(Enter #GirlPower hashtag here).
At this age (Chica is in first grade), all of the coding websites and apps are game-based. The big one for Hour of Code involves Disney's Elsa and Anna. What kid wouldn't want to make Elsa skate patterns around a frozen pond?! After sharing on Facebook about Chica's experience and excitement about coding, several friends recommended some toys that she might be interested in. Hubby and I talked more in-depth about toys and games involving logic and strategy are also a great way to build the "coding muscles."
So we started making a list. And being a blogger, I immediately thought it would make a great gift guide! If you have a little one that has even slightest interest in coding (or logic and strategy), here are some great gift ideas (there is still time to order before Hannukah and Christmas!):
Give your child an exciting, hands-on introduction to electronics with Elenco Electronics Snap Circuits Jr. SC-100. This innovative kit contains over 30 color-coded, real circuit components that snap together to create working electronic circuits and devices. Recommended for children 8 and older, this set offers 101 do-it-yourself projects that will give your child an entertaining, concrete education on how electronics work.
GoldieBlox and the Movie Machine teaches kids how to make their own movies. A story + construction kit—in GoldieBlox and the Movie Machine, Goldie and her gang of friends team up to invent a solution and save the Bloxtown Film Festival from being canceled. Kids learn how to build a zoetrope, a pre-cinema animation device, while learning about illustration and animation. New characters + pieces! GoldieBlox and the Movie Machine introduces Li Gravity and Valentina Voltz, the series first male and Latina characters, as well as newly engineered pieces that are compatible with all GoldieBlox sets.
Robot Turtles is the most-backed board game in Kickstarter history. It sneakily teaches programming fundamentals to kids ages 4 and up. Inspired by the Logo programming language. the game lets kids write programs with playing cards. For 2-5 players. Invented by Dan Shapiro and seen on NPR, Bloomberg, Make: Magazine, Boing boing, TechCrunch, Reddit, Geekmom, Geekdad and more.
Unfold the Hexbug Nano Hive Habitat Set from Innovation First and send your Hexbug Nano Mutant Specimen skittering through a series of build-your-own mazes. With 35 included construction pieces, you can build a series of different environments for your Nano to explore. Simply fold up the habitat to take it wherever you go!
Test your code-cracking prowess with Mastermind, "the challenging game of logic and deduction." The codemaker sets a code of four colored pegs--choosing from yellow, red, orange, blue, green, or white--and conceals it behind a flip-up shield. Your mission: replicate the code in 10 moves or fewer. With each of the codebreaker's attempts, the codemaker uses red and white key pegs to offer cryptic clues about color and position. Make the game even more difficult by using multiple pegs of the same color or by leaving one or more peg holes empty. With more than 2,000 possible code combinations, every game is guaranteed to be a brain-bender. All of Mastermind's components can be stored in the game board. Mastermind is for two players.
Code Monkey Island is a family-friendly board game that introduces kids ages 8 and up to programming concepts used by real programmers. It takes about a minute to learn the rules and 45 minutes to play, and exposes kids to fundamental programming concepts like control structures, data structures, Boolean logic and operators, and assignment and mathematical operations.
Playtime just got smarter with Dash & Dot. Dash & Dot are part friend, part pet, and part robot ready to play and learn with you. Learn to code as you play with your new robot friends.Use free Wonder Workshop applications on the iPad, iPhone, and Android devices to program Dash & Dot to do anything you imagine!
Romo is a curious digital creature who lives in your phone and explores your world on his roving base. Just download the app and dock your iPod touch (5th gen.) or iPhone device. Let him explore your world and snap photos of what he sees. Program him to respond and adapt to his environment. You can even control Romo remotely via web browser or other iOS devices - from anywhere in the world! (There is also a Romo available for the iPhone 4 & 4S.)
To continue exploring the world of coding, we are loving these great websites:
What are you getting YOUR up-and-coming coder for the holidays?
For more gift ideas, check out my other Gift Guides:
- Sherlock Fan Gift Guide
- Breaking Bad Fan Gift Guide
- New Girl Fan Gift Guide
- American Made Gift Guide for Guys
- Gifts for Moms Who Run
- Gift Guide for Dudes