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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.

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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.

Simple Circuit Canvas Creature Project for Kids


During the school break, we created a simple craft and electronics project to make with our kids. I love the idea of adding electronics to a craft activity. We had fun drawing pictures and learned about the polarity of electricity.

These simple circuit canvas creatures are quick and easy to make and you only need a few inexpensive resources. My original idea was soon modified and improved by our 7 year olds. Read on to learn how we made it.

Also See:

Items you'll need

Minature canvas
Sharpie pens
Sticky tape
LED light
Coin cell battery

Plan your design

My idea was to make a firefly using the LED for the glowing body. I wanted my electronics, battery, leads and LED light, to be visible on the front of the canvas. My bug drawing was designed around the electronics.


When the kids started their projects, they wanted the electronics to be hidden. They modified their design accordingly.


If you struggle to come up with ideas, use the internet to search for images which the kids can copy onto the canvas with a pencil.

How to make it

Art.
Once your design is planned, start drawing your bug using the Sharpies. Our kids, spent a long time drawing their creatures. I loved their creativity.


Electronics.
Now you can add the electronics. It's important to connect the positive terminal of the battery to the positive pin of the LED. (See more information below in How the electronics work). We just used sticky tape to connect the LED pin to the coin cell battery. Where I used an extending wire, I used pliers to secure the wires with a few twists and curler the pins of the LED. The children wanted their battery and connection hidden behind the canvas, so we used a tapestry needle to poke a hole through the canvas. Feed the pins of the LED through the holes and connect to the battery on the back.


Switch.
You can create a simple switch, by leaving one of the LED pins loose and it requires someone to push it onto the battery to light up the LED, like the cameleon's tongue. Alternatively you can slip a piece of paper, cardboard or plastic (something non-conductive) between the battery and the LED pin to switch the light on and off.

How the electronics work

A coin cell battery has a positive and a negative terminal. We normally have some coin cell batteries in the house ready for a small, low power project like this one. Coin cell batteries are not rechargeable, but they are cheap enough to buy in bulk. You can get alkaline and lithium coin cell batteries and they come in different sizes. For this project we used a Lithium CR2032 3V Battery.


A LED light has a positive and negative pin. There are a handful of identifiers for finding the positive and negative pins on an LED. The longer leg is the positive, anode pin. If the legs are the same length, the flat edge on the LED's outer casing is negative, the cathode. LEDs are light-emitting diodes, and diodes only allow electric current to flow in one direction from the anode to the cathode.

(Read: What is a Diode from Sparkfun)


Also See:

Name

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Tech Age Kids | Technology for Children: Simple Circuit Canvas Creature Project for Kids
Simple Circuit Canvas Creature Project for Kids
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Tech Age Kids | Technology for Children
https://www.techagekids.com/2016/04/simple-circuit-canvas-creature-project.html
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