MAGIC TRICKS Computer scientists Nicole Kosoris now builds virtual reality games to advance medicine, but she recalls how her love of magic as a child fueled her interest in programming. So while children are enjoying the thrill of trickery through this 100-Trick Magic Show Suitcase, they may also be honing some important skills that can be applied to a computer programming!
ROBOTICS How about introducing your 6+ year old to their first real robot - Dash Robot - that they can program to move, dance, even react to their own voice! Winner of numerous awards for its innovation and ease, children can program Dash from a smart phone or tablet, through the free app. For older kids ages 10+, check out this amazing Lego Mindstorms Robot Kit.
EARLY CODING Woman in STEM Kristine Holloway shares that coding skills can be learned as early as age 3 with toys like Code-A-Pillar. Another great option is LittleCodr, a card game for "kids and kids at heart" that introduces coding skills to kids as young as 4. Robot Turtles Game is one of the most-backed games in Kickstarter history, designed to provide crucial brain development and computer programming skills to children as young as 4 years old in the context of family fun.
CRACK THE CODE FUN Activities that include identifying patterns, sequencing, and good old fashion ‘crack the code’ fun are marvelous activities that help kids build the critical thinking and analytical skills used in the world of computer science. Super-sleuth decoding toys like this one from Melissa & Doug are fun for all ages. Strategic games like Mastermind, or Mastermind for Kids for younger ages, are great. And this Little Treasures Code Breaker Game is a top rated "fast, fun intelligent 3D board game."
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