Because building smarter, curious children will make more compassionate understanding adults.
In case you were wondering why this blog even exists.
A Qurious Corner
Make space in your home to do the experiments. Any corner is fine. Often times the balconey will offer you that space. If not the balconey, it could be a portion of the garage. Whereever that may be, making space at home is the first step to being curious about things.
Once you have identified the space, what are the things you need to place in there?
This is your workbench. Make sure it is as big as you can make it, because you will need the space when you’re doing those experiments. A second table for organizing things can be very helpful too.
You will need some basic tools. Some are more frequently used than the others. You don’t need to buy them all at one go - as you complete one experiment and move on to the next, you will slowly build up your collection of tools.
- Multimeter, this is indispensable, and you will frequently use it to test the circuit.
- Wires, just get an assortment of wires that are handy to get them electrons flowing around. Electrons at rest are boring.
- Batteries, they will supply the power to your circuit. You’ll need to have battery holders for 1.5V, 3V, 6V, and all the way upto 9V.
- LEDs, mostly to test the circuit again, but there will be other uses.
- Wire stripper, cut and strip wires like a pro. Give a rest to your teeth.
- Scissors, cutting stuff.
- Set of screwdrivers, screwing stuff.
- Glue gun, hot glue to stick stuff together.
- Aluminum Tape, the adhesive kind. To make the connection, and stick things down. How convinient is that!
- Breadboard, and some jumper wires, to test your circuit.
- Soldering machine, when you want to make a circuit permanent
The rest of the world
- Electric Drill, drilling through metal and wood.
- Motorized saw, for making wood cuts.
Most the stuff will last for years and years if you maintain them well, so it’s well worth the investment into your child’s future learning.
Make sure you have the following things in your toolbox so you can really enjoy making the things you need to in order to conduct your experiments. If you take care of them, most will last a really long long time, so the investment is worth it. Here’s a list of things, with the links to buy most of them on Amazon. How convenient is that?
A wirestripper, because you will be tired of using your mouth or nails to remove the plastic covering the wire.
A screw driver kit, multiple heads.
A utility knife, for often times you will find yourself slicing things like perfboards.
A starter kit with all the basic electronics-y things out of the box, but strictly speaking, it’s not needed – a simple breadboard and some wires might be enough. Just begin buying the parts needed for the experiments you want to do and soon enough you’ll build your own kit. But do make sure you buy a box to keep all the electronics parts in separate compartments. Neat is good.
A glue gun, because it make gluing everything very non-messy, and it looks ultra-cool. Remember to get some glue sticks too.
A wire cutter, to nip those wires into place.
A soldering iron, a basic 30 watt should be more than sufficient for all the experiments you will find here. Also get some solder flux, and sponges to clean the tips. A small exhaust fan is not mandatory, but recommended. Don’t know how to solder? Have a go with this soldering primer.
A third hand, which has a lens and place to keep a hot soldering iron is super handy. Those alligator clips are your “third hand”. Try soldering once without it, to understand why a third hand helps…
A raspberry pi, you want the open to sky version – not something boxed in and looking cute.
A multimeter, because your circuit will never work right away, and you will need to bring out the multimeter to find out what’s gone wrong. This is the one piece of equipment you will use the most, so spend some money on this – it will be worth it. Fluke makes some really good multimeters, and the entry level version is just fine for us.
Finally, a table to sit and make the experiments. Make sure it’s big enough so you can work comfortably, and in a quiet enough area so you can think about what you’re doing.
That’s the broad list of things. Again, you don’t need everything right away, but as you create an experiment or three, you will see your “toolbox” take shape. Take care of it well, and it will give you hours and hours of “tinkering” happiness.