Botley, the Coding Robot Activity Set

Ages: 5 and upManufacturer: Learning Resources

Botley the Coding Robot offers a hands-on, screen-free coding experience for children five and up. The 77-piece set includes a programmable robot, remote programmer, detachable arms, 40 coding cards, 6 double-sided line/challenge tiles, 27 obstacle-building pieces, and a starter guide with coding challenges. The 5 AAA batteries needed are not included.

Botley has two modes, line and code. In line mode (great for beginners), users create paths using the six included tiles; Botley then uses his sensor to follow the line. Paths can also be created by drawing thick black lines on white paper. As children become more comfortable with Botley, they can switch to coding mode. The starter guide includes progressively-leveled coding challenges. For example, if they want him to complete a square, they arrange the cards: forward, right turn, forward, right turn, forward, right turn, forward, transmit. They then use that visual representation to enter the code in the remote programmer. And, in no time at all, Botley springs to life, following the new program, and saying “hi” and “wee” along the way.

This hands-on, trial-and-error method of learning encourages analytical thinking and problem-solving. When Botley executes the commands, children can follow along with the cards and if something does not go as planned, they can see where the code needs editing. And, because the activities are progressively-leveled and the kit offers open-ended play, it has excellent long-term play and learning values.

Sharon Heuscher ©2018 Parents’ Choice

Sharon holds B.A.s in English Literature and Ancient Studies as well as a B.S. in Psychology. She is currently a masters-level trainee in Clinical Psychology specializing in neurodegenerative diseases. For the past thirteen years, Sharon has focused primarily on raising, educating, and nurturing her five children who range in age from three to thirteen.

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