It’s been a weird year for hardware: the biggest, most news-worthy launches haven’t come out of Cupertino or Tokyo but out of small Kickstarter campaigns that have, in the end, raised millions of dollars. Makers, in other words, are finally getting their due.
In this short Gift Guide episode of Makers I talk about a few of the cool toys that have crossed my transom over the past few months including an Arudino starter kit from Make Magazine and the Raspberry Pi.
If you’d like to hack with the kids, I’d recommend picking up something like Super Scratch Programming or Getting Started With Arduino, two beginning programming/hardware books for kids and the adults who love them. Then there’s always Minecraft, a sneaky way to teach kids about architecture, programming, and servers.
Lastly, I’m a huge fan of Solder: Time. I like the original kit – it’s a bit more analog (although it isn’t, really) and it’s a great way to teach kids about soldering and electronics. I was able to put it together in a few hours with my son and he had “98% fun,” which is a pretty big amount of fun for him.