Coding is a word that has cropped up more and more alongside education in recent years and rightly so. I think it’s so important for children to learn programming skills, but it can be a tricky concept to introduce. Step forward Cubetto, an award-winning toy for children aged three plus.

Cubetto is a friendly little wooden robot with wheels that can propel him forward, left and right. Children can make him move by using a board and coloured blocks that denote directions.

Cubetto with some of the blocks for controlling his movements.

Green takes him forward, red and yellow turn him right and left respectively, while blue tells him to carry out special functions determined on another part of the board. Once the blocks are in place, it takes a push of a button to send him on his way. It’s simple but ever so effective.

Dylan and Xander couldn’t wait to get started and it was easy to do so. The instructions were very child friendly and they quickly got the idea of how to operate Cubetto. To be honest, they probably didn’t need me, but there was no way I was missing out!

Within minutes they had successfully sent the little robot off on his first few journeys around his world map. It was great watching them work out which blocks they needed and where to place them in the board.

A child pressing a button on Cubetto's board.

A short while later we tried out the special functions and, again, the boys seemed to get the idea. This didn’t surprise me. Not because I think they are programming whizzes or anything, but because of the design. It’s very accessible and they responded to it.

Next, they followed the booklet which is about Cubetto’s first day at school. As well as serving to put into practice the new basic programming skills they had learned, it included plenty of facts and questions to get them thinking about different world environments.

The boys both love playing with Cubetto and I’m really impressed by it too. It turns a potentially daunting prospect into a fun and eminently enjoyable one. As well as providing an excellent introduction to coding, it’s an entertaining toy. I loved witnessing the awe on their faces as the little robot followed their instructions!

The contents of the Cubetto Playset.

It’s nice that all the pieces are so tactile too. I’ve always preferred wooden toys over electronic ones for my kids.

While incredibly useful, screens are addictive, so I’m happy that Cubetto teaches programming skills with a physical entity rather than a virtual one. I believe that turning the lesson into more of an experience for children is a much better approach.

There are so many possibilities for creative and educational play and I’m looking forward to setting the boys some challenges and seeing what they come up with too.

The Cubetto Playset has an RRP of £175.

Disclosure: we were provided with a Cubetto Playset to review and keep.

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