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.


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.


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 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 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.


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.


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.

Quirkbot Robotics with Strawbees Review


We're tried out the Quirkbot Robot Kit which works with Strawbees straw connectors. Quirkbot is a beginners microcontroller board which can be programmed using graphical blocks or Arduino C code in a web browser. You can attach a servo, LEDs and

Disclaimer: We were provided with a Quirkbot robot kit for the purposes of this review. As always our opinions are our own.


The Quirkbot Robot Kit for the largest selection of robotic toys comes in a cardboard box containing straws and Strawbees and a plastic storage box containing all of the electronics components and accessories.

The plastic storage box is really useful as the kit has some really small components and you'll want to keep everything up together. 

You get:
  • Straws
  • Strawbees
  • A Quirkbot
  • A USB cable for charging and programming
  • A servo motor an attachments, a 'backpack' for attaching it and an extension lead plus a small screwdriver for securing the attachments
  • 3 light sensors
  • 10 small LEDs
  • 6 Crocodile clip leads
  • A coin cell battery holder

What are Quirkbot and Strawbees?

There's quite a lot going on in this kit. First there are the straws and Strawbees. We've used Strawbees before. They are plastic connectors that allow you to make structures using drinking straws.

Quirkbot is a beginner microprocessor board which is designed to work with Strawbees. It has a small built-in rechargeable battery which is very useful. 

Quirkbot has five legs that can be used to connect components or get touch input. You can also attach servos via an add-on backpack.

You program the Quirkbot via a web-based graphical editor so you can make robots and interactive models with custom behaviour. 

Getting Started

I tried out Quirkbot with my eight year old (the kit is recommended for age 8+.) He has spent lots of time with Strawbees and has used the Tech Will Save Us Mover Kit, BBC micro:bit, SAM Labs and lots of other electronics kits.

The Quirkbot needs charging via USB so you might want to put it on to charge first.

If you haven't used Strawbees before trying this kit we'd recommend spending some time with them first to get used to how they fit together. There are some tricks to working with the connectors. You can read about them in the documentation or spend some time playing first and see what you can discover.

The editor uses a Chrome extension to download code to the Quirkbot. On Windows 10 no driver was needed. We were able to program the Quirkbot once and then Window 10 said that the USB device had malfunctioned. Resetting the Quirkbot didn't fix the error. Disabling the USB device in the Device Manager did. (I had the same problem on both of our Windows 10 laptops but it's not mentioned on the forums so hopefully it's not a common error.)

We'd recommend creating a really simple project first such as lighting up an LED when you touch one of the legs of the Quirkbot. Then you can quickly see how everything works.


The Editor

The graphical editor uses a flow-based wiring approach to connecting inputs and outputs. It's a similar approach to Flotilla Rockpool. Children might take a bit of time to get used to the way it works if they're more familiar with procedural style block editors. Some things are easy to do using the Quirkbot approach, such as controlling an LED based on a wave pattern, others are much harder such as setting a servo to different positions depending on which input is triggered.

Being able to switch to Arduino textual code mode is really neat. We love that the Quirkbot editor can upload code to the device at the push of a button.

In general the editor worked pretty smoothly. You can use it with or without an account which means you can get started quickly and then save your projects once you're up and running.

We found it annoying to have to click 'X' after selecting an option from drop-down lists.

The Quirkbot

The Quirkbot has 4 controllable LEDs on board: left and right eyes and left and right mouth.

Note that the words left and right are used as seen from above but the images show the Quirkbot from underneath where the LEDs actually are! This is very confusing. My 8 year old still can't tell his left from his right (he can blame my genes for that) so this didn't bother him at all.

The five legs have touch pads on the end. You trigger a touch by connecting the top pad to the bottom pad. You can do this by squeezing the leg between your fingers or by connecting crocodile clips MaKey MaKey style but with a ground connection per leg (you can use a single ground pad if that makes sense for a particular project.)

When connected to a computer via USB the Quirkbot can send key presses which means that you can use the Quirkbot to control Scratch, Minecraft and other programs that use keyboard input.


The servo introduces movement into projects. You can screw an attachment onto the servo which can go inside a straw with a Strawbee so the servo can move a structure made from straws. We couldn't get the Strawbee plus servo inside a straw so we trapped the servo arm between two Strawbees instead. A couple of loom bands can secure the join for projects that need it.  

The LEDs are red/blue and can programmed to light up in either colour. You use straws to hold them in place on the legs. 

You also get three light sensors. You can create a 'squeeze sensor' by placing a light sensor at one end of a straw and an LED powered by the included Strawbee coin cell battery holder at the other end.


You can attach your own electronics components to the legs and there are extension pins on the back of the Quirkbot which can be used to add on 'backpacks' such as the servo backpack or to connect additional components. 

Working Through a Project

We looked on the Quirkbot website and my son chose a balancing game.

He found the instructions quite hard to follow, the photos didn't seem to quite match the diagrams and there was no way he could get a straw over a Strawbee plus a servo arm as seems to be required. I couldn't either. The guidebook suggests stretching the straw with a pencil but the mismatch was too big for this so we had to find a workaround we used loom bands to secure the servo arm.

The code for project is provided but there's no explanation so we had to play around to see how it worked. We found that we had to adjust the values to work well with our servo and structure. We also had to adjust the Strawbees quite a bit to get the ball to roll without falling off.

Next we tried out controlling lights with a squeeze sensor. You place an LED at one end of a straw using the coin cell battery holder and put a light sensor at the other end. My son used the squeeze sensor to control LEDs. He needed help to get things set up.

Next we tried the StriderBot - a creature that moves using motion from the servo. Again the instructions weren't very clear and multiple versions of the project were pictured. This is fine for later projects but we wanted something simple to see how stuff worked.

We couldn't get the legs to work as shown. They just splayed out. We added another Strawbee and locked it in place to hold the legs steady. This helped a lot. We managed to get the StriderBot dancing which made my son happy. He adapted his original design and also wanted to add LEDs to this project and experimented with setting them to purple by mixing red and blue.


The Quirkbot is a really neat device for STEAM projects. We love that it has a rechargeable battery, so many devices require an external battery that you have to work out how to include in your project. External batteries are often heavy too which constrains what you can make. 

The documentation for the Quirkbot leaves you to work out a lot for yourself. This is fine for families, teachers and kids with some experience or strong motivation, but beginners might feel a bit out of their depth for a while. The example projects make a lot of use of the Wave function. This is a neat trick but it really doesn't help kids to learn to basics of controlling the outputs. We'd like to see some simpler projects that introduce concepts gradually. Some simple starter projects with easy to follow instructions would be useful. But in the longer term having projects that require lots of engineering is a great way to develop kids skills. 

The USB input capability is great, controlling Minecraft or Scratch from electronics is always good fun for kids.

My 8 year old hates following instructions and loves making crazy contraptions so Quirkbot is a really good fit for him.  

Buy: Quirkbot Robot Kit @

24 days of Scratch coding book cover and cute penguin

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Tech Age Kids | Technology for Children: Quirkbot Robotics with Strawbees Review
Quirkbot Robotics with Strawbees Review
Tech Age Kids | Technology for Children
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