Learn why Cubetto is the best way for kids to learn to code. This brilliantly simple toy teaches kids to think like programmers! Sponsored post.
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Our family lives in California’s Silicon Valley, where personal computers took off and every other millennial seems to be working for a tech startup. My kids learn programming in school alongside math, reading, social studies, and science. Tech learders from Bill Gates to Mark Zuckerberg have pushed that this should be happening in all schools, but I’ve always been a bit skeptical. While my school in France taught me a little BASIC, I learned most of the coding I know in college and after college, on my own. So did my computer scientist, Stanford professor husband. I keep my kids mostly screen-free, and I wasn’t convinced that the coding apps I had seen out for kids were worth tuning into a screen. Then I met Cubetto.
Why Cubetto is the Best Way for Kids to Learn to Code
Housed in wood and Montessori-approved, Cubetto is to programming as a primer book is to reading. A primer reader teaches the basic rules of reading. Playing with Cubetto allows children to discover the foundations of programming. The design of the toy combined with the story challenges get kids thinking like experienced programmers.
Children start with a fabric illustrated map, a storybook, Cubetto, the friendly wooden robot, and Cubetto’s programming console. As children go through the provided stories, they place blocks on the programming console to walk Cubetto through the stories and challenges. The toy is designed in such a way that sighted and non-sighted children can play it together. The same design elements make this toy perfect for my four-year-old daughter Anna to collaborate with all three of her older siblings.
Cubetto makes a little noise, but is very quiet – something I truly appreciate as a parent! The physical robot and the tactical hands-on programming experience encourages children to fully engage in their play, promoting that “flow” state that leads to real learning. My children were quick to extend this activity with their own stories and challenges for the robot.
Besides being screen-free, Cubetto is the first programming toy that I see teaching children life skills that will serve them well far beyond programming. The toy comes with a limited number of programming blocks and limited spots on the programming console. This means that children have to plan out efficient ways to Cubetto to travel from place to place. Here my 11-year-old daughter Emma found a way to use every single programming block while keeping Cubetto on the map:
Programming Cubetto also requires breaking a task down into several smaller steps. This important programming process is the same skill that successful people use to organize tasks and achieve goals. Cubetto is teaching life skills, in addition to helping kids learn to code. By combining movement, touch and sound, Cubetto also helps children with disabilities strengthen their sequencing and communication skills.
Does your local preschool or elementary school teach kids how to learn to code? What would your children think of Cubetto? Please share in the comments below, or on my Facebook page. You can also tag me on Instagram.
MaryAnne lives is a craft loving educator, musician, photographer, and writer who lives in Silicon Valley with her husband Mike and their four children.
11 thoughts on “Why Cubetto is the Best Way for Kids to Learn to Code”
This looks super interesting.
This is such a cool coding toy for preschoolers! I think preschools should invest in this toy!
I agree that it would be a sound investment!
That looks so cool!
Jeff has great plans to teach the kids coding, but hasn’t followed through yet.
This toy is deceptively simple; it is better than anything else I’ve seen in terms of getting kids to think like programmers.
I have 3 grandkids in the U.S. We live in Tanzania where we have a mission. It is so expensive. I wish I could buy it for my grandkids. Do you think the activity pack would be a good gift. Would it give them enough start to programing?
Unfortunately, the activity pack isn’t much good without the actual robot. I am hoping to see toys like this come down in price, because affordability is a big problem for a lot of families.
I’ve never seen this before but looks very clever!
The design is very clever. and I love the storytelling element to draw the children in.
Very interesting! This is something I wish I would’ve had available to me when I was little. I really do think programming is an important skill everyone can (and should) learn. Anything that can help teach it to kids or at least help get into that mindset is worth exploring further. Thanks for sharing this MaryAnne!
– James McAllister
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