You may have seen my recent Learning Resource review about Botley, the coding robot. Following how great this item is for STEM, Learning Resources have just launched a coding toy that is perfect for slightly younger kids at pre school age. These are called Coding Critters and are to become your child's first coding friend.
We had a choice of the 3 wonderful pets that you could choose from, Dog, Dinosaur or Cat. Lily chose the dog, which always seems to be her go to choice of toy pet.
So what does the set come with?
The set comes with -
1 coding pet, (dog called Ranger)
1 Puppy Friend (called Zip)
Full Colour Story Book
10 coding Paw Prints
3 Cardboard Play Set decorations
Plastic Playset - Ball, Seesaw, house and slide
Quick start guide.
You then also need batteries for Ranger and he takes 3 AAA batteries (which are not included)
When it was all set up It was time to show Lily how to use it.
You can do a sequence of up to 30 steps which does take your dog quite far around the room.
To make coding Ranger more fun, you can use the story book to help think of fun ideas. Inside it shows you what to press and so you child can copy it. You can then make Ranger do all sorts like play hide and seek or play with the ball. Lily mostly likes playing with Ranger and Zip at the same time. You can make it so then Ranger pushes Zip down the slide or catches him at the bottom. If you make Ranger and Zips noses touch then magnets help them attach and ranger can pull zip around.
The fun with Ranger doesn't stop there. He also has a interactive pet mode which means you can play and take care of him. Keep hold of his nose for around 3 seconds and he will switch over to interactive mode. You will know he has when a light on his back lights up. You can then press the direction buttons on him to make him do different things. Forward button is feeding him and he will say yum yum, left is making him sleep, back is playful mode where he barks, and right is to make him dance to music. Lily loved the dance move and thought it was hilarious watching him move around the floor.
Ranger is very easy to switch on and off and has a button on his belly.
Overall I think that the coding critter is brilliant, and a fantastic way to help children learn about coding and also directions. I love that they have come as a animal and that is also has an interactive mode so then children can have more fun with there new pet. I think the quality of Ranger is great, the buttons are very easy to press and so it isn't something you would need to help your child with.
My only thing I would say is that the plastics of the playset could be a little stronger and arn't up to the usual Learning resource plastic quality.
But as that isn't the main part of the toy I would totally recommend this for your child as a fun way to learn.
You can buy your child's first ever Coding Critter from the Learning Resource website and it is RRP £40 recommended for ages 4-10.
What would your child think to Coding Critters?
Would they choose Dog, Cat or Dino?