Age: 3-8 years Price: $35 approx. Amazon:
You can never imagine a simpler STEM toy board game which even a bunch 3 year old preschooler can grasp and enjoy endless hours of fun.
The best part of this board game is that it teaches the basics of programming, a skill which is being considered as essential by today’s education experts. Yes it is a low-tech STEM toy to teach hi-end programming skills. This board game has a various levels of difficulty and the higher level are are for kids 5 years and above.
In this board game every player is a Turtle Master with a turtle and a matching deck of simple instruction cards. Plus there is jewel for each player on the board, the destination. The objective for each player is to navigate the turtle to reach the jewel by playing the instruction cards. The path is not simple, on the way there are obstacles on the board. One kind of obstacle is an ice wall which can be `melted down to a puddle`by playing the laser card. Kids find the laser card super fascinating. There are other obstacles which cannot be removed, and the player has to `program` her turtle to by-pass the obstacle to reach the jewel step-by-step. The actual card moves have to be made by an adult called the `Turtle Mover`, who is there to not only assist the kids but to be the `computer`which the kids give instructions to make the move.
Once they get the hang of the simplest level of the game, the kids can be told to set up the whole list of cards at one go (like a program) and then `run`the program to check whether the instruction cards help her reach the jewel. For the more difficult level there is a `frog card` which is actually a function card – to run several instructions together. At this difficulty level the objective is to reach the jewel by playing the least number of cards.
Preschooler kids don`t just get enough of this game (the adult who has to follow the instructions will get tired!)
This game has been developed by a Googler Dan Shapiro, who is also a dad of 4-year old twins. He developed the game keeping them in mind to teach them the basics of programming much before they use a computer. Currently he is on leave from Google to work on the project which got a super enthusiastic response on Kickstarter.
I am sure your kids will also give this board game a big thumbs up.
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