Friday, 20 October 2017

Last weekend we partnered with Bournemouth University at the BFX Family Weekend to inspire families to explore creative technology, animation, coding, micro:bit, craft with tech and more. It was a busy weekend with over a 1000 parents, grandparents and children finding new (and old - thanks to the Computing Museum) ways to explore computers and technology.

Wednesday, 18 October 2017

Coding is a new literacy which children (and adults) need to learn to be able to engage with the technological world we're living in. Learning to code provides a way for children to express themselves just as learning to read or write does!

There are lots of books available to help children learn coding skills. Children have more time at home to explore coding and parents can support this learning with good books. We've picked our favourite coding and computing books for children 8+. (Some we've had the opportunity to review in more detail.)

Monday, 16 October 2017

We've been really impressed with the HP Stream laptops as the first laptop for children and a portable choice for all round use. There are some things you should be aware of and they won't be the right choice for all families, but for some scenarios, they're a great choice.

We feature the HP Stream in our First Laptops for 8 Year Old's Guide and they are also the laptops we have chosen for running workshops.

Wednesday, 11 October 2017

Coder Academy is part of a series of books introducing children to a range of skills and careers. Coder Academy is written by Sean McManus, an accomplished author in this field, who’s written other titles such as, Cool Scratch Projects, Raspberry Pi Projects and Earworm.

Disclaimer: Ivy Kids sent us a copy of Coder Academy for this review. Our opinions and observations are always our own.

Monday, 9 October 2017

Kid K’Nex is a new product by K’Nex specifically designed for younger builders and designers. It’s a bright collection of building pieces and cute creature features to inspire young minds to create.

Disclaimer: K’Nex sent us the Kid K’Nex Budding Builders Building Set to review and I reviewed it with a very willing 4-year-old and my son who is 6.

Thursday, 5 October 2017

Splats are programmable mats developed by Unruly to get kids coding and staying active. We love the relationship between coding and physical objects for kids to learn to code and design how they want things to work. Unruly has launched their campaign on Kickstarter this week.

Wednesday, 4 October 2017

In this post, we look at micro:bit starter kits and project kits. The micro:bit is a fab mini computer for beginners. It's straightforward to program and compatible with lots of readily available electronics. But when you're just getting started it's great to have a kit of components that you know are compatible and some projects that you can work through to learn the basics.

In this post, we'll focus on general purpose kits with electronics components. There are also several robot and buggy kits for the micro:bit which we'll cover in a future post.

Some kits include a micro:bit, others are just add-ons and for others, you can choose between versions with and without a micro:bit.

Note that if you already have a micro:bit it really doesn't hurt to have another one. When you make something cool you don't want to take it apart immediately!