My kids have never done any coding activities before so when Learning Resources asked if we would be interested in their introduction to coding set – Code & Go Robot Mouse Activity Set I immediately said yes. I was not 100% sure what to expect but as soon as the kids opened the box they LOVED it.
The set comes with following pieces
- 1 Robot Mouse (Colby)
- 1 cheese wedge
- 3 orange tunnels
- 22 purple maze walls
- 16 grid pieces that connect together to form a large board
- 10 double-sided activity cards (with examples of mazes for the kids to copy)
- 30 coding cards (to help the kids set out the steps needed to programme the mouse)
My son was initially so excited that he had his own mouse that he did not want to put Colby down and my daughter immediately started connecting the boards (there was honestly no stopping them once they opened the box). The direction buttons on Colby are fairly self-explanatory, the only one we really need to point out was the clear button – before you start programming a new sequence of steps you must clear the previous set of steps or they all just get added together into one long sequence.
They started by building the easier mazes depicted on the activity cards and practiced programming the steps into Colby so that he could manoeuvre around the maze and reach the cheese. Having some example of possible maze layouts on the Activity Cards definitely helps the kids get started.
My youngest quickly understood how to programme the mouse but my oldest initially struggled (she kept leaving out some steps). We used some of the coding cards as a way of setting out each step, which did help (the lightning bolt coding card means you need to programme an action into the sequence).
And then we tried using an object. As she programmed the steps into the mouse she would move her baby hedgehog around the course. This helped her see every move that the mouse needed to make.
She only needed to do this a few times and then she was happy visualising the mouse’s movements in her head and moved onto programming it by herself.
Once the kids got the hang of programming the mouse they started to build their own mazes and also tried to see how many different ways they could programme Colby to find his cheese.
My youngest really enjoys the challenge of programming Colby to move backwards through the maze or to start off moving backwards and then to swing around and complete the maze forwards.
The kids also played around with programming Colby to move around our table, a shelf and even our lounge floor. It works perfectly on all the flat surfaces we have tried (it does need to be flat, if the surface is not flat Colby will veer off course so be careful about tablecloths underneath the boards). The only issue was my youngest found it hard to judge the distance of each movement (one movement of the mouse is equal to one of the green boards – so using the green boards helps the kids to judge the distance covered by each movement).
I am really impressed with how the kids have gone from programming Colby to do a few basic steps to complicated sequences in just a few days. I highly recommend this set.
We were given the Code and Go Robot Mouse in exchange for a review. All opinions expressed are mine and those of my two kids. In case you are wondering would I buy this for my kids ? – YES YES without a doubt. It one of the best items that we have EVER been given to test.