Is it too early to be thinking of Christmas presents? Solder kits can be a lot of fun, but in the end most of them are pretty simple, connecting an LED or two to a power source, perhaps with some internal circuitry to make them blink. If you’d like something more advanced, this 3D Christmas tree LED kit provides more of a challenge. And waiting until Christmas to take on that challenge since whomever finishes the kit will want to enjoy it as a decoration.
The Christams tree kit contains three circuit boards which attach together to form two sections of a tree and a base, while a number of red, yellow, and green LEDs adorn the outside. One interesting feature about this tree is that the lights blink not via an integrated circuit or microcontroller, but using only capacitors, resistors, and transistors.
This component-based design is very educational if the concept is explained while building it, and for a simplified example of how this type of circuit works, check out the LED timer found here. Perhaps something like this could be integrated into a physics or STEM curriculum, or even expanded into a full-sized tree.
If you decide you don’t like the lighting pattern, it’s easy enough to adjust by changing a few components!