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Coding is “the process of creating a program, letting it run, encountering problems, dissecting and examining the problem, and finding a solution so you can create something.” Coding is the language behind social media, phone apps and computers, and according to Forbes Magazine it’s the language of the future. Forbes says that important advancements in education are coming to us through toys and games that provide children with an opportunity to practice what is known as computational thinking or coding.
You’re probably thinking that these concepts are too complex for children, but they aren’t! Toy manufacturers have recognized the prominent role coding plays in our society and have strategically designed several toys that cater to these educational needs from a young age.
Children today are going to be the most in need of understanding coding throughout their entire lives. Coding toys encourage children to develop the building blocks of this new and emerging form of communication while still having fun and being a kid. In fact, many coding toys have been designed so strategically that you may not even notice that they are teaching important critical thinking skills. Here are some of our favourite coding toys:
Looking for a fun way to introduce your children to the basic concepts of coding? ALEX Toys Future Coders Poppin’ Pictures breaks down images into sequences of symbols so kids four and older can learn to create pictures using code. This is a great toy to help your child learn the basics behind sequencing, problem-solving, and logical thinking!
Your child will hone their fine motor skills using the suction cup tool to grab tiles and pop them into position on the activity grid, based on their challenge card (there are 20 included). This kit comes with the robot board, suction pen, 175 pixel tiles, challenge cards and instructions.
The learning resources coding mouse and mouse set is a great introduction to coding for children 5 and older. Your child will have everything they need to build a maze for Colby, their programmable robot mouse while developing their cognitive and fine motor skills. Your child can create a challenging maze for Colby, program his steps and then watch him race to find his cheese. This set includes 30 coding cards and 10 activity cards, as well as a cheese wedge and activity guide with plenty of possibilities!
Built for preschoolers, the Fisher Price Code-A-Pillar offers young children a fun, simple way to build coding skills. With 9 easy-to-connect segments your child can arrange and rearrange the segments to tell Code-A-Pillar to move forward, left, right, pause, dance and wiggle. Using sequencing skills, your child can move Code-A-Pillar throughout your home.
Does your child wish they had their own Minion? Now they can with the WowWee Minion Robot. Turbo Dave is an adorable Minion friend who will follow your child around. Your child will use hand gestures to navigate Dave throughout your home, and is sure to have fun adventures while learning the basics of coding.
Ozobot is a tiny toy robot with very big possibilities. Designed to teach kids programming, Ozobot can be played with in the physical and digital world. It’s got a light-emitting diode (LED) brain that allows your child to train it to follow patterns, lines, colors and codes on digital surfaces (like an iPad) as well as physical surfaces (like paper).
Once your child gets the hang of programming Ozobot they’ll have lots of fun creating race tracks, games, and cityscapes for multiple Ozobots to roll over. Ozobot Evo come come in black and white so you can race them without getting mixed up – perfect for siblings or friends who are up for a challenge.
While coding is largely associated with computers, it stems from a basic thought process that has existed for hundreds of years. Even board games can help develop the necessary skills for understanding coding in children. Coding is playing an ever-increasing role in our world, which is why it’s important to ensure your child has toys that foster and enhance their skills in the world of coding.
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