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Best Coding Toys For The Classroom

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Learning to program should start at a young age. Coding skills are now essential to learning as language or math. Classrooms with high-quality coding toys prepare young and curious brains for the complexities of coding in advanced school years. Here are several ideas for coding toys that teachers should include in classrooms to promote STEM learning: 

Sphero SPRK 

This spherical robot toy reached viral fame thanks to cat videos. The bot is not made for cats, however. The Bluetooth-enabled ball works with an app to teach small children the basics of programming. A tablet or a smartphone is needed to use the toy. The app shows colourful blocks, which represent programming commands, which kids can move about to get the robot to move as well. Children can build complex mazes and tracks that stimulate advanced learning. Thanks to its multi-functionality, Sphero SPRK Australia is a favoured classroom STEM toy. It’s waterproof as well.  

Lego Boost Robotics 

Unlike most Lego sets, Boost is a programmable robot with a CPU and sensors. It can be programmed using a tablet or a smartphone via a corresponding app. Kids can build rather complex sets using the bot. This is an advanced toy best suited for children between the ages of 7 and 12. As a bonus, the Boost bots are compatible with other Lego sets. Kids can use the Boost bot was Legos’ other famous themed sets like Star Wars to create wholly unique sets.  

Bee-Bot 

It’s hard to find coding toys for very young children, and the Bee Bot is one of the rare effective ones. The toy is very colourful and has big buttons that small children can easily operate. There are four directional keys that can be used to execute over 40 commands. The bee-shape is also very appealing to younger children. Despite the cutesy looks, the toy is designed to teach children the basics of problem solving, sequencing, and estimation important for learning programming languages. The toy is sturdily constructed to survive rough handling.  

Coji 

Coji is a robot that young children can program using emojis. Instead of bombarding kids with code language, emojis are used to represent directional symbols. Kids use the emojis to move the robot. However, this is not just a press-and-play toy. Coji introduces children to use “if” and “then” statements essential to programming. The robot can be hooked onto a tablet or a smartphone. But there are also device-independent functions the robot can perform. The manufacturer also has many apps that can be downloaded into the robot.  

Osmo Coding Jam 

This unique toy teaches young children coding with music. The colourful block toy comes with an iPad app, required for playing. Children use the app to create a character and choose an instrument to play. Then, children can use the physical blocks provided to create a “code.” The blocks are colour coded and have directional keys. Kids arrange the blocks as a rough command and then use the iPad’s camera to feed the “code” to the app. Then the character in the app then plays the music as the directional cues indicate. Jam is a highly interactive coding toy that will give children a very real sense of how sequences work.  

Any of the above toys would work perfectly for teaching children the very basics of programming skills that would serve them well as when they start to learn actual coding.  

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