Kids, Halloween and Arduino

I first celebrated Halloween toward the end of 1996, during my first trip to El Salvador, where it was far more popular than in Spain, due to the US influence.

Truco-Trato-Arduino-POV

A lot of water has flowed under the bridge since then, and this tradition that has celtic, roman, christian, american… roots or influences is widespread in Spain actually. Even we can say that in our country it is “hispanicizing”.

Personally, I believe every excuse is a good excuse to celebrate, and Halloween’s eve is the perfec reason to gather together family and friends to celebrate, doing some activities with children, who enjoys it a lot. In the last several years, we have therefore come together at home, and we have dressed up ourselves, changed decoration, read scary tales, cooked terryfing pies, scrapped pumpkins, and of course, participated (kids only) in the traditional “trick or treat”. Indeed, our neighbours are so friendly… every year our kids return home with a “box” of candys and cookies, and few bad experiences. Only some incident with somebody who is not in the mood (he/she has a right to that, too), and that is that kindness has no season… Thank you, neighbours :-)

Last year I had the idea of making a Halloween gadget for kids, and I made a POV display for them, with a Halloween theme. I know it seems a little geek, but remember, we are makers and we enjoy “making things”. Furthermore, it seemed interesting to me to build something for the kids without spending a lot of money.

Arduino-Controlled-Halloween-POV

For those who don’t know yet, a POV display (where POV refers to Persistence of Vision) is a kind of display that is based in the ability of the eye to retain the impression of an image for a short time after the image has disappeared. For example, a LED array changing every few milliseconds.

Our device has only a 7 leds column, controlled by Arduino. When you shake the device, it will appear to ‘write in the sky’, and the traditional Halloween’s message appears: “TRICK or TREAT”.

 

As Arduino we built a Stripduino (from txapuzas), and the POV display design is taken from Instructables, that is, it has no merit. We need just a little thought to put it inside a recycled case, and.. it was ready to have fun with.

Arduino-Alberto-Morales-Halloween-POV


¿Are you working on electronics projects for kids? If so, or you’re interested in receiving more information, please post them in the comments so we can write about it!

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