There is no better way to prepare your kids for the future than introducing them to coding. Technological trends, which heavily rely on software and programming, are expected to revolutionize all industries. Therefore, it is prudent to allow your kids to learn this while still at their young age. Integrating various coding courses, such as those from the coder school, into your kids’ education is a common option for most parents.
However, you can use other means to spike your kids’ interest in programming. These include coding games, apps, and gadgets. Below are some of the best coding-inspired gadgets for kids.
1) Let’s Go Code
Let’s Go Code is a giant board game that excellently introduces your little one to programming in a fun and playful manner. The game consists of up to 50 car pieces packed in attractive colors. Out of the 50, 20 are double-sided coding cards, 20 are maze mats that can be followed, 8 are action cards, and 2 are robots.
Kids learn coding by taking turns in finding design directions to get to the robot. The game promises endless hours of fun that gets your kid thinking like a coder. The gadget also boosts your kids’ motor skills, enhances their sense of direction, and pries them off non-educational screens.
2) Fisher-Price Think and Learn Code a Pillar
This segment programmable caterpillar suits kids aged between 3 and 6 years. The game has a simple objective; kids should connect the 8 segments to program the caterpillar. The segments provide instructions for its motorized head. They are color-coded and feature easily understandable symbols. The symbols include direction, such as turn left, right, or move forward, or produce some noise.
Once all the segments are connected, players can then press the power button to watch the actions. If the connection is correct, the caterpillar comes to life with blinking eyes and sounds as all segments vibrate into action. This game creates a challenge that your kids should complete to achieve their goals.
3) Learning Resources Code and Go Robot Mouse Set
This is a less-programmable mouse set that suits kids aged four and above. The set consists of 83 pieces that allow kids to learn to code while playing. Kids get to design and build a maze for the mouse. They should also program the mouse to reach the cheese by passing through the maze. Such challenges instantly push your kids to learn solving problems, think critically, and understand programming basics.
Kids are naturally attracted to bright colors. This explains why all the pieces in this set are brightly colored. The set can be played individually or as a group, with kids taking turns to set up the maze and programming the mouse. The maze contains 16 maze grids, 22 walls, and 3 tunnels. The mouse takes up to 40 programmed commands to act, which is enough to instill some coding basics in your kids.
4) Wonder Workshop Dash Robot
Wonder Workshop Dash Robot is a great app-enabled programmable robot that suits kids aged 6 and above. It is a cute-looking alien that makes learning programming fun and engaging for your kids. Dash, which is the robot, walks from its box powered by built-in rechargeable batteries. This standalone toy responds to voice to dance, navigate, and sing.
The Wonder Workshop Dash Robot gadget comes with three mobile apps that make it possible to complete several projects, puzzles, and challenges. First is the Go app, which allows players to control the robot by moving, switching lights on/off, make noise, record, and playback the recorded voice.
Second is the Path app, which enables users to manipulate the robot to follow drawn paths. Lastly is the Blockly app, which has a drag and dropping programming interface. You can use it to subject the robot to various activities.
5) Learning Resources Botley Coding Robot Activity Set
This is another screen-less programmable robot gadget that suits kids from 5 years and above. The gadget is an advanced version of the Code and Go Mouse game. However, much like the initial activity set, it contains 77 pieces that give your kids several hours of interactive learning through play. Unlike other gadgets, the game has no separate screen or app that can be a source of distraction to your kid.
Besides coding knowledge, this activity set stimulates STEM learning, encourages critical thinking and problem-solving skills. Unlike the previous game version, Botley, the robot is advanced and can detect objects in their way to avoid them.
While your kids may be too young to learn professional programming languages, you can use these gadgets to introduce them to basic coding concepts. They are a good distraction for modern-generation kids who are always glued to their smartphones playing non-educational games, watching, or texting their friends.