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.

Use Pokémon Go to Get Kids Coding


Pokémon Go is great for motivating kids to start coding. Get them playing Pokémon Go first to get outside and get some exercise and when they've walked a few kilometres to hatch some eggs and their legs are tired you can use their interest to set them off coding.

I've put together a few activity ideas for getting kids coding using augmented reality and Pokémon themed activities. It's looking like Pokémon Go is going to be the app that tips augmented reality over from being a curiosity to an everyday occurrence. Why not give your kids a headstart on thinking about how they can augment reality through coding?



  1. Pocket Code is a block-based coding app for Android devices. It has a really cool feature that allows you to turn the front or rear camera on as a background for an app or game. The rear camera is perfect for creating augmented reality apps.

    It has a companion Pocket Paint app which kids can use to draw their own monsters which you can then overlay on the camera view. Neat.

    There are blocks to detect when objects (such as monsters) are tapped on and you can also detect compass direction and movement of the phone or tablet (unfortunately we don't seem to be able to access GPS coordinates.) You can also make the phone vibrate. There's lots of scope in Pocket Code for kids to be able to create their own augmented reality app.

    Look under Looks to find the bricks to choose the rear camera and turn the camera on.



  2. Scratch also allows you to use a video overlay of the camera view and can detect motion. The Bubble Pop game is a classic example of this.

    Many of the kids I teach chose to create Pokémon themed projects in Scratch at the end of term (even though they were allowed to just play other people's Scratch games for the last lesson!)

    They drew their own Pokémon in the Scratch drawing editor and recorded their voices so that the Pokémon would say their own names when clicked on. They saved the sprites and shared them to distribute the effort.

    You can use the video blocks under Sensing to turn on video and detect motion (you will have to allow Scratch to have access to the webcam.)

    Scratch Jr on Android or iOS allows you to use the camera to take a photo and then use that as a static backdrop which is a fun way for little kids to see monsters in the real world and add code to make them interact.
  3. Kids could also use Trinket or Mozilla Thimble to learn HTML and create a web page about their own monster. Then get the URL for their web page and create a QR code for it (there are lots of websites that will generate a QR code image.) Print out the QR code and place it somewhere in the real world and then scan the QR code to find the monster. Older siblings could create a real-world monster hunt for younger children in the back garden. 


Name

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Tech Age Kids | Technology for Children: Use Pokémon Go to Get Kids Coding
Use Pokémon Go to Get Kids Coding
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Tech Age Kids | Technology for Children
https://www.techagekids.com/2016/07/use-pokemon-go-to-get-kids-coding.html
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