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Academics' Choice Award™ Winner


Ages: 3 - 6
Price: $225.00
Type: Toy
By Primo Toys


Cubetto is a playful wooden robot for girls and boys aged 3 and up, powered by the first programming language you can touch. It's a Montessori approved, LOGO Turtle inspired, award-winning coding language that allows children to learn and explore real programming through storytelling and hands-on play. It works without screens or literacy, so any child in the world can use it.

Cubetto is made up of 3 elements:

1. Cubetto: a programmable wooden robot that wants to be told where to go and how to get there.

2. Board: think of the Board as an interface or a command line. There's one main sequence, a subroutine line, and a Go button to send instructions to Cubetto.

3. Blocks: these red, yellow, blue and green shapes, make up the core of our innovation: a real, procedural programming language you can touch. Each block represents an unambiguous instruction that can be combined into a program on the Board, guiding Cubetto from A to B. These tangible blocks have the potential and scalability of any real procedural programming language, and children can learn and play with a variety of core programming concepts, including ‘algorithms’, ‘the queue’, ‘debugging’, and ‘recursions’.

Children choose where Cubetto begins and ends his journey. They then fit the blocks into the Board, in a meaningful sequence, to guide him to his destination, thus creating a program. Pressing the Go button sends the program to Cubetto who then executes it.

In April 2016, Cubetto became the most crowdfunded education technology invention in history, when it raised over $1.5 million on Kickstarter, with the help of more than 6000 backers from 90+ countries.

Review Highlights:

Cubetto is a wonderful learning toy to encourage children and students to practice many skills, including storytelling, logical thinking, spatial awareness, problem solving, and STEM. The primary skill Cubetto teaches is coding. By placing blocks in the queue, you are giving Cubetto instructions that form a program. Children can touch and see what their choices in the queue does, as they watch Cubetto move about following their instructions. A blue light flashes in the queue at each step of the program, so children can easily follow along and see which block Cubetto is at. Children can use Cubetto by themselves or as part of a group. While one student fills the queue, another can describe Cubetto's journey across the map. Cubetto is slow enough that children also learn patience and can easily fix mistakes if Cubetto does not arrive at the intended destination.

I really liked that Cubetto is a creative way to learn about coding for young children. My children are 4 and 6 and within a few minutes of sitting down and reading the instructors guide, we knew how to use Cubetto. Since the first experience, my children have loved sending Cubetto on a fun adventure across his map. My son plays with Cubetto daily, even when we are not using it for a lesson. It's easy enough for him to take Cubetto out of the box and clean up on his own. My daughter likes to plan adventures for Cubetto and will tell a story as he makes his way across the map. I like that my children can take turns using Cubetto or work together to map out his journey. If one is having trouble figuring out which blocks to use, the other can step in to help finish the code. I love that Cubetto is made out of wood and is durable. I know it will be played with for years to come. I also love that Cubetto is Montessori approved. While we are not a Montessori-based homeschool, we do incorporate many Montessori inspired learning techniques into our lessons.

Right out of the box, you can begin playing with Cubetto. Cubetto comes with 4 types of blocks: forward, left, right, and function. Each block is color coded and shaped to show what its purpose is. The first time we used Cubetto, I read through the guide book aloud and explained what each component was used for. From there I encouraged them to use Cubetto on their own. For my son, a kinesthetic learner, he prefers hands-on experiences. My daughter is a visual learner, and generally watches either myself or my son, before she jumps in. I love that children of every learning type can easily pick up Cubetto and have little difficulty using it. It's wonderful that Cubetto is intuitive and requires very little instruction to use it. Before long, my own children were sending Cubetto on several long journeys that required code resets. We have one other product at home that teaches coding and programming to young children, but Cubetto has been a much more fun experience for them. My children have even insisted on bringing Cubetto to their cousins house and grandparents house, so they can teach others how to use Cubetto.

The skills that were practiced incorporated counting, using positional words, critical thinking skills, problem-solving and programming basics. I enjoyed the simple design of cubetto. The play mat provides a nice adventure for him. The storybook that leads Cubetto on a journey is entertaining.

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