Thursday, 22 March 2018

We've partnered with Cool Components to put together a Basic Kit of components needed to make the projects in our book micro:bit in Wonderland.

The Basic Kit makes it easy to buy all the electronics and bits and pieces at once. If you don't already have a micro:bit you need to buy it separately, which is available in a variety of different kits or you could lend a micro:bit from a library (UK).

The Basic Kit for micro:bit in Wonderland is available online from Cool Components.

Monday, 19 March 2018

We've developed a set of wipe-clean books about Computing for children aged 5-7 in collaboration with the children's publisher Miles Kelly.

Miles Kelly specialises in affordable non-fiction books for children. Their Get Set Go range already includes books about English and Maths and we loved the idea of adding Computing.

This had been a really fantastic project to work on. The books are designed to be used by a parent (or another adult) and child together which is an approach we love.

The books are available to pre-order now and are due to be published in July 2018.

Thursday, 15 March 2018

We were asked to beta test the new Chibitronics Love to Code Kit with the Chibi Chip, a beginner microcontroller board that can be used with copper tape and LED stickers to create interactive papercraft projects.

As regular readers will know, we love combining coding and craft. I reviewed this kit with my nine-year-old son. He's recently been doing electronics at school and was disappointed that it's the same old light-bulbs and batteries that he had done for the last few years. He was keen to try something more interesting.

Disclosure: We were sent a Chibitronics Love to Code Kit for the purposes of this review. This kit is currently in Beta so you should understand that the final version may have improvements based on feedback.

Tuesday, 27 February 2018

March 1st is World Book Day. While we love tech around here, we also love books. We can't resist the opportunity to combine them. We have written a book called micro:bit in Wonderland which teaches children computing and design & technology along with cross-curricula skills.

Wednesday, 21 February 2018

Computational thinking is the set of skills you need to be able to get computers to do useful things. It includes logical thinking, planning ahead, working with data, being able to give precise instructions and make predictions. There are lots of activities that can help young children aged 4-7 to develop these skills.

Computational thinking skills can be developed through coding but there are lots of other activities that help too. A lot of them are screenless which helps to develop modern skills while also developing other important skills including motor skills and communication.

Some of the ideas here are classic kids games and activities that you might have tried anyway, they just happen to be great for computational thinking skills.

Tuesday, 20 February 2018

We got to try out Nintendo LABO, the new cardboard creation kit that turns the Nintendo Switch into a variety of interactive toys.

We were in the first group of people to try out the kit at a pre-launch event which gave us an excellent opportunity to get hands-on and really try everything out.

Friday, 16 February 2018

We were very excited last week when we received our Kickstarter reward - Line-us the drawing robot arm. We backed the campaign of designer and engineering team, Durrell Bishop and Robert Poll in March 2017 and patiently followed their journey.

Yepp, sometimes these projects take a long time to materialise, but it takes a lot of work to make a new product! (Check out the guide to backing crowdfunding campaigns.)