Our newest coding games from ThinkFun are aimed at children age 8+ at KS2, but are equally challenging for all ages! (including me)
CODE: is a series of three games designed by an ex-NASA engineer to build the mental skills one needs to grasp the core concepts of coding. The beauty of these products is they provide a hands-on, screen-free and therefore more focused experience using deduction to complete the challenges.
These can all be used for single or collaborative play with 40 challenges in each. There are 4 levels of difficulty: easy, intermediate, advanced and expert allowing players to slowly build up their confidence and knowledge before moving on to the more tricky challenges towards the end. Solutions are provided but hopefully will not be needed!
Teaches PROCEDURES (sets of coded instructions that tell a computer how to run a programme or calculation).
The idea is to get your robot from the start to the finish following a colour-coded programme.
You determine on your control panel what movement cards to place on each colour in order for your robot to successfully reach the finish. After logically thinking through the problem you then need to test your solution to see if it works and if your robot reaches the finish point following the instructions on your control panel.
Teaches CONTROL STRUCTURES (blocks of code that dictate the flow of control within a structure).
You have to map out the rover’s route using the terrain map given. The pathways are colourless so you have to colour the pathways on the terrain map so the rover can complete its mission successfully. Thankfully the pens are dry-wipe so one can simply correct a mistake by erasing it!
As the levels progress, more advanced coding concepts are introduced such as ‘loops’, ‘if’ functions and ‘yes/no’ conditions in the form of data upload points or taking terrain samples! This is why the levels should be worked through numerically to allow a staggered progression of understanding.
Teaches BOOLEAN LOGIC (Used in every programming language this is a method for telling if an expression is true or false allowing us to translate real-world problems into computer code).
In this game the player has to complete the circuit and power up the robot by repairing the robots circuits following real programming rules.
Deduction is key as each robot has its own defining rules to follow before one can correctly place the power cells in order to repair the robot’s circuit.
Here we progress to Boolean Logic which is used in real-life coding. Concepts such as ‘OR’, ‘AND’, ‘NOT’ and ‘XOR’ will be slowly introduced and therefore working through the challenges numerically is key. Ample tokens are provided to keep track of your progress as you systematically deduce the solution.
All 3 products are amazing logic tools to aid with coding. I am over 40 years old and had no idea what coding was as my computer lessons consisted of only ‘Typing Tutor’ so if they have helped me to understand coding then they must be good!
If you want to explore the world of coding in more depth, take a look at our online coding section or come see us in one of our stores for a hands-on experience!