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Topic: Building with My Own Children (Read 7 times) previous topic - next topic

MmeZeeZee

HI everyone. Thanks for being here for newbs like me. I am the mother of two small kids who are obsessed with, among other things, robots, cars, and computers. They also like dollies.

When I was seven I was given a little computer you could program using text. I think that enabled me to use computers much more fluently later on in life. That said, I haven't learned a computer language since CSS, and I only learned very basic DOS as a child then left it. :smiley-red:

I would like to take my two small children (one can read, five, the other knows letters, three) through a very, very simple project with Arduino so they can build something. Obviously I'd be doing much of the work, but I want them to see the code, how computers "think".

Other than a list of the simplest projects, can anyone recommend a tutorial for me to use with the kids? The children speak German though I don't, if there is anything geared at them.

I figure, if they can learn to read German they can surely learn a programming language. Thanks in advance for any and all of your tips.

Coding Badly

#1
Jul 20, 2012, 10:34 am Last Edit: Jul 20, 2012, 10:36 am by Coding Badly Reason: 1

http://www.ladyada.net/learn/arduino/

For children that age you can't go wrong with (big) pushbuttons, blinky things (LEDs), and things that move (servos).

MmeZeeZee


MichaelMeissner

#3
Jul 20, 2012, 07:08 pm Last Edit: Jul 20, 2012, 08:18 pm by MichaelMeissner Reason: 1
I must say, go for it, it should be fun for both parent and kids (as long as you have the kids do stuff they can do).  The only thing to watch out for is not to fall into the stage mother/sports father type trap, where you insist on kids doing things your way, and you expect the kids to live out your dreams.  Enjoy the years, they can be fun, though of course frustrating at times.

However, given the age of the kids, it might be better with something simplified like snapcircuits or something similar (http://www.snapcircuits.net/).  Now, my general objection to these types of kits is like the current lego sets, where pretty much there isn't much you can do other than the things that are in the instruction manual, sort of like paint by numbers.  However, you want to get the kids interested first, and just making blinky lights on their own is rewarding.  Later, they can advance to the more creative side where they create things out of whole cloth, instead of building a particular kit.

There was a kickstarter project recently, that just closed, that attempted to make it easier to program microcontrollers.  You might check them out (http://www.modk.it/).

Another thing that might be helpful is using the concept of electronic bricks, that has a bunch of different sensors, lights, etc. that all use 4 or 3 wire connectors, and makes it easy to attach/remove different things.  The sensor shields (V4 and V5) have similar controls, where you can just plug in a thing that takes ground, vcc, and signal connections.

Coding Badly


I forgot one thing from the list: noisy things (piezoelectric buzzer).

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