10 cool maker kits we’re playing with this summer

The Sugru community has always held geeky tendencies, sharing all the creative ways they fix, hack and improve the gadgets they love. We believe that technology is smart, but when it comes to kids and tech, there’s no smarter group. Here are some playful and educational maker kits and other stuff we think are worth exploring. Have fun while you make and learn.

1. Touch Board Starter Kit💡

Bare Conductive produces a suite of printed electronics products that enable individuals and companies to integrate electronics directly into the environment. The Touch Board Starter Kit has everything you need to get started and turn any surface, object or space into a sensor. Whether you’re an absolute beginner, or a programming pro, this kit will let you start making interactive projects in no time.

2. Rule Your Room Kit 🥇

littleBits is the New York-based education start-up, founded by Ayah Bdeir, that designs products to inspire the next generation of inventors. Their mission is to empower kids with technology – whatever their gender, race, nationality, and ability.

The Rule Your Room Kit is all about giving kids agency over their space, and to have fun while doing it. They get to create touch-activated inventions to control all their stuff while learning engineering skills. Be warned – prank alert! 

3. Kids At Work 💼

Conscious Craft knows that children instinctively live in their imaginations. The company’s mission is to source the best and safest natural toys and craft materials for kids. They offer books, eco pens, Natural Earth paints, seedling kits, sewing kits, craft kits, wood kits. We especially love their Kids At Work range by Corvus. Genuine workshop tools made for little hands. Inspiring.

4. Raspberry Pi 🥧

The Raspberry Pi Foundation is a UK-based charity that makes computing and digital making available to people everywhere. They offer totally affordable, mighty powerful, tiny, dual-display desktop computers. Get one of these, and the digital world is your oyster.

The get started with your Raspberry Pi page is packed with really useful help guides and tutorials for kids, grown-up kids, and teachers.

5. 4-H Circuit Playground Express – Base Kit 🖲

Adafruit is an open-source hardware company that designs, makes and sells all kinds of electronics products, electronics components, tools, and accessories. It was founded in 2005 by MIT hacker and engineer Limor "Ladyada" Fried. Her goal was to create the best place online for learning electronics and making the brilliantly designed products for makers of all ages and skill levels.

The 4-H Circuit Playground Express – Base Kit takes the best of the original Circuit Playground Express (the next step towards a perfect introduction to electronics and programming) to make it even better. Perfect for beginners and experts alike, it’s packed with everything you need to get started and is easy to program.

6. micro:bit 💡

Designed specifically for kids and beginners, the micro:bit is a pocket-sized computer that you can code, customise, and control to bring all your digital ideas, games, and apps to life.

7. Python for Kids – A Playful Introduction to Programming 0️⃣1️⃣1️⃣0️⃣...

Python is a powerful, expressive programming language that’s easy to learn and fun to use. But books about learning to program in Python can be kind of dull and a bit boring. That’s no fun for anyone. This book is the complete opposite, and it features original artwork by Miran Lipovača.

8. Paper Engineering 📄

Rob Ives was born in Harrogate in the UK. He spent 10 years as a teacher before he began designing models made from cardboard. A book publisher spotted his work at a mathematics conference. Since then he’s been a full-time writer and paper animation designer. Rob is a great advocate of paper engineering and design technology. His site is a treasure trove of amazing stuff including models, kits, books, and guides on mechanisms, laser cutting, photography, and movable paper projects you can download and make.

9. Classic Miffy Amigurumi Crochet Kit 🐰

Stitch & Story believe in the power to create, personalise and achieve something meaningful by bringing out the artisan in everyone. Like us, they believe we’re all naturally creative when given the right tools and inspiration.

For the Classic Miffy Amigurumi Crochet Kit, they teamed up with iconic global brand Miffy, Dick Bruna’s classic children's character, to create exclusive knitting and crochet kits using their superfine and chunky merino yarns. Adorable

10. Build your own tech 💪

Think of this project as a plug-and-play gateway to building your own Internet of Things (IoT) device. It’s a bit advanced, but challenge yourself. The whole point of IoT is to break down barriers, connect devices to each other and make this kind of creative technology accessible to all. You could use the camera to watch your kids, the dog, goldfish… whatever you're into! 

You'll be experimenting with burgeoning IoT technology, while you upcycle some old tech and also get to experiment with some basic code. 

All you need is a Raspberry Pi™ (4. see above) + an old webcam + a Joby™ tripod + a nut* + some Sugru. Then download the customised Open Source Code we’ve built here.

Hey presto! Now you have your very own IoT security camera that will run in your browser, over the WI-FI, on any smartphone or desktop computer.

So there you have it - 10 awesome ideas, kits and activities for you to challenge your kids with this summer. Have fun!

Oh and if you need to top up your Sugru supply, pop on over to the shop :)