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.

Nintendo 2DS vs 3DS vs XL

Nintendo have announced the Nintendo 2DS a new hand-held games console for kids. It's a new model in its popular 3DS line. In this article we'll compare the new 2DS, the 3DS and the larger XL model.

There's some confusion around the new model. Numbers usually go up not down and functionality typically gets added to gadgets, not taken away! But the 2DS is a variant of the current generation 3DS console without the 3D functionality and with a different shape and design.


Games for the Nintendo 2DS and 3DS

The Nintendo 2DS plays the same games as the 3DS, it just doesn't support the 3D effects in the 3D games.

The Nintendo 2DS and 3DS both take physical cartridges. You can use older generation Nintendo DS game or the newer 3DS games.

Note that the 3DS allows the 3D functionality to be turned off to disable the 3D feature so you don't have to play in 3D on the 3DS.

You can also buy and download games for the 2DS and 3DS from the Nintendo eShop.
 

Recommended Age

The Nintendo 2DS is aimed at younger children than the 3DS. The 3D feature is not recommended for children under 7 years of age because their eyes are still developing and the effect is not understood.

The physical design is also intended to work well for younger kids. 

3D Feature

You can turn off the 3D effect on the 3DS and restrict it with parental controls but I guess the 2DS allows parents the security of knowing that the 3D feature cannot be accessed by the child under any circumstances. It also means that you are not paying extra for a feature your child can't use. Some parents of older kids will also want to avoid the 3D feature as unnecessary.

Some people love the 3D feature, others can take it or leave it. As kids get older they may see the 3D feature on a friends console and really want to upgrade. This is hard to predict. Some kids will be quite happy without it. 

Design and Weight

The physical design of the 2DS is also intended to work better for younger children. The hinge of the 3DS is a weak point and can become loose if kids are rough with it. Young kids may find the wedge design of the 2DS more comfortable. Note that the 2DS at around 260 grams is actually heavier than the 3DS at 235 grams though [source].

As you would expect, the larger 3DS XL is the heaviest in the range at 336 grams. (By comparison, an iPad Mini weighs around 308 grams.)

Personally I've always been rather fond of the clam shell design as it protects the screens when kids put the device down and wander off as they are prone to do.

One of the features that I know is important to my kids is actually the choice of colors. The new 2DS comes in either red/white or blue/black color ways. Whereas the 3DS is available in a range of colors and special designs. The XL is also available in a range of designs and special bundles including Pokemon X and Y. This will be a deciding factor for some kids if parents are able to afford the extra cost.

Screens

The Nintendo 2DS has the same two screen sizes as the 3DS they are just placed one above the other rather than being in a hinged configuration.  In both cases the lower screen is a touch screen.

The larger screens of the 3DS XL are of course its main feature.

Audio

The 3DS and 3DS XL have stereo speakers. The 2DS has a mono speaker but does support stereo sound via headphones. This probably isn't too much of an issue for a younger audience or those who want to save money.

Cameras

The 2DS has the same camera system as the 3DS so it can actually take 3D pictures. It can't view them though.  I guess that it wouldn't have saved any money to remove this capability so it's still there.

Battery Life


The 2DS claims a slightly longer battery life from a charge that takes the same amount of time and doesn't have the power saving mode that slightly improved battery life on the 3DS. Not much to choose between them here.

Price

The 2DS is a cheaper entry level device and has a MSRP of $129 versus $169 for the 3DS and $199 for the XL.

Summary

The new Nintendo 2DS is basically the same hardware as the 3DS but offers a cheaper way to be able to play new Nintendo games. It could be a good choice for those on a budget who are not likely to want to upgrade to get the 3D feature in the future.

As I've said, personally I like the folding design of the 3DS and XL which encourages kids to close the device and protect the screens when they stop playing. I'm not actually bothered about the 3D feature. My older son is almost 7 so that might change once he has a chance to try it out.

There's a good market for used Nintendo games consoles so you may be able to sell a 2DS is you do decide to move up to a 3DS later.


Buy: Nintendo 2DS, 3DS or XL at Gamestop
Name

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Tech Age Kids | Technology for Children: Nintendo 2DS vs 3DS vs XL
Nintendo 2DS vs 3DS vs XL
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Tech Age Kids | Technology for Children
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