Arduino and Raspberry Pi boards are essential to young children’s STEM journey. Arduino and Raspberry Pi are currently very popular among learners and programming experts. With the boards, kids can learn all about electronics and programming. There is also no limit to the incredible things kids can build with Arduino or Raspberry Pi.
Electronics and programming are crucial STEM skills for kids who are interested in robotics, engineering, electronics, and programming, and these programming boards (Arduino and Raspberry Pi) offer kids a perfect opportunity for them to build their expertise in the fields. It is worth noting that while both boards are highly similar in function, they have their distinct peculiarities as well. Because they serve distinct purposes, you need a proper guide to choose the right controller kits for your kids.
Arduino and Raspberry Pi remain the best controller boards for kids to learn electronics and programming. Depending on the kit, kids can engage in offline or online lessons. Arduino boards, for instance, do not support the internet. All activities and lessons are done offline. However, with specific support shields, you can use your Arduino with the internet.
While Raspberry Pi is a single-board computer (SBC) with strong networking capabilities, Arduino is a microcontroller that requires basic and minimal networking.
Differences Between Learning Arduino and Raspberry Pi for Kids
While Raspberry Pi has several programming languages associated with it, you can only program an Arduino board with Arduino or C++ programming languages. Asides from the Pi language, Raspberry Pi boards support at least 5 other languages, including JQuery, Scratch, Python, Pearl, C, C++, and HTML.
Arduino software operates on an open source system, which makes it easier to modify codes, edit, and upload on the physical board (hardware). This is not the same for Raspberry Pi, as it is closed-source and complex to navigate. Kids who do not know the Linux operating system would have difficulties navigating the board.
Arduino controller kits for young learners equip them with the fundamentals of electronics and programming. Arduino boards have two parts- software and hardware. Arduino software, also called Arduino IDE, is responsible for writing, modifying, and uploading lines of code. The physical programming circuit board, known as the hardware, is a microcontroller responsible for activating written codes on the software.
Arduino controller kits are perfect for kids who are just getting started with electronics and programming. There is also an incredible community of Arduino experts who are ready to offer assistance to beginners. Some of the projects you can do with Arduino kits include a robot car, Bluetooth-controlled toy car, traffic lights, and an interactive robot, among others.
Arduino kits provide kids with the perfect tools for them to create amazing projects. Using the kits, they can invent more project ideas and build amazing things, gradually build a career in STEM and learn to solve real-world problems. You should also note that Arduino deals more with the electronics aspect, with little programming. In addition to the original Arduino programming language, the kit is compatible with C++, which is relatively similar to Arduino.
Raspberry Pi controller kits for kids provide a comprehensive guide to learning electronics and programming. This kit is perfect for kids who love programming. Its variation in the use of block and text-based programming makes it super easy for beginners, including younger kids, to use. Programming languages compatible with Raspberry Pi include Python, Scratch, Java, Erlang, JQuery, HTML, C, and C++, among others.
Unlike Arduino, Raspberry Pi is significantly more complex, and requires basic knowledge of certain functions, like the Linux operating system. Raspberry Pi controller kits also serve as a great avenue for kids to learn about the internet and connectivity. After every project, one needs to connect to the internet to activate the kit, through Bluetooth, USB ports, SD cards, HDMI ports, camera ports, or through a wireless connection.
Raspberry Pi is awesome for kids who want to begin their careers in computer science and coding. Some of the projects you can do with the Pi boards include Minecraft selfies, laser tripwires, woo-Pi cushions, and lost in space.
Here are the top best Arduino controller kits for beginners to learn programming and electronics.
The Arduino complete starter kit can be utilized to make up to 15 incredible projects, including a touchy feel lamp, a knock lock, an Arduino fingerprint door lock, universal remote control, and many more! It also features a 170-page handbook for guiding learners through creating each project.
- It’s a quick and easy way to get started with the learning of STEAM subjects at home, and it can be used to think critically, learn collaboratively, and solve problems.
- This kit walks you through the basics of Arduino and electronics in a hands-on way. No prior experience is required, as the kit introduces both coding and electronics through fun, engaging, and hands-on projects.
- The kit comes with a 170-page project guide book and includes over 100 components.
The Elegoo Mega 2560 is affordable and great for learners across all stages. It can be used with Arduino IDE, and features of the board include a sensor module, pin header, protection box, and 35 lessons for creating multiple projects.
- The Mega is 100% compatible with Arduino IDE and most shields designed for the Arduino mega R3，RoHS Compliant
- The chip is Atmega+2560-16au and 16u2, same with the official version.
- Improved and expert version: 1. 0 pinout: added SDA and SCL pins that are near to the AREF pin and two other new pins placed near to the RESET pin, the IOREF that allow the shields to adapt to the voltage provided from the board. In future, shields will be compatible both with the board that use the AVR, which operate with 5V and with the Due that operate with 3. 3V. The second one is a not connected pin, that is reserved for future purposes.
Standing as one of the best Arduino starter kits for kids. Suitable for both beginners and experts, the monster starter kit can be used to build programmable robots. Some of the components of the monster starter kit are five main boards compatible with Arduino UNO R3, Mega 2560, Bluetooth, Wifi, and Nano V3, a free pdf guide, and links to tutorials are also attached.
- Advancing the development of robotics technology w/ Earth's 2nd biggest & most advanced starter kit for Arduino. 65+ pieces w/ FIVE main boards: 100% Arduino-compatible Uno R3, Mega 2560, Nano V3, ESP32 WiFi+Bluetooth and ESP8266 NodeMCU development platforms
- Explore programming electronics with all of the most common sensors and modules in Arduino like RFID Card-Key Reader, Ultrasonic Sensor, Real Time Clock, Impact Switch, 3-Axis Accelerometer, LCD, Relay, Servo and Stepper Motor - suitable for beginner or advanced users
- Build wireless IoT Automation projects with ESP32 Development Board, HC-05 Bluetooth Module, ESP8266 Wi-Fi Module, 2x NRF24L01 Wireless Transceivers and the W5100 Ethernet Shield
Arduino Uno Ultimate Starter kit works well for kids with zero existing knowledge in electronics and programming. Features include a 72-page instructional manual, over 190 electronic parts, a breadboard, jumper wires, etc.
Due to its advanced tools and features, this Arduino starter kit is a bit complex, but awesome for beginners to learn automation, electronics, and programming. Features include a free pdf tutorial, a DVD project guide, a datasheet, a breadboard, an IR receiver, a 9V 1A plug-in power supply, high-quality baseboard, among others.
- The most economical kit comes with everything compatible with Arduino to starting programming for beginners .
- This is the upgraded starter kits come with a 9V 1A Power Adapter (At least $5.99 on amazon) to replace a 9V Battery , and the Lcd1602 module come with pin header(not need to be soldered by yourself).
- Include High Quality Base Board base on Arduino UNO R3 compatible with Arduino IED and Sensors, Servo, Motor, ULN2003 driver board, lcds, etc.
Here is our suggestion on the best Raspberry Pi beginner controller kits for kids.
This awesome Raspberry Pi robot car is awesome for learning Python, electronics, and programming. Kids can build and program their DIY sensor robot car to avoid obstacles, follow lines, follow lights, etc. features include sensor modules, ultrasonic sensors, and solid plates. This is a great project for kids to have fun and get equipped in everything STEM.
- STEM ROBOTICS KIT - A complete rpi robot kit based on Raspberry Pi. It’s funny to assemble it. (Compatible with RPi 4B/3B/3B+, Raspberry Pi is NOT included) Raspberry Pi is not included)
Currently the most advanced Raspberry Pi for beginners (especially kids), this educational controller kit contains all you need to develop expertise in computer science, electronics, and programming. The stylish board features IR remote controller and receiver, a game controller, a wireless keyboard and mouse, sensors, LEDs, 5V stepper motors, etc.
- 【Raspberry Pi 4 Model B Starter Kit】CrowPi2 kit contains all the components the Raspberry Pi 4B needs, including Raspberry Pi 4 8GB Model B (8GB RAM)
- 【All-in-one Board】The raspberry pi electronic kit with 22 kinds of sensors and modules are all under one kit, you don't have to wait and wire things, and you can start doing projects instantly and easily with crowpi2
- 【Special Design & Excellent Build Quality】Raspberry Pi Laptop is exceptionally well planned, designed, and manufactured. The wireless keyboard detaches from the body or stays connected via a magnet. Crowpi2 can be used as a small personal computer, which can be put into a laptop bag and taken anywhere that you want to go
Linux is essential to Raspberry Pi, and the Canakit Extreme Kit offers a perfect opportunity for kids to learn the fundamentals of Linux. Some of the amazing features of the kit include Raspberry Pi 4 model B, HDMI cables, 128 GB storage, noise compressor, and USB micro sd card reader, among others.
- Includes Raspberry Pi 4 2GB Model B with 1.5GHz quad-core CPU (2GB RAM)
- Includes Pre-Loaded 128GB Samsung EVO+ Micro SD Card (Class 10), USB MicroSD Card Reader
- CanaKit Premium High-Gloss Raspberry Pi 4 Case with Integrated Fan Mount, CanaKit Low Noise Bearing System Fan
This is just like a mini-computer, and users can create as many incredible projects as they want. The complete starter kit is awesome for both beginners and learners and is a must-have for your kids.
- Start Your RP Pico Projects with this Complete Kit from Vilros
- Includes: Pico Board, Pin Headers (soldering required), USB Data Cable, Battery Holder with Micro USB Connector (Batteries NOT Included), Breadboard, Variety Of Jumper Wires, Breadboard and Battery Panel,Storage Bag
This is an amazing starter kit for beginners and experienced programmers. The kit features an SD card with a card reader, HDMI cables, a user guide for easy navigation, Raspberry Pi 4 4GB model, and so much more!
- Includes Raspberry Pi 4 4GB Model B with (4GB RAM)
- This Raspberry Pi 4B case is a Passive Cooling Aluminum Case
- 5V 4A Type C Power Supply will make your Pi work more stable. With ON/OFF switch, it's convenient for you to power on/ off your Pi
Frequently Asked Questions
Raspberry Pi is awesome for beginners, especially young children. Kids as young as the age of seven can learn how to program a Raspberry Pi kit. The two easiest programming languages for younger kids, Python and Scratch, are both compatible with Raspberry Pi, so kids can gain expertise in their favorite languages and extend their knowledge to bigger projects.
Arduino kits come with hardware and software. After assembling the kit, which is the hardware, you write and upload your program (code) to activate your project. Arduino has its programming language, called Arduino, and it is based on C++, a text-based programming language.
Raspberry Pi and Arduino are two major programming kits for kids to learn coding. Both are similar in functions but have distinct features as well. The Raspberry Pi kit uses visual-based programming language and is supported by the Raspberry Pi foundation, a learning platform exclusive to kids. Arduino, on the other hand, operates on written programming, and the focus is on the hardware. This is why many people believe the Raspberry Pi is easier to learn for kids.
However, the hardware structure of the Arduino has proven to be easier for kids to learn, compared to the complex hardware structure of the Raspberry Pi. In addition, the Raspberry Pi operates using a closed source platform, while Arduino operates on an open source platform. Open-source platforms are much easier for learners to learn.
More Inspiration on Raspberry Pi for Kids
More Inspiration on Arduinos for Kids
- Overview of Arduino Kits for Kids – Ultimate Guide for Parents and Teachers
- Choosing Arduino Kits for Kids
- Getting Started Guide for Arduino for Kids and Students – What You Need to Know
- Comparing Arduino Kits and Raspberry Pi for Kids
- Beginner Arduino Projects for Kids - Simple and Easy