Here's where you'll find all the latest news about technology for children. We love to follow cool new inventions on Kickstarter and we hunt out all the latest announcements about tech toys and gadgets for the coming Christmas holidays. You'll also get our take on children's technology stories in the media.


Our kids technology product reviews are intended to help you work out whether a toy, gadget or kit is a good fit for your child or family. There's lots of cool stuff available, but is it the right choice for the child or teenager that you are buying for? We'll help you make the right choices and get the best value for money.

GIFT GUIDES$show=/search/label/gift%20guide

Parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and friends assemble. We create gift lists to help you make good choices for kids technology which helps them develop the right skills for the future. We research the best in Coding Toys and Games, Making / Craft Tools and Kits, STEM/STEAM related gifts, Programmable Robots, Electronics Kits and Gadgets for Tech Age Kids and Teens.


Get crafty with technology. Here we'll post all our ideas and projects using technology to get creative and making with kids. You'll find anything from making a lemon battery to a glow-in-the-dark Minecraft sword. Our projects are tried and tested on our own kids or at events we run, so we are sure you can have a go at home with your kids. Some of our projects use specific tech gadgets which we provide links for you to purchase.


STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. In recent years there is an increased focus in these areas of study. We like to include Art and Design too, so we often talk about STEAM (A stands for Art). At Tech Age Kids we believe Coding is a new literacy and children need to understand how technology works, practice making skills and grow in their curiosity to make a better future for us all.


Coding is increasingly being recognised as an important skill for children to learn. Some will learn to code at school or at a coding club, but it's brilliant if they get support at home too.


We think it's really important for kids to get hands-on with electronics and learn how to make circuits and write code to control hardware. Younger kids can start with conductive playdough. For kids who like to combine craft and tech, littleBits are fab. And we love SAM Labs wireless electronics components for making it easy for kids to make Internet of Things inventions. Lots of electronics kits for kids have support for the Arduino microprocessor environment. The DuinoKit Jr is one of our favourites. Arduino is a fab skill for older kids and teens to develop.


We love robots at Tech Age Kids, especially programmable ones. We've got lots of them and write reviews and projects that use them. Our programmable robots for kids buying guide is a good place to start if you're not sure what's available. Roby the mBot Meccano robot dog is one of our popular projects and has been with us to lots of events. Our Ozobot LEGO trailer is fab for kids who love LEGO and robots.

MAKING AND CRAFT$show=/search/label/making

We're advocates of the creative use of technology, but this needs to be balanced with developing physical skills such as papercraft, woodwork, clay modelling, technical drawing and soldering. If children don't develop these skills as they grow up then physical making projects can become frustrating rather than fun. The Maker Community uses the term 'making' as a broad term to include all sorts of artisan skills or craft activities. Being able to make things can lead to life-long hobbies or even careers. It's a great feeling to be able to take a project from an idea in your head to a real object that does something. We're particularly interested to explore products that combine maker skills with tech skills such as electronics but others focus purely on the physical making skills that are still important to modern making.

Helping Children Learn to Type (and is there any point!)

I've been thinking about helping my older son learn to type properly. He's 6 and enjoys typing things on a virtual or physical keyboard. He's always making notes about adventures he wants to go on, or the models he's going to make from LEGO.

I've been having a look at apps, accessories and websites that will help him to learn to type properly. I figure that if he learns good habit now while he's young, that will put him in a good position as he gets older. As with most things, it's something I'll offer him now and then and see whether he takes to it, rather than something I'll force on him. Though if he can't touch type by the time he's going to high school then he'll get some stronger encouragement.

At what age should kids learn to type? I'd say as soon as they show any interest in typing full sentences and paragraphs of text, or need to do so for school. They need to be able to have a go at spelling words too (it doesn't matter if they get them right and they can learn to use auto-correct too.) And they need to have good enough fine motor control and attention span that they won't just get frustrated - probably best to have a short go if you're not sure and see how they get on. 

Now I know there will be people reading this who think I should be focusing on writing on paper, and yes, that's also something we think about. But nearly all of his school writing is on paper and his hand-writing is okay for his age. He sees writing on paper at home as a bit of a chore most of the time, whereas writing on a tablet or PC is something he does for fun. I see it as a separate activity, it's not instead of writing on paper, it's in addition too.

Also, how often do you write anything of any length on paper these days? I even write shopping lists on a computer, and tend to take notes on the computer if I'm on the phone. I'm a nightmare with bits of paper. I lose them. I think typing is a far more useful skill to have these days. Though yes, kids should be able to write just in case we do get one of those tech blackout scenarios that the preppers worry about ...

I'm actually old enough to have learned to touch type on a manual typewriter with ribbons and a physical carriage return and a satisfying ding noise! There were computers around when I was a child (I'm not that old!) but we didn't get taught to type at school, so a friend and I signed up to a local adult education college and took a secretarial typewriting course in the evenings. This was definitely a useful skill to have as I headed towards an IT career.

Of course the current keyboard layout was designed for manual typewriters that could jam rather than for modern electronic keyboards. There have been various attempts to redesign the keyboard which haven't caught on. We have a one-handed keyboard somewhere in our tech cemetery. The latest attempt focuses on remapping the tablet keyboard for faster typing. Researchers at the University of St Andrews have designed a new split-screen keyboard layout that their research shows increases typing speed by more than a third on tablets and smartphones.

This is interesting because quite a bit of my son's typing is on a tablet. He started recording his thoughts in writing with the virtual keyboard on his V-Tech InnoTab 2 which has a note-taking app. He still uses it to record his thoughts when it's the nearest device available. It has a qwerty on-screen keyboard that you can either touch or use the stylus with.  

Then he progressed to the Kindle Fire HD where he's using the  ColorNote app. (Note that it has social sharing features so you might want to think about what you child is able to / has permission to do.) This is a step up as it's easy to get the content to a PC to use in another project.

So will tablets and phones have a different layout for touch typing in future? Or will we even be typing - there's so much happening around voice, swipe and gesture interfaces. I don't know, but I don't think it's worth worrying about that yet. Qwerty will be with us for a while!

Kindle Fire HD Set Up for Typing
I bought a physical keyboard case for the Kindle Fire HD which means he can type on a real but smaller keyboard. This works well as it's a better size for him.

We have a bluetooth keyboard which attached magnetically to the case so it's easy to put the keyboard on the desk and then put the tablet at a child's eye height for good typing posture. (yes, we should worry about kids' posture when using gadgets.)

When the keyboard is put into the case it can be used netbook style, but obviously the screen is lower then and time in this position should be limited. 

He also uses the Google Drive Docs editor which is similar to other word-processing tools including those he uses at school. He also prefers a smaller keyboard for the PC. I do too, I guess I must have small hands, so I happen to have a USB laptop-sized keyboard for typing and I let him borrow that. 

So that's definitely something to think about when teaching your child to touch type. Do they have a keyboard that is the right size for their hands. A standard PC keyboard is pretty big for little kids. This isn't too much of a problem when they are using the hunt and peck approach to type 'Playmobil egypt' into YouTube (as my son did this morning - those videos are excellent!) But when learning to type correctly, having the right sized keyboard is important so you might want to consider either a physical keyboard for a tablet, or a laptop or netbook keyboard.

We're going to focus on using a physical keyboard rather than a tablet because it's easier to sit at a desk and adopt a good posture. 

OK, now let's take a look at some of the ways kids can learn to touch type. There are loads of websites, apps and games where kids can learn to type. We'll just highlight a few.

There's an interesting new Kickstarter project about learning to type with color coded gloves and keyboard. It's initially focused on Apple devices.

This does look interesting. That is the hard part isn't it, remembering which fingers need to go where until you've developed the muscle memory for it to be automatic.

BrightFingers is available as an app for OS X and iOS or as an iPad keyboard case with gloves. I'd like to see the main bit of those gloves in black - white might be cool but it will get grubby quickly (/practicalmummode.)

BrightFingers is already well on the way to it's goal and the Kickstarter runs until Monday May 27.

They do plan an Android app which we'd definitely be interested in.  We're planning to get an iPad but I'm holding out until we see what the new models are for this year.

OK, so what else is there?

For younger kids we like the fun Dance Mat Typing game from the BBC. It's a browser based game that teaches typing and we've found that it works perfectly on the Kindle Fire HD with the physical keyboard. My son has played this a few times and is starting to learn where his fingers need to go. It's great for younger kids as it talks to tell them what to do. You'll have to cope with the quirky British regional accent though!

For Android we're going to be trying out TapWriter which features a virtual version of one of those historical mechanical typing machines that I mentioned earlier.

For older kids, TapTyping for iOS gets good reviews and helps to develop faster typing. I like the idea of typing in extracts from US history, Alice's Adventure's in Wonderland and other interesting texts. Note that there is some free content and some paid for lessons.

24 days of Scratch coding book cover and cute penguin

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Tech Age Kids | Technology for Children: Helping Children Learn to Type (and is there any point!)
Helping Children Learn to Type (and is there any point!)
Tech Age Kids | Technology for Children
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