To code or not to code with kids? Learning to code is not about bringing up engineers; it’s about training brains on analytical thinking.
When I first gave the board game “The Robo Rally” a try, it melted my heart (and brain)! The Robo Rally is a symbiosis of strategy and randomness.
Let me tell you how to play: 2-8 players gather together to run robots on the board. The main idea is to reach the final point the fastest you can. Each turn, you’ll draw random Program cards that features an instruction for the movement of your robot. However, it’s not that easy as you think, you need to consider several steps ahead and how to prevent a clash with other robots.
Honestly, I’ve been racking my brains while playing 😀 If you want to help your kids develop analytical thinking in a fun and engaging way, just try The Robo Rally! It says aged 12+ but we played in a team of adults and kids 7-11.
If you want to encourage your kid to practice learning coding, even more, check these online resources and apps that kids can use to beef up their programming skills:
- Scratch – Open sandbox interface. Make your own animations, stories, interactive displays or games. Has many free tutorials and an established community. Requires new login and email. Beginner to Advanced.
- Khan Academy – A great resource for many subjects, including a few early programming/coding courses. Best for older elementary or students looking for a real challenge. Intermediate to Advanced.
- Hour of Code, Code.org – A great variety of stand-alone, short projects and tutorials featuring different products/platforms. Accommodates many skill levels and ideal for short-term projects. Beginner to Advanced.
- Made w/Code – A variety of resources and projects geared toward teaching girls to code. Beginner to Advanced.
- Code Combat – Teaches scripting code (not block/visual based) using a gamified approach. Best for older students or those looking for a challenge. Typing skills are required. Intermediate to Advanced
- Kodable – Early childhood coding basics. Best for grades K-1. Beginner level.
- Hopscotch – Project, game-based programming in an accessible package. Beginner to Intermediate.
- Cargo Bot – Challenging Robotic arm programming puzzles. Beginner to Advanced.
- Light Bot – Simple programming game with a fun robot that you program to light up small squares in a grid. Limited progress tracking but good for practice. Beginner to Intermediate. My son adores particularly this one!
- Tickle – Block based coding similar to Tynker and Scratch. Also interfaces with many popular robotic toys (Sphero, Dash and dot etc) Beginner to Advanced.
Thanks to Kayla Heese and Thomas Spackman from ASH for resources selection.