One of the joys of having kids is seeing them learn something new. A young mind gaining new knowledge because of something you taught them is a wonderful experience. It’s also great that as parents we can introduce our kids to STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) subjects. Below I describe a few technology projects for kids that are educational and fun.
Technology Projects for Kids
Fruit Stand Circuits
Starting off we have Fruit Stand Circuits designed to teach kids about circuitry.
Kids will get to work on various projects, such as the lemon project and fruit clock. With the lemon project kids will connect a series of nodes and clips to get an LED light to illuminate. This helps kids learn about electrons and electricity in a hands-on, and safe, manner. With the fruit clock you simply put the clock in any fruit you like and watch it run.
Not only is this a fun at-home project that doesn’t require too many tools, it might also make kids enjoy fruit! That’s a double win for many parents.
Depending on where you live in the world QR codes may or may not be a big thing. I tend to see these used more in Asia, though due to COVID and the preference for contactless payments I’m seeing more here in the USA. Regardless, QR codes are a fun way to introduce your child to the power of these scannable codes. With many use cases ranging from sharing information, to contact details, and making payment the QR code has many uses. The best part is the education is free!
The first part of your education plan is learning about this history of QR codes. I suggest the history provided on QRcode.com. The guide isn’t too long or overly complex, though younger readers may require some assistance. Once your children have some background on QR codes they can learn to make their own. QR Stuff provides free resources to create your own codes with multiple data types.
Some fun projects could be creating and printing codes to send a secret messages to family members. My wife did this one year for my birthday. She printed messages on various QR codes and left them around the house. It was a tech-themed scavenger hunt for me to find all the codes. Fun and nerdy!
Create a Movie
Think you have to be George Lucas to make an awesome movie? Think again. With those convenient little computers in our pockets (phones) we can shoot videos anywhere we go. Find an activity that your children enjoy and turn it into a movie. It could be them playing a game or hosting a reality show with stuffed animals. It can be anything you and your kids find fun. Shoot on your smartphone and use any number of editing apps to create your own masterpiece.
Some editing apps to consider include:
Your kids will gain confidence and have a blast with this project. They will also learn about video editing and how to include sound. While they likely won’t create the next Star Wars at such a young age, they will gain an appreciation for what they see on the big screen.
Build a Website
Building a website provides freedom and a chance to explore the limitless possibilities of building on the web. Children can start a blog, create an informative website, or even sell services such as local lawn service, for example. The process of thinking through site design and actually building will encourage critical thinking and a careful contemplation of how decisions impact the end user.
Being told how something works is one thing. Actually pulling back the curtain and doing something yourself is completely different. This is where the true learning will occur. Websites and apps power our daily lives so it’s important for children to know how they work. Build a site also provides an opportunity for you, the parent, to teach and reinforce cyber security best practices. It’s also an opportunity to encourage your kids to explore a career in technology.
This project is for older children and teenagers. Youngsters can still have fun, but they will need some parental assistance.
Develop New Skills
Technology in general, and games in particular, have made teaching and learning more exciting. From teaching your kids how to type to learning financial basics, technology projects can help kids learn about the real world.
Identify some skills that you’d like your child to develop or that they have expressed an interest in developing. Find a resource that can help with that skill and get to work! Lessons can then be reinforced in real life. For example, children playing Animal Crossing: New Horizons on Nintendo Switch will pick up some financial basics. Next time you’re at the grocery store include your child in the shopping. Compare unit prices, hunt for bargains, and teach them the real world value of a dollar. When you compare this to something the child knows, the game experience, it’s easier to relate and understand.
This activity mixes some history, geography, and culture and is extremely fun! We might not be able to jump on planes right now to take vacations. That doesn’t mean your kids can’t experience other parts of the world.
Start by picking a location in the world that is interesting. Anywhere you like! Parents and teachers can try Google Expeditions for access to 800+ adventures in AR/VR. Something as simple as Google Maps can also be used to explore the world.
With technology your kids can travel without ever leaving the comfort of the couch. You can then bring those virtual adventures into the home by working on art projects that reflect the local art or making an authentic meal. It’s a great way to take a lesson and expand it into an action packed day that your kid will remember and learn from.
Numerous technology projects for kids exist that will help to teach fundamentals of electricity, motion, develop new skills, and explore the world. With a little creativity you can use tech to your own advantage and learn about whatever interests you. It’s also a blast to take learning offline and bring what you’ve learned to life. If you child just strolled through a park with dinosaurs via an AR app, for example, it might be time to consider a visit to the local museum if they have a dino exhibit.
Reach out to us in the comments section if you have other existing technology projects that your kids enjoy.