Best electronics sets for children
£29.99, Snap Circuits
A chunky kit that's built to last (and is easy for small fingers to manipulate), this includes 14 parts to allow your child to build more than 20 projects to learn the basics of how switches and circuits work. Created just for younger "engineers", the manual has very few words and lots of step-by-step diagrams and the parts have extra safety features integrated for safety. Your child will be working with integrated and digital circuits and fuses, but the sturdy pieces are easy to fit together, even for KS1 kids.
£15, Rapid Education
No more straight, predictable circuits... with Electric Paint you can paint 'wires' on different surfaces and connect low-voltage devices. Start the creative electronics revolution by creating light-up Circuit Cards. Everything you need to connect your circuit is included in the set.
£55, Thames & Kosmos
A great next-step electronics set, perfect for KS2 learners who are working on circuits at school. The colourful, shaped snap-together blocks in the ElectronX building system make following the assembly diagrams to construct functional circuits easy. Circuit symbols are printed directly onto the blocks to help children become familiar with them and learn how to read circuit diagrams by putting them together and testing their knowledge.
Did you know that potatoes can generate electrical power? Introduce children as young as 4 to electrical principles and alternative energy with the potato clock – high voltage, inspirational fun! The kit comes with all the wires, transparent tape, copper and zinc strips you'll need; just add a couple of tatties to start the clock.
Turn electronics into a game with this brilliant challenge set. Your goal is to set up a real electrical circuit that lights up specific beacons, and there are 60 challenges to complete, from basic to very tricky. By the time you're solving the expert-level puzzles you'll have understood exactly how a circuit works, the hands-on way!
(£13.99, Cool Components)
Circuit Scribe makes creating your own circuits as simple as doodling: use the conductive ink pen to draw on any paper, then attach the electrical component modules and a 9V battery to allow an electrical current to run through the circuit. With no soldering or wires to worry about, what might your child invent with this affordable mini kit?
Answer electricity questions with some hands-on experimentation and find out the difference between a series circuit and a parallel circuit, why a saline solution is a conductor, how a motor and an alarm work, what turns a light bulb turn on and how you make a siren. Recommended for ages 8+, with no soldering required.
An electronics-themed puzzle set with a light-up game board, suitable for all ages (and some of the puzzles are so tricky that adults will be hard-pressed to solve them). Master each challenge by completing the circuit to light up the board; there are 40 puzzles of increasing difficulty, from beginner to practically impossible (thankfully the solutions are provided!).