As the holidays are a time for getting off the computer and connecting with friends and family, what better way to do so than to give a gift that can not only bring people together around a DIY project but deepen and inform their relationship with various other technologies. Our offline gadgets do just that, breaking up the monotony of everyday life in a way that’s educational and edifying. Kids of all ages can learn how to build a paper puppy or a circuit board.
Technology Will Save Us is a UK-based company that sells all the necessary parts – packaged as kits – and programming instructions with the Arduino platform to teach people how to create their own little devices and handheld games. Get your friends in on the Arduino craze and help them learn a new skill. Bare Conductive’s cute little electric paint pen also makes it easier to attach components to projects in a familiar way.
Other kits take on more complex items – like digital cameras. The Big Shot Camera, like Lomo’s Konstruktor but slightly more modern, allows kids and adults to make their own digital camera, complete with screen. These robotic Cubelets are simple enough to just play around with – your recipient can attach them in different configurations to make their robot spin, move around and respond to light and sound.