A couple of months ago, my 9 year old son took an interest in my electronics projects. He wanted to do some experimenting of his own, so I gave him a bread board, a couple of leds, resistors, buttons, switches and some batteries. Then I drew him a circuit diagram and explained what it all meant and challenged him to make the leds light up. So, after a while (read about 15 minutes), he proudly showed me his glowing leds. So I drew some more diagrams, did some more explaining and on he went. After a few days he started to draw his own diagrams and building them. Sometimes he failed but a lot of times he succeeded. A few weeks later he said he wanted more…. He also wanted to use those little black thingies (i.e. ATMega’s) I was using.
Unfortunately, that wasn’t as easy and I had to disappoint him at that time. But, an idea was born. I wanted to create a kids friendly micro controller. Something he could create the most amazing things with.
Make a robot friend with Adafruit’s CRICKIT – A Creative Robotics & Interactive Construction Kit. It’s an add-on to our popular Circuit Playground Express, FEATHER and other platforms to make and program robots with CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. Start controlling motors, servos, solenoids. You also get signal pins, capacitive touch sensors, a NeoPixel driver and amplified speaker output. It complements & extends your boards so you can still use all the goodies on the microcontroller, now you have a robotics playground as well.
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I love this.
However I disagree that Arduino language is too difficult for a 9 year old. I was programming in basic on an Atari 800 when I was in grade school. After learning “the rules” I think kids of that intelligence could write an Arduino program.