In short, no. We have determined the minimum ages of our activities as a result of many years experience delivering lessons in a variety of environments, to a mix of ages.
We expect that children who have an interest may be smarter than their age, and that is also taken into consideration when we set age limits.
Building robots, uses tiny nuts and bolts and younger children struggle to handle these parts. Physically their hand eye coordination isn’t developed enough to connect wires and components.
We also find that younger kids have much shorter attention spans and get easily distracted – robot building is a slow process.
More importantly, working with younger children requires different training, staff ratios and insurances than we are able to provide at this time.
Most of our workshops are suitable for ages 8+ with a couple of exceptions which are suitable for 6+
Before we decided to focus on providing tech activities for kids, we were called Sandbox Digital and we mainly designed websites and provided web hosting. We also ran some classes in social media and digital marketing and provided work experience for people wanting to work in digital media roles.
When developers test their programmes they use what is called a sandbox environment, which simulates the live environment. As web designers we regularly used a sandbox environment to build a website before uploading the files to a server to make it public.
This test environment is named after the sandbox (or sandpit in the UK), which is a play area for kids to build things like sandcastles and easily knock them down if they go wrong. It’s a soft, safe space for learning through play.
You may have heard of sandbox video games. These games are generally open world, allowing you to explore the world freely and play in a way that you can control. Of course it’s not infinite in its freedom; you can build anything in a sandbox, but you can only use the sand that is available to you. Similarly, in a sandbox game, you control the order in which you play the missions, but you can only do the missions that are available. It just so happens that Sandbox games are Helen’s (the founder of Sandbox Digital) favourite type of game and another reason she chose the name Sandbox.
So when we started talking about tech activities for children, Little Sandbox seemed like the perfect name.
Of course, Little Sandbox became so popular that we stopped making websites entirely and officially changed the company name to Little Sandbox.