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      Feb 19, 2018

Robot Cubetto arrived! – Coding for kids 3+

We finally got to unbox and try out Cubetto! Cubetto is a little wooden robot that teaches coding for kids without using a display of some kind. Just a colorful cloth world map, a wooden programming board, and little Cubetto. I wrote a blog post about it and why I bought this little guy and chose it as our first member of our robot family.

Kickstarter Project

Because Cubetto was a Kickstarter project, we had to wait five months before it arrived at our doorstep. Kickstarter is a crowd funding platform where you may present your idea and try to raise money to fund your project. This Kickstarter has successfully ended, and Cubetto is now available in stores! I am glad that I, as well as many others, had the opportunity and means to help fund this project by pre-ordering it and having the faith that the project would succeed.

Anticipation

I couldn’t wait to tell our son Vico (3,5 years at the time) about it. I said to him a little robot friend was coming our way to live with us and I showed him the official Primo Toys YouTube video of Cubetto. I explained how he could play with it and he wanted to watch the video over and over again. I was wondering if he understood what he could do with Cubetto and I got my answer when we took it for a spin for the first time, so keep reading to find out.

Unboxing

I decided not to check out any new reviews about Cubetto as more and more play sets were sent out. I wanted the whole experience it to feel like a Christmas morning 🙂
When his little sister (2,5-year-old) took her nap, we got straight to it and dove into the big cardboard box. I wanted to do this one on one with Vico, so I had the chance to explain clearly without any interruption. I ordered two things: the Cubetto Play Set, containing Cubetto, the programming board, the blocks and one world map. I also ordered the Adventure Pack which includes four additional world maps. The packaging is cute and well made. The box provides excellent protection for the products, so we’ll be re-using the box to store everything. *thumbs up*.

Coding for kids - Unboxing Cubetto image

Meeting for the first time

First of all, I was pleasantly surprised that the world maps are made of fabric instead of paper. I expected paper which would have been fine but very delicate since we play Cubetto on the floor and kids crawl, run and jump around a lot. I don’t know why I thought it was paper maps. Maybe they were at some point in the Kickstarter phase? So a big thumbs up for the fabric choice! Second, the board, Cubetto, and the blocks are made very sturdy. Smooth to the touch and overall very very cute.

Trying it out for the first time

Our first spin with Cubetto. The moment of truth. Would Vico like to play with it? Would he understand what to do? I was pleasantly surprised that Vico grasped the concept immediately. Before I had the chance to put in the batteries, he already placed the colored blocks onto the board. He knew he had to do this to get Cubetto moving.
I think it’s because Cubetto is very easy and appealing to use. Also, the instruction manual has cute illustrations, and he remembered seeing the Cubetto promotion video.

Cubetto plezier

Creating a loop

The goal is to make Cubetto move from A to B. To do that; you have to place “function blocks” onto the programming board. Vico understood the regular blocks straight away. Regular blocks are green = 1 step forward, yellow = turn a quarter left, red = turn a quarter right. The challenge is to make Cubetto go a long way with a limited set of blocks or make Cubetto do repetitive of big movements like spinning around. That’s where the blue “function block” comes into play.  The function block is a special block that can read a maximum of 4 regular blocks in one turn. In the picture below, we’ve placed four blue function block onto the “main program, ” and four regular red (turn right) blocks into the “function area” on the board. When the program runs, Cubetto will turn 4×4 times to the right. So he will make four pirouettes! And there you go, now you and your child grasp an important piece of coding called creating a loop.

 

Conclusion

All in all a massive success and we love Cubetto. It’s amazing to see how this concept captures the basic steps in “computational thinking” in such a playful way. We enjoyed ourselves for 1,5 hours before his little sister woke up. Priceless quality time together. Then Giuliana joined us and wanted to cuddle Cubetto instantly. We tried to explain to her what she could do with this little robot, and she started to place the blocks on the board. She’s 2,5 years old, so it’s only a matter of a few months before she fully understands what to do. I’m also looking forward to introducing Cubetto to other kids.

Do you think your kids would like to play with Cubetto? Let me know in the comments below!

Cubetto comes assembled out of the box. If you’d like to build a little robot, you can think about building a robot kit together with your kids. Read about our adventure with the Insectbot Hexa kit.

Robo greets,

Francesca

This content is also available in: nlNederlands

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