Tuesday 22 November 2016

Teaching Kids Coding With Primo Toys Cubetto Playset

Back in the day when I started school learning was focused on things like reading, writing and mathematics. Fast forward almost thirty years and times have most definitely changed with children as young as three years old being taught all about coding and computer programming. Many adults would think that this is something too difficult for younger children to grasp but a new playset from Primo Toys called Cubetto aims to show the ABC of this programming logic.


With so much focus on the online world in our modern day times, with schools opting to use iPads and laptops for a good portion of their learning it isn't surprising that many companies are now thinking about how they can give kids a head start with subjects such as this. We've already seen the introduction of more coding in the classrooms at secondary schools across the UK.


This toy was originally launched as a kickstarter campaign during March 2016 and actually met its set out target within hours of the campaigns launch. So you can imagine the launch of Cubetto has been highly anticipated. It is so cleverly put together that the company believe they can teach your child the basics of code before they can even read. I was kindly loaned one to see just what all the fuss was about.


In your kit you will receive : a wooden robot named Cubetto, a programming board, a set of colour coded instruction blocks, an instruction booklet, a story booklet as well as a sort of grid map for Cubetto to travel around on, going on little adventures. Now if you are planning on buying one just be warned you will need 6 x AA batteries to be able to use it and these are not included in the box.

So before I tell you about how we got on let me first explain a little about just how the device works and how it all breaks down into what is known as coding :


To get Cubetto to move your child has to first put together a set of instructions, this is done by place the coloured blocks in a certain order on the programming board, this will create an algorithm for the robot to follow. 

Green = forward - one green block moves Cubetto forward one square
Yellow = left - one yellow block turns Cubetto 90º to the left
Red = right - one red block turns Cubetto 90º to the right
Blue = function - one blue block allows you to repeat one sequence


Other terms that you will need to get to grips with include :

The Queue - this is the wavy line on the programming boards where you will place your coloured blocks in a certain order to enable you to execute your commands.

The function line - this is where you can create a subroutine and then when you put a blue block in the queue the sequence will be recalled.



Setting it up is simple, place 3 AA batteries in both Cubetto and the programming boards, place a green block on the board and then press the blue 'go' button to pair up the devices, takes meer minutes and you are good to go. It states on the box that Cubetto is suitable for children aged three and upwards, my youngest is four so I was keen to see how she would take to this toy more so than my older children.


We used the story booklet to begin with, this allowed the kids to get used to what they were doing. Deciphering their lefts and rights and working out which direction that Cubetto needed to go. Now my four year old hasn't completely grasped the meaning behind all of it but she definitely had fun placing the blocks on the board and was eager to press go each time.



Once they'd got to grips with it, my eldest two were actually challenging each other to create different sequences. Placing Cubetto at different starting points on the map and picking another square where they would like him to end up. What was nice was that when they made mistakes with the coding they were able to help each other to come up with solutions.


There so many combinations that can be put together, you'd be hard pressed to get bored with Cubetto. I honestly think it is a great tool to encourage early learning of coding and computer programming and can actually teach adults a thing or two as well.


With a RRP of £159 it might not be the cheapest of toys however being a toy designed to help encourage your child to learn new skills I don't think you can dwell on the price when the end results are actually priceless.


  1. Wow! This looks really fun and something I could use to learn coding. I have no idea how to do it!


  2. This looks fab - my husband is a computer programmer so we are always interested in finding things we can use with the children.


  3. Like Catherine says, might help me too! Great idea #TriedTested

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