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!

Monday, 2 October 2017

It's come to our attention that some people don't know how children should play with LEGO. We thought we'd better address that.

We've written before about people claiming that the new LEGO sets restrict creativity. Short version: only if you let them! It's not the sets that are the problem.

LEGO is a fantastic tool for developing STEM skills that can take kids right through from their toddler years to their teens and even into adulthood. But only if they make the most of it and for some kids, this might require a bit of adult guidance or sometimes adults getting out of the way!

Saturday, 30 September 2017

The Sphero Mini is a new programmable robotic ball from the makers of the original Sphero. The mini comes in a range of bright colours which means it will appeal to girls as well as boys (thank you Sphero!)

The Sphero Mini is the size of a ping pong ball and like the bigger Spheros can be controlled from a connected app and also programmed with Sphero EDU.