The SparkFun Tinker Kit (STK) is a great way to get started with programming and hardware interaction with the Arduino programming language. The STK is the newest version of the former SparkFun Mini Inventor’s Kit, blended with elements of SparkFun's educator MESA kit. Each SparkFun Tinker Kit includes everything you need to complete 11 circuits that will teach you how to blink an LED, read sensors, drive servos, and more. You don’t need any previous programming or electronics experience to use this kit.
The online STK Experiment Guide (in the Documents section) contains step-by-step instructions of how to connect each circuit with the included parts. Full example code is provided and explained, and even includes troubleshooting tips in case something goes wrong.
The kit does not require any soldering and is recommended for beginners ages 10 and up. This miniature version of the SIK will help prove that anyone can (and should) play around with cutting-edge electronics in a fun and playful way while not breaking the bank.