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.

9 Top Tips for the best Maker Faire experience with Kids

Last year we went to our first ever Maker Faire.  We piled the kids in the car and off we went, soon arriving at a big hall, packed to the brim with gadgets and gizmos, activities to try and weird and wonderful things to explore.  Our youngest child was 3, and although he enjoyed some of it, I was glad we didn't have to squeeze a buggy into the space.  It was a long, but thoroughly enjoyable day out with the family.  We learnt a few tricks from our first experience at a Maker Faire.  Hopefully they can help you have a brilliant day out at a Maker Faire near you.



Our Top Tips for attending a Maker Faires


Hands-free

Make sure you carry a backpack and keep your hands free to get stuck in with activities.  Pack light and get the kids to help spread the load with their own bagpacks.  Remember to keep some space in the bagpack for things you buy or make at the faire.

Survey the land

Sometimes there is a timed entry to control the number of people in the venue at any one time.  Once you're in, quickly work your way around all the stalls to get an overview of what there is and what you would like to spend time on.

Sign up for workshops early

Sometimes there are workshops that you can sign up for in advance, sometimes you need to sign up on the day. Make sure you're prepared so you don't miss out.  We missed out on workshops at our first faire, so this year we are definitely going for the sign-up sheets first.

Water bottle

Bring your own water bottle, sometimes there are water fountains you can use to fill up.  A handy drink allows you to stay in with the action and not stand in long queues for refreshments.

Show me the money

Bring cash, most of the exhibitors are showing off the new gadgets, and you may want to spend your pennies to own the latest tech.  In our experience all the activities were payable in cash.


Split up

If you can, bring an adult for every child, that way each child can enjoy what they would like to engage in and adults can keep a watchful eye (and off course get involved too).  This worked really well for us at our first faire, my husband and I swapped children halfway through the day so we both got to experience different things.

Take a break

It's usually very busy and crowded and can get hot.   Plan ahead and pack a picnic (again to avoid the queues and create useful space after you've eaten for your purchases). Take a break from the busyness of the event and chat about everything you have seen and still would like to take part in.

Try something different

We are creatures of habit and so naturally will gravitate towards things we are familiar with.  A makers faire is a great opportunity to be creative and try something you have never done before.  Experiment, create, explore

Take pictures

See something you like, take a picture and try it at home or look the company up at home to find out more about their product and what they have on offer

Where to find Maker Faires

There is a main global website for Maker Faires around the world: http://makerfaire.com/
You'll be able to search for a Maker Faire near you. They are a celebration of makers and projects can range anything from knitting to high-tech robots. If you are a maker of something (you don't have to be earning money from it), you may be interested to show off your skills and wares at one of these faires. Most of these events are volunteer led, to inpsire making and creativity in a community, so if you do choose to go and can afford it, help them along, by making a donation.

We've booked our tickets for this year - go on, find a maker faire local to you and do something different with the kids.

Name

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Tech Age Kids | Technology for Children: 9 Top Tips for the best Maker Faire experience with Kids
9 Top Tips for the best Maker Faire experience with Kids
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Tech Age Kids | Technology for Children
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