Innovation That Matters

Board game sneakily teaches programming to 3-year-olds

Publishing & Media

Robot Turtles – which has become the most backed board game on Kickstarter ever – is designed to teach pre-schoolers the foundations of coding as they try to win robot jewels.

We’ve already seen board games such as Germany’s climate change-themed MELTDOWN inconspicuously educate kids about real world issues. Seeing as one of the most important skills kids will need in the future is computer programming, it’s no surprise that a new game called Robot Turtles has been designed to teach pre-schoolers the foundations of coding as they try to win robot jewels.

Created by Google Comparison Inc CEO Dan Shapiro, the board game recently raised 25 times its target through its crowdfunding campaign, becoming the best-selling product of its kind on Kickstarter. Aimed at children between 3 and 8 years old, the game involves placing cards in sequence in order to complete the robot turtle’s journey through the maze and towards the jewel. Children decide which cards to place down, while the adult moves the pieces according to which ones they choose – much like a programmer inputs code to tell a computer what to do. The game is engaging for kids be letting them boss around their parents, while also unlocking ‘powerups’ that make the game more challenging as they progress through the puzzle. If they make a mistake, they can ‘debug’ and reprogram their route. The video below demonstrates how the game works:

Given the importance of computer coding as almost all consumer products become ‘smart’ – and the current dearth of web and computer programmers – Robot Turtles instils the basic foundations of those skills at a very young age. Are there other ways for kids to become engaged in computer programming?

Spotted by Murtaza Patel, written by Springwise



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