Toys to help understand coding

Toys to help understand coding

Coding is now on the national curriculum and taught in all schools across the UK. With many transferable skills and benefits including improving problem solving abilities, it is a great thing to encourage your child to have an interest in.

Many of us however feel a little out of touch when it comes to this topic and want to support our children in learning but have no idea where to start, or how to even begin to interpret some of the terminology and techno “jargon”.  Loops are no longer just a shape made out of spaghetti and programmes aren’t just something you watch on the telly!

Thankfully there is help out there and believe it not coding can actually be fun! Children learn best when they have to figure things out for themselves using trial and error.

There are a lot of toys, games and even apps that can all help a child (and grown ups) grasp the basics. We have selected some of our favourites which we feel make coding not only less scary but also fun.

Botley is an endearing little robot who not only effortlessly teaches you coding concepts but will also melt your heart a little bit.  Ideal for children even as young as 5, he offers a range of activities and tasks that break down the complicated fundamentals of coding whist making adorable and silly sounds. Using the remote control, children will learn how to write a basic program of up to 80 sequences. The fun tasks and activities included in the Activity Set ensure that they reinforce what they have learnt by using the same technique to solve multiple problems. There are even a few hidden operations that make Botley respond in a cute and silly way that children will love to discover.

The 5 in 1 Coding Robot is a great addition to our range, once the robot is assembled place the mechanical coding wheel into the heart of the robot to steer its coded courses and tasks. Coding is achieved without a computer or app by snapping a series of buttons into the wheel – in a similar way to traditional punched tape technology used historically in CNC machines.   This allow it to perform a series of basic functions – go forwards, backwards, turn and spin with more interesting and challenging tasks as the skills increase.

Alternately and just as fun is the Robot Mouse Activity Set. Children learn by using the cards to build the obstacles that separate Colby the mouse from the cheese. They then have to code in a sequence that they must figure out and get Colby to its reward. The perfect combination of problem solving and play, this set will have anyone programming in no time – even Granddad will want to have a go!

Although these products have all been designed to help a child learn in a fun and engaging way, adults will also love them. By taking what is fundamentally a computer operation and applying it in a real-world situation, the meaning behind these tasks becomes clear. When we can physically engage with a tangible object our understanding of how it works is only limited by our imaginations.

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