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.

Make Your Own Easter Chocolates: 3D Printing and Silicone Moulds


My 7 year old has been working on a project with us to create his own chocolates for Easter this year. We don't have a 3D printer that can print food-safe chocolate, but we did find a way for him to create chocolate bunnies from his own design using 3D printing and food-safe silicone.

A couple of projects came together to make this happen:

  • Tech Age Kids was asked to review the Shapeasy 3D modeling app for children
  • My partner has been creating foodsafe silicone molds based on 3D printed objects and then filling them with chocolate or fondant. 

Making a 3D model of the bunny

We'll write up a full review of Shapeasy in a future post, but it allows kids to create 3D models by extruding 2D shapes. The interface is designed just to create models in this way which we found worked well. Once my son had mastered the interface he was able to create models pretty independently whereas he still finds more full-featured 3D modelling tools frustrating. 

With a bit of help getting started he created this bunny model for his Easter chocolates:



He was also able to view a 3D version of the model so he could see what it would look like:


Shapeasy is able to email a stl file ready for 3D printing. In this case we didn't want to 3D print the bunny, we wanted to turn it into a master for a chocolate mould. 

Creating the silicone mould master

Next, my son worked with his dad to create a mould for chocolate bunnies. 

First they used his dad's mould master library to create a master bunny mould in OpenSCAD and printed that: 



They made a double bunny mould so you can make two at a time. 


Then they prepared food-safe silicone and poured in into the mould (we'll write up this process in more detail in future.)


The moulds take a couple of days to be completely solid.

Making Chocolate Bunnies

Once the mould was ready they removed it from the master. The master can be reused to make more moulds if we want to be able to make bunnies in larger quantities. 

The silicone is dishwasher safe so it was washed thoroughly and put through the dishwasher to get it nice and clean. 

They popped tiny hundreds and thousands into each eye to add detail. 



Then they poured melted chocolate into the mould. They just used regular chocolate not cooking chocolate. 


After a bit of time in the fridge they popped the bunnies out of the mould and well, I think you can guess what happened next. We'll have to make some more for Easter!



Verdict

This was a fab maker family project. My son was able to see his own idea progress into a very tangible (albeit briefly!) result. 

In the past we've created 3D models from drawings my kids have done but Shapeasy was a good option for giving my 7 year old more independence. After this project he had grasped the features of the app and will be able to use it for future projects. 

My son now wants a giant chocolate Easter bunny head instead of an Easter egg!

BuyShapeasy - Shade3d Co. Ltd.


Name

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Tech Age Kids | Technology for Children: Make Your Own Easter Chocolates: 3D Printing and Silicone Moulds
Make Your Own Easter Chocolates: 3D Printing and Silicone Moulds
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Tech Age Kids | Technology for Children
https://www.techagekids.com/2016/03/make-easter-chocolates-3d-printing.html
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