Electronics Kit for My Kids
It's not an exaggeration to say this kit pushed me into my career. I got the original Radio Shack version for Christmas one year when I was a kid, and on rainy days I'd work my way through the book of kid-friendly projects. Even though I usually didn't understand how they worked, I got brave enough to test ideas like "I wonder if I could wire a light bulb into this section and have it still work?" and "what happens if I replace this with a smaller resistor?" I didn't know what ohms or farads were, but got an intuitive feel for which parts did what. I lost any fear of experimenting and that willingness to try new things has served me well.
I don't know if my kids will love this little kit as much as I did. I'm not going to push it — that's for them to decide. However, a part of me hopes they have even half the fun I got from it.