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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.

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.

Magnetips and Common Loon Stencils: Perfect Travel Craft Set


Last year I backed two random projects on Kickstarter because I loved the design and functionality of both products. It turns out Magnetips and Common Loon are a match made in heaven!

I was really pleased my long-awaited Kickstarters arrived just in time for our trip abroad. Sometimes crowdfunding projects don't run on schedule because often companies are still at the every beginning stages of manufacturing a new product. For more information on how to back Kickstarters read our crowdfunding guide to backing projects.


Magnetips are refillable fine liners with innovative magnetic ends, which turns your pens into a desktop art piece. The fine tips of the pens make them perfect tools for using with the Common Loon stencils to create your own designs and works of art.

Magnetips

We received the Colour Edition with 20 different colours in our Kickstarter which included a range of colours plus we also got an extra blue and black fine liner. The pens are made of plastic, with two super strong Neodymium magnets and refillable water-based ink pens. The hex shape of the pen is actually very comfortable to hold when colouring or drawing, plus it allows the pens to stick together more securely!

I also like the idea of having refillable pens, it's kinder on the environment and produces less waste.


The Fine Liner has a good quality 0.4 fibre tip encased in a metal body. I was a bit nervous to let the kids use them, but the pens seem fine with their less careful use!

In fact, my kids loved Magnetips, not just for drawing and colouring but for making structures, toys and doing science. Thanks to Magnetips my 6 year old now knows everything about the north and south poles of magnets and how opposites attract! He also discovered that metal things attract magnets and went around the house testing with Magnetips.





We enjoy a bit of therapeutic colouring-in at home. The Magnetips are great for intricate designs and the colours are vibrant. They are not useful for colouring in large expanses of space, as my eight-year-old discovered! Use pencils / thicker fibre tips for bigger colouring designs.

BUY: Currently, you can pre-order Magnetips online.

Common Loon

Common Loon created a set of interesting patterned rulers / stencils. My kids really enjoy using stencils to craft and draw pictures. I only had simply shaped stencils in my art cupboard, so the Common Loon stencils are an exciting addition to our collection.

We received all 5 stencil sets including Loonster (alien-like shapes); Spaceloon (all about space); Shapeloon (not the boring kind); Loonbot (our favourite, robot drawing kit); Loongarden (plant-like shapes). The designs are fantastic and let you design and create your own creatures, scenes and designs.


Each stencil arrived in their own zip-lock bag, with a set of gorgeous stickers and a colouring sheet.

Some of the shapes are very delicate, and so you really need to use a fine liner to trace the shapes. We tried using thicker felt tips but didn't get the same result as using the Magnetips' 0.4 fine liners. Of course once you've drawn the shapes you can colour them in with other pencils and felt tips.

Here's what the kids drew on the first day. Can't wait to see how their creations develop.






BUY: Get your own stencils from Common Loon Studios

Travel Craft Set

So I mentioned earlier, we're travelling soon. Having travelled quite a bit with kids on long-haul flights, I like finding things that will be practical and keep the kids busy. I couldn't believe my luck with Magnetips and Common Loon. Perfect travelling buddies.


The fact that the pens stick together and will not roll away is one of the biggest reasons I think Magnetips are better than other pens for travelling. Oh and did I mention the lid will stick to the pen when it is in use too? I also managed to fit all 5 Common Loon stencils in one zip-lock bag for compact travelling!

I'll update this post with our experiences with them on the flight and our travels.


Name

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Tech Age Kids | Technology for Children: Magnetips and Common Loon Stencils: Perfect Travel Craft Set
Magnetips and Common Loon Stencils: Perfect Travel Craft Set
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Tech Age Kids | Technology for Children
https://www.techagekids.com/2017/04/magnetips-and-common-loon-stencils.html
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