
Do some limited solders, cuts, etc. with their help so they learn how to use everything safely and one at a time.
Panic as 2 year old lifts the table from one table leg in the middle of soldering.