Build Your Own Computer Kids – Here you will find all the latest technology news for kids. We love following exciting new innovations on Kickstarter, and we’re on the lookout for all the latest announcements of toys and tech gadgets for the upcoming Christmas holiday season. You’ll also find our kids’ technology stories in the media.
Our kids technology product reviews are intended to help you decide if a toy, device or kit is right for your child or your family. There are many exciting products out there, but is it the right choice for the child or teenager you are buying for? We will help you make the right choice and get the best value for your money.
Build Your Own Computer Kids
Parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, friends gathered. We’ve compiled a list of gifts so you can make good tech choices for kids, helping them develop the right skills for their future. We research the best in technology age coding toys and games, crafting/craft tools and kits, STEM/STEAM related gifts, programmable robots, electronics kits and gadgets for kids and teens.
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Be smart with technology. Here we will post all the ideas and projects that use technology to create and create with kids. You’ll find everything from making lemon batteries to glow-in-the-dark Minecraft swords. Our projects are tried and tested on your own kids or at events we organize, so we’re sure you can do them at home with your kids. Some of our projects use specific technology gadgets for which we provide links for you to purchase.
STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. In recent years, there has been an increased focus on these research areas. We also like to include art and design so we often talk about STEAM (the A stands for art). At Tech Age Kids, we believe that coding is the new literacy and that children need to understand how technology works, practice maker skills and develop curiosity to create a better future for us all.
Coding is increasingly recognized as an important skill for children to learn. Some will learn how to code at school or in a coding club, but it’s great if they get support at home too.
We think it’s really important for kids to get hands-on with electronics and learn to write code to build circuits and control hardware. Younger children can start with conductive playdos. For kids who like to combine crafts and technology, LittleBits is a great choice. And we love SAM Labs’ wireless electronics components that make it easy for kids to discover the Internet of Things. Many children’s electronics kits support the Arduino microprocessor environment. The DuinoKit Jr. is one of our favorites. Arduino is a great skill for older children and teenagers to develop.
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We at Tech Age Kids love robots, especially programmable ones. We have many of them and write reviews and projects using them Our buying guide to programmable robots for kids is a good place to start if you’re not sure what’s available. Robot dog Roby mBot Meccano is one of our famous projects and has joined us at many events. Our LEGO Ozobot trailer is perfect for kids who love LEGO and robots.
We support the creative use of technology, but this needs to be balanced with the development of physical skills such as paper making, woodworking, clay modelling, technical drawing and casting. If kids don’t develop these skills as they get older, crafting projects can be more frustrating than enjoyable. The maker community uses the term ‘making’ as a broad term that includes all types of craft skills or craft activities. The ability to make things can lead to a lifelong hobby or even a career. Being able to turn a project from an idea in your head into a tangible object is a great feeling that can do anything. We are particularly interested in exploring products that combine maker skills with technical skills, such as electronics, but others that focus purely on physical maker skills still important to modern manufacturing.
We were excited to see the Kano Computer Kit Complete released earlier this year, and I’m excited to try it out at home with my 7 and 9 year old sons.
Kano Computer Kit Complete is a computer kit that anyone can build and code with a Raspberry Pi 3 inside. The computer runs on the Kano operating system.
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Disclaimer: Kano sent us the full desktop kit to review for this post, but our opinions are always our own.
The Kano Complete PC Kit comes in a nice magnetic catch box, with the components carefully packaged in a foam backing. Once the computer is assembled, you can remove the packaging and use the case to store the computer, charging cable, and other accessories. (I kept some foam packaging to act as a screen protector when storing the computer in the case.)
The kit includes all the components you need to build a fully working computer, including some stickers and the necessary ‘how to’ booklet that shows you how to build your computer.
We spent an afternoon building our computers. Admittedly, my kids built a similar Kano computer at the Mini Maker Faire last year, but this time we built it ourselves without any hands-on tech help. !
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First, we take out all the components and spend some time looking at them and talking about what they might contain and what they do on the computer. This didn’t last long as my 7 year old was extremely interested in building.
We used the ‘how to make a calculator’ guide and gave it methodically. Both boys wanted to help so we split the task up to give each person a chance to build. (This meant I couldn’t build anything and my fingers were dying to do it!) Along the way, I helped check that the connections were secure and the wires were neat. Is it neat?
The computer was completed within 20 minutes and the boys were delighted with the results. They want to start now.
The Kano computer case is transparent, which means you can see all the components and check that the LEDs are working.
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We held down the power button for 3 seconds and the computer came to life! I was really impressed when we built a computer and it worked! You must power on and connect to the keyboard to be able to perform the setup.
Your first screen is the terminal screen and the system will guide you step by step to set up your Kano. I was a bit worried at first but we followed the instructions carefully. There is some typing involved, but my 7 year old can’t do anything (obviously we’re going at a bad pace now)!
You need to use the trackpad and keyboard to navigate the screen. My son tried to touch the screen (not the touchscreen) several times because he was used to laptops and tablets. It’s not a bad thing for kids to use a device without a touch screen, but it may take some time for them to get used to it.
Interestingly, my 7-year-old is also left-handed so he found the keyboard and trackpad, which are clearly designed for right-handed people, a bit more difficult to use.
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Having said that, I still like the keyboard and trackpad, as they are the right size for kids and boys find it much easier to type on.
Once setup is complete (including adding a WiFi connection), you can access the dashboard and the Kano ecosystem.
The control panel provides safe and easy access for children to use the Kano computer independently. There’s tons of content to explore, including tutorials, creating your own games, creating art and music, coding in Scratch (Scratch 1.4 (based on Linux), and more. Kids familiar with Scratch online will find Scratch a little different on the Kano computer, but They can still share their work using an online account and save their projects locally on the Raspberry Pi.
Story Mode The first thing to try is ‘Story Mode’, an adventure game/tutorial that takes you inside the computer and explains how the different parts work. It has a map that you can explore and play games as well as complete quests During this process, you will have to explore 21 codex entries. It’s fun and has a real vintage feel. (Tip: You need to click the ‘Home’ button on the screen to go back to the dashboard.)
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Apps – With Minecraft Hack My son was immediately hooked on the ‘Hack Minecraft’ app and went through several tutorials. He is so excited that he will use the code and blow things up in Minecraft It is important to note that Minecraft in Kano is a customized version of the popular game that encourages kids to use codes to do things in the game. There is a playground mode where they can code their own stuff using Kano Minecraft code blocks.
Other great apps we’ve tried so far (lots of content
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