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.

Kindle Paperwhite with FreeTime for Kids

Kindle Paperwhite, 6" High Resolution Display with Next-Gen Built-in Light, Wi-Fi - Includes Special Offers Amazon have announced that the new version of their Kindle Paperwhite eReader will have FreeTime for Kids functionality to tailor the device to children.

The Kindle Paperwhite is an eInk device with a light so it can be read in the dark - the modern version of reading under the covers with a flashlight! There's a new updated version coming out on September 30th which is available for pre-order now.

Amazon have said that the FreeTime for kids feature for the Paperwhite is coming soon. They already have a FreeTime service for the Kindle Fire which offers parental controls for the tablet, and also the Kindle FreeTime Unlimited subscription service for access to Kindle Fire content for kids. FreeTime for Paperwhite is a new service tailored to the eReader.

Working out how to share books within a family can be tricky. You want each child in the family to have access to only age appropriate content but you also want siblings and parents to be able to share books.

Kindle FreeTime includes profiles for children that allow you to specify which books from a parent's account they have access to. Each child can have a named profile and will just see their selected titles. This is a great idea.

I have an older Kindle. My 6 year old does use it but it's hard for him to find his books amongst mine. I like the idea of being able to make suitable titles available to him and then just letting him choose what to read.

Kindle FreeTime also has a progress monitoring and reward system. Parents can set reading goals for their kids and kids can achieve badges when they reach milestones.

There's also another kid-friendly new feature. The Vocabulary Builder allows readers to build up a list of words that they have looked up in the dictionary. They can then go through the words as flashcards checking whether they have mastered them. 

The new Kindle Paperwhite 2013 model has an upgraded specification with a better screen, but it's the FreeTime features that will make it appeal to parents who want to encourage their kids' love of reading.

There's no mention of the Kindle FreeTime Paperwhite service being available for older models.

Kindle Paperwhite vs Kindle Fire for Kids

It can be hard to decide whether to get a dedicated eReader or a tablet that kids can use for reading and other activities too. Some families will choose both and use them for different purposes. Although a multi-purpose device is appealing there are reasons why an eReader can make sense for children.

The display for the Paperwhite is designed to be easy on the eye. My older son is turning into a real bookworm. As he gets older I'll be encouraging him to read eBooks rather than physical books that take up space. If an eInk device can makes reading more comfortable then that's a significant advantage.

Tablets are also quite heavy. Amazon points out that the new Kindle Paperwhite is 30% lighter than the iPad Mini. This is an important consideration for kids. It can be uncomfortable to hold a tablet up to read for long periods of time.

Another factor is having a dedicated device. You can use the parental controls on the Kindle Fire to control access to other media, but having a separate device just for reading may help kids to focus.

The battery on a Kindle Paperwhite lasts weeks rather than hours. This means that your much less likely to find that it needs charging just when your child needs to do their bedtime reading.


Buy: Kindle Paperwhite 2013 model
Name

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Tech Age Kids | Technology for Children: Kindle Paperwhite with FreeTime for Kids
Kindle Paperwhite with FreeTime for Kids
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