Here are some of our favorite kits, books, and electronic goodies to help your kids geek out this holiday season! It’s not always easy to find material to nurture our boys and girls in their engineering pursuits but we think the products below are awesome, and that your kids will think so, too.
Available at Adafruit!
Papertronics – Lunar Modules: Papertronics by Sparkle Labs are paper toys with paper electronic circuits in them. The Lunar Landers come in a pack of three. Spaceboy, Alien Girl and Tabula Rasa. Tabula Rasa is blank and can be designed by you.Turn them into a cool night light, partylights or a fun additions to a room or desk. When the spaceships are put in their landers one way, they light up. Turn them another way and they are off. Fold them yourself- they come pre-cut. Fun DIY with paper and electronics. Follow along with the instructional video.
Nixie Seven-Segment Art Scratch-Off Card: OK so it’s not really a Nixie tube, its more like a paper seven-segment LED display but still, retro and futuristic at the same time! Scratch away the gold foil to reveal the pink neon 7-segment font. Create your own messages! 5×7″ folded blank card, scratch tool, and envelope.
Volta Racers Solar Motorcar Kit: Never go looking for some AAA’s again, this solar racer car requires no batteries! The Volta Racer Solar Motorcar Kit contains all of the necessary parts required to successfully assemble your car – including the worlds first flexible polycrystalline silicon solar cell used for powering toys.
Thames & Kosmos Electronics Experiment Kit: This lovely little kit from Thames & Kosmos is a nice alternative to ‘snap-circuits’ type learning kits. There’s still no soldering, but there are proper wires and a bread-board-like workspace so the projects are a bit more realistic. This is a basic starter kit, a good companion to learning with an Arduino since it covers more of the essential analog/digital type basics which sometimes get skipped over when using microcontrollers. It’s also great on its own! Thames & Kosmos kits are excellent quality so we hope this is the first of many kits we carry from them.
Coloring book – “Ladyada’s E is for electronics”: Ladyada’s “E is for Electronics” is a coloring book adventure with electronic components and their inventors. Makers of all ages can learn, color, and share common parts and historical figures throughout history. Explore the world of electronics with Ladyada as your guide!
Connie the Transistor – Circuit Playground Plushie: Connie is the co-leader of the group with Cappy. Connie is much more level-headed though, and somewhat of mother figure for the others, particularly Ruby and Billie. She is very thorough, remarkably smart, and has a good heart. She is very dedicated to the others and acts as a balance to the zaniness of Cappy and Ruby. Connie is able to handle Hans’ indecision, Ruby’s hyperactivity, Billie’s soulful blueness and Cappy’s impulsiveness with good natured aplomb. Connie’s voice is that of a calm, adult woman. Her catchprase is “very nice, very nice” said in an unpatronizing, motherly, humoring sort of way.
littleBits Starter Kit – v0.3: The Starter Kit is the best way to begin your littleBits experience. It’s a set of 10 color coded modules that snap together magnetically to create larger circuits, guaranteed to keep kids (or you) occupied for hours. The Kit includes everything you need to start making your own interactive creations: a 9v battery is included, as well as an instruction sheet with several project plans. And, if you ever stop playing, you can pack everything away in the snappy magnetic case.
Goldie Blox and the Spinning Machine: Goldie Blox is a fun combination of storybook and engineering. Follow the leading lady, Goldie, in her quest to solve problems with engineering skills! In Goldie’s debut story, she decides to build a spinning machine to help her dog, Nacho, chase his tail. Soon, the whole gang wants in on the action. Help Goldie build a belt drive to spin everybody! Its a great introduction to mechanics and the joy of basic robotics for children and curious learners.
Discovery Kids Build Your Own Robo Pup Model Robot Toy Kit: Your young engineer will learn the basics about robots while building the Robo Pup – a sound activated robotic pet dog. This is a chance to give your child some experience in engineering problem solving accompanied by the joy of playing with a pup, without all of that real-dog clean-up!
“Rosie Revere, Engineer”: This book, written by Andrea Beaty and illustrated by David Roberts, tells the story of Rosie Revere, whose Great-Aunt is the famed WWII icon Rosie the Riveter. Rosie has a vibrant imagination and an enviable work ethic. She engineers and builds using recycled materials to try and make her Aunt’s one last unfinished goal a possibility. A wonderful tale that’s an inspiration for all generations of engineers and inventors.
Electro Chem Clock: In this kit, not only will your young scientist build his or her own battery (that’s powered by lemon juice!), but he or she will also use that battery to power a digital clock. The kit covers a lot of ground, from electrochemical reactions to batteries and conductors, and is made for kids ages 8 and up.
Cool Blue Light Experiement Kit: This kit comes equipped for 11 illuminating experiments in chemiluminescence. There’s a detailed instruction book included but it’s suggested that parents work with their young engineers (10 and up) to complete the range of experiments. Some experiments include: exploring the quantum leap, making a penny glow, and creating a hemoglobin detector.
Here are your 2013 shipping deadlines for ordering from Adafruit. Please review our shipping section if you have specific questions on how and where we ship worldwide for this holiday season.
UPS ground (USA orders): Place orders by Friday 11am ET – December 13, 2013 – There is no guarantee that UPS Ground packages will arrive in time for Christmas.
UPS 3-day (USA orders): Place orders by Thursday 11am ET – December 19, 2013 – Arrive on 12/24/2013.
UPS 2-day (USA orders): Place orders by Friday 11am ET – December 20, 2013 – Arrive on 12/24/2013.
UPS overnight (USA orders): Place orders by Monday 11am ET – December 23, 2013 – Arrive on 12/24/2013.
UPS International: Place orders by Monday 11am ET – December 16, 2013. Can take up extra time due to worldwide delays and customs. Should arrive by 12/24/2013 or sooner.
Please note: We do not offer Saturday service for UPS.
Wednesday, Dec. 25, 2013, Christmas, no UPS pickup or delivery service.
Wednesday, Jan. 1, 2014, New Year’s Day, no UPS pickup or delivery service.
United States Postal Service, First Class and Priority (USA orders): Place orders by Friday – December 13, 2013 – Arrive by 12/24/2012 or sooner.
USPS First class mail international (International orders): Place orders by Friday – November 22, 2013. Can take up to 30 days ore more with worldwide delays and customs. Should arrive by 12/24/2013 or sooner, but not a trackable service cannot be guaranteed to arrive by 12/24/13.
USPS Express mail international(International orders): Place orders by Friday – December 13, 2013. Can take up to 15 days or more with worldwide delays and customs. Should arrive by 12/24/2013 or sooner.
Gift Certificates are always available at any time.
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