Ask MAKE is a weekly column where we answer reader questions, like yours. Write them in to [email protected] or drop us a line on Twitter. We can’t wait to tackle your conundrums!


This week’s question comes to us via CRAFT contributor Rachel Hobson. Her friend Kari is mother to a “true maker in the making.” Kari writes:

Sam’s birthday is a week from Sunday and I’m thinking of putting together a toolkit/box o’ gadgets for him. Things to help him take stuff apart, things that he can do little experiments with, stuff like that. I’m thinking of a tiny screwdriver, electrical tape, maybe a hammer. He already has a tape measure. I don’t know what else would be cool and fun and good for a seven-year-old. I want this to be the “big” item for him, a big toolbox with a bunch of wrapped things inside.

We passed this question around on the Make: Online Editors mailing list, and got a lot of neat suggestions. I’m sure these won’t all fit for Sam’s birthday, but at least its a jumping-off point!

  • third hand tool with magnifying glass (for holding and inspecting stuff)
  • small flashlight or head-mounted light
  • needle-nose pliers
  • gaffers tape (not as messy as duct tape)
  • safety goggles
  • wire cutters
  • ruler or square
  • multimeter
  • Maker’s Notebook (we’ll toss that one in for free, happy birthday, Sam!)
  • zip ties
  • some junk to take apart (CD drive, old radio, etc.)
  • wire nuts
  • battery tester
  • battery clips
  • battery tester
  • tire pressure gauge

If you have any suggestions for a seven year-old’s first toolbox, please post them in the comments below!

Above image is cc-by-nc-sa by Flickr user Austin ampersand Zak.