Best/most complete starter kit

I'm planning on buying my 15 year old son an ardunio UNO kit for Christmas this year. I'm looking at the various starter kits out there, and it's looking like the sparkfun kit - KIT-10173, i can't post a direct link - is the most complete kit for the $100 range I'm looking to spend. Are there better options than this kit that I should look at?

Well, if you can wait for delivery (because its in the UK), one of the best kits out there is one by Earthshine Electronics:

It costs £49.99 (~$80.71 USD).

At the very least, download the manual for the kit, which is one of the best beginner books out there for the Arduino:

...and the code:


I was going to recommend the ladyada starter kit, but the earthshine one looks better, a lot more to work with. Get him a 180 degree servo with the left over money.

I bought this supplementary pile of parts, to see how good it is as a stand-alone set (I’ve already got lots of other components from years past). I think it’s worth recommending, even if the lack of documentation in some cases means there’s an element of mystery regarding some of the items (eg, stepper motor). Took an absolute age to arrive from China, but when it did, it was extremely well packed. Or at least, extremely compactly and tightly packed.

It’s on ebay listed as “ Arduino DIY Starter Kit lcd Relay Stepper Infrared 1602”, an example right now is Item number: 120639924127.

Thanks for the help, I ordered the earthshine kit. We have a bunch of misc servos and such around here from various RC car and plane projects, I’m looking forward to seeing what he does with it.

Thought I'd follow this up. Ordered the Earthshine kit on November 20, according to their website it was shipped November 23. Hasn't shown up yet; the one email they actually replied to (of the three or four I sent) just told me what I already knew, that it shipped on 11/23. Very frustrating.

Finally showed up, on 12/29. The kid is loving it. :)

I’m examining a copy of Michael McRobert’s new book, “Beginning Arduino” and it is darn good. It’s an expansion on the downloadable manual that he wrote for the Earthshine starter kit you bought. He includes a lot of theory, but he weaves it in perfectly so that if you feel like you understand the circuit and the code you can just glance over it, but if you are stuck and confused you can back up and easily fill in the theory until you “get it”.

I got the oomlout starter kit (which I think is what sparkfun sell), which was really good.