Robot Turtles: Board game teaches code to kids

Robot Turtles: Board game teaches code to kids
February 20 00:33 2014 Print This Article

Robot Turtles board game

Who says kids are too young to learn computer programming? A new board game called Robot Turtles dares to challenge that notion by teaching children as young as three years old about the basics of coding.

The idea of teaching computer language to kids comes from former Google programmer Dan Shapiro, who wanted to share his love for coding with his two girls. And while there are many computer-based toys for preschoolers to learn coding on the market, Shapiro wanted to bring the learning process offline using a traditional board game.

Shapiro designed Robot Turtles by himself, making sure kids can learn the gameplay easily within minutes. The board games is also approachable enough for parents who want to teach tech literacy to their children, but didn’t know where to start.

“If parents don’t work at Google all day, they might not know the best way to introduce coding and other tech to kids,” a spokesperson for ThinkFun told Mashable.

Robot Turtles board game

In the game, the child takes on the role of a programmer while the adult is the computer. The young player picks one of four turtles (blue, purple, yellow or red) and a corresponding jewel, then places them in different spots on the board. In doing so, the child is actually writing code for the adult to follow and get the turtle to the jewel. Each card corresponds to a specific action, so the child can lay down a forward-step card or a left-hand turn card. Taking cues from the commands, the adult takes the turtle closer to the gem as the child puts down another card to build a coding sequence.

The board has its share of obstacles like blockades and ice walls, which the turtle has to avoid. Some cards also have special abilities, such as the power to shoot lasers to melt the ice wall. As the child gets used to the board, they can plan more and lay down several cards at once.

Its Kickstarter campaign has become so successful, this project by ThinkFun is the most-funded board game in the crowd-funding service, earning over $631,000 in pledges with just $25,000 target. Robot Turtles also makes its debut at the 2014 International American Toy Fair and it attracting quite a lot of attention.

Robot Turtles is now available for preorder at $24.99 each, with shipping expected in June.

Source: Mashable

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