We live in an era where a great many things can be done virtually through the help of digital apps and automated services. Our children are born into this technological landscape; they eat, sleep, breathe it. So, why not take the foundation of this technology and teach children how to code? Take a look at these cool toys and building kits made just for kids to teach them coding in a fun and simple way.
Botley 2.0 The Coding Robot
Age: 5 to 8+
Operation: 5 AAA batteries and a Phillips screwdriver to open battery latch
Botley is a great toy to introduce your children to coding. It is an adorable little robot that’s ready to use, straight out of the box. It does not require a tablet or any screen gadgets to start coding. Instead, it comes with a remote transmitter, a set of cards for laying out the coding path, and a multi-piece activity set for open-ended obstacle creation. To start coding using Botley:
- Switch it into code mode
- Pick your desired directional cards and lay them on the floor — this is your path code
- Punch in the path code on the transmitter
- Press the green button on the transmitter to send the information to Botley
You can make the whole learning experience more fun by building obstacles using the various pieces from the activity set that comes with the package. Botley can go through obstacle courses, as well as detect objects blocking its path and avoid them. And those are just a few of the tricks that this amazing little robot’s got up its sleeves! There are secret moves you can unlock, which makes coding so much more fun and exciting for kids.
LEGO Boost Creative Tool Kits
Operation: 6 AAA 1.5 batteries, tablet, mobile phone, app
The LEGO Boost Creative Tool Box comes in five different options that include Frankie the Cat, Vernie the Robot, an M.T.R.4, an AutoBuilder, and a Guitar4000. Kids will surely enjoy putting the LEGO bricks together to build any of these models. These Creative Tool Box sets come with special parts that are necessary to make the robots move and do their thing. What’s great about these sets is that they are all compatible with regular LEGO parts and LEGO Technique, which means endless creative activity and lots of building combinations. It’s something kids can spend time doing with their parents while having fun in the process. To start building and programming the robotic kit:
- Download the LEGO Boost app on a tablet or a mobile phone (see tablet specs requirements here)
- Build: Organize blocks for easy identification and a smoother building process. The instructions are also on the app
- Code: the programming blocks have different functions that are easy to understand and identify. These are programmed on the app
- Play: watch Vernie the Robot dance, interact with Frankie the Cat, the AutoBuilder, and the M.T.R.4, or play some cool tunes on the Guitar4000
At the end of the activity, kids will have learned basic engineering concepts, robotics, and coding. It’s an enriching experience for school-age children who are interested in building, tinkering and experimenting with moving toy parts.
Primo Toys Cubetto
Operation: 6 AA batteries
Now here’s one made for the curious toddler. Cubetto is a small wooden robot that comes in play packs and adventure packs designed for children as young as 3 years old. It comes with a wooden control board to input the command blocks that will control the robot’s movement. To start using Cubetto:
- Insert block formation into the control board
- Press the blue button on the control board to make Cubetto move
Cubetto doesn’t require mobile devices to operate them, so if you’re looking for a basic teaching tool for kids below 4 years of age, this is the perfect option for them. These toys are Montessori-inspired and classroom-ready, meaning the coding format of these toys gives your child simple, fundamental coding and programming knowledge that will come in handy once they start learning basic code at school.
The Benefits of Learning How to Code at an Early Age
Coding builds your children’s peripheral skills. It improves logic, problem-solving abilities, and enhances building skills. When traditional play is supplemented with technology, young boys and girls not only benefit from learning the basic technology, but also improve their ability to communicate, understand the concept of rules, and follow instructions.
So, if you’re on the lookout for educational toys and are trying to come up with ways to teach children about technology, pick up some coding toys today and let the kids have a blast building, inventing, and discovering with these teaching tools.