We've spent the past few days playing with and enjoying Robot Turtles™ by ThinkFun®. Robot Turtles is the first board game to teach coding skills to kids as young as four! Teaches coding skills to children? Yes!
I was intrigued when Robot Turtles was first introduced to me because it is very important to me that I keep my kids up-to-date with technology and instill in them an entrepreneurial spirit. Not only do I want them to be able to use technology - but I want them to have an in-depth understanding of it. So, I was fascinated by the thought of using a board game to teach coding/programming concepts.
“Learning how to code is an essential 21st century skill and not just for designing apps and video games,” said Bill Ritchie, ThinkFun President and Co-Founder. “You learn how to break big problems into small steps, work backwards and visualize multiple solutions. You learn to persevere, to experiment and be patient. Robot Turtles teaches these life essentials to the youngest kids who stand to benefit the most.”
In programming - the programmer tells the computer what to do using code. The computer then follows the commands set forth by the programmer. In Robot Turtles, the child plays the role of programmer while a parent or older sibling acts as the computer and follows commands given by the programmer.
How to Play
- Your child chooses one of four colorful turtles and a corresponding jewel.
- Your child then places them in different spots on the game board.
- Your child then uses the playing cards to navigate you through the board in an effort to help the turtle reach the jewel. The cards direct you either left, right or forward.
- You then follow your child's command and move closer to the jewel.
Your child will sharpen their problem-solving skills when they encounter obstacles along the way that they must maneuver around to help their turtle reach the jewel.
Robot Turtles was awarded a “Best Toy for Kids” by the American Specialty Toy Retailing Association. Robot Turtles began as a Kickstarter sensation. The goal to raise $25,000 and produce 1,000 games turned into $631,000 and 25,000 games as passionate parents from 65 countries kicked in support to make Robot Turtles a reality, and the game sold out. Robot Turtles is now available at Target stores nationwide and on Amazon and Target.com.