Any good ideas for simple electronic projects for kids to teach them how to solder?

When I was little I learned how to solder by building a heathkit. Sadly, they are no more. So what would be a good project for kids to build? I repaired an LED 'sword' for my 10 year old daughter this evening and she asked if I would teach her to solder. Of course! I would be so proud. But I need some good ideas for projects.

sort by: active | newest | oldest
DaNerd118 years ago
Also, once your kid finishes the series circuit, try getting 3 LEDS, 3 switches, and a battery. Then have them solder a parallel circuit, it would be a little harder but it would be a good challenge. Also, make sure they develop good soldering habits in the beggining. Using flux, holding the iron right, safety. Stuff like that.
Wyle_E DaNerd118 years ago
For most electronic work, you use flux-cored wire solder. The only time you might need extra flux is for building shielding enclosures out of sheet copper or joining really heavy wire, like 4-gauge battery cable.
The extra flux helps when you are trying to reflow a solder joint. Less likely to lift a pad or burn a board if you use flux before desoldering also. Essentially the flux serves 2 purposes: 1. To clean the solder joint (as the flux burns it preps the joint to flow better) 2. To even out the heat spread (flows into the gaps and helps to preheat before the solder fills the hole)
Also, NEVER NEVER NEVER use acid core on ANYTHING electronic. Acid core is only for plumbing.
acid core might bloke stuff! ;)
DaNerd11 Wyle_E8 years ago
wow.... in that case..... i have been wasting a lot of flux.... lol does rosin core solder have flux in it?
Wyle_E DaNerd118 years ago
Yes, the rosin is a flux. The other kind of flux-cored solder has an acid flux, which is only useful in applications where you can wash off the corrosive flux residue. Rosin flux isn't corrosive, so it's harmless. The other thing to watch for is the tin/lead ratio. 63/37 is the "eutectic" mixture; it has the lowest melting point and no plastic range (it melts suddenly and freezes suddenly, with no mushy phase). 60/40, with a little less tin and a lower price, is usually a good enough approximation, and is the most common electronic solder.
DaNerd11 Wyle_E8 years ago
thanks
I've never used flux. I though that was only for priming copper pipes... Another good project is using a reed switch to activate something. Look up the Quick and Dirty Reed Switch on instructables, if you cant find one in The Shack. If you didn't know, a reed switch is a switch activated by a magnet. Also, play with some PCB's, that might be a good learing expierience. -RoAr
Does your solder smoke when melted? If so, then it already has flux in it.
Actully, I use Rosin core solder. Would that have flux? -RoAr
Yes.
lorogan2 years ago

I built a iPod USB charger... It works pretty well, so why don't you give it a shot :-)

dsandds20037 years ago
Well their are a few kit places left, but they are few and far between. Ramsey electronics has some kits available. You may also want to look at Nuts-n-Volts magazine web site as they will have a few advertisers in their that have kits available.
 It was nice to have the kits to put together .

Dave
first learn her about some basic of electronics mean about the circuit which will to be soldered,then learn her how to clen surface of pcb where you have to solder.
raykholo8 years ago
soldering is important, but all it really is is an electrical and/or mechanical bond ( in some cases) if u want this work to mean something, i would recommend that u breadboard some projects 1st, move some stuff around, show how each component works and the job it performs. Then, solder it together for her to have a good memory of electronics stuff and what its possible to do LEDS: we all love them, hopefully, and yeah they are a great place to start im 14 now, i taught myself all this stuff right around the time i was ur daughter's age and i will guarantee that this will work - good luck
c_typing8 years ago
NO idea, ~~
ve2vfd8 years ago
We had the cub scouts build their own "flashlight" out of a 3 AA cell holder, 1 momentary switch and an oversized white LED... They had to solder the components together in the right order, and then use a hot glue gun to mount the LED and switch to the battery pack. The kids did all the work themselves, and loved the project (which they brought home and played with until the batteries died).
PKTraceur8 years ago
Something very simple would be a switch-circuit. Saying as in series, solder a LED, to a battery pack, to a momentary switch back to the LED. Just three soldering points, however you might want to add more LEDs in Parallel. Make a small flashlight! Otherwise, buy a simple starter kit. -RoAr
Don't forget the resistor! it adds an extra solder point but also adds some knowledge along with it. Its amazing how many Instructables don't use resistors with LEDs when they really should be. Heres a kit from the Maker Shed, but you might as well make a small LED flashlight or something she can use and show people that she made.
SteveDonie (author)  Cartermarquis8 years ago
Thanks for the link to the Maker Shed!
Hey, It be nice to have a big blue banner at the bottom of the post above this one. (What?) A hint: Press the big blue button marked as "Select As Best Answer!" -RoAr
LEDs, LEDs, LEDs....The kids will learn a lot and have instant gratification.
awang88 years ago
I recommend you just start by buying a couple of LEDs, wires, battery holders and switches and teach her how to build a torch. Make it something bizarre (eg. Altoids Tin Torch) so she can show it off.