Tuesday, 28 March 2017

PFx is a new control system for adding electronics and sound to LEGO models. It's compatible with LEGO power functions components and adds a speaker brick.

Monday, 27 March 2017

The Zoomy 2.0 USB Microscope from Learning Resources is designed to let kids aged 4+ take a closer look at the world.

We love digital microscopes. We have a really old one that we still use but it's software is for older versions of Windows.

Disclaimer: Learning Resources sent us a Zoomy 2.0 for this review. As always our opinions are our own.

Friday, 24 March 2017

MAKERbuino is a DIY games console to encourage kids to take an interest in creating with technology rather than just playing video games written by other people. It costs the same as a typical newly released game for a games console. 

Thursday, 23 March 2017

My kids have worked through Curly Bracket and the Hidden Code, a graphic novel for humans aged 8-13 with embedded puzzles that aim to teach computational thinking. My kids are 8 and 10, so just right for this book.

Computational thinking is the set of skills that you need in order to be able to describe problems in such as way that a computer can solve them. These skills are rather important in lots of aspects of modern data-filled, high-tech life.

I should mention that I have a Maths and Computing degree and a Computer Science PhD and I'm always looking for ways to introduce my kids to computational thinking.

Disclosure: A copy of this book was sent to use for review. As always our opinions are our own.

Wednesday, 22 March 2017

In this project we combined the BBC micro:bit beginner development board with an Arckit construction set and got some cool results.

If you're not familiar with Arckit you can read our detailed review. Arckit is recommended for age 10+ and the BBC micro:bit was given out to 11-12 year old children in the UK so they're a good match.

Nimuno Loops is flexible tape which frees your LEGO and other toy building blocks from their traditional building applications. With Nimuno self-adhesive tape you can build a creation almost anywhere. On walls, on toys, on bikes, on almost anything. What's really interesting is, that the tape allows you to defy the laws of gravity and engineering. If you want to have a brick added in an impossible place you can snip the required length of tape, stick it to the surface and build your creation onto the tape.

Nimuno Loops is developed in South Africa by innovative toy and industrial designers at Chrome Cherry Design Studio. Nimuno Loops was inspired by their lifelong passion for playing with LEGO and experience in developing toys for kids. The company launched on Indiegogo to raise $8,000 to help wit production and other costs, but have already raised over $1mil in funding. They have definitely captured the imagination of A LOT of people.

Some perks are already sold out, but there is still others available and tape comes in Green, Blue, Purple, Red, Black and Grey. Naturally I backed the Purple Nimuno Tape! Can't wait for it to arrive in August 2017 (if everything goes to plan!)

For more information and to get your hands on some Nimuno Loops, check out their Indiegogo Campaign.

Tuesday, 21 March 2017

We've been making 3D printed "CODER" badges by coding the badge using BlocksCAD. This makes a great first introduction to modelling for 3D printing for children.

I've been exploring different tools for children to use to create 3D models and I've found that coding works really well.