Fun coding projects for kids, including a review of the Let’s Start Coding Base Kit 2.0 for children to learn basic programming.
Disclosure: I’m a member of Timberdoodles blogger review team, and they sent me this product to review. I did not request or receive any other compensation, and all opinions are my own.
Let’s Start Coding Base Kit 2.0 Review
Timberdoodle sent us the Let’s Start Coding Base Kit 2.0 to review. This kit is part of their 5th grade curriculum kit, so I decided to try it out with my rising 5th grader. We will be home schooling this fall, and since we will also be traveling a lot I’m trying to get a head start on the school work!
This kit is was a huge hit with Anna!
What Do You Get in the Base Kit?
The Let’s Start Coding Base Kit 2.0 comes in a nice little container. The kit includes:
- 1 green, 1 blue, and 1 red LED light
- 4 push buttons
- 2 RGB LED lights
- 1 turn knob
- 1 speaker
- 1 Maker Board 2.0
- 1 retractable USB cable
- Code and component reference cards, with a little band to keep them all together
The back of the maker board is labeled with all of the parts, which Anna and I both really liked.
What Can You Make with the Let’s Start Coding Base Kit?
The Let’s Start Coding Base Kit 2.0 comes with an online curriculum and cards that make it easy to get started. The online curriculum includes some ready to execute codes that students can then tweak to change what happens. It also includes some codes with bugs, and students have to find and fix the bug. Debugging is a very important part of programming, so I like that their curriculum teaches this right away.
Here are a few of the things Anna coded with this kit:
- An LED light that changes color based on which buttons your press. This one was especially cool, because she could explore LED color mixing by pressing multiple buttons at the same time.
- Playing a particular tone when a button is pressed. She actually did this with four different buttons to create a four tone “piano”.
- Programming lights to light up in a particular order and at particular speeds.
- Programming different tones to play in a particular order and at particular speeds.
- Programming various siren like sound effects.
- Programming an LED light to brighten and dim.
What Did We Like About This Kit?
Anna loves this kit! She has spent several hours coding with it already, and she is already asking me to buy some of the Let’s Start Coding add on sets.
The kit comes with a range of directed activities, and there are enough components for children to experiment quite a bit on their own once they understand the basics. The cards offer a helpful reference.
What Did We Dislike About This Kit?
The kit is pretty cool. I found the noise aspect of it pretty irritating when she was insisting on coding right next to me while I was trying to write, but there IS a way to control the volume. That helps a lot!
The pieces can be pretty fiddly, so I would not recommend this kit for children who struggle with fine motor skills.
Anna was a little frustrated that the set up video shows an extra piece that you do not need with the newer kit. She wanted that piece, since she could see it! But it’s not part of the new set.
More Coding Projects for Kids
We’ve done a lot of coding projects over the years – after all, my husband is a computer scientist! Here are a few of our favorites:
Have you ever tried the Let’s Start Coding Base Kit – or any of their other kits? What did you think? Do you have any other coding projects I should try with my kids?
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