Soldering for Kids: Brief Guide for Parents and Teachers

Introduction

Soldering (pronounced sa-der-ing) is the process of joining together two items, usually metal, by applying solder to the joint (i.e., where the two items meet).

Learning to solder opens the door for kids to independently complete a wide range of electronics projects. Moreover, it is a valuable life skill that a limited number of people are familiar with. Soldering enables people to easily repair electronic devices with broken connections.

Remember that it can be easy to learn the basics but take quite a while to master all of the proper techniques.With some initial adult supervision, any kid can quickly and easily learn how to solder.

Soldering Safety

  1. Only solder in well-ventilated areas. For example, if you are soldering in your garage, you should always open the door to allow the soldering fumes to escape. If you want to further ensure safety, you can purchase a solder fume extractor or absorber.
  2. Soldering stands should always be used, particularly when the person soldering is inexperienced.
  3. Perhaps it should go without saying, but never touch the tip of the soldering iron.
  4. Wear eye protection.
  5. Work at secure places such as benches or tables. Make sure your workspace is clear.

Materials and Equipment

  • Soldering Iron
  • Rosin Core Solder
  • Soldering Stand
  • Sponge (damp)

Pre-Soldering Directions

  1. Plug in your soldering iron after placing it in a stand; or, if you do not own a stand, ensure the tip of the soldering iron is not contacting anything before plugging in.
  2. While waiting for the iron to warm up, dampen your sponge
  3. Once the soldering iron has heated, use the sponge to clean the tip (you may do this by just wiping the iron on the sponge)
  4. You may consider tinning–a process by which one melts some solder on the soldering iron’s tip–your iron’s tip.

Now the Fun Stuff: Soldering

We recommend checking out the basic soldering guide for kids (and adults) that Instructables has created.

Awesome Soldering Projects for Kids to Get Started

  • Instructables is an awesome website if you were not already aware. As always, they have a useful selection of project starters.
  • Velleman MK130 3D Xmas Tree
    • Rather than cutting down a tree or constructing an artificial tree, your kids can practice their soldering irons while making their own miniature tree.
  • MintyBoost Kit
    • Maker-loving Adafruit offers a small soldering project with a very practical purpose: charging a smartphone.

Soldering for Kids Learning Kits

Rather than trying to teach your child, or have them learn on their own, using parts around the house or you pick up from the electronics store, you can order ready-made soldering learning kits through Amazon or electronics learning companies.

About Brian 63 Articles
Brian is an engineer, librarian, and general STEM enthusiast who hopes his daughter one day conquers the world. Even if it is just one of her own creation.

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