Toy Reviews

Screen Free Fun For Kids With Botley The Coding Robot

Children all across the country are now learning coding at school. Botley The Coding Robot is an all new, super fun coding robot for children from the clever folks at Learning Resources. What makes Botley unique is that your child doesn’t need any screen time to play with Botley! Coding… no screens? Well, I never!

Learning Resources are experts at creating STEM toys (STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) and Botley The Coding Robot is perfect for parents who love their children to enjoy STEM based activities at home.

 

Botley The Coding Robot – 77 piece activity set

Botley comes with a whole box of bits to play with. In the box is Botley (of course) a remote control programmer, 6 double sided tiles, 40 coding cards . You will also find a pair of detachable arms for Botley,  and 27 obstacle building pieces including footballs, flags and cubes to help with your coding fun.

Botley is really cute! My girls loved Botley right away and commented on his cuteness. Add on his clip on arms and he instantly becomes even more adorable.

Why Play With Coding and Why Use Botley?

Coding is the language that we use to communicate with computers. Us adults never grew up with this being such an important ‘thing’ when we were at school, but now our children are learning this information every single day within the classroom. When your children program Botley, they are engaging in the very basic form of programming. Your children will need to think and plan ahead what they would like Botley to do. Then enter these steps into the remote control programmer, send Botley on his way and see if your coding works in the way you intended.

Botley The Coding Robot is so important for helping children learn the very basics of sequence programming and also helps children develop advanced coding concepts like if/then logic. Children will also practice critical thinking, special concepts and when more than 1 child or adult is playing they will work on their collaboration and teamwork skills.

Botley requires minimal setup, so you can unbox Botley and be playing in less than 5 minutes. All you need to do is put 2 AAA batteries in the remote and 3 AAA batteries in Botley. They girls have been playing for hours with Botley, with no sign of the batteries running low at all.

Botley comes with 40 Coding Cards. The cards show the movements you will use to program Botley. These are used when planning your sequences, so you don’t forget what you’ve told Botley to do.

Just Some Of The Coding Games To Play With Botley

Obstacle course- Using the sticks, flags, cubes and cones you can create a fun obstacle course to manoeuvre Botley around. Can you get him to go from one end of the course to the other without crashing into things? You can make this as easy or as difficult as you like. Botley also has Object Detection, so he will stop (and see what he says!) when he comes to an object. Object detection can be turned on and off.

Break the wall– Build a wall from the cubes and set Botley on a mission to knock down the wall.

Egg and Spoon race/ Football- Clip on Botley’s arms and place a ball on top of one of his arms, send him around the obstacle course, and see if Botley can get from one end to the other without dropping his ‘egg’. My girl’s loved placing one of the balls in-between Botley’s arms and get him to push the ball around the obstacle course.

Follow the lines- Botley comes with a pack of double sided coding cards. One side has simple black lines that can be placed together like a puzzle. Create a long line of twists and turns for Botley to follow. This doesn’t require any coding, as Botley will automatically follow the lines. This is great for younger children, or those looking for easy set-up-and-play. The other side of these cards are bright and colourful. These can be placed together to make a long track for you to program Botley to follow. If you would like to have a go at creating your own lines for Botley to follow, simply draw in a thick black marker on sheets of plain paper.

 

Who’s Botley For?

Botley is designed for children aged 5+, but my 3 year old has also enjoyed playing with Botley and learning the very basics. Of course, older children will love Botley too, and so will adults. Since having Botley live with us, we have all played with Botley and love spending time together as a whole family playing fun games with Botley or making crazy obstacle courses for Botley to work his way around!

You will need a nice empty play space for Botley, as some of the set-ups require a fair amount of space. We love to play in the living room, where we can push the coffee table to one side and make the most of our large room. A kitchen floor would also be ideal. Botley works well on both carpet, laminate and vinyl floors.

The instructions are super easy to follow, with lots of activities for you to try and use when learning how to program Botley. These coloured instructions are easy to read, with clear photographs.

Final Thoughts

My 3 girls (aged 3,5 and 6) loved Botley right away. My 3 year old was happy setting up the cards to get Botley to follow a line, while my 5 and 6 year olds really enjoyed creating obstacle courses for Botley. The girls have spent hours working together as a team for creating games and coding Botley.

The 77 piece activity set contains lots for children to create all of the games that they could ever need, but we especially loved Botley because you can work with household items to create even more fun. The girl’s were soon grabbing cuddly toys and Happy Land figures for Botley to play with. Ivy (aged 3) even made a bridge from some books for Botley to go across.

A great screen-free game, that is keeping children up-with-the-times and learning such a modern skill, while still getting kids off of iPads and away from the TV for some digital-free STEM playtime.

I would certainly recommend Botley for families with pre-schoolers and up. You’ll even find teenagers and adults playing with Botley too. My teenage sisters had great fun with Botley, and when the kids went to bed even my husband and I spent at least an hour playing with him!

I can imagine children opening and playing with Botley under the Christmas tree this year (and all around the house for the rest of the year!). One of the best toys that we have had the pleasure of reviewing for a long time! Botley has been played with lots over the last week in our house, and he has become a firm favourite for the whole family to play with.

Where To Buy

Botley The Coding Robot by Learning Resources is available to buy from lots of online stores including The Learning Resources Website, John Lewis and Amazon. Botley has an RRP of £79.99.

Want to know more?

If you would like to find out more about the superb range of STEM toys from Learning Resources check out the following social media pages:

Learning Resources UK on Facebook

Learning Resources UK on Twitter

And on Instagram…

*Botley The Coding Robot was sent to us in exchange for this post. All opinions are my own.

Hazel Newhouse

Hazel is a mum to 3 young daughters, she lives in Bedfordshire with her husband, kids and pets. Hazel has written for various publications, and regularly works alongside popular parenting brands.

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