You have probably heard about the importance of coding, especially to help your children prepare for their future career. Science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) skills are becoming increasingly essential in all areas.
But that can be intimidating. Where exactly do you start? What is the right age for your children to start learning to code? Do they need prior expertise?
Fortunately, you can find good toys for all young people and make learning fun.
Suggested age range: 5 to 12 years.
The key to encouraging children to codify them is to see their potential and normalize that attitude. This is where the doll Barbie Robotsics Engineers comes in.
This brand has been a staple of the toy industry for over a decade and has survived by adapting . Its latest development is a partnership with Tynker, a gaming platform that replaces the source code with colored blocks.
The dolls come with six free lessons that can be unlocked on the Tynker website. These games are designed around an impressive assortment of careers: robotic engineer, astronaut, beekeeper, farmer, musician and pastry chef.
They are not particularly intensive either. A class lasts between 45 minutes and one hour, so your children should not get bored.
And you can leave them because the program guides users through potentially complex concepts like sequencing, problem solving and debugging without the need for assistance. Nevertheless, Tynker offers instructions to parents and guardians if they want to help.
Suggested age range: 7 to 12 years.
The popularity of Lego has no bounds . in coding. Yes, it sounds a bit pricey, but no more than a Millennial Falcon, an Avengers Hulkbuster: Age of Ultron armor, or one of the Technic sets.
More le Lego Boost The robotics toolbox is educational, so you can justify the price of $ 160 without sweating too much.
You can create five models: the robot plastered on the box; a cat; a guitar; the multi-tool rover; and, perhaps the coolest, a self-builder, that is, a miniature production line for Lego bricks. Each takes a few hours to do (alas, using the same bricks, so you can only have one robot at a time).
This is great if you want to spend time with your kids. But they can also learn independently, using the tutorials available via the free Boost app. You will need a tablet running iOS 10.3 / Android 5.0 or later; Smartphone screens are just too small.
It's very funny, young people do not even realize that they are learning something so precious. And once they finish with Boost, they can evolve to Lego Mindstorms. Alternatively, the Raspberry Pi is an excellent next step, providing children with similar practical experience.
Suggested age range: 4 to 10 years.
Once again, you will need a tablet for this one; However, it offers some variations, because you can connect it to two applications via Bluetooth. WowWee Elmoji is a small brightly colored robot with a simple screen for a head; by default, it displays the Sesame Street red character.
Elmo is a solid entry-level character, intended for preschool children. But both applications allow you to change your face to emoji if you fear that your children are too old for the Muppet. Indeed, this is based on the Coji device, so you can learn to code using emoticons.
Elmoji will not keep your children busy for hours, but it will be a good distraction for a while. Given this, the $ 60 RRP looks steep, but many retailers offer it at a much lower price, making it a good introduction to coding.
Make sure you buy a lot of batteries. The three required AAA batteries are not included and you will meet them surprisingly quickly.
Suggested age range: 5 to 15 years.
Children are harassing you for having a pet? Here is an interesting solution that you will not have to feed or clean after
Well, your kids will probably still want a dog, but the robot mouse Code & Go should keep them. preoccupied for a while.
More convenient than many other posts because you do not need a tablet to participate.
You use 16 grids, 22 partitions, and three tunnels to create a labyrinth for the robotic mouse, Colby, to navigate. With 30 coding cards and ten activity cards, this may seem daunting at first, which is a great toy for parents. If everything goes as planned, your children will be able to continue independently for a long time.
This is a reasonably priced set, but a less expensive variant, including a mouse called Jack Plus coding cards, is also available The two together would make a great Christmas gift for siblings .
Suggested age range: 6 to 15 years.
Ozobot's main argument is his marriage between technology and art. You encourage STEM skills and creativity!
The robot moves following the patterns of the markers – your child draws on a piece of paper using different color pens and the robot follows. Of course, it is not so simple, but the OzoBlockly associated app is easy to understand.
The classic Ozobot Bit is for ages 6 and up, while the new Evo adds special sounds and features. a bigger call.
Our favorite item is custom skins to stick on your Ozobot. Do not underestimate the appeal of superheroes for young and older kids. It's very funny to dress your robot like Rocket or Groot Guardians of the Galaxy . There is also a superb set Spider-Man (in which the wall is installed with a Venom skin), but if you have an Evo, larger Avengers models are available.
Do not be surprised at their tiny.
Where to go for children?
These toys may take a little time to master, but do not underestimate the ability of new children's skills. In fact, you may have to work hard to follow!
So what can they advance on? We are a big lawyers of the Micro: bit – This small device is supported by the BBC and distributed mainly to educational institutions. But you can still get your hands on one. They are perfect for beginners and if your children show enough enthusiasm, they are even more likely to deepen their knowledge using various accessories .