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.

codeSpark Academy extends The Foos Coding App with Pet Pals

We've been fans of The Foos app for a long time. In 2016 The Foos rebranded to include codeSpark Academy and now you can play a subscription-based edition of the award-winning coding app.

This move enables the development of more content and features and improving the user experience of The Foos app. Last week they launched their latest feature - Pet Pals.

Disclaimer: codeSpark Academy sent us a complimentary subscription to review the app and test out the new Pet Pals minigame. (We also met them at the BETT Show earlier this year)

Exclusive offer to Tech Age Kids readers: Subscribe to The Foos with PETPALS code for the first month at USD$0.99.
(After one month you will be charged the full monthly fee of $7.99. You can cancel at any time.)

What is The Foos?

The Foos and codeSpark Academy rebranded in 2016 and its now - codeSpark Academy with The Foos (we'll say The Foos for short in this post!). It's a learning app that introduces children from ages 4 - 9 to computing concepts.

The app has three elements:

  • Puzzles - different worlds in which kids complete levels. Each world covers a different coding concept and will become playable as kids complete levels in preceding worlds
  • Game Maker - a platform where kids can make their own games, buy items with coins earned in the puzzles for their game maker and also share their game with others. Kids can also play other kids games (more on safety later)
  • Minigames - 3 minigames including Wild West Pets (Stacks & Queues), Sweet Sorter (Booelan Logic) and the latest addition Pet Pals (Automation)

What kids will learn?

The Foos helps your kids learn the 'ABCs' of computing. Using the app kids will learn about sequencing, loops, conditional statements, events, Boolean logic and sorting and variables.

They will learn skills such as perseverance (some of the levels are not easy), problem-solving and critical thinking and well as design skills in the game maker.

The Foos is recommended for ages 4-9, but younger kids can play with adult support. I think my youngest started playing when he was 4. Different parts of the app will appeal to different kids. The game maker element will be appealing for older kids as they can code their own levels for the game and requires more skill and problem-solving abilities. However this doesn't mean it won't appeal to younger players.

In fact the game maker is currently my son's favourite part of the app. He's creating games and then testing them out on his brother. If they are too easy, he changed them. This process of developing something, testing it and getting feedback is a valuable skill for kids to learn.

The use of pictorial blocks for commands means it is perfect for pre-readers. And the app is available in a wide range of languages too.

Why do you have to pay?

Well, it costs money to make apps like The Foos! As parents, we can easily fall into a trap of only getting free apps for our kids, because there are SO much available. But the REALLY good ones are not free.

You pay so that you are guaranteed no in-app advertising or in-app purchases which mean no nasty surprises for kids clicking something they shouldn't or unknown amounts of money being spent.
There is currently have a 7-day free trial on iOS and Android. Thereafter it’s a recurring subscription of USD$7.99/month. With the PETPALS promo code, you’ll get your first month for USD$0.99 (although there’s no free trial with that). After the first month, it’s USD$7.99/month.

There is a “lite” version on the web ( which is still called The Foos and is free for everyone. There are only first 3 chapter levels. But you can get a feeling for the app and if you'd like to make the investment.

Which Tablet?

The Foos is a tablet app and currently, it is available for Andriod and iOS with plans to develop for Amazon Fire (we approve!). Most young kids these days are pretty nifty on a tablet and so it makes sense to make a coding platform on a device they can easily manage and learn with.

On the subscription, you can add up to 3 children profiles and they can be played on 3 different devices. They also don't have to be the same operating system.

We've got The Foos running perfectly well on my old iPad 2.

Profiles and Safety

You need to create profiles for your kids to play, but you don't need to provide any personal information. In fact, they can't choose their own profile names, they make up a name from 3 different variables. You can get very creative! My kids loved this and thankfully with the new Pet Pals, you can name your pets in a similar way - we've got some very creative names for pets like - the rabbit 'Captain SneezyDoofer' and a sheep called 'Mr. WigglePuff'.

codeSpark is COPPA-compliant which means they don't collect any private data on the kids.

In the game maker where kids can share games, they can only give a thumbs up or thumb down on games, with no other interaction available.

Teachers, Homeschoolers and Parents

The Foos is free to use in schools not-for-profit organisations. You need to first set up a codeSpark Academy Teacher Dashboard account at  And they are coming out with a homeschool plan soon too!

They offer lots for free resources including lesson plans, offline coding activities, how to videos, colouring sheets and more. You can even design your own Foo and give it a name and special powers.

If your kids completed the Hour of Code you can download a certificate for them to hang somewhere special.

What's Pet Pals?

Pet Pals is the latest addition on THe Foos minigames. Kids learn about automation by earning and caring for pets. The game is based on days (game days, not real one!) and you need to complete certain tasks before the sun goes down.

At night the pets sleep and during the day you need to feed them, clear up after them and play with them to earn heart points. You can collect common, rare, wild and exotic pets!

My 6-year-old loves this minigame. As we were reviewing it he soon realised the need for automation "I can't manage all these pets! Glad I can program someone to help". And it seemed to have a positive effect on how he can care for his own pet, "This helps me learn how to look after Ruby." We have an actual dog called Ruby!


Here at Tech Age Kids we like to find things that really help kids learn the skills they need for a digital future. The Foos is a brilliant tool to learn coding skills but also problem-solving and critical thinking skills.

It's not a cheap subscription, but there is a lot to explore in the app.

There are lots of resources available to make The Foos part of your learning toolkit.

It gets a thumbs up from us!

Subscribe to The Foos with PETPALS code for the first month at $0.99.
24 days of Scratch coding book cover and cute penguin

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Tech Age Kids | Technology for Children: codeSpark Academy extends The Foos Coding App with Pet Pals
codeSpark Academy extends The Foos Coding App with Pet Pals
Tech Age Kids | Technology for Children
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