raspberry projects for kids

Raspberry Pi : 20 projects for your kids

The Raspberry Pi is a fabulous way to keep kids busy, and I’ll give you 20 ideas for that

Can you create projects with your child on Raspberry Pi?
Definitely yes! Whether for satisfying his passion, teaching him computer skills, learning to build things with his own hands, learning how to code or just for fun, the Raspberry Pi is a perfect tool for your child. It will depend on his age, but at each age, it is possible to do exciting projects

I will give you 20 ideas that you can test, but the possibilities of projects with your child and a Raspberry Pi are endless

Learn

How a computer works

Even if your child is very interested in computers, there is little chance that he has already disassembled a computer
A Raspberry Pi is a computer to mount itself, so even for a classic installation he will learn a lot about the computers in general, their components, peripherals and their connections

If you take the time to explain to him, what does each part look like and how is it connected to the rest of the hardware and network, how it works, …
He will be a step ahead of other children in basic computer science (and a lot of adults)

Operating systems

The Raspberry Pi works with an SD card as a hard disk, so it is easy and inexpensive to have several SD cards and install multiple operating systems if needed
If your child uses various distributions:
– Raspbian for projects (default)
– music or games oriented distribution
– another graphic oriented interface for children

It will start learning what an operating system is and that there are other things that Windows and Mac OS in the world
Few adults know what an operating system is, the projects you’ll do with him on Raspberry Pi will teach him that too.

Learn Electronics

When we talk about Raspberry Pi, we are talking about electronics
You can add extensions to the Raspberry Pi, which can be an opportunity to teach him how electronics work

You can connect an LED, a temperature sensor or many other things
Take the time to explain the connections you make, and what they are used for

Kids love LEGO because it’s their construction, their imagination
The Raspberry Pi take this idea from a more technical point of view

Build

Assemble their first computer and make their own

Do they want a computer for so long? Do you think it’s too early or you do not have the budget?
Raspberry Pi is the solution

For less than 50 € you will provide them with a functional computer, independent and customizable
I recommend Kano OS for the youngest, which offers a specific graphical interface, games, challenges to encourage them to learn to code, …
They also offer hardware, but that is not necessarily worth it

Create a case

Source: MakeUseOf.com

The Raspberry Pi has the advantage of very little heat during regular use, and the case does not necessarily need to be optimized for cooling

You are generally free to create the case of your choice and then to assemble and decorate it with your child
You can, for example, imagine wooden boxes that you will paint together, plastic or printed with a 3D printer, etc …

Inhale your passions, his favorite series, and create the perfect box for him

Build a robot

This project is probably the most fun and unlimited project you can launch
BrickPi is an initiative of the Dexter Industries group, which aims to provide a development framework to create the robot of his dreams, with components based on legos

You can buy a kit on their site, and then imagine and build what your child will want 🙂

Create a weather station

Building a weather station is a complete and exciting project
Rather than buy a weather station, buy a Raspberry Pi and create your own!

It’s a pretty long project, but you can do it little by little, by installing the base and adding a new element from week to week
The construction of this project is very visual, so even for a toddler it can be a good idea of occupation

If you want to get started you will find a very detailed tutorial on this site

Photobooth

Here is an interesting and fun project: a photo booth!
It is possible to add a screen, a camera, a flash and a printer to the Raspberry Pi to turn it into a complete photo booth
You can then put all this in a box personalized by your child. Distraction assured when you have guests 🙂

You can even improve it in your way, by adding sound effects, upload on your Google Drive or Dropbox, or an original button to start the sequence
The only limit is imagination!

Smart Mirror

The smart mirror is one of the best-known projects on Raspberry Pi
This project is to create a mirror in which will be embedded a display of the time, your agenda, all the information you want.
And all this is managed by your Raspberry Pi

Your child will appreciate the magical aspect of this project
Not to mention the fact that he can show off to his friends, he will undoubtedly be the only one to have a magic mirror in his room 🙂

A security camera

The Raspberry Pi is often used in security-related projects, such as video surveillance or intrusion detection
As part of a project with your child, it could be funny to connect a camera to the Raspberry Pi to keep an eye on his pet, even on the go
This is very easily done with a camera and the installation of software that will allow you to access it via a web page
For example, you can use the Motion service to transform your camera (USB or integrated) into a camera IP and access it from a web interface
To reach it from outside it will be enough to open a port on your internet box

Code

Learn to code with Scratch

scratch programmingScratch is a programming language for children to learn to code
The Scratch Editor is included in Raspbian, so you can quickly test that language

The Scratch language is built with simple words, and the principle is to take blocks of code and associate them with each other to create something unique
This project will teach the basics of logic and programming to your child while developing his creativity

Minecraft Mods

Minecraft is the world famous sandbox game and mostly played by kids
Minecraft is directly integrated on Raspberry Pi, and it is not (only) to play it
Indeed it is possible to go much further on Minecraft Pi, modifying the game in its way

Hack the Minecraft game, change it as you want, create your mini-games
This project will also be an excellent introduction to programming for your child while having fun on his favorite game

Learn Python

For older children, the Python development environment is also available on Raspberry Pi
Python is a “real” programming language (compared to Scratch), which is used in education but also in a lot of companies

It is often taught at school because it is simple enough to handle
Your teenager will be able to go to the next level by learning to code in Python once he masters Scratch 🙂

Web development basics

The Internet is taking up more and more space in our lives
Teaching your child the basics of how the Internet works, or even an introduction to web development, would be a definite asset for the future.
This knowledge may well develop his logic, but also serve him the rest of his life, even if he does not become a developer

On Raspberry Pi, it is possible to install a complete web server (Apache, PHP, and MySQL) and then to try the basics of HTML, CSS or even PHP
These are three languages entirely different, but fun to use because we see the results immediately
It might please him!

Fun

Retro Gaming

Linux distributions, such as Retropie, have been specified in the retro game on Raspberry Pi
It is possible to turn your Raspberry Pi into a real game console and download the games of your childhood to play again
Super Mario, Donkey Kong, Zelda, Final Fantasy and many more are part of the games available on Retropie

A good time of family sharing in perspective
You will be happy to replay these games, and he will discover them

Jukebox

The Raspberry Pi can also become his new personal stereo
It has indeed a jack output, which allows connecting to speakers to play music

Better than that, some applications like RuneAudio allow you to control it from a smartphone, and to play the sounds coming from multiple sources (web radio, local NAS, …)

Arcade Box

Some do-it-yourselfers are bursting with imagination to create a true-to-life arcade kiosk with a Raspberry Pi inside

If you are even a handyman, it can be a funny project to do with your child
The design, the handling of materials, the final decoration might interest him

You’ll find many tutorial videos on youtube, step by step; there are hundreds of examples and inspirations

His TV

Does he want a TV in his room? Have him build it!

The Raspberry Pi can serve as a basis for a complete smart TV, for example the Kodi distribution allows you to store movies or cartoons on the Raspberry Pi, and to watch them intuitively on the Raspberry Pi screen, or display them on a television

It is therefore not necessary to have an antenna to watch movies
Kodi also allows you to add applications for the main online streaming services (Youtube, Twitch, Netflix, …)

Play Minecraft

And here we are. Obviously, Minecraft is available on Raspberry Pi
It is possible to play the included version directly or download the full version

Minecraft is a fantastic game for kids
It’s a sandbox game, there is no real goal or predefined adventure, he can do what he wants, the only limit will be his imagination
There is no violence or dialogue, so it’s the perfect game for kids

He will learn to:

  •  live in a world close to reality, with a day and a night, animals, different biomes (desert, jungle, ocean, …)
  • explore the world, and improve his sense of direction
  • make constructions, his house, and organize it
  • collect resources to create new items through crafts

You have to be careful not to let him play too much, but I think that at any age Minecraft can have positive effects on your child’s development

Formula Pi

And I kept you the best for the end 🙂
As I already told you the Raspberry Pi could create robots
It also makes it possible to develop remote-controlled cars, and even smart cars, driven only by a program!

And some pushed this to the maximum, until creating races with these cars, with competitions
Watch this video to learn more:

If you are interested, you can visit their website to find out more

 

Conclusion :

Here we are at the end of this article, I hope you get some ideas
The Raspberry Pi is an exceptional opportunity to introduce the computer to the youngest, and if you are passionate too, it should create good moments in family

There are few toys under $50 that are as reusable as the Raspberry Pi
This computer is an excellent investment; you can reuse it as much as you want by reinstalling the system or changing SD card
And when he is older, even adult, he can still find exciting projects to achieve with

If you have other ideas for projects to share, do not hesitate to leave a comment, I would be very interested

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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