The new series of toys by companies Digital Dream Labs, Make Wonder and Sphero are designed to allow children to grasp the concepts of coding. The companies claim that coding skills can be made sufficiently simple for a child to master.
Jason Smith, the Co-Founder of Click-A-Brick, endorses the direction of these new toys. “These are a new type of toy that aims to teach children the foundations of computer programming,” Smith said. “The process is so much fun it feels more akin to playing than to learning. The toys avoid computer code language altogether and instead focus on offering children a simple interface with commands that they can move around like blocks. I’ve maintained that building blocks like ours help to establish essential spatial and motor skills. It’s only natural that coding follows the same process.”
The toys are designed to help children think like programmers. They engage the mind and teach the player new ways of thinking. It allows children to learn STEM skills while still having fun.
The game Puzzlets, from Digital Dream Lab, combines hands-on play with interactive gaming to form a seamless experience. Users control a character placing small plastic tiles that triggers specific actions. Some of the tiles determine certain movements while others can tweak those actions.
The company Make Wonder produces a pair of programmable robots called Dot and Dash. Children can program them using a tablet app called Blockly It is a drag-and-drop programming language that snaps together like puzzle pieces. The robots can be programmed to detect and react to the world around through emotion, expressions, and animation.
Sphero is a company that produces a motorized ball called Sprk with a top speed of 4.5 mph. Children can use a companion app to program Sprk to perform a series of movements from simple to complicated. It can also be programmed to light up with different colors.
Georg de Gorostiza, Co-Founder of Click-A-Brick praises the focus of the new toys. “Coding will help you look at the world differently,” de Gorostiza said. “These new toys help children learn critical thinking and coding skills while they play. How else do we expect to promote essential STEM skills in our children? These toys can let their imagination take flight through a perfect blend of hands-on play and digital exploration. It’s exciting and I wish I’d had these when I was growing up. I definitely know what my son is getting for his next birthday. ”
The toys are meant to be paired with a smartphone or a tablet via Bluetooth. They are compatible with both Android and iOS operating systems.
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