Programming for play: a smart toy without a screen

There is a new educational toy influenced by Montessori pedagogy being presented on Kickstarter and its intention is to teach children basic programming skills. Cody Block consists of a self-propelled wooden car controlled remotely using wooden blocks in the shape of high-rise buildings. A transponder is fitted in each one of the buildings and sends commands to a receiver in the car, for example “turn 180 degrees” or “turn left”. The instructions give children tasks to position the building blocks in such a way that the car travels a specific route. The corresponding symbols for the commands are printed on the buildings, featuring arrows pointing left or right as well as curly brackets for saving the code. Since Cody Block does not feature LEDs, make sounds or contain any visible plastic parts, its design differs strongly from other toys for learning coding.

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