Linus' wanted me to build him a "control panel" to pretend to launch rockets or control something. I looked at Radio Shack online and then went and bought a bunch of lighted switches, lights, buzzers, sirens and a breadboard to test and hook it all together. It was pretty cool.
I'll need to find a good box to put it in. They even had the cool guarded switches where you must lift the red guard to then be able to flip the switch, which is also lighted. We can use those as "arming" switches for the noisemakers.
I had showed Linus some of the basics of connecting a circuit, showing how the power starts the circuit and then through the light or switch and that it must make a circle to work. I hooked up a little fan and described how the red wire goes to red and the black to black. Then I was out of the room for a while and I heard a loud beep. He had been listening and paying attention enough that he figured out how to take out the fan and put in the beeping buzzer and have it work on the switch. I think he gets it!
After some experimenting I will eventually have to make something more permanent.
I was inspired by this post at MAKE of a father creating a Mission Control Desk for his son (via BoingBoing). This one is more elaborate than I am capable of.
A search produced this one at Instructables as well.
Now I am on the hunt for videos explaining breadboards and soldering as well.