Best electronics sets for children

Best electronics sets for children
Learning how circuits work is an important part of Key Stage 2 science. Make the learning light up, buzz, ring and whizz up into the air with these brilliant electronics sets for children, designed to make exploring electricity creative and captivating. From sturdy sets suitable for small fingers to circuit-diagram projects, these sets offer a fantastic hands-on electrical education.

Snap Circuits Jr

from £30, Snap Circuits

A chunky kit that's built to last (and is easy for small fingers to manipulate), Snap Circuits comes with over 30 pieces; follow the step-by-step instructions to create 101 different electronic projects on working circuit boards. Simpler projects like a basic light operated by an on-off switch are followed by more challenging ones, like a musical doorbell, a voice-controlled lamp and a flying saucer. 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.

DIY Electro Dough Kit

£22.99, Technology Will Save Us

A great option for younger electronics engineers, the DIY Dough Kit comes with a conductive dough recipe and a buzzer, battery holder, LEDs, jumper wires, crocodile leads and tilt switches. You supply some AA batteries and then make myriad-shaped series circuits and parallel circuits light up. Will you make dinosaurs with glowing eyes? A car complete with car alarm? An electrical city? A fantastic kit to get kids experimenting.

Power Animals Flashing Cards

£15.43, 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.

Electronics Learning Circuits

£48.99, 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.

littleBits Hall of Fame Arcade Game Starter Kit

£39.99, littleBits

Help your child develop engineering and problem-solving skills with an interactive inventions electronics set. The littleBits Hall of Fame Arcade Game Starter Kit allows you to create a pinball machine or a catapult with just a small number of circuits. There's no soldering (or previous technical experience) required: the colour-coded modules snap together with tiny magnets. Expand the set with other littleBits pieces to invent something completely new!

'Cars & Boats' Electronics and Science Construction Kit

£27, Cambridge Brainbox

Apply KS2 electronics and circuits understanding to vehicles with this set from Cambridge BrainBox. The pieces included allow children to find out how to control the speed and direction of an electric motor, experiment with different types of switches, build a gear-driven car and construct a fan-propelled boat and propeller-driven boat.

Science Museum Potato Clock

£13.99, 4M

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.

Circuit Maze

£29.95, ThinkFun

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!

Circuit Scribe Maker Kit

(£87.95, Electroninks)

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. The workbook, included, explains how to use the switch, buzzer and light sensor and there are further project instructions online. With no soldering or wires to worry about, what might your child invent?

Electricity Workshop

(£18.30, Buki)

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.

ScienceWiz Cool Circuits Puzzle

(£28.95, ScienceWiz)

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!).

Tech Will Save Us Sew & Glow Kit

(£19.99, Technology Will Save Us)

Combine crafting and STEM activities by designing and building glowing badges, powered by electric thread, that light up with the touch of a button. Felt comes to life with circuits, flashing your wearable designs to make sure they capture everyone's attention!