22 Dec This Cool Robot Can Help Kids Learn to Code
Is it a toy? A tiny Roomba? Nope, it’s better (especially if you have kids).
The Root (available on Amazon for $179) is an educational robot that teaches coding, creativity and problem-solving skills to kids from pre-readers through high school.
Lift or drop a marker into the hole in the center of Root, and it can create unique artwork. It comes with a whiteboard surface you can put on a table, but it also works on vertical whiteboards that have metal backs, thanks to internal magnets.
Kids can explore their artistic side by coding Root to draw whatever they can imagine from words and letters to amazing fractal creations. Through drawing and movement, kids can code their outline then color in their creations to create their own unique artwork.
Have a budding musician in your midst? Kids can also turn Root into an instrument by coding musical compositions. They can use the robot’s scan and play abilities to create a “color guitar” that plays different notes for each color it sees.
Photo Credit: Amazon
And there’s more to do with Root — kids can create and play games, too. But the best part is Root is a robot that grows with kids, from pre-readers to high school. The app includes integrated lessons, projects, and the ability to share what you code with other people from around the world.
Amazon reviewers love that it’s easy to use and provide hours of fun.
“This thing is a blast! First of all, out of the box it’s really adorable which is important to my kids, especially my 4-year-old daughter,” said Amazon customer (and STEM teacher) Chris Fitzpatrick. “It’s like a cross between a mini Roomba and a scurrying mouse, and she’s excited to decorate it with some of the stickers that came in the package. We’ve had it for a few weeks and so far we’ve tried a mix of the provided projects (press play to watch the robot follow a code to draw a star, for example) and creating our own codes, both of which have been a huge hit. My 4 and 6 year old kids have been able to work together to make the robot do various things in level 1, and I’ve tried out level 2 and can see how it seamlessly helps kids make the leap from concrete to more abstract/complex coding language.”