We’ve reviewed a few coding toys in Gadget Head, and the concept behind all of them is fantastic – get kids engaging with coding ideas now, to prepare them for what is bound to be a highly digital future. We had simple coding toys when I was a kid, but they were heavy, clunky, and didn’t do an awful lot. Today’s versions are fantastic, and Coding Critters are bringing something to the table that I haven’t seen before – props, story books, and a whole bunch of new reasons to get coding!
Coding Critters come with books and a selection of accessories such an environments and toys for them to interact with. In combination, the story book guides your child through a day in their Coding Critter’s life, filled with mentions of these props and prompts to programme them to interact with different objects. This gets your child exploring the possibilities of programming their Critter whilst guided by you and by the story book, which begins to teach them these coding skills and also gets their imaginations going.
They’re then able to use this coding as a part of their free play, able to work it into their make-believe games. Kids can make their Critters race, or set them to Real Pet Play mode and see them respond with different personalities, or continue to programme them as they did with the story book, but to a story of their own!
This structure and level of detail is an amazing addition that integrates these coding toys into a usual make-believe play style, and should keep kids playing with them for far longer. We received Rumble and Bumble, an adorable dinosaur duo, but these toys are also available as dogs, rabbits and all sorts of options.
Coding Critters are easy to use, and your child has plenty to motivate them to use them, both in creative self-led play and through a parent-led story time to help them really learn the concepts this toy can teach.
Story book with programming prompts
Easy to use controls
A range of options
Various play style modes