As I write the beginning of this post I've just shared the first episode of AdaFruit's Circuit Playground with my 6 year old and 4.5 year old boys.
The Circuit Playground series teaches young kids about electronics. Awesome. Just what we need. It's a free to watch series on YouTube, each episode is a few minutes long and explains electronics concepts to kids.
Circuit Playground is part animation and part live action with puppets. It features the wonderful Ladyada herself.
Here's episode 1:
4 Year Old: "Are there any more of these?"
6 Year Old: "Now I know electrons are tiny things that move around and make electricity - it's called current."
And I thought it was excellent. It showed realistic cartoon components, which my kids recognise as their Dad usually has a collection around for his various projects. And it wasn't dumbed down, just explained in clear and simple terms.
At some point soon I'll be getting the kids a children's electronics set. I think watching this series first will give them a good grounding (ahem) in the concepts so they'll have a better chance of understanding what is going on when they play with a key, rather than just blindly following instructions until it works.
Circuit Playground should be required viewing in every primary/elementary school. At under 4 minutes an episode they are easy to fit in.
We're looking forward to the rest of the series.