Tiny Makers

If you've ever dropped Mentos in a bottle of Coke with kids or grown your own rock candy in a jar with string, you know how excited children get when doing science. For some of us, that fascination never goes away, which is why things like Maker Faire exist. If you want your children (or someone else's children) to grow into awesome nerds, one of the best things you can do is get them involved with projects at http://www.makershed.com.

Although it's true that many of the kits you can purchase are a bit too advanced for kindergartners, there are plenty that are perfect for any age. You can head over to http://www.makershed.com/collections/beginner to see a bunch of pre-selected projects designed for beginners of all ages. All it takes is a dancing brush-bot or a handful of LED throwies to make kids fall in love with making things.

(Image via http://www.makershed.com)

Even if you don't purchase the kits from Maker Shed, I urge you to inspire the youngsters in your life into creating awesome things. If you guide them, they'll be less likely to do the sorts of things I did in my youth, like make a stun gun from an automobile ignition coil and take it to school to show my friends. Trust me, principals are far more impressed with an Altoid-tin phone charger for show and tell than with a duct-tape-mounted taser gun.

You can buy pre-made kits at http://www.makershed.com or visit sites like http://instructables.com for homemade ideas you can make yourself. In fact, doing cool projects with kids is such an awesome thing to do, it gets this month's Editors' Choice award. Giving an idea the award might seem like an odd thing to do, but who doesn't love science projects? We sure do!

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Shawn Powers is a Linux Journal Associate Editor. You might find him on IRC, Twitter, or training IT pros at CBT Nuggets.