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My child wants Arduino for Christmas!


Pwnd2Pwnr
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So, I am currently helping a local shop owner to setup an Arduino board which will control LEDs that will be placed around the inside of the front window pane. I picked up my daughter and went to the store to show her what we have done so far (still need some more LED strips and probably some more power). With only one 4 foot LED mounted with the strobe effect, she was amazed. I told her she can make this stuff, too, with a little learning, she can make LEDs herself. She now wants an Arduino board and some LEDs for Christmas. I think I finally found something that she loves to do and I am psyched about it. She is only 11 and wants to learn low-level programming!

I am thinking about getting her a starter kit... but I think she wants to jump in with me... any suggestions? I think she might get bored of reading the manual... should I just have her watch and write with me? Regardless, MY DAUGHTER WANTS TO PROGRAM! (Tiger Woods gesture)

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Thats pretty awesome. When I was like 8, I once got a science kit that came with a small breadboard and diagrams on how to make stuff like an AM radio with it. They might sell kits like this still in Radio Shack or online, but I'd say get her a couple of different things to play with to keep her interest(and your own). I haven't stepped into the arduino realm, but I'm not much of a programmer either. I don't have any serial ports on my PC either nor any USB to Serial cables, but I wouldn't mind learning how to do all that stuff.

http://makeprojects.com/Project/search/arduino might have some kits and projects though to help you guys out, and Hackaday probably has tons of things on there to mess with or linked to home projects for the old Altoid tin can hoarder types.

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That's pretty cool!!! It's good to see the youth wanting to get into that. Yeah the starter kit is a good place, I wouldn't so much sit with the manual and strictly read that first. What I started with (personally) learn the board and the components on it and their functions. Outside of that, anything she can design within the laws of electricity and soldering, have fun!! :D

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Thanks guys. I am just thrilled that my daughter can finally SEE what the hell dad has been reading and tinkering with. The employer bought the Arduino, so my daughter never had a chance to goof with it. I would do the heavy reading; she would help with sketching the programming and see the fruits of her labor...

I will post pics when I get another board.

PS... I have NO COOL electronics store... Radio Crap and Worst Buy are the only competitors. Most of the mom and pop stores went under... but that is the nature of the beast.

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  • 3 weeks later...
Guest NeoSilky

I just found this on Kickstarter and immediately supported it. Shame you won't recieve it for another 3 months or so but the whole dual microcontroller setup (ATMEGA and PIC) means she can program the 44(!!) IO pins in either the Arduino or Amicus setups!

PICnDuino - Dual Microcontroller Development Platform by Stacy Dudley & Brad Slattery — Kickstarter

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I just found this on Kickstarter and immediately supported it. Shame you won't recieve it for another 3 months or so but the whole dual microcontroller setup (ATMEGA and PIC) means she can program the 44(!!) IO pins in either the Arduino or Amicus setups!

PICnDuino - Dual Microcontroller Development Platform by Stacy Dudley & Brad Slattery — Kickstarter

I already ordered it... well... dad gets one!

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In for 2 PICnDuino. :D

Congrats on the kid being interested! Mine is only 2 1/2 at the moment so still too early to tell :P

However he does game. http://imgur.com/4d5Vy Quite good! ;)

I have found something that would be fun for the younger and older alike on kickstarter.

Kind of like interactive legos.

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/atoms/atoms-express-toys?ref=thanks

Edited by combatwombat27
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  • 1 month later...

My father introduced me to computers when I was 3. By 7 I had started Pascal and my sister used to buy me little electronics kits so its very good to start young. Shouldnt you start her off on something simple like a basic electronics kit which teaches the basics.

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Little bits kit from adafruit.

http://adafruit.com/products/745

Good starting point for kids... less of the programming, if she finds this too easy jump to

Hummingbird is a bit pricy, but aimed at kids http://www.hummingbirdkit.com/

Another alternative is the raspberry pi http://www.adafruit.com/category/105

Adafruit has a good section on using the GPIO pins for different projects, theres scratch for introductory programming, and she'll be learning linux. Best of all this is relatively quite cheap

Special adafruit electonics distro for Pi: http://learn.adafruit.com/adafruit-raspberry-pi-educational-linux-distro

Tutorials: http://learn.adafruit.com/category/raspberry-pi

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