Technology isn’t going to slow down any time soon and you’re never too young to learn all about IT.
So we thought it would be a good idea to present our top ten guide of gadget to get your kids coding.
1. BB8 App-Enabled Droid
We’ve gone for BB8 as number one because there probably isn’t a child on Earth who isn’t already in love with this cheeky little roller-ball. Co star of the latest Star Wars Epic the Force Awakens this little robot actually works. The BB8 toy, which is described by its makers as not a toy, has a fundamental A.I. and is able to function autonomously as well as being able to follow simple voice commands. As a coding gadget it has its limitations, but it’s cute and it’s certain to be an instant hit with the family.
Lightup is a deceptively clever set of magnetically connected electronic building blocks. Lightup can teach kids to make their own gadgets in seconds. The real fun however, comes later when the kids realise they can program their creations and take them to the next level. Straight from the box kids can build simple projects like flash lights, but as their knowledge grows their projects can evolve into intruder alarms and X-ray cameras.
3. DIY Synth
Do you have any budding Gary Numans in the house? Well this DIY synth is for you. Although the simple breadboard construction is fairly simple we’d recommend this project only for older children, unless of course you’re prepared to help them with the project.
Kano is a computer for kids. Based on the hugely popular Raspberry Pi, Kano is a stripped down DIY PC which will teach your kids how to build and program their very own little computers… or as The Onion described it, “At last a way to trick my kids into a lucrative career.”
Littlebits is a snap together system of interconnecting circuits and modules designed to teach your kids all about basic electronics. Littlebits was Time Magazine’s Gadget of the year 2015 and its impressive online community has already created over 2000 working gadgets and inventions.
6. Google Cardboard
You may well wonder why one of the biggest tech companies in the world has released a pair of cardboard goggles, but the truth is Google Cardboard truly is the shape of things to come. These little cardboard viewers are the father of Virtual Reality and for a few quid and some practice your kids can get in on the ground floor. To make the magic happen your kids will also need access to a reasonable fast smart phone with an accelerometer, most good Android phones have them.
Ozobot is an impossibly cute little contraption designed to help kids learn about robotics and programming. This tiny robot, which is can fit in the palm of a child’s hand has a powerful processor which kids can learn to program via the Ozblocky programming platform and before can say “oh no it’s disappeared under the cooker again…”, they’ll have created their very own path finding painting perambulators.
Codie is a super cute wooden robot which comes with its very own smart phone programming app. Kids can play straight from the box and then as their curiosity grows they can learn to program Codie and discover his more advanced secrets.
Well it wouldn’t be 2016 without some kind of drone now would it. Eedu is a DIY programmable aerial drone that can be assembled solder free from the box in under 30 minutes. What makes Eedu unique is that it can also be programmed via the open source Forge System, which means that kids can learn to set flight paths or adapt it for aerial photography or just teach it to play laser tag.
10. Junk Bot
Junk bot is an arduino based robotics kit which enables kids to make fully functioning robots and other tech projects from everyday stuff lying around the house. Kids can make smart walking sticks and path finding robots from a a paper cup and some old CDs.
Tech gadgets for kids who love coding