The Arduino open-source microcontroller platform can be programmed and equipped to perform a nearly endless list of functions. It's likely the best all-around centerpiece to a modern electronics project. But one of the tasks Arduino is best used for is straight-up fun - the open design means there's an Arduino board suitable for almost any project, and a wealth of add-on "shields" extends its abilities with ease. View the complete Arduino Gift Guide.

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Arduino Starter Kit, everything you need to learn electronics and more with Arduino!
Arduino Duemilanove - Open source physical computing.
Getting Started with Arduino, the handy pocket guide to Arduino!
Making Things Talk, learn how to make advanced Arduino projects.