NEWS$show=/search/label/news

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.

REVIEWS$show=/search/label/review

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.

PROJECTS$show=/search/label/project

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$show=/search/label/stem

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$show=/search/label/coding

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.

ELECTRONICS$show=/search/label/electronics

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.

ROBOTICS$show=/search/label/robotics

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.

Kids Tech 80s Style

Since we're on the topic of kids and technology, I thought I'd cover my experience of technology when I was a kid and the huge impact it had on me.

I grew up in the 70s and 80s and my early years were fairly gadget-free, but if you compare with just a few decades earlier then I guess there was quite a bit of technology around.  We had a telephone with a dial in our house (which my parents considered to be very fancy and modern.) We had a black and white television (with kids programs for an hour or two a day.) My Mum had a washing machine and a radio, and my Dad had a record player.


The record player had the biggest impact on me. My Dad only had about 10 albums and most of them were by Johnny Cash. I'm a lifelong Johnny Cash fan!

Later I got a Casio electronic calculator which you could play games on. I must have spent hours and hours playing with that.

A quick search shows that it was probably a Casio MG-880 (or similar model) which came out in 1980. It seems that lots of other people have fond memories of this calculator. And don't you just love YouTube. There it is. Mine was in a black case that flipped open.

I also had a tabletop space invaders game with a screen and Joystick. (Or did it belong to my cousin? All my memories of it seem to be at our Grandmother's house.) Again a websearch does the trick: it was the Grandstand Astro Wars from 1981.

And again I've been able to find a video. I remember those sounds well!

My best friend at primary school had one of those ping-pong games that you plugged in to the TV. I was very much in awe of that :-)

I was part of the first generation where electronic gadgets like this were widely available. It's pretty tame by today's standards. But electronic games were part of my life by the time I was 8 or 9.

I do remember asking for, and getting, a tape recorder / player for my birthday and being able to listen to music and audio book tapes. I only had a few of each and would play them over and over again. (No Spotify or Overdrive back then!)

We didn't have a VCR or a microwave. My Dad was not one to spend money on fancy gadgets.

In 1982 he completely surprised us by coming home just before Christmas with a Sinclair ZX Spectrum 16k that he had bought from W H Smith.

I'm still shocked that he spent so much money on it. But I'm very grateful that he did. I don't think it's overstating things to say that that small black box with the rubbery keys changed the course of my life.

It was intended as a gift for the whole family. My Dad thought he'd like to learn to program so he had also bought a book on learning Spectrum BASIC. He lost interest quickly, but at 10 years of age I learnt to program.

I used to write maths games for my younger sister and make her play them (sorry!) I designed sprites and simple games and applications. I copied in programs from the bundle of C&VG magazines I found in a charity shop. I peeked and poked.

(I'm still upset that my Mum gave away the Spectrum when I was away at University. I would have kept it forever.)

I went on to save up for and buy an Amiga A500 which I still have (thankfully, I took that to University with me.) And that was it, I was on the path to a career in computing and becoming a life-long gadget lover.  We did not learn IT at school other than a bit of word processing and playing an occasional game on the BBC Micros. It was my experience of home computers that lead me to computing at university.

All this technology felt pretty cutting edge at the time. I was aware that it was new and exciting.

Tomorrow's World was regular viewing in our house. We watched it in black and white though, we didn't have a colour TV until I was much older.

Wow that was a nostalgic trip back to my childhood. I was expecting to write about how little technology was around then. But actually, I had my share of gadgets and used them regularly.

The lack that really stands out is the internet. There were bulletin boards around but I didn't have permission to run up a phone bill using them!

My kids certainly have access to more gadgets that I did. But I think the access they have to information has a far greater impact. If they have a question they can just look up the answer. I would have loved that so much.




Name

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Tech Age Kids | Technology for Children: Kids Tech 80s Style
Kids Tech 80s Style
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Tech Age Kids | Technology for Children
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