I’ve been introducing my kids to coding through books, toys and activities for the past few years. I think coding is critical for all kids to learn because so much of our lives are intertwined with technology.
I was thrilled when Pitsco gave me a Code Cube to try at home with my son. It comes with the Code Cube, USB cable, and slap band (which allows you to wear the Code Cube like a watch). My son likes how it looks like a smart watch when he is wearing it. We used our computer to access the Code Cube app, free videos and lesson plans.
We programed the cube on our computer, and we can see the results of our code on the Code Cube screen. The LED screen has a wide range colors, an accelerometer, and sound outputs to allow you to make truly unique and fun designs.
The Code Cube works by using bitmapping technology in the software to allow kids to see the code they are designing. In the block-based programing kids can also do more advanced coding including loops and sensor inputs and outputs. Kids have the ability to create images using colors, patterns, and designs that can play sounds and change as they move their wrist.
The Pitsco website has extremely helpful lesson videos. There is a getting started video followed by 10 lesson videos and Code Cube Challenge activities. We watched and coded along with all the videos and found them really well done and easy to follow. My son was coding right along side the instructor and so impressed with himself each time his Code Cube displayed his latest project.
The Code Cube is recommended for kids in grades 3-5. My son is going into 1st grade. He is below the age recommendation, but he did great following the video lessons with my help. If you try this with a younger kid like I did, be prepared to help them – especially if they don’t have a lot of computer experience (my son is a novice with the mouse because he’s used to the touch screen of his iPad).
We initially tried to use the Code Cube with my son’s iPad, but we found out it doesn’t work with an iPad. It does work with both MAC and PC computers. Once we attached the cube to my computer we had no trouble at all getting into the program and starting to code.
My son and I had fun learning how to code on the Code Cube together. My 3 year old daughter loved watching us code and playing with games we coded!
I highly recommend following all the video lessons like we did to familiarize yourself with the Code Cube and what it is capable of. I couldn’t believe all the cool things we could make on the Code Cube. From playing sounds along with images, to a rock, paper, scissors game, to animated displays. My son loved making smiley faces on the Code Cube and using it to answer riddles.
STEAM CONCEPTS LEARNED:
- Technology: This is a great way to introduce kids to block coding. They are also practicing troubleshooting when they have to fix an error in their code. They are testing and evaluating a solution to problems using code.
- Art: The Code Cube integrates art by allowing you to create your own designs to display on the Code Cube. I like how the Code Cube also integrates music by allowing you to add a variety of sounds, noises and tones.
This is a STEAM toy I know we will continue to use and play with for years. I love how my son doesn’t even realize he is learning to code while he’s playing with his Code Cube. He just sees it as a fun game, and I think that’s the best way to learn at his age.
If you are interested in learning more about the Code Cube or buying one for home or school use, head to Pitsco’s website to learn more.
Is this a toy your children would enjoy?