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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.

Print Your Own Adventure with Choosatron

The Choosatron is a very neat little interactive story box. It's inspired by Choose Your Own Adventure style books and the interactive fiction genre.

But rather than using paper or e-Books or even a computer screen as its medium it takes a much more hands-on approach to story consumption.

The custom story gets printed on inkless thermal paper as each decision is made.

The Choosatron itself feels like something from a story to me. I can imagine it being discovered in an attic when a group of cousins meet up at their grandparents for a summer vacation. Will they 1) Ignore it and go back to their video games 2) Take it to show their grandparents or 3) Turn it on and see what happens?

I admit that my first reaction to this project was that it's cool but completely unnecessary. Why not just write an app and save the paper? But it has drawn me in ...

I loved Choose Your Own Adventure books as a child and I've recently bought one for my six year old son to try - I think he'll enjoy them too. I'm also an avid interactive fiction gamer (well as avid as you can be when there just aren't enough games being produced in the genre.) I love the experience of participating in the story, and plan to introduce my kids to interactive fiction.

Authors are lined up to write stories for the Choosatron and the project is aimed at kids so there should be a good amount of kid-friendly content at launch. The sample stories are helpfully given a movie-style age rating so you can tell who they are suitable for.

But one of the really cool things is that you will be able to write your own adventure too. Adults can write stories for their own kids and kids can create their own interactive adventures. Choosatron works with the Twine software which allows you to create a story map with decision points. Being able to develop your own story which gets printed out as your friends go through is very cool. And imagine your child's face as a custom story appears in front of them.

There's lots of scope here for combining creativity and logical thinking to develop the skills that kids need for the future. The Choosatron would make an excellent resource for a school or club as well as being an amazing project to have at home.
"Even a kid will be able to assemble it in less than 10 minutes."
But that's not all! The Choosatron actually comes as a kit that can be assembled so kids will get a chance to see inside and get some insight into how the magic works. (I'm not sure about the "Even a kid" line. My 6 year old is rapidly overtaking me in his ability to assemble things.)

I can see some kids just getting totally inspired by this device and spending hours crafting adventures for their long-suffering younger siblings to try out.

The inventor of the Choosatron is Jerry Belich who has had an interesting career mixing technology and creativity (you can find out about what he's done on the Choosatron Kickstarter page.) The Choosatron is just the thing to develop the skills of the next generation of creative inventors.

Pledge: Choosatron Interactive Fiction Arcade Machine on Kickstarter


Name

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Tech Age Kids | Technology for Children: Print Your Own Adventure with Choosatron
Print Your Own Adventure with Choosatron
Tech Age Kids | Technology for Children
https://www.techagekids.com/2013/07/print-your-own-adventure-with-choosatron.html
https://www.techagekids.com/
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https://www.techagekids.com/2013/07/print-your-own-adventure-with-choosatron.html
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