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Coding Toys for Kids

In its December issue, SB&F has published a brief list of recommended toys to help kids learn to code. To help us put the list together we consulted our colleague Chrissy Rey, an experienced coder who also believes in teaching kids to learn to do real programming in contexts that they will find both motivating and educational. As the founder of Coder Kids Club, Chrissy has been running afterschool, vacation, and summer programs to help kids learn and practice coding skills. Below is her list of recommended resources to help you do the same with your kids. 

Chrissy has been working with the web since 1995. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Zoology from the University of Maryland in College Park, and spent some time working as a zookeeper and animal technician before she gave up animal wrangling for programming. Concentrating on web application and game development, Chrissy loves to teach what she knows. She has written, contributed to, and tech edited numerous technical books and courses, while continuing to hone her skills by developing award-winning applications through her company Pongos Interactive. (https://pongos.com/). Chrissy is also the founder of Coder Kids Club. (https://coderkidsclub.com/

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Snap Circuits

Snap Circuits

Elenco®s new Snap Circuits® makes learning electronics easy and fun! Following the instructions in the manual, kids can build exciting projects, such as FM radios, digital voice recorders, AM radios, burglar alarms, doorbells, and more! You can even play electronic games with your friends. All parts are mounted on plastic modules and snap together easily. Enjoy hours of educational fun while learning about electronics. No tools required. Uses AA batteries.

http://www.snapcircuits.net/

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Dash Dot

Dash and Dot

Dash & Dot are real robots that teach your kids to code while they play. Using our free apps and a compatible tablet or smartphone, kids learn to code while they make Dash sing, dance, and navigate all around the house. Sensors on the robot mean they react to the environment around them, including your kids.

https://www.makewonder.com/

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little bits

littleBits

littleBits is a platform of easy-to-use electronic building blocks that empower you to invent anything, from your own remote controlled car, to a smart home device. The “bits” snap together with magnets, no soldering, no wiring, and no programming needed.

http://littlebits.cc/

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Kano

Kano

Kano is a DIY "computer kit designed to help people of all ages assemble a computer from scratch, and learn basic coding skills." A month-long Kickstarter campaign initiated in November 2013 raised over $1.5 million and helped launch the mass production of the device.

https://kano.me/

 

 

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Makey Makey

Makey Makey &  Makey Makey Go

Makey Makeys work just like a USB keyboard or mouse, sending keyboard (WASD, spacebar, etc.) and mouse (left click, right click, etc.) signals to your computer.

 

Makey Makey Classic works through opening and closing circuits. Instead of the circuit being closed underneath your keyboard, the circuit is closed through the conductive objects you connect with alligator clips, like your hand or tinfoil, or even a banana! When the circuit is closed, the Makey Makey sends a command to your computer, just like when a button is pressed on a keyboard.

Makey Makey GO works much like a button on a touchscreen. When you connect something to the Makey Makey GO, the GO senses the capacity of that object to hold electricity. When you touch the connected object, that capacity suddenly expands to include your whole body! And the Makey Makey GO senses the difference and sends a command to your computer.

http://makeymakey.com/