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.

Celebrate Tim Peake's Launch with littleBits Space Kit

littlebits space kit time peake launch celebrate

It's been a rather exciting day yesterday, with the launch of Soyuz, carrying 3 astronauts including Tim Peake, Britain’s first European Space Agency (ESA) astronaut. My kids came home having watched the launch live at school and my 7 year old exclaimed "I don't know what to choose, an astronaut, a scientist or a musician" My reply off course was, you can do all three - a space scientist that plays guitar! Such fantastical dreams seem more plausible as kids witness events like the launch of the Principia Mission.

We got a littleBits Space Kit for Christmas, but I just couldn't resist getting it out with the kids, as we were all very excited about space. At Tech Age Kids, we really like littleBits as a tool to explore with electronic designs and inventions. There are a variety of different kits and so understanding what you get in the kit and what you can build with it, can help your purchase decision.

littleBits

littleBits is a fantastic company and have won awards for their kits. Their Gizmos and Gadgets set, which we reviewed earlier this year, received rave reviews from New York Times, saying it's "Tech Toys to inspire a Child's Imagination".

  • Special Offer: Get a free mini-synth music bundle with any order over $199. Use code MUSIC.

Earlier in the year I bought a Premium Kit for my son's birthday and we've made some fun things, including a bubble machine for his party. (It was a huge hit with his friends). The Space Kit was on an excellent offer and we decided to expand our littleBits collection.

In the Box


We were very excited to get a few additional "special" Bits from the Space Kit. littleBits works a bit like LEGO sets, each set is a standalone kit with it's own projects and possibilities for inventions. With additional kits you can invent more and try out different electrical components.

So in the Space Kit we got a DC motor, a speaker, microphone, light sensor, digital number display, infrared (IR) LED and trigger and two power Bits. In fact apart from a couple Bits, we've done very well to expand our littleBits collection with the Space Kit.

The box is sturdy enough to use as storage for your littleBits and cleverly designed in black with shiny silver. A real space look and feel.


Age Ratings


The age recommendation for the Space Kit is 14+ however I explored the kit yesterday with my 7 year old. He is very interested in science and enjoyed to figure out what happens if you click different Bits together.

His favourite Bits were the speaker, microphone and IR LED and trigger, which he used to make a microphone to announce the rocket launch countdown.

The kit makes a fantastic tool to learn science concepts, which to be fair is too advance for my 7 year old to comprehend. However working together and explaining the science at his level, we learned loads.

My teen (currently writing exams) briefly played with the kit and was impressed with the variety of Bits, clicked some together to make a light sensor and turned it into a game for his younger sibling using the number Bit.

The Bits are delicate and real electrical components so we recommend younger children to use it alongside adults or older siblings.

Projects and Inventions


littlebits space kit yuri docking spacecraft

The booklet, which comes in the box, contains 10 activities which were developed in partnership with NASA Goddard Space Flight Centre. For tweens and teens, the Space Kit can help bring science to life as you can explore different types of energy, electromagnetic energy, and sound and light waves. Many of the projects ask you to collect data and test your hypotheses.

littleBits encourages an online community of makers to share projects and so you can find more inventions online.

We're planning to make the Mars Rover (7 year old's choice) once we've collected all the materials. Subscribe to our email list, to read about our project later.

Conclusion


The Space Kit is a great set to explore earth and space science with your kids at home. We like that it contains a good range of different components, which can also be used to make other inventions, which isn't necessarily space-science related.

The 14+ age recommendation, we believe is due to the complexity of the science concepts explored with the Space Kit. However other littleBits kits have age ratings of 8+ and so we recommend, this kit could be suitable as a expansion kit for a younger littleBits enthusiast.

The Gizmos and Gadgets Kit would be our recommendation for a family with younger kids, as it comes with a good selection of Bits for making.

Space exploration has certainly gained popularity this week, with the launch of Soyuz carrying 3 astronauts (space scientists) to the International Space Station. Happy space exploration with the kids.


HURRY as, today is the last day you can order your littleBits Kits to get them before Christmas and get free shipping if you spend $60.

Space

Name

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Tech Age Kids | Technology for Children: Celebrate Tim Peake's Launch with littleBits Space Kit
Celebrate Tim Peake's Launch with littleBits Space Kit
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Tech Age Kids | Technology for Children
https://www.techagekids.com/2015/12/celebrate-tim-peake-littlebits-space-kit.html
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