Coding Critters are a fun and simple way to expose kids as young as four to basic logic and sequencing skills. There are a few different animal combinations (Ranger the Dog, Scamper the Cat, and Rumble the Dino); each set comes with a plastic home and obstacle to assemble, a couple of plastic, magnetized “toys” as well as a few cardboard elements to round out the playspace and provide challenges for simple coding experiments.
For example, Scamper the Cat can be used in one of two modes. Code mode allows kids to input a simple sequence of movements – forward, reverse, left and right – and execute those movements on press of a Go button. Play mode has several pre-set behaviors that kids will love to play with, such as making the animal dance and patrolling around the room. The magnetized toys (and Sneaker the kitten) allow some fun play with Scamper, as well. The included storybook prompts kids to set up and try to solve different challenges using sequences of commands, although parents will need to help kids who aren’t yet readers.
Parents should note that there is no volume control button. Three AAA batteries are required but not included.
Overall this set is cute, playful, and encourages practicing logical thinking.
Jennifer Wells ©2019 Parents’ Choice
For more than 20 years, Jennifer has been developing play experiences for children, with beloved organizations like Highlights and LEGO. With a Master’s degree in Children & Media, a Bachelor’s in Music, and a love of Star Trek, Jennifer has many layers.