This is going to be the Phunnest Phriday ever because I get to share some awesome news with you! If you recall (though I certainly wouldn’t blame you if you don’t recall), I posted about a game called “Robot Turtles” last December during my Gifts for the Gifted Series. I debated whether or not to write that post because I had obtained my own “Robot Turtles” game through Kickstarter, and didn’t know when (or if ) it would ever become available to the general public.
“Robot Turtles” is a game that was designed by Dan Shapiro to teach children the basics of programming skills. I have used it with students as young as six years old, and they love it. You can read my detailed description of the game here.
The new version has a few modifications that will make the product even better, including improved durability and instructions. In addition, the first 5,000 pre-orders of the game (which will start shipping this June, 2014), will get a “Special Edition Expansion Pack.” This pack will include: more focus on the “Function Frog”, 32 fancy Gemstones, and 10 Adventure Quests. I am particularly excited about the Adventure Quests, as these will offer some new ideas for setting up the board, and are bound to motivate the players to think of even more quests to add to their collection!
If you are a teacher, you might want to consider purchasing this game for your classroom. Once I taught my 1st graders how to play, they quickly took over, and it can be used as a center for hours of fun. In addition, a group of my 4th graders picked it up on their own to play during indoor recess the other day, and were very disappointed when their time ended!
Families will enjoy this too, and it will make a great, unique birthday gift for children in elementary school.
Whether or not Computer Science, including Programming, should be a part of school curriculum is a hot topic of debate in the world of education these days.(Great Britain has already decided to include it.) But one thing you can never debate is the value of children learning and problem solving while they are having fun.