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.

BitsBox Review - Monthly Coding Subscription for Kids


BitsBox is a monthly coding subscription service for kids aged around 6-12. You can get a physical BitsBox with extra goodies or a digital download. The basic idea is that kids get new coding projects to type into an online editor each month.

I tried BitsBox out with my 7 year old who has some experience with Scratch, Code.org and other blockly-based languages.

Disclaimer: BitsBox sent us a box to try out. Views are our own.


Copying Code, Really?


BitsBox gets kids to type in code from their monthly subscription booklets or trading cards. A lot of people will wonder if this is an effective way to learn to code and imagine that kids don't learn anything when they are just copying. 

This isn't the case at all. I learnt to code by typing listings in my Sinclair Spectrum back in the 80s. My 7 year old quickly got the idea and was changing the code and trying new things as soon as he got his first program running.



Having said that, some of the projects do need a bit of explanation for younger or less experienced kids to understand what's going on. Parents may need to step in and help kids work out how a project works if kids can't do that themselves. 


Typing for Kids?

So, most coding languages for kids are graphical rather than requiring kids to type. There are good reasons for this: it means that the available commands are always visible and don't need to be remembered, kids are generally slow typers and syntax errors are pretty much eliminated. 

BitsBox has gone for a typing-based interface. My 7 year old was frustrated with this after a short time. He knew what he wanted to do. He understood the commands. But his typing isn't quick. And BitsBox uses JavaScript syntax which relies on lots of brackets and quotes which are hard to type. 

You can navigate through lots of different assets but there's no help to create the code to use them. You have to type it which feels a bit tedious when it could be generated easily. 

There's certainly an argument that kids need to learn to code but most textual coding tools have content assist to help. That would be really useful here, but BitsBox doesn't have it. 

Maybe it would encourage some kids to learn to type, but it seems to be the other way around for my son, he'll only be keen to use an interface like this once his typing is fast enough to keep up with his ideas.

I also showed my 9 year old son whose typing is a bit faster. But he was busy coding turtles to chop down trees, attack zombies and plant seeds using Lua in the Minecraft ComputerCraft mod.

I think both kids will return to BitsBox coding when they want to create a quick 'app'.

Creating Apps


You can scan a QR code for a BitzBox project to run it in a browser on a phone or tablet. But you can't yet edit your code on the device. This meant it had limited appeal while my son was actually coding. But as a way to show someone a finished project it works well. 

Added Extras


Our BitsBox came with a Super Hero cape. I didn't expect my son to be interested in it as it's a very long time since he was interested in dressing up as a super hero. But he played along and put it on while he coded. He's at the younger end of the age range, I can't imagine a 10 year old would have been interested in it. The super hero dog character did appeal to him though. 

The Projects


The projects are fun and kids can use them as a jumping off point for their own ideas. A monthly subscription is a great idea as it keeps kids returning and trying new things.

As kids can join the subscription at any point there no progression. But kids will pick up new skills each month that they can apply to their own projects. 

The monthly subscription is expensive, but there are lots of projects in each issue. I think a smaller cheaper subscription might make sense for a lot of families so that they could maintain kids' interest over a longer period of time. 

The Assets


The digital assets are a real strength of BitsBox. There are lots of high-quality backgrounds, stamps, sounds and music. This means that kids can readily create 'apps' that look great. Poor graphics and sounds is a weakness of a lot of free kids coding environments. 

Verdict


I definitely like the idea of a subscription service that offers new coding projects each month. It's a great way to keep the momentum going. The BitsBox projects and assets are very good. We think the environment for entering code could be improved to make it less tedious, but kids that are willing to put the effort in will develop their typing skills and be more ready for text-based programming environments.



The BitsBox coding environment is free to use so you can try it out with your kids first. If they like it then a single month of the digital subscription does offer good value and will show kids how to get the most from the environment. (Subscriptions renew automatically but you can cancel at any time.)

A lot of families will find a regular $20 per month for the digital version too expensive never mind the $40 a month  ($30 if you subscribe for 12 months) for the physical box. However, if the price point is affordable to you and the projects appeal to your kids then the convenience and motivation may be worth it.

The way the pricing is structured you can see how your kids respond before making a big commitment.


Name

2013,13,3d printing,5,3DTin,2,accessories,1,activities,1,adafruit,1,adventure games,1,amazon,12,amazon fire,2,amazon prime,1,android,6,angry birds,1,animation,6,anki,1,app,18,app toy,4,app toys,8,appcessories,1,apple,1,apps,25,arcbotics,1,architecture,4,arckit,9,arduino,33,art,1,artificial intelligence,5,astronauts,2,astronomy,1,augmented reality,11,automaton,1,awards,1,battle bots,2,battling robots,2,bedtime,1,big kids,99,big tablets,1,bigtrak,1,bike,1,binary,1,birthday,4,bitsbox,1,black friday,2,blockly,1,blogging,1,bloxels,1,bluetooth,2,board games,7,books,34,boolean box,1,breadboard,2,bricks,1,brixo,1,buying guide,5,camera,4,cameras,1,card game,1,careers,2,catroid,1,celebration,1,cellphone,1,ces,2,chemistry,2,chess,1,christmas,42,circuit cubes,1,circuit playground,8,circuit scribe,10,cleaning,1,climbing,1,code clubs,1,code-a-pillar,1,codebug,1,coder,2,coding,169,cognitive learning,1,communication,1,comparison,1,competition/challenges,9,computational thinking,3,computer,2,computer games,1,computer science,2,computer vision,2,computers,1,computing,1,conductive playdough,2,connected toys,7,construction,40,conversational ai,1,cozmo,1,craft,34,craft cutter,3,creative thinking,1,creativity,3,crochet,1,crowdfunding,119,css,1,cubs,1,curiosity,1,curious chip,1,cyber monday,1,dads,1,data,1,deals,4,dens,2,design,10,design process,1,design thinking,7,digital parenting,2,digital skills,13,disability,1,disney infinity,1,dog tech,1,dolls,2,drawing,2,drones,2,duinokit,1,earth day,1,Easter,4,ebooks,11,eco,1,edblocks,1,edison,5,edtech,1,education,79,egypt,1,electricity,1,electronic pets,2,electronic toys,2,electronics,141,electronics kit,3,electronics kits,1,electtronics,1,elementary,1,elenco,2,energy,1,engineering,17,entertainment,1,ereader,1,ereaders,6,esafety,1,escape the room,1,event,21,ewriter,1,exercise,4,family,12,family tech,2,fathers day,1,Festival of Code,1,fiction,1,fitness tracker,2,flotilla,3,flow charts,1,flutterbye fairy,1,flying,1,force awakens,2,force friday,2,future,2,gadgets,36,games,35,games console,2,games consoles,8,gaming,3,gift guide,53,gifts,12,girls,23,giveaway,4,glow in the dark,1,google,1,grace hopper,1,grove,1,hackaball,2,hacksoton,1,halloween,12,halloween costumes,1,hardware,2,headphones,1,health,1,hexbug,3,hexbug aquabots,1,hexbug project,1,high school,1,history,26,home,1,home education,2,homeschool,4,hot toys,7,hour of code,3,html,4,humanoid,4,ICT,1,in app purchasing,1,indiegogo,13,industry event,9,innotab,5,innotab 3,3,innotab 3s,1,internet access,1,interviews,1,invention,4,ios,3,IoT,4,ipad,7,ipad mini,1,iphone,2,jacquard,1,japan,1,java,1,javascript,5,k'nex,7,k'nex robotics,1,kano,7,keyboard,1,kickstarter,91,kids,3,kindle,5,kindle fire,8,kit,2,kits,5,kodu,1,kubo,1,label printer,1,languages,1,laptop,1,laptops,1,last minute,1,leap motion,1,leapfrog,2,leappad,7,leappad 2,3,leappad ultra,3,leappad2,1,leapreader,1,learning,5,learning resources,5,learning tablet,2,learning tablets,9,leds,2,lego,36,lego boost,1,lego chain reactions,1,lego mindstorms ev3,5,lego power functions,2,lego technic,5,lego wedo,2,let's start coding,1,lights,1,lightseekers,1,little kids,110,littlebits,16,logiblocs,1,logic,3,logical thinking,4,loom,1,machines,1,magnetic,1,make it,2,makeblock,16,makedo,1,maker,6,makey makey,6,making,54,mardles,1,mars,1,mars rover,1,marty,1,math,3,maths,1,mbot,6,mbot ranger,1,me arm,1,meccano,6,meccanoid,5,meccanoid 2.0,1,merge vr,1,mews,1,michael faraday,1,micro:bit,9,microbit,6,microcontroller,5,microscope,1,microsoft,1,middle school,6,miles kelly,1,mindstorms,3,minecraft,21,minecraft mods,1,mixed reality,1,mobile,1,modular electronics,2,monsters university,1,morse code,2,mothers day,4,motion capture,1,motors,2,mover kit,3,movie,1,movies,4,mu,1,mu toys,1,munzee,1,music,10,my first robot,2,national dog day,1,nature,1,new year,1,news,167,news coding,1,nikola tesla,1,nintendo,2,nintendo switch,2,ohbot,3,ollie,3,on the web,1,opinion,19,origami,1,osmo,4,outdoors,13,ouya,1,ozobot,10,papercraft,3,parental controls,2,parenting,34,parrot,1,pc,1,people,8,pet tech,2,pets,3,phone,1,photography,1,photon,1,physics,3,pi day,1,picks,2,pimoroni,1,pinoccio,1,pixel kit,1,pixelart,4,play,2,playstation 4,3,plezmo,1,pocket code,1,pocket money,1,pokemon,4,pokemon go,4,poll,1,pre order,1,pre-teens,1,prehistory,1,preschoolers,41,primary,41,printable,1,products,34,professor einstein,1,programming,15,project,102,projects,11,puzzles,4,python,10,racing,1,raspberry pi,29,reading,12,reivew,1,remote control,1,research,3,resource,34,resources,2,retro,2,review,219,rights,1,robot,10,robot dog,1,robot fish,1,robot wars,3,ROBOTERRA,1,roboticals,1,robotics,32,robots,140,role models,1,role play,1,romo,1,romotive,1,root,1,rover,1,safety,2,sam labs,6,samuel morse,1,sandbox,1,schools,3,science,16,scratch,44,scratchjr,2,screen time,2,screenless,15,screens,1,sensors,5,servos,1,simbrix,7,skills,1,skylanders,3,skylanders superchargers,1,skylanders swap force,1,smart pens,1,smartphone,1,smartwatch,1,snap circuits,2,social media,1,solar power,2,soldering,2,sonic pi,1,sony koov,1,sound,3,space,8,sparki,2,speaker,3,speech sythesis,1,sphero,12,sphero mini,1,spider,2,star wars,6,stars,1,STEAM,1,stem,10,stikbot,1,stop motion,2,stop motion studio,1,storage,1,story,2,strawbees,2,students,1,subscription,5,subscriptions,1,sugru,1,summer,7,swift,1,tablet,2,tablets,23,tangible coding,2,tech,3,tech age,1,tech craft,4,tech is bad,7,tech is good,4,tech toys,21,tech will save us,10,technology,2,technology will save us,3,teens,61,teknikio,3,tekno,1,teksta,1,tenka labs,1,tesla,1,textiles,1,thames & kosmos,2,the extraordinaires,1,tim berners lee,1,tinkercad,1,tinybop,3,toddlers,8,toot-toot,1,top pick,4,touch,1,toy,1,toys,5,travelling,1,TV,1,tween,1,tweens,118,tynker,2,typing,1,ux,1,vehicles,1,videos,3,view-master,1,views,10,virtual reality,8,voice assistants,1,voice recognition,2,vtech,8,web,2,websites,1,wifi,1,wii,2,wii u,2,windows 8,1,wonder workshop,9,wowwee,2,writing,7,writing. education,1,xbox one,2,xyzprinting,1,
ltr
item
Tech Age Kids | Technology for Children: BitsBox Review - Monthly Coding Subscription for Kids
BitsBox Review - Monthly Coding Subscription for Kids
https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-6znACAioqjM/VvukTOfMtSI/AAAAAAAABXc/l8jg7dbPLLYnjIWz-oKtOzFzOV3R6dn7A/s640/bitsbox-subscription-coding-kids-head.png
https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-6znACAioqjM/VvukTOfMtSI/AAAAAAAABXc/l8jg7dbPLLYnjIWz-oKtOzFzOV3R6dn7A/s72-c/bitsbox-subscription-coding-kids-head.png
Tech Age Kids | Technology for Children
https://www.techagekids.com/2016/03/bitsbox-review-monthly-coding.html
https://www.techagekids.com/
https://www.techagekids.com/
https://www.techagekids.com/2016/03/bitsbox-review-monthly-coding.html
true
15639169850959392
UTF-8
Loaded All Posts Not found any posts VIEW ALL Readmore Reply Cancel reply Delete By Home PAGES POSTS View All RECOMMENDED FOR YOU LABEL ARCHIVE SEARCH ALL POSTS Not found any post match with your request Back Home Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat January February March April May June July August September October November December Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec just now 1 minute ago $$1$$ minutes ago 1 hour ago $$1$$ hours ago Yesterday $$1$$ days ago $$1$$ weeks ago more than 5 weeks ago Followers Follow THIS PREMIUM CONTENT IS LOCKED STEP 1: Share to a social network STEP 2: Click the link on your social network Copy All Code Select All Code All codes were copied to your clipboard Can not copy the codes / texts, please press [CTRL]+[C] (or CMD+C with Mac) to copy