First circuit blocks created

Clara has always enjoyed playing with electronic components and breadboards. But putting them together to make an actual circuit is still a bit tough for her at 3, even with lots of coaching - getting the leads into exactly the right hole takes a bit more fine motor coordination than she’s got. So, I was inspired by an article in MAKE magazine* to make her some chunky blocks with screw-eye terminals that she can wire together using alligator clip leads. We’ll see how it goes!

I made just the basics to start: a battery pack and two LEDs. She likes them (especially since she worked the drill press to drill one of the pilot holes, and sat on my lap for the soldering), but we’ll see if she plays with them. If so, the next blocks will probably be switches, a motor, and maybe a buzzer.

More photos are in the gallery.

*I think - can’t find it in their search engine. Anybody remember?


How they worked out

Some observations, now that the daughter is three years older and has graduated to Snap Circuits:

  • She actually had a hard time initially with the alligator clip leads.
  • She did enjoy putting together circuits with the LEDs.
  • The blocks were not hard to make, but I didn’t end up making more.
  • Some of the connections weren’t so great, resulting in a bit of frustration later on.

So… maybe I should have just gone with Snap Circuits first thing. She probably could have done the snaps at age 3.