Sunday, 23 April 2017

We don't regularly review fiction books, but I've just read the Mysterious Benedict Society trilogy by Trenton Lee Stewart to my children and it's fantastic. The books feature four children with unusual skills who are brought together to prevent a catastrophe.

I came across the series because it features logic puzzles that the children must solve.  In fact there's an accompanying puzzle book that we've also been working through. Logical thinking is an important skills for modern kids.

We're publishing this post on World Book and Copyright Day in the US (yes, World Book day is on different dates in different countries!) and World Book Night in the UK.

Thursday, 20 April 2017

KUMIITA is a programmable robot toy from Japan. It reads commands as it drives over brightly coloured cards. 

We've used BlocksCAD to code a Tower of Hanoi puzzle that can be printed and played with. This project brings together three of our favourite things: coding, 3D printing and logic puzzles. Oh and maths too, there's lots of neat maths.

This is good project for children and families who are just getting started with 3D printing. It's also good for developing logical thinking skills and using maths for something useful and interesting.

Thursday, 13 April 2017

Code Angel is a Python and Raspberry Pi based approach to learning to code. It teaches coding through games and takes the approach of getting kids and beginners to type in complete listings. Code Angel has launched a Kickstarter campaign with award packages with and without a Raspberry Pi and physical book.

The HIDIOT is a new low-cost beginner electronics board with projects to get you started. The HIDIOT is designed for a parent and children work together on or for age 11+. We love this approach and it's one we encourage. Working together with your child to learn new skills or support them is a great way to spend time.

Wednesday, 12 April 2017

Crazy Circuits is an electronics learning platform with components that fit onto LEGO bricks. They components can also be sewn and used in craft projects.

Tuesday, 11 April 2017

We were contacted by an Agency to review the Alcatel POP4 mobile phone. I had never heard of the brand, but it looked like it could be a good option (price-wise) as a tween / teen first smartphone.

My teenager agreed to review the device, looking at it's suitability as a smartphone and an alternative to other more expensive brands on the market.