I’m starting to think I’m a little addicted to the Learning Resources online shop at the moment-especially for home education learning activities and products for my children. I don’t home educate-they both attend nursery and school-but I like to co-educate I suppose you’d call it, by teaching them things they learn at school at home too!
One of the subjects I haven’t done much of yet, is coding-my Son who is 8, has done a fair bit, but my daughter had zero idea of what it even was.
We were super lucky to receive Botley-a coding robot from the lovelies at Learning Resources, which has enabled me to not only teach my son further coding tricks, but has also allowed him to teach his little sister how to do it!
Why is coding so important?
I suppose that’s the question isn’t it, before you go ahead and buy a coding product-what is coding and why is it so important? I know a lot of people I speak to haven’t actually heard of it!
Coding is a fundamental skill that children can learn in order to lead themselves to understand computer science. From self-driving cars to robot-assisted surgery to social media, computer science is revolutionising every aspect of our lives. It’s important that children are given an opportunity to learn how these things happen.
It also builds a child’s confidence-imagine their little faces when they show you how they’ve programmed something using code!
Coding actually supports learning in other subjects-such as maths, science and reading too!
What is Botley?
For ages 5-9 (although we’ll come back to that in a second), Botley is a dynamic coding robot-teaching children the basics of coding, using a range of accessories and tips.
The comprehensive kit includes 77 accessories-enabling children as young as 5 (or younger in our case), to programme using code, without the use of a tablet or smartphone!
In younger learners, Botley encourages early programming skills, which develop critical thinking and problem solving. Children can easily programme Botley, by being able to use up to 80 steps in one sequence-one of which includes obstacle avoidance!
With the accessories included, Botley can follow a path using his ‘line’ mode, dodge cones, collect balls to place in a hoop, (and even show you a few of his tricks, which are explained in the instruction manual).
How easy is Botley to use?
Ok, so this is where my above comments on the age bracket come into the review. The box and website do state that Botley is for 5-9 year olds. My Son as previously mentioned, is 8, but my Daughter is only 4 and a half. However, according to her reading and learning level at home and school, she’s actually academically at a learning age of 5 and a half to 6 years old. Because of this, I was hopeful she would pick up her first lesson in coding pretty well-and she did!
The children needed only one practice with me to understand what to do and how to programme Botley in-one of the most important things we found we had to go over, is remembering to clear the last step loop you’ve recorded, otherwise Botley goes and does it all over again!
They spent ages dragging the balls around in the special removable arms included in the box, and rushing to tell me each time they’d programmed it all just right, so that the ball went in quickly!
My Daughter in particular has played with the robot a lot-which I think shows just how easy the instructions are to figure out, and how easy a child on the lower end of the age range can pick up coding.
Where can you get your very own Botley?
When I get emails offering me products, I often check to see whether the retail price is appropriate for my readers. There’s no point in me trying to review something that my demographic wouldn’t be able to afford, and it’s also not a true reflection of something I’d buy if the price is higher than I’d usually pay for products for my children.
In this case however, when I was offered the product, I forgot to check the price-too eager to get the children something that I knew would really benefit them educationally. I did mention to my Husband however, that it was so good, I would definitely pay the higher end of our budget for something this amazing!
So, when I came to do this review, and clicked the Botley link on the Learning Resources website, I was actually really surprised-£79.99! I’ve paid more than that for absolute tat for the children before-and I really believed this would be one of those “must have toys” that everyone wants, and I’m left wanting it but not being able to afford it!
Honestly guys, this is SO worth the £79 (and more in my opinion), and is especially good for those home educating, or co-educating like us!
You can find Botley-The Coding Robot over on the Learning Resources site HERE!