Feeling stuck for what to buy the beloved maker in your life? Maybe your niece wants to get into Minecraft hacking, or your Dad fancies his hand at home automation on a budget?
Maybe you’ve seen Raspberry Pi in the news and figure it would be a fun activity for the family, or you’re stuck for what to buy the Pi pro who’s slowly filling your spare room with wires, servers, and a mysterious, unidentified object that keeps beeping?
Whatever the reason, you’re in the right place. The Raspberry Pi Christmas Shopping List is here to help you out.
For the beginner
Here are some of our favourite bits to get them started.
- A Raspberry Pi Starter Kit will give your budding maker everything they need to get started. There’s a whole host of options, from our own kit to project-specific collections from our friends at The Pi Hut and Pimoroni in the UK, Adafruit in the USA, Canakit in Canada, and RS Components across the globe.
- Books are a great way to get going. They offer easy-to-follow guides and cool tutorials to get you creating. We suggest A Beginner’s Guide to Coding by Marc Scott, Adventures in Raspberry Pi by Carrie Anne Philbin (here’s a parts kit to help get them started), The MagPi Essentials Guide and Project Books, Getting Started with Raspberry Pi by Matt Richardson and Shawn Wallace, and the Raspberry Pi User Guide by Eben Upton for the slightly older Pi newbie.
- They may already have a screen, keyboard, and mouse, but having a separate display allows them free rein to play to their heart’s content. The pi-top takes the form of a laptop, while the pi-topCEED still requires a mouse and keyboard.
- And finally, with three kits to choose from, you can’t go wrong with the CamJam kits from our friends Tim and Mike, via The Pi Hut. These stocking filler kits will help them get into LEDs, sensors, and robots. Yup…robots!
For the hobbyist
They’ve been tinkering with LEDs and servo motors for a while. Now it’s time to pull out the big guns.
- Help to broaden their interest by introducing them to some of the brilliant products over at Bare Conductive. Pair up the Pi Cap with some Electric Paint, and they’ll create an interactive masterpiece by the time the Queen’s Speech is on.
- Add to their maker toolkit with some of the great products in the RasPiO range. The GPIO Zero Ruler will be an instant hit, and a great stocking filler for anyone wanting to do more with the GPIO pins.
- While you’re at it, look at the great kits available over at The Pi Hut. Collected from various producers around the globe, they’ll spark the imagination of any maker.
For the tech whizz
You don’t understand half the things they talk about at the dinner table, but they seem to be enthusiastic and that’s all that counts.
- Help them organise their components with a handy Storage Organiser. We swear by them here at Pi Towers.
- You could also treat them to a new soldering iron and a helping hand for when they’re lost in the maker moment.
- And then there’s the PiBorg. Treat them to the superfast DiddyBorg and you’ll be hailed as gift-buyer supreme (sorry if you’ll have to better this next year).
- And then there’s the Raspberry Pi Zero. Check out availability here and buy them the sought-after $5 beast of an SBC.
For the… I really have no idea what to buy them this year
There’s always one, right?
- A physical subscription to The MagPi Magazine is sure to go down well. And with the added bonus of a free Raspberry Pi Zero, you’ll win this Christmastime. Well done, you!
Stocking fillers for everyone
Regardless of their experience and tech know-how, here are some great stocking fillers that everyone will enjoy.
- SnowPi – spend a little time building a festive snowman light show with the SnowPi kit.
- The newly improved RGB Xmas Tree Kit from pocketmoneytronics is a great way to practice soldering.
- We really like this wooden Pi Zero case – make sure they have a Pi Zero to go in it.
- PaPiRus and PaPiRus Zero are great add-on e-paper boards that offer a stunning text look, much like a Kindle.
- The Astro Pi-famous Sense HAT offers so many features that everyone will be able to find a use for it.
- See who can learn to play Jingle Bells first with the Piano HAT.
- Try to build a Zero-powered robot from scratch with the MotoZero. Maybe a discarded chocolate tin or a Christmas cracker can act as the body?
STEM-ish gifts that everyone will love
These books are top of everyone’s lists this year, and for good reason. Why not broaden the interest of the Pi fan in your life with one of these brilliant reads?
- Herding Hemingway’s Cats: Understanding How Our Genes Work by Kat Arney
- Women in Science: 50 Fearless Pioneers Who Changed the World by Rachel Ignotofsky
- The Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace and Babbage: The (mostly) True Story of the First Computer by Sydney Padua
- Step Aside, Pops by Kate Beaton