A groundbreaking new toy which teaches preschoolers the basics of coding without a computer or screen, is going from strength to strength
Words Holly Kirkwood
Launched last year on Kickstarter with enormous success, Cubetto is a cool little robot which is powered by a playful programming language you can touch and feel, which is made up of tangible blocks instead of text on screens.
The Montessori-approved coding toy is designed to help children aged three years and up to write their first programs using this friendly wooden robot.
Cubetto is basically a little wooden box, with a smiley face on one side and an arrow on the top indicating its direction. Powered by AA batteries, large wheels mostly inside the body combined with small plastic bumps in front and behind allow the little figure to manoeuvre around on its map – a large mat with colourful graphics and coordinates marked along the edges.
The kit also comes with a storybook which includes instructions, ideas and discussion points – to operate as a starting point for ideas of little sequences to try out.
To program Cubetto, you simply place the blocks into the board and then hit go; once it’s finished it toots a little ‘I’m finished’ noise. The robot itself feels really nice and robust, while the interface board helps children to see what they are asking the robot to do – it’s basically an excellent, tactile way of understanding the basics of coding.
Cubetto became the most crowdfunded educational technology in Kickstarter history last March, raising $1.6m from 6,000+ backers in 90+ countries, and it’s maker Primo Toys is now being recognised all over the world as a leader in early education and programming.
Now Cubetto has been shortlisted in the ‘Understanding the world resource’ category of the Early Years Excellence Awards 2017. CEO and co-founder of Primo Toys, Filippo Yacob commented: “We are proud to be recognised as part of a group of educational resources, all of which encourage children to learn in a fun and different way. Our ultimate goal is to make computer programming an integral part of early years development around the world.”
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