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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

StikBot Action Packs, Pets and Pirate Movie Kit for Animation Set


Stikbots are collectible, articulated characters that you can use to make stop motion animation movies. We’ve reviewed the Stikbot Zanimation Studio on the blog and used it at a VR and film event for families.

Stikbot is also brilliant for screen-less play. This year Stikbot has expanded the range with accessories, like hairstyles, hats and weapons, and pets. The latest addition is a pirate ship complete with accessories and sticker clothes to make more pirates with Stikbots you already own.

Disclaimer: Brainstorm Ltd sent us a set of accessories and pets to try out at home. As always here on Tech Age Kids, our views are our own. I’ve reviewed the products with my 6 and 8 year old.


What's new?

This year Stikbot has brought out several new products including action packs, pets and a pirate movie kit.


Pets and Action Packs



The Stikbot range was crying out for more goodies to add to the animations. The pets are made in a similar way with sticky ‘hands and feet’ to place them in the scene of your animation. We got the dog, cat, monkey, and bulldog which are all sold separately. But there are also a rabbit, gorilla, chicken, horse, panda, and cow in the pets range, so there's lots of scope for creating awesome movies.



My boys loved the hair and hats accessories to ‘dress-up’ their Stikbots, and enjoy incorporating the weapons to create fighting scenes for their animations. These accessories are found in the
Action Packs which include one Stikbot and a style of accessories. Styles include helmet (different hats and headgear), hair (blonde or brunette), lifestyle (musical instruments) and weapons (shield and swords).

We built our own stand for the iPad using LEGO Duplo to that my son and his friend would create their animation using a bigger screen. The Zanimation Studio and Studio kits do come with a mobile phone holder, which isn't suitable to use with an iPad.



The weapons attach to special hand clips, which slide over the suction cups on the hands.



Age Recommendation and Small Parts

Most of the parts are REALLY small and easy to lose. We’d highly recommend you store them in a little container to keep everything together. If you lose the hand clips you won’t be able to attach the weapons to your Stikbot.

Stikbot is recommended for ages 4+ but be aware there are lots of small parts. We found older kids and tweens are attracted to making animations with Stikbot. There’s a ton of Stikbot content on YouTube which this age category would enjoy watching. If your teen is on Instagram they can also join their huge following for inspiration to make their own films.

Building the Pirate Movie Set


The pirate ship comes flat packed and includes one Stikbot character, some pirate weapons, and a sticker pack. The pirate ship is made from foam board. I was pleasantly surprised that the building instructions were easy enough for my boys to follow unsupported. If you can count, you can build this ship, said one of my boys. You follow the instructions, and find the numbered piece and then look on each piece to slot numbers together.



My boys built it together, each getting a canon, boat, tree, and sharks to build. They worked together on the larger pirate ship. It was a good kit to build as a team.



I am impressed with the quality of the foam board and imagine the ship would last a while. Often these types of 3D builds that are made from cardboard don’t last very long.

The set also comes with a background scene, one on the beach and another in the water which can be used in your own stop-motion movie.

Spacial awareness and dexterity skills

Some kids find building 3D objects much easier than others. It’s a useful skill to have, and construction and making help to develop it. Building the pirate ship offered plenty of opportunities to practice these skills. You had to look careful which way around the pieces slotted together. I stopped myself from helping the boys to build this kit (I love building things like this) and they coped really well.

It can be a bit fiddly to get the tabs into the holes, but again a great way to practice fine motor skills and dexterity. The boys were keen to persevere with this build so they could incorporate the skip in their roleplay.


Verdict


Stikbot is a great gift for kids that want to create their own stop-motion animations. The action packs and pets help to expand their creativity, but of course, it doesn’t stop them from creating their own accessories too.

It’s perfect for those rainy days or cold dark winters when you want to get the kids doing something creative on their devices. Stikbots are great to get out when friends come round to play too - creative screentime! It kept my son and his friend occupied for hours.

If your kids are into pirates, then they'll like the pirate movie set. It provides a great building experience that takes some time to construct. Afterwards, you can use the set in a movie or just for roleplay without a device. My boys have really enjoyed just playing with the ship and Stikbots, making up stories which I’m sure in time we’ll create into a stop motion movie!



Name

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Tech Age Kids | Technology for Children: StikBot Action Packs, Pets and Pirate Movie Kit for Animation Set
StikBot Action Packs, Pets and Pirate Movie Kit for Animation Set
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Tech Age Kids | Technology for Children
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