A board game that teaches preschoolers, kindergartners and young elementary students how to code? Oh, sweet mother of STEM, we are so in!
Why we love it: The goal of Robot Turtles is to teach students ages 3 to 8 the fundamentals of programming through playing an engaging board game of turtles in a maze. Young students do not have to have any familiarity with a computer or even know how to read. An adult or older student can serve as the Turtle Mover. Through playing, students learn that the cards they play on the board control the Turtle Mover … just as programmers control a computer.
Future software engineers: The game teaches students important programming fundamentals, such as writing code, running code, debugging, functions, operation orders and abstraction. Mastering these concepts will grow young students’ computational thinking.
Age-appropriate competition: Each student playing can individually win by capturing his or her own jewel, which will ease very young children’s anxiety about losing.
Kickstarter cool: Founded by a former Google employee, Robot Turtles launched on Kickstarter, a fund-raising site for creative projects, where it became the best-selling board game of all time. Around 13,765 backers were so excited at the prospect of teaching coding to young kids that they pledged over $630K—much more than the original $25K goal.
Find it: Robot Turtles.com
Have you tackled coding concepts with your young students? Share your tips below!