I want to get some mods for my boys (11 and 13 years). Newish to the game. Mineforge though is not available for 1.8 version and also the mods that look enticing / are popular are not for our version (1.8)! What do you advise? One is playing on pc (windows), the other playing om my mac air. I am trying but not terrible computer literate myself.
You're right about there not being many mods for version 1.8 yet. That's because it takes a while for the people who make mods to update their code for new versions, most are just making mods in their spare time so it will depend on when they get time to do it. Many might never update the mod from a previous version.
But there's no problem, you can play Minecraft in any version you like, by selecting the version each time you play. This article explains how to do that... How To Set Up A Version Profile.
So what you'll want to do is check which version the mods you'd like to play with are built to run on, and then download and install that version of Forge. When you want to play with those mods, run that older version of Minecraft. Just be aware that it does mean that any of the newer things in version 1.8 won't be available while playing with those mods.