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.

Digital Toys Series - Tinybop Makers Apps Review


Tinybop makes fantastic apps for children. They have a number of different apps and we’ve reviewed a few of them here on Tech Age Kids. Our kids have enjoyed (some are a bit older now) and still choose these apps over other attractive options. Read our review of:
In this post, we take a look at Digital Toys series of apps. It includes 6 apps, Robots Factory, Everything Machine, The Monsters, Infinite Arcade, Me and The Creature Garden. You can get them all in the Tinybop Makers bundle (which works out cheaper than purchasing the apps individually).

Disclaimer: We received a download code to write this review. As always our views and opinions are our own.

BUY:
 Individual apps from the iTunes Store: Robot Factory | The Everything Machine | The Monsters | The Infinite Arcade | Me | The Creature Garden ($2.99) or the Tinybop Makers Bundle ($11.99 - you receive 33% off when you download the Makers Bundle!)

My 6 year old helped me review these apps and we’ll take a look at each one individually sharing our experience with the app. My son (dinocat) has rated the apps from his favourite (#1) to least favourite (#6) based on what he's currently interested in. They are all fantastic and provide children from age 4+ a platform for open-ended discovery and learning. My favourites are 'Me' and 'Creature Garden'.

Like every other Tinybop app, each comes with a technical manual to provide some guidance on how to use the apps. The manuals are useful for parents to read and talk about with their child, but I’ve found my son just wants to dive into the app to explore and learn as he plays.

In my opinion, this is the best way to explore the Digital Toys series of apps. You will definitely NOT be disappointed with the amount of content that is available. The graphics and playability of the Tinybop apps are fantastic.

If you have more than one child and only one device (this has always been the case in our family), you can create a profile for each child. It’s a really useful feature as you wouldn’t want a sibling to change, or worse, delete a game you’ve spent hours building. I’ve even created a profile for myself on the 'Everything Machine' as I’m currently learning how electronics components work. Yep, adults can play too!

So let’s look at each app and discover what you can expect.

No. 1 of Digital Toys - Robots Factory

Dinocat’s Rating #5

Here you can build your own robot and play with it in a game and see how it performs. When it gets damaged, bits of your robot falls off. Back in the factory, you can improve your design and then test it again. You can save your project and modify it later when you get more ideas. All your creations are stored in a gallery of robots.
Download Robot Factory from iTunes.

No. 2 of Digital Toys - Everything machine

Dinocat’s Rating #6

This app is a type of drag-and-drop programming language that allows you to make machines with electronics components. You start with a battery to power your machine and then you can add inputs, controls, detectors, modifiers, routers, logic gates, and outputs. The technical manual is somewhat useful here to figure out what all the parts are, but you'll get the most value from experimental play. The manual contains 4 sample machines which you can program.  There's also 5 getting started programs, with video instructions to give you an idea of how it works.

The Everything Machine provides a fantastic opportunity for children to explore electronics components without actually having to work with the real components. Children will also learn basic coding concepts using logic gates.

There's a download button on each project which allows you to email your creation to Tinybop. You’ll need to enter a date of birth to do this.

Download The Everything Machine from iTunes.

No. 3 of Digital Toys - The Monsters

Dinocat’s Rating #4

My son is a little afraid of the dark and monsters, but he liked this app where he would create his own monsters and place them in a gallery of monsters.
It’s quite a fun experience building your monster. You choose a shadow outline and then add limbs, a head, and tail. You can then completely customise your monster and add 5 emotions for the monster. It can be happy, sad, angry, lovable, and more.
In the gallery view, there’s food which you can use to feed your monsters and if you don’t like a monster you can drag it into a bin. When you drag your monster into a photo booth and you can take a selfie with it or take a photo of the room you're sitting in with a monster in it. You can also add photo booth accessories for you and your monster. My son loved this app.


Download The Monsters from iTunes.

No. 4 of Digital Toys - Infinite Arcade

Dinocat’s Rating #1

This app is an arcade game with a twist. You make your own game and play it.
There are 4 different types of arcade games to choose from - a pinball, ball and paddle, platform or maze game. You then build the game and decide how to win the game and how you will lose. There's a selection of characters or balls (depending on the type of game your chose).
Once you’re happy with your game you can save it and email a link to Tinybop to add it to the Hall of Games. You can also play other people’s games and make a copy of it to modify and add to your own games.
If your child likes playing games, this is a fantastic app to help then learn the skill of making the games too.
My son loves this app and it’s his favourite of the digital toys series. He really likes playing Ninja Trails by Tinybop as you need to complete different challenges and it takes some skill. He's been practicing!
There are other apps like CodeSpark Academy and Bloxels to which encourage you to build and then play your own arcade/platform games.


Download The Infinite Arcade from iTunes.

No. 5 of Digital Toys - Me

Dinocat’s Rating #2

This app works like a personal digital journal that uses prompts to help your child record certain information about themselves. Sometimes they need to type something, other times record a voice message. They can also draw, take photos and videos to add to the app. It covers all sorts of topics from your family tree, things you do at school or home to different emotions, your likes and dislikes. Tapping ‘you’ in the app produces random questions for your child to answer. You can also customise your character to look more like you.
I like that I can tell it about things about my life!
I love this app and my son has really enjoyed exploring it. Top tip: Let your child play freely with this one and then enjoy reading what they have recorded later. I've learned so much about my son through this app!  :)


Download Me from iTunes.

No. 6 of Digital Toys - The Creature Garden

Dinocat’s Rating #3

In Creature Garden you create a fantastical world with land, flying and water creatures. You start by hatching an egg and then you can design your animal! My son made some of his animals look exactly like the real one - 'Look mummy I made an elephant! Are his back legs the right size?' and others were just whimsical and crazy! As you design the animal you can test it, a bit like in the Robots Factory app. See if your animal performs best on land, in the water or in the air.

Once your animals are in their habitat, you can feed them, make new babies and race them against each other. My son loved this feature the most. He would try design animals that would perform really well in the races. You can also influence the races with tornadoes, balloons, waves and more.

There's so much to explore in this app. We're currently fighting who's turn it is to make a new beast!

Here's a picture of my son's flying creature, complete with every wing in the set. Let's just say it wins every flying race, even if you place a few tornadoes in front of it.


Download Creature Garden from iTunes.

Verdict

The Tinybop Digital Toys Makers bundle is a great investment and you and your child will gain hours of enjoyment. They are not just entertainment apps, you're going to learn lots of new skills.
Tinybop has a high design standard and every app is unique. At first, it may seem expensive, especially if there are so many free apps available. However, with Tinybop apps you get peace of mind that your child isn't going to click on an annoying ad and they are going to be engaged in a creative digital activity.

If you have young kids you probably should own at least one Tinybop app! The apps are available for Apple devices.

BUY: You can purchase the apps individually from the iTunes Store: Robot Factory | The Everything Machine | The Monsters | The Infinite Arcade | Me |  CThe Creature Garden or get the Tinybop Makers Bundle for $11.99.


Name

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Tech Age Kids | Technology for Children: Digital Toys Series - Tinybop Makers Apps Review
Digital Toys Series - Tinybop Makers Apps Review
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Tech Age Kids | Technology for Children
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