Make posted this great Top 10 list a while back on fun ideas for easy DIY gifts for dad. Check it out here.
Most of the fathers I know actually have very little in common with Demographic Dad. You know the guy I’m talking about, right? About five-nine, one-eighty? Likes big-screen TVs, neckties, and golf clubs? Largely an invention of greeting card publishers and retail marketing directors? Yeah, that guy. Between you and me, honestly, I don’t like him very much. In fact, he seems like kind of a doofus.
Fortunately, my real-life Dad is way cooler. He’s practical, mostly, but can cut loose and appreciate a gag gift, or one that’s mostly just a toy, precisely because it’s the kind of thing he’d never spend his own money on. He’s an engineer—tech-savvy and scientifically minded—but he’s been around long enough to see ten thousand gadgets come and go. He appreciates quality, more than novelty, and he would rather have a thoughtful, intelligent, hand-made gift than the latest iThing. He can buy that for himself whenever he wants.
In choosing projects for this guide, then, I have tried to forget about Demographic Dad and choose stuff that A) I would proudly make and give to my own father, and B) that can be made with relatively small investments of money and time. If you follow the news, you may have noticed that petty cash is a bit tight in general these days, and if you follow the calendar, you may have noticed that (as of this writing) you have six days until the 17th.
Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.