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.

Creative Screen Time and How to Get It Right


All too often we hear parents say their kids become zombies when using devices. It’s partly down to the type of child, the length of time on a device and what they are doing on their devices that make parents feel this way. Here at Tech Age Kids, we believe there is a big difference between passive and creative screen time.

Passive screen time is easy for parents. Just give them a mobile phone to keep them quiet. Use the tablet as a second/third parent to entertain the kids whilst you need to get some jobs done. Let them play ‘mindless’ games for hours on end.

All in good measure, none of the above things are necessarily bad, but if that is ALL your kids do with technology, they are missing out on a world of exciting creative uses of tech and devices.

Creative screen time, on the other hand, may require a little more effort on a parent’s part. You may have to step out of your own comfort zone and learn a new skill yourself. You may have to spend time with your child to help them figure things out. (Or for them to teach you!)

Make It an Activity

There is nothing wrong with kids engaging in both passive and creative screen time, but make it an activity. This means, when they’re playing that game that all they seem to do is click the screen repeatedly, their activity is limited to an agreed time.

If it doesn’t come naturally for you, focus to build into the activities you do with your kids, some element of creative screen time. (See Passive vs Creative Screentime)

So instead of doing colouring one afternoon, encourage them to do some digital art on Scratch. Or instead of playing Fortnite again, get them to make a game controller using a Makey Makey and then play Fortnite. Or instead of writing a story by hand, ask them to type it!

There are lots of different ways you can engage in creative and useful screen time activities. Below is a list of a few ideas you could try. All these activities can be done at various ages and stages of your child's development.

Types of Creative Tech Activities


Tips for Parents/Grandparents

If you’re like me, you may need some help to get ideas on how to engage in creative digital activities:

  1. Get Inspired

    Search around the web, for activities, creative tech products or ideas. Tech Age Kids is a good place to start too - we have lots of product reviews, project ideas and lists on creative tech ideas. There are lots of other inspirational places to look online too! (A recommended list of websites COMING SOON.)
  2. Do Your Homework

    It's most frustrating if you want to do something and the tech doesn’t work. Children are not very patient and will soon lose interest. Do as much research ahead of time, not necessarily to know all the answers but to know where to look for help when you get stuck. Is there a support forum? Do you need an online account? Is there too much reading required to get started?
  3. Be Prepared

    Tech can be frustrating and it doesn’t always work, so be prepared (see the check list below). Kids quickly lose interest if you spend all their ‘screentime’ trying to fix problems.
  4. Make it Fun

    Creative screen time doesn’t have to be ‘educational’. Don’t make kids feel like creative screen time is like homework. Allow for creativity, curiosity, and exploration. Let them pick the theme.
  5. Give control to the kids

    Let them pick the type of activity, the tech or the theme. Give them a reason to choose creative screentime. Go with their interests and start where they are at. Be prepared to learn with them.

Be Prepared Check List

  • Have you checked the batteries/power needed?
  • Is your computer updated and/or compatible?
  • Do you have the software or apps downloaded?
  • Does the robot, microcontroller, or external device need charging?
  • Do you need other materials?
  • Do you need an online account?
  • Do you need to pay for anything? How much?

Change Habits

It’s never too late to change habits. As first generation digital parents, we are really making this up as we go. Although we know for a fact that tech is here to stay and our children will need digital skills to work in the future.

My children will often say to me, can I play on the computer? Yes, but you can only play the repetitive game for 30min and then you need to do something useful.

I’m not limiting their screen time, just limiting what they do on it! I've also learned not to be afraid to say 'no' because of they may react!

Tracy instilled a good habit in her home. After 7.30pm her kids are not allowed to play games on computers/consoles. They’ve done this from a young age, so now they are tweens, they just know, if they want to use tech after 7.30pm it has to be creative screen time!

Creative Screen Time is Good for the Future

A child that is brilliant at navigating an iPad at age 3 doesn’t mean they have great digital skills. It shows that some clever people at Apple have developed a piece of tech that works so intuitively that a 3-year-old can operate it. Our children need to physical skills and thinking abilities to understand technology. How does this actually work? Can they identify problems in their world and solve them using technology?

Your child (like mine) may say, they game (play computer games) so much because they want to become a professional gamer. It is a fair point, but not every child that plays football is going to become a professional football player. We need balance and we need to make sure our children get a broader understanding of our digital world and how it works.

Using creative screen time can get us a step closer to that future!



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Tech Age Kids | Technology for Children: Creative Screen Time and How to Get It Right
Creative Screen Time and How to Get It Right
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Tech Age Kids | Technology for Children
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