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.

Mover Kit: Make your own Lightsaber Project


A growing maker mentality and availability of tools and resources, makes it much more accessible for families to make with tech. Here at Tech Age Kids we're trying to steer families away from purely being consumers of technology. A company like, Technology Will Save Us, has a similar mission and helps the community by developing kits which unlock the "secrets of tech" and allows you to make with tech.


One such kit, is the Mover Kit, which we've reviewed before here on Tech Age Kids. It's been a wonderful device to have in our non-techie family and I love that my kids are able to make with tech, without it being overly scary for us non-techie parents!
My son, has been wanting a Star Wars lightsaber for like forever. Over Christmas he very nearly bought one, but then realised he didn't have enough pocket money. Oh yeah, cruel mum!  He did however get a Mover Kit for Christmas... so he thought perhaps he could make a light saber.

In this quick post, we'll show you how we made our lightsaber using the Mover Kit by Technology Will Save Us.

What You'll Need

To make the lightsaber you will need the following materials:
  • 1 x Mover
  • 1 x 6 pint milk bottle / any opaque plastic
  • 1 x empty toilet roll / kitchen roll
  • some silver duct tape
  • scissors
  • sticky tape

Make the Lighsaber

It's really simple to make, but you should make a few checks before you start.

Firstly you want the Mover to fit nice a snug inside the toilet roll. Ours fitted perfectly, but if you can't find one that fits well, just make your own by rolling a piece of card around the Mover into a tube. Secure with some tape.

Cut out a large flat piece from the milk bottle. Roll it, to create a point on end and a larger opening about the size of the toilet roll on the other end. Secure this with some sticky tape.

Now secure the plastic cone to the cardboard tube with the silver duct tape. Keep taping the whole cardboard roll to create the handle for the lightsaber.

Once you've coded your Mover, you can slide it into the tube with the LEDs facing up towards the plastic cone.

The Code

We wanted to make a blue lightsaber, to represent the Jedi. My son selected two tones of blue to code the Mover.

We also wanted the lightsaber to turn on when it is pointing forward and off when it is in the up or down position. This is really easy to do with the Mover.

Below is a screenshot of our code.


We found the code is a little bit laggy, so when you "strike" the blue light doesn't come on immediately. Unfortunately we couldn't control this in the code.

See the Mover Lightsaber in action:




Other Mover Kit Projects


Buy: Mover Kit from Tech Will Save Us (UK with international shipping) | The Mover Kit from Marbles: The Brain Store (USA)
Name

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Tech Age Kids | Technology for Children: Mover Kit: Make your own Lightsaber Project
Mover Kit: Make your own Lightsaber Project
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Tech Age Kids | Technology for Children
https://www.techagekids.com/2017/02/mover-kit-make-your-own-lightsaber.html
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