Raspberry Pi

Here are 10 great ways to use your Raspberry Pi with kids and for kids. 10 great projects for children that use the Raspberry Pi.

If you know of any other great Raspberry Pi projects for kids, let us know in the comments below. (See also: How to know if a graphics card is compatible and Best Raspberry Pi Starter Kits)

Raspberry Pi projects for kids 1. Learn to program with Scratch

Difficulty level:

Scratch is a visual programming tool. It allows kids to create programs without having to learn code, creating animations and games with a drag-and-drop interface. With relatively little training and learning children of primary school ages can create computer games, interactive stories, and animations. It's a great, non-scary way to get started programming on the Raspberry Pi. Great for even younger kids (and their code-fearing parents).

Getting Started: Raspberry Pi itself has a good resource centre to help you get started.

Scratch interface

Raspberry Pi projects for kids 2. Create a weather station

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This is a great one for older kids to attempt, or to create for younger children to use to monitor the weather and learn about the elements. There are several different ways of making a Pi weather station.

Getting Started: This is one of the best we've found, a straightforward  way to connect a Maplin USB Weather Station to a Raspberry Pi using the pywws python software.

Raspberry Pi projects for kids 3. Build a case for your Raspberry Pi

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Fun to do with children. Educational in that box design it teaches kids about geomatery and engineering. Satisfying in that at the end your Pi looks smart. And your kids can decorate the box.

Getting Started: Simply print out this box template, and fold it together.

Raspberry Pi projects for kids 4. Making a connected habitat for mini beasts

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This is a really cool project carried out by a Dad with his son: making a mini beast habitat fit for an insect, complete with connected camera via Raspberry Pi. There are two particularly great things about this. 1: Children of any age can be involved at any stage, and 2: Allen Heard documented the entire project so that you can get inspired.

Getting Started: You don't have to follow his instructions to the letter, but there is enough great info here to get anyone started.

Mini beast

Raspberry Pi projects for kids 5. Create a Grandpa Scarer!

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Difficult only because it involves sawing wood, and scaring elderly relatives. But take a look at this project, it is mega cool.

Getting Started: The project has all the info you need.

Grandpa scarer

Raspberry Pi projects for kids 6. An awesome Halloween project

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This Dad and his two kids created a Halloween susprise for all trick or treaters. When they hit the door bell they would hear a creaking door sound. Then the porch light went off accompanied by breaking glass sound, before LEDs started flashing in the Haunted House sign and pumpkin, acommpanied by three screams. And if the visitor isn't sufficiently terrified at that stage, the porch light comes back on and a monster party starts in the garage. Again the creator has put together a brilliant how to guide. And you could take these tips and this process and create similar surprises for guests themed around other events. Scarily good fun.

Getting Started: Here's that brilliant how to guide.

Raspberry Pi projects for kids 7. Minecrate creations

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Minecraft: Pi Edition is a version of the all-conquering Minecraft game that's designed to work on the Raspberry Pi. Minecraft is responsible for getting millions of kids into coding and creating on the computer, and this version is particularly educational (and fun).

Getting Started: There is a good getting started guide on the Minecraft: Pi Edition site, or try the book 'Adventures in Minecraft' for more advice. It'll keep them busy for hours if not days.

Raspberry Pi projects for kids 8. Write a symphony (or whatever noise the young people listen to these days)

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Sonic Pi is a free sound synthesiser for live coding designed to support computing and music lessons within schools. But it isn't limited to the classroom. You can use the code to compose- and perform in classical and contemporary styles ranging from Canons to Dubstep. Download the software and get started at the Sonic Pi site.

Getting Started: Check out http://sonic-pi.net/.

Raspberry Pi projects for kids 9. Create a humidity sensor

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One for the older kids, and a good way to learn about electronics, coding and environmental science. And an excellent way to help avoid damp in the house.

Getting Started: This guide shows a simple way to make your Raspberry Pi into a humidity sensor.

Humidity Sensor

Raspberry Pi projects for kids 10. Get your kids to stay in bed

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One you do yourself, for your kids. Getting pre-school kids to stay abed until a reasonable hour is a near-impossible task. But one creative Raspberry Pi user modded his Pi to create a traffic light system that - he claims - achieved the impossible and gained him precious hours of sleep.

Getting Started: Your good night's sleep starts here.

See also: Build your own personal cloud server.