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.

Why we still love MaKey MaKey


We backed the original MaKey MaKey Kickstarter project. Our board now looks very well-used compared to the shiny new ones we see in nice tins. It's such a simple idea. We've got tons of kid-tech that does fancier things. So why do we keep going back to MaKey MaKey?

I've used MaKey MaKey's to teach children at school, to run workshops and hackday sessions, to help Cubs get their Digital Maker badges and in lots of projects with my own kids.



What is MaKey MaKey?

MaKey MaKey is an electronics board that plugs into a computer via USB and allows you to turn everyday objects into inputs.

You can use it to play Minecraft using kitchen utensils, navigate Google maps with pressure mats, teach your child phonics with tin foil, or make a rocket canvas games controller

Why do we love MaKey MaKey?

  1. You don't need any software. This is crucial. You just plug MaKey MaKey in and it acts like a keyboard / mouse via the HID protocol. This is huge. It makes it really easy to use in schools, workshop, and hackdays. It also means you don't hit issues with driver incompatibilities, needing to upgrade to the latest version just when you've got a cool idea or stuff just plain not working. 
  2. It's simple, but powerful. The clever thing about MaKey MaKey isn't fancy features, it's what kids do with it. Once kids understand the concept they can make amazing stuff without the technology getting in the way. 
  3. It encourages kids to explore conductivity. Electrical conductivity becomes a very concrete concept with MaKey MaKey. When we first got ours my kids found objects from all over the house to test. 
  4. Kids love being part of the circuit. There's a real sense of wonder when kids realise that they are part of the electrical circuit that triggers a MaKey MaKey input. 
  5. It encourages craft + tech.  Physical making is really important and is one of the things modern kids miss out on if they have too much screen-time. MaKey MaKey encourages real-world making by connecting it to the digital world. 
  6. It works with Scratch. The interaction between MaKey MaKey and Scratch is fantastic. It's a fab way to for kids to get more value from their Scratch skills. 
  7. It encourages design thinking. It really important to for kids to start thinking about designing things for others to use. MaKey MaKey is fantastic for developing those skills. Kids will often have to rethink their design so that it's easy to use. 
  8. It's accessible. MaKey MaKey is a great piece of technology to use with children (or adults) with physical disabilities. It's also good for getting all kids to think about designing assistive technology. 
  9. It's practical. You can easily build prototypes and useful tools with MaKey MaKey. 
  10. It works with Chromebooks. And Linux as well as PC and Mac.
  11. Low ceiling, high floor. It's very easy to get started with MaKey MaKey using the 6 inputs on top of the board with crocodile clips. Once kids ask "can I connect more than 6 things?" then there are more inputs waiting to be connected via jumper wires. We've even used our MaKey MaKey in Arduino mode with different firmware (older MaKey MaKey's were Arduino compatible.) 
  12. It's funny. Banana pianos, musical plants, playing a game with wet wipes! Funny is important. 
See also: MaKey MaKey Go

Name

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Tech Age Kids | Technology for Children: Why we still love MaKey MaKey
Why we still love MaKey MaKey
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Tech Age Kids | Technology for Children
https://www.techagekids.com/2016/05/why-we-still-love-makey-makey.html
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