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.

Learning about Solar Power with the Solar Recycler Robot

My 7 year old son, recently got a Super Solar Recycler for his birthday from a friend. Usually I'm a little sceptical of kits like these, as they tend to be fragile and tricky to assemble. However my son was super excited to make it and so we cleared the kitchen table, got all our tools and opened the box. My 4 year old joined us too and thoroughly enjoyed the experience.

The kit came in rigid plastic sheets, with numbered parts that needed cutting out. This was too tricky for my son to do on his own, but it did mean we could all work as a team to build the model. My younger son, found the numbers on the sheet (with some help), I cut the pieces out and the older one built it. The kit can be built into 6 different robots. We chose to make the CD Racer first. We had some fun trying to figure out how the motor is put together and which way the gears needs to turn to make the racer go forwards. The instructions were slightly complicated for a 7 year old, but it wasn't too difficult to figure out in the end.


My son loves science and exploring the world around him. This kit was a perfect starter project to explore how solar energy works. When we finished our CD racer we took it outside to test. Thankfully it was a sunny day to make it move. I was genuinely impressed at how well it worked. The kids excitedly danced around the moving vehicle and we soon discovered every time their shadow fell on the solar panel it stopped working. This sparked many great questions and discussions about how solar power works.  We found this video on "The Kid Should See This" on solar power.


The next morning we made the Drummer Robot, using an empty tin can. Unfortunately we had to take the CD Racer apart to make it, but the pieces are very durable and I imagine we will be able to make each of the 6 models in the kit over and over again. My son made a little video about the Drummer Robot, which he is planning to use towards his summer badge scheme with diy.org.



Things we liked

We got to experiment with solar power and building a motor and I didn't have to be an engineer to figure it out. It provided hours of fun family time engaging both my 4 and 7 year olds.

Things we liked less

The robot didn't work on a cloudy day. In order to make the models you need some of your recycling, thankfully we had 3 old CDs and tin cans, but we had to wait a week for the large plastic bottle to be empty. The pieces were tricky to prepare, but once all the burs were sliced off, they fitted securely together.

Conclusion

I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of the Super Solar Recycler and definitely recommend it for anyone interested in a fun and easy experiment with the kids. I will be adding it to my list of gifts to buy for kids parties in the future. I think it's time we try building the Bottle Yatch tomorrow.
Name

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Tech Age Kids | Technology for Children: Learning about Solar Power with the Solar Recycler Robot
Learning about Solar Power with the Solar Recycler Robot
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Tech Age Kids | Technology for Children
https://www.techagekids.com/2015/08/learning-about-solar-power-with-solar.html
https://www.techagekids.com/
https://www.techagekids.com/
https://www.techagekids.com/2015/08/learning-about-solar-power-with-solar.html
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