Electronics kits for kids

I had a Radio Shack 300-in-one electronics kit with the little spring contacts and wires. I’ve been interested in seeing how snap circuits (which have been around for quite some time now) worked in real life, but figured they’d disappear sooner or later along with all the other electronics that’s disappearing.

Back when you didn’t have a computer in every house, and tapes were still cool it was neat for kids to design a “big ear” amplifier, or a buzzer that turned on when the lights went out.


Now that you can go to the toy store and get a video games system for the cost of the snap circuit pro, or toy cellphones that really work, or an MP3 player - there isn’t as much draw.

What we need now is a electronics kit that let’s kids use an ARM processor with a color LCD display, a GSM cell phone internet connection, all the usual electronics (little radio receivers and transmitters, microphones, speakers, LEDs, etc) as well as memory cards and such. Attach the processor to the LCD and modem, drop in the TCP/IP software and JPEG interpreter, and *poof* an instant photo frame that gets photos from Flickr that not only your grandparents will be surprised at, but your peers at school will want.

Lego’s NXT is about as close as we can get now, and it’s as expensive as newly released video game systems.

I suppose I’ll have to do it myself.

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