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In my experience, kids love to play with electronics, but actual breadboards are a bit too delicate for them (they spend more time trying to bend little resistors and LEDs than trying to understand the electronics). They have the added disadvantage of not being transparent.
This would be a huge (2ft
by 3 ft) board laid out like a breadboard except with the conductors exposed with magnets underneath. The components would be larger-than-life versions of themselves (1-2 inches long) with flexible legs that stick to the magnetic substrate of the breadboard and make electrical contact. They might also have the component symbols and values on them (100K resistor, etc.).
This way, the kids can see the circuit they create without anything being "hidden' from them and learn electrronics in the process.
If this is baked, I'd love to get my hands on one!
dissatisfying webpage [bungston, Sep 24 2010]
Not shaped like a breadboard [subatomicsushi, Sep 25 2010]
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||Why don't you make one? Good parents make giant breadboards for their kids.
||There are plenty of circuitry-learning kits but nothing exactly like this that I know of.
||Heathkit made these. I cannot find a picture on the web like the one we had. The breadboard had a leglolike structure and the components were housed in red plastic block. I see something similar advertised on an extremely pathetic webpage (linked): no pictures, no price - bleh.
||I've used the Radio Shack kit, but what I want is an almost caricaturized version of a real breadboard with visible conductors -- and with components large enough to be handled by a 3 year old (who is VERY interested in handling them whether they are suitable for her size and dexterity level or not)
||Disappointed. I was hoping for something
compressed and dried, which would make a good
conversation starter at parties.
||"So, is this one of your children or has she been
handed down in your family like your lovely Port
||Yes, Heathkit. [bigsleep] is remembering an earlier version,
without plastic blocks, where the capacitors were really
capacitors, the resistors resistors, and so on. Gosh
it was wonderful.
||Of course, when I was young we had it easy. In my *parent's*
day, not only did they walk to school uphill both ways, they
built cat's - whisker sets using a safety pin and an old razor
||Snap Circuits have the kid-friendly electronics thing, but no breadboard-esque organization. [link]