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Sphero Mini Activity Kit brings STEM-Based Learning to the Living Room

Posted on October 14, 2019 by Lubica Misevski

 Sphero Mini Activity Kit | Robotic Toys | KidzInc Australia

How does a child transition from building castles with blocks to building programs with code? This is something that every modern parent asks themselves, looking at the highly tech-based economy and standards of success. Naturally, if you want your child to thrive in the future, introducing STEM skills in math, science, and computer programming is essential. And the transition from wooden blocks to code blocks just got a lot easier. The Sphero Mini Activity Kit is an incredible way to bring STEM-based learning to the living room.

Sphero is a revolutionary educational toy designed to not just teach children to program, but to inspire them to independently pour in hours learning and practicing. And with the Sphero Mini Activity Kit, you can easily bring that joy, enthusiasm, and technological learning into your home.

What is Sphero and How Does It Teach STEM?

At it's most basic, Sphero is a robotic rolling sphere with coloured LEDs in clear shell. The sphere responds to commands from a mobile app to move, stop, and flash its lights. But under the surface, it is the key to teaching children to program before they even realise that programming could be considered work. Just as children who learn to draw could become artists and children who learn to write could become authors, children who learn to control their Sphero through programming can grow up to be talented programmers.

The Sphero educational company has been developing rolling balls and software for classrooms but their latest product is perfect for any home, daycare, or classroom learning facility because it is compact, complete, and inspiring. The Sphero Mini Activity Kit brings STEM learning to the living room by including a small Sphero, connection to the control mobile app, obstacle course supplies, and activity cards that will guide children through the beginning tasks of controlling their Sphero.

Through this interface, children will learn about controlling robots with software, and that commands to robots can be custom-made for an even richer experience.

The Inspiration of Play

If you tell a child to sit down and learn to program from a textbook, they will grow bored, distracted, and struggle with the complexity of the task. This is one of the biggest challenges to overcome with STEM learning. But give them a robot, an app, and activities and they will soon be trying to figure out all the different things that can be done with that robot beyond the original intended functions.

You've seen the creative and dedicated way that children play. Children will work harder for play than they would ever tolerate for 'work'. They will organise, cooperate, study, and try something dozens of times to make it work if the play is the inspiration. That is exactly what Sphero does. It inspires children to learn through the simple, powerful motivation of play. It brings STEM-based learning to the living room.

Children will want their sphere to lace more and more complex mazes, to flash its LED in response to fun triggers, and to participate in their imaginative games. Through this motivation, children will learn first to control the sphere, then to program entirely new responses and behaviors for their very first real robot.

Writing JavaScript Before You Know It

At first, you will see your children reading cards and using an app. But the app is not just another online game that connects to a physical toy. The app is a gateway that will soon be prompting your children to write their own commands. In JavasScript. There has never been an easier introduction to advanced STEM learning.

Believe it or not, JavaScript is not difficult for a child to learn in the right contexts. It's a lot like playing Simon Says. You need to use the right punctuation and code-phrases to make a JavaScript command work just as you need to say "Simon Says" for the classic game's command to be valid. So when children realise that typing a few code-sentences can make their sphere do something new and amazing, they will eagerly learn.

Before you know it, your children will be writing lines of legitimate code in a highly valued programming language, all for the sake of play and running a sphere through obstacle courses.

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The Sphero Mini Activity Kit brings STEM-based learning to the living room with an advanced, engaging, and play-inspiring design. It has everything your child or children need to embark on their STEM learning journey into robotics, wireless controls, and JavaScript programming. Check out Sphero for yourself to see how this educational brand is pioneering teaching STEM with the inspiration of play.

You can purchase the Sphero Mini Activity Kit from our shop by clicking here.

Posted in coding toys for kids, Robotic Toy, Sphero Mini Activity Kit Australia, Sphero Robotic Toy, STEM Toys Australia

The Benefits of Tobbie II Coding Robot for Growing Brains

Posted on August 06, 2019 by Lubica Misevski

Tobbie II Coding Robot with micro bit | Kidzinc Australia | Online Educational Toys

Introducing Tobbie ii: Although computer programming has been a critical part of our world for over half a century, it can still be difficult to introduce the concepts of programming to a new user. Children, especially, can have trouble grasping the somewhat-abstract concepts of programming until everything "clicks".

Tobbie II, the new coding robot from micro:bit, does an excellent job at building the bridge from programming ideas to action. And a Robot Kit that is unparalleled in using micro bit technology. 

Benefits for Growing Children

As everyone knows, programming skills are becoming critical for more and more careers. And coding is bringing about an exciting future for us all.  However, even if a child doesn't end up in the science or engineering fields, programming carries plenty of benefits that extend to any career path.

> Creativity
    Learning to express ideas in machine code is like learning another language. As children work out how to step the robot through programming loops and decision trees, they'll learn to present their ideas in a clear, concise way.
     
    > Confidence
      With the immediate feedback that programming Tobbie II provides, children can immediately figure out if they've done something correctly or not. Once they've put together a working subroutine, their confidence in themselves will build as they're reassured they can repeat it going forward.
       
      > Resilience
        Working through frustrating problems is a skill that every child needs to learn. In the micro:bit programming environment, errors are helpfully detailed and children are assisted in fixing them. At the end of the day, they won't even realize they've been conquering obstacles, but they'll hang onto their resilience and face future problems with the same strength.
         
        > Programming!
          In addition to all the positive ways programming helps children develop, the programming itself will give them a huge leg up in school and work. Whether they continue in Python or Javascript, or another language, many of the object-oriented programming principles will carry forward.
           
          > STEM exposure
            Regardless of what career children eventually end up choosing, it's likely they'll have regular interaction with the STEM fields. Getting an idea of how programming works and what to expect can pay major dividends for them down the road.
             

            Building The Robot

            While it's the last time Tobbie II will resemble a traditional toy, the building process itself is the first fun step. Just like putting any other toy together, you'll need to carefully follow the instructions and get everything in place. Once Tobbie II is constructed with its motor, moving parts, and IR sensor, it's ready to move on to testing out some programs and teaching you and your children to code!

            No Installation Necessary

            The Tobbie II robot allows you to program its instructions directly through the web app. With the choice between a simple Javascript Blocks Editor and more advanced Python, you can access the programming functions from your desktop, laptop, smartphone, or tablet. Being able to work completely in-browser removes one of the biggest hurdles to programming.

            Immediate Feedback

            As soon as a user finishes a set of commands and pushes them to Tobbie II, you'll see it immediately attempt to follow the instructions. If something doesn't work, Tobbie will provide feedback on what needs to be changed in the code to get everything running. Tobbie II arrives with 12 programs immediately available for testing (light tracker, rock paper scissors, bowling, and a notice board application). After a short amount of time, you'll be able to edit these programs into your own versions and immediately see results as Tobbie executes the commands.

            It's Fun!

            Perhaps most importantly, it's an absolute blast to play with Tobbie II. Whether you're just getting started and running the onboard programs or putting something together from scratch, working with the robot is fun at any age. Of course, there are dozens of benefits for growing children (even those outside the STEM field) but the foremost is that it's just fun!

            To purchase the Tobbie II coding robot with micro:bit, please click here

            Posted in CIC STEM Robotic Kits, coding toys for kids, STEM toys, Tobbie II Australia

            Why your child needs the Harry Potter Kano Coding Kit

            Posted on September 26, 2018 by Lubica Misevski

             

            Harry Potter Kano Coding Kit - Kano the successful learn-to-code company that created numerous kits for teaching children and adults how to build their own computers and laptops, has created a new coding kit featuring the beloved magical world of Harry Potter.

            We're going to examine the ways this amazing kit encourages your child to develop valuable learning skills, as well as a brief description of how it all works.

            Why should I encourage my child to learn to code?

            Great question! According to Edutopia, there are many benefits children get from learning how to code at a young age. In particular, researchers have found that the tasks involved in coding can improve children's ability to solve problems, as they have to figure out what works and doesn't work based on results they get. It also teaches children how to follow logical reasoning, which often involves understanding and paying attention to details. It can also increase children's natural appreciation for the learning process, as they have to experiment with different strategies and evaluate their results. The Harry Potter Kano Coding Kit makes this a fun experience for children because the results of their coding skills generate magic on-screen!

            But beyond just the cognitive abilities that learning to code can improve in children, learning to code can provide healthy development of creative skills as well. Children can design their own projects and challenges with the Harry Potter Kano Coding Kit, which allows children to exercise their creativity and apply the skills they've learned in new and innovative ways. Because of that, it encourages children to be active creators rather than passive consumers. Children can use the problem solving and analytical skills they learn in a variety of contexts beyond coding, as those are skills are used in a variety of STEM disciplines.

            Of course, there is also the practical benefit of encouraging children to consider pursuing a career in coding. For example, the Australian Department of Jobs and Small Business currently predicts an additional 126,000 jobs in professional, scientific, and technical services to be added by 2022 (there are over one million people employed already), and lists "Software and Applications Programmers" as one of the top 3 hiring occupations in this field. Introducing children to coding in a fun and engaging way could prepare them for a promising career in the future!

            What's in the kit?

            In this kit, players first put their wand together, and then complete fun puzzles and challenges to learn the basics of coding. As they progress, players solve the coding challenges and wave their wand to cause magical effects to take place on a screen, right before your children's eyes. The kit comes with the components for the coding wand, a "Guide to Wand Motions" poster, fun decorative stickers, and a book explaining how to construct the wand and run the program. You connect the wand to a computer, iOS, or Android device to begin playing through challenges and mastering new coding skills. The Harry Potter Kano Coding Kit also keeps children motivated by incorporating rewards such as medals and experience points, and you can collect costumes, accessories, and pets as well. The program features eye-catching brightly-coloured illustrations of iconic locations and characters, to really bring the magic of Harry Potter to life.

            We hope that if you have children around six or older, you'll consider ordering the Harry Potter Coding Kit soon. With its unique approach to teaching coding skills, your children will feel a sense of wonder as they perform magic right before their eyes, all while improving valuable cognitive skills such as problem-solving, logical reasoning, and analytical thinking. Not only that, but it promotes creativity, as users can create their own spells and projects to enjoy.

            You can order the Harry Potter Kano Coding Kit here, or browse all of our other educational toys for something to spark your child's interest in learning!

            Posted in coding toys for kids, Harry Potter Kano Coding Kit, STEM toys, STEM Toys Australia

            Our Best STEM Education Coding Toys of 2017

            Posted on November 23, 2017 by Lubica Misevski

             

            STEM Education Coding Toys For Kids

             

            The Best STEM Education Coding Toys

            This Christmas, don't give your kids another toy that will be used a handful of times before being discarded in favour of something more interesting. Instead, give them the gift of knowledge in the form of these fascinating STEM toys that will catch their attention while teaching them at the same time. When learning becomes a game, children will be more likely to excel in a wide range of subjects--and you can place that gift under the tree this year. 

            Below we have categorized some of our best STEM education toys, to make choosing the ideal toy an easy decision.

            1. ThinkFun: Code Master Programming Logic Game

            The Code Master Programming Logic Game brings the principles of coding to life without requiring your child to spend endless hours in front of a computer screen. Instead, you'll be able to introduce your child to fascinating coding concepts through a board game that simultaneously builds problem-solving, planning, and spatial reasoning skills. There's only one specific set of actions that will bring success on each level, allowing your child to solve the challenge and enter the portal. It's hours of fun that will help build your child's mind and keep them away from screens throughout the holiday break from school. 

            ThinkFun Code Master Programming Logic Game | KidzInc Australia

            2. Littlebits: Electronics Gizmos and Gadgets Set

            Have a young inventor on your hands who is constantly fidgeting with gadgets and gizmos? This great Electronics Gizmos and Gadgets toolkit is the perfect way to offer your child the freedom to invent to their heart's content. It comes complete with a wide selection of tools, accessories, and electronic components that will allow your child to create the inventions that have thus far existed only in their imagination. This creative toolkit will help expand your child's mind and help them feel like a true inventor. 

            Littlebits Electronics Gizmos and Gadgets Set | KidzInc Australia

            3. Primo Toys: Cubetto

            Cubetto is another tool for teaching programming without ever needing to sit in front of the computer--not to mention a great way to start giving toddlers and preschoolers the basics of coding. Cubetto is a little wooden robot with a big purpose: providing the basics of a programming background to even young children. With plenty of adventures and lots of hands-on play opportunities to choose from, Cubetto will be sure to entrance your child and teach them more about the wide world of STEM waiting for them. 

            Primo Toys Cubetto | KidzInc Australia

            4. Learning Resources: Coding Buddies Let's Go Activity Set

            Teaching coding skills is well and good, but it's often a stationary process. The Coding Buddies Let's Go Activity Set, however, turns that expectation on its ear. With this great 50-piece activity set, kids will hop, jump, spin, twirl, and bounce their way through the basics of programming, building a deeper understanding of coding concepts while moving their bodies and having tons of fun. It also encourages teamwork and listening skills--valuable concepts to reinforce at any age. If you want to shake out the wiggles and break out the giggles while helping to increase your child's knowledge, the Coding Buddies set is a great way to get it done. 

            Learning Resources Coding Buddies Let's Go Activity Set | KidzInc Australia

             

            5. ThinkFun: Robot Turtles Game

            In Robot Turtles, kids get to be the boss--and as they play with a parent, they'll quickly discover how their problem-solving skills can help them to reach their goals. This great game transforms the parent into a "computer" that follows the child's instructions as they work to move their turtle to its jewel. This fascinating game will bring hours of fun for the whole family while simultaneously building coding concepts that your child will be able to take with them in the future. 

            ThinkFun Robot Turtles Game | KidzInc Australia | Online Educational Toys

             

            This holiday season, don't content yourself with ordinary toys that will only bring joy for a short time. Instead, choose from this great list of our best STEM education coding toys that will give your child a gift of learning that will last a lifetime.  

            Posted in Coding Toys For Kids, STEM Education, STEM toys, STEM Toys Australia

            Cubetto: The Programming Toy For Little Ones

            Posted on July 15, 2017 by Lubica Misevski

            Cubetto A Wooden Robot Teaching Kids About Coding | KidzInc Australia | Online Educational Toy Shop

            One of the most vital skills in today's tech-driven world is coding. Parents who want to give their kids the best possible start in life already know that they need those critical technology skills to help them advance in their future careers--and girls, in particular, need to have that interest in coding nurtured from a young age in order to help them break through the limitations placed on them and accomplish something incredible. With all the warnings about excessive screen time use, however, many parents worry about finding the balance. If you want to teach your child to code without allowing them to lounge in front of a screen, Cubetto is the ideal toy for your child.

            No Screen, Lots of Interaction

            Cubetto doesn't require a screen in order to teach your child the basics of coding. Instead, this little wooden robot--which is electronic, and requires AA batteries in order to work--helps expand your child's mind and teaches them basic coding skills by encouraging them to interact with the physical robot. By inserting the little coding cubes into the robot, children can learn what each type of "code" accomplishes, therefore allowing them to create longer, more complex strings. Cubetto communicates between the coding board and the robot using Bluetooth technology. 

            Tell Stories

            Cubetto comes complete with a storybook that will allow your child to explore creatively. Cubetto's comparatively plain face and lack of other ornamentation means that your child can assign the robot whatever character they like, expanding their mind while engaging in the creative storytelling process with the robot. Not only that, story will engage your child's interest and encourage them to become more involved with Cubetto.

            Examine Maps

            In addition to its storybook, Cubetto also contains maps that it can be programmed to navigate. Your child can pretend that Cubetto is going on an adventure, looking for treasure, or heading to visit a friend: if they can imagine it, Cubetto can follow their plans. These maps, which are designed to engage problem-solving skills, can be spread out on a table or on the floor so that Cubetto can quickly navigate across them. Note that falling off of the table could damage Cubetto, so if your child isn't quite proficient at programming Cubetto or you're worried that it will be dropped, keeping the materials on the floor is probably for the best. 

            Make Programming Accessible to All Ages

            Cubetto's wooden coding pieces are designed to be accessible to a young audience. From their preschool years, children will enjoy interacting with Cubetto and discovering all that it can do. Older children, however, can still benefit from this exciting toy. Whether you're homeschooling or planning to use it to teach your children at home or ready to offer new materials for your classroom, Cubetto is here to help. Its classic design won't give older kids the impression that they're playing with a toddler toy; rather, it will encourage them to learn coding skills and enjoy it in the process no matter what their age. 

            If you're ready to start giving your child the basics of coding that they will need in order to successfully navigate future job opportunities in STEM fields, Cubetto is the ideal addition to their toy box. This great toy will teach your child without ever letting them know that they're learning. What could be better than a simple little robot that your child will come to assign with emotions, attitude, and personality as they use it to develop skills that will last them a lifetime? Bring Cubetto home today and start discovering everything that your child can accomplish.

            Cubetto is available now and can be purchased by simply clicking here.

            Posted in coding for kids, coding toys for kids, kids coding, kids programming, programming

             

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