I've had a fascination with electronics from an early age. My Dad gave me my first soldering iron for my 8th birthday and I used it to burn holes in most of the carpets in the house (sorry, Dad). Around the same time, I also got one of these...

Electronics Lab Kit

It has some basic electronic components and comes with a book containing lots of projects to build. You make the connections to little springs which are connected to the components. It is easy and great fun. Every child who shows the remotest interest in science or electronics should have one. I played with mine for years and learnt an enormous amout from it.