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.

Toy Alive: LEGO and Sony are working on adding electronics to building blocks

Two things we really like around here are LEGO and tech, and a new project called Toy Alive is looking to bring them together. Japanese tech company Sony are working with LEGO to add some tech wizardry to building blocks.

Japan Times reports on a demo that was on display at an open day at Sony Computer Science Laboratories Inc. The project aims to combine the features of construction toys and video games to create and imaginative and interactive experience for kids.


The team have been adding tiny electronics components to LEGO bricks to give them motors, lights and the ability to be controlled using a Sony PlayStation controller.

Now I'm sure some people will be of the opinion that LEGO is fine without adding electronics too it. But LEGO are concerned that kids are spending more and more time with digital devices and less with physical toys. And learning about technology adds another dimension to the imaginative and spatial skills that kids gain from LEGO.

In our house although gadgets are popular, LEGO definitely wins the popularity contest. It's very rare that a day goes by without the building blocks coming out. But, my kids are very aware of technology. We also play / create with littleBits and Snap Circuits. They have started asking whether we can add a motor or lights to their creations. This seems very natural to them and I can see things heading in that direction.

Now, you can get some automation components for LEGO Technic and there's LEGO Mindstorms for building robots. But what I'm seeing in Toy Alive is something that's much closer to the everyday LEGO experience of building with blocks and minifigs. My kids are big Ninjago fans and are starting to get interested in CHIMA too, both of these themes have physical game elements. Adding electronics to LEGO game themes makes a lot of sense.

I think the possibilities for kids being able to make their own interactive worlds are potentially more important than the gaming aspect. At the moment we have littleBits which are LEGO-like snap together electronics and we have LEGO pieces. We often end up trying to make them work together, but they're not designed to fit together so this can be a bit frustrating.

We'll be getting a LEGO Mindstorms set, but that's something quite different. It uses LEGO pieces but you're building a single large robot (unless you have multiple expensive sets.) Toy Alive looks like it works at standard LEGO scale which offers something quite different. 

My kids love making scenes and habitats for LEGO minifigs and the characters that they build. They would love small-scale electronics that would allow them to make their models do stuff. I really hope the project heads in that direction and we get LEGO-compatible mini electronics.

Meanwhile we'll have to make do with our KRE-O LightTech and K'Nex Sound Brick. And we do have a couple of LEGO light bricks.

Here's a video showing a demo on Toy Alive. It's just a research project at the moment, but I'm interested to see what it turns into.

Name

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Tech Age Kids | Technology for Children: Toy Alive: LEGO and Sony are working on adding electronics to building blocks
Toy Alive: LEGO and Sony are working on adding electronics to building blocks
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Tech Age Kids | Technology for Children
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