The Arduino Starter Kit gives your kids everything they need to learn the basics of electronics, coding and programming, and get their feet wet. The kit has all the components they need to create more than a dozen projects. Each of these projects has detailed tutorials in the Project Book.
But first, what is Arduino?
Arduino is a platform that is made up of two parts: the software and the hardware. You can build circuits from the company’s kits, and these circuits allow you to create projects that range from simple to somewhat complex. You can build anything from a circuit that turns on a light with a flick of a switch to something that posts a status messages on your Facebook account when somebody opens a secret box you have at home. Computers do a good job at communicating with us and other computers, but Arduino takes it a step further by having sensors that can tell them what’s happening all around them.
In short, Arduino is a computer that sees, hears, and senses things. The good news is that Arduino is very affordable and you can easily program it to do what you want.
The Starter Kit includes:
- 170-page Projects Book
- 1 Arduino / Genuino Uno
- 1 breadboard 400 points
- 1 USB cable
- 1 Easy-to-assemble wooden base
- 31 LED lights of different colors including bright white, red, green, yellow, blue, and RGB.
- 2 stranded jumper wires (red and black)
- 70 solid core jumper wires
- 1 Temperature sensor [TMP36]65 resistors of different resistance, ranging from 220 Ohms to 10 MOhms.
- 1 Tilt sensor
- 1 9v battery snap
- 6 Phototransistor
- 3 Potentiometer 10kOhms
- 10 push buttons
- 1 alphanumeric 16×2 characters LCD screen
- 1 Small DC motor
- 1 Small servo motor
- 1 Piezo PKM17EPP-4001-B0 capsule
- 1 L293D H-bridge motor driver
- 1 4N35 Optocouplers
- 2 Mosfet IRF520 transistors
- 5 Capacitors 100uF
- 5 Diodes [1N4007]
- 3 Transparent gels in red, green, or blue
- 1 40 x 1 male pins strip
The Arduino Starter Kit comes with a Project Book that contains all the necessary instructions you need to create 15 different projects. The first project introduces you to the basics of each part and tool. Then from there, it gets more interesting with projects that allow you to design a spaceship’s control panel, a Love-o-meter, a color mixing lamp, a mood cue, a musical instrument that you can play just by waving your hands, and a keyboard, among others. Other projects include:
- A digital hourglass that lights up
- A motorized pinwheel
- A zoetrope
- A crystal ball that answers your queries
- A lock that you can unlock by tapping a secret code
- A lamp that responds to your touch
- A project that allows you to control your desktop or laptop computer using your Arduino
- Hacking buttons that can control different devices
The Project Book comes in different languages, including English, Chinese, Italian, French, Spanish, German, Japanese, and Korean.
What you would like about the Arduino Starter Kit
The Arduino Starter Kit is made for beginners to understand basic robotics and, true enough, the instruction book is very easy for them to follow. The projects are also interesting, and they encourage kids to learn. The good thing about the Arduino Starter Kit is that it is modular and each part may be used and combined with other parts to create your own project. You can also extend your starter kit by buying other kits or components. The instruction guide is also available in different languages, allowing your kids to learn using the language that they are most comfortable with.
What’s more, the projects tend to progress in difficulty. Projects that are easier to do are placed first, allowing the kids to learn about the functions of each part first, then about how to assemble these parts. The projects become more challenging as the kids go further along. But no matter what project you are doing, there is no soldering required. This makes it perfect even for young kids to do.
Additionally, Arduino has the Arduino IDE available on their site, helping you see the code for each of the projects included in the kit. If you want to tweak the code for your projects, then you can do it here. For those kids that have a problem following written instructions, they can watch YouTube video tutorials, too.
You can also rely on Arduino’s online community. If you need help with coding, or if you are looking for project ideas, then do check out the forums.
What could be better
The Arduino Starter Kit can be expensive for some people. What’s more, the Arduino Starter Kit does not come with a plastic case that would have made it more convenient to organize and to ensure that the small parts are properly kept and stored.
Before you buy…
Kuman for Arduino Project Complete Starter Kit costs less than a third of the price of the official starter kit and gives you 23 projects. The kit has 44 components and is meant for beginners.
You can also get the Elegoo EL-KIT-008 Mega 2560 Project, which bills itself as the most complete starter kit. The Elegoo starter kit has more than 200 parts that you can use to make more than 35 projects, which are included in the PDF tutorial. The Elegoo has more sensors than any starter kit available and boasts of durable and sturdy components. This kit might not be for total beginners, though. But if you are looking for a challenge, this is the one for you.
Rex Qualis UNO Project Super Starter Kit for Arduino has everything you need to create 25 projects. Users can complete different projects with video tutorials, along with the CD and other documents. All parts are packed individually and are properly labeled, too, making it easier to identify and organize. The kit includes a remote, a joystick module, and three different kinds of a motor. However, you might get overwhelmed by the instruction manual, which some users admittedly find confusing.
SunFounder Project Super Starter Kit is one of the most affordable Arduino starter kits available right now. For its price, you get all the components you need to create 19 different projects. It also comes with a stylish plastic case and free technical support that you can rely on just in case you get stuck on something that the 73-page instruction book cannot explain.
Bonus: If you want to add more sensors to your Arduino kits, check out the VKmaker T30 45-in-1 Sensors Modules Starter Kit, which focuses on sensor programming. It comes in a plastic case with close to four dozen different sensors, including some pretty advanced modules. Warning: beginners might find this a bit too difficult.
|Name||Price||Projects included||Parts included||Project book||Other instructions||Plastic case|
|Arduino Official Starter Kit||(Check the prices here)||15||216||Yes||Yes||No|
|Kuman for Arduino Project Complete Starter Kit||(Check the prices here)||23||81||No||PDF, CD||Yes|
|Elegoo EL-KIT-008 Mega 2560 Project||(Check the prices here)||35+||240||No||Yes|
|Rex Qualis UNO Project Super Starter Kit for Arduino||(Click here to check the price)||25||207||No||CD, PDF, Videos||Yes|
|SunFounder Project Super Starter Kit||(Check the prices here)||19||208||Yes||PDF, Video, Tech support||No|
Final Say about the Arduino Starter Kit
The Arduino platform is the best way to get your kids interested in electronics and coding. With easy-to-follow instructions all laid down in a nifty project book, your child (and even you, yourself) will have a lot of fun completing the 15 projects. You can easily add more Arduino components to build better or more complex circuits.
If you think that spending a fair amount for the starter kit a bit too much, or if you just want to try something more affordable because you are not sure if your kid is ready for coding or electronics in the first place, then there are five other starter kits that you can consider, all of which are more budget-friendly than the official starter kit.
Further read, Elegoo vs Arduino: Which Will Your Kids Love Most?