Hot New Holiday Gift Deals $41.99 Learning Resources Botley the Coding Robot Activity Set, Toy of the Year Finalist
Meet Botley, the code to fun! As the newest member of the Learning Resources family, Botley the Coding Robot is here to introduce coding in an easy, friendly way. Children as young as 5 can learn to code with Botley, and with his advanced features, he can grow with them for many years to come....
Our kids were super excited to get Botley the Coding Robot. We have a 3-year old, a 5-year old, and an 8-year old. They could hardly wait to get Botley out of his box.Set up was fairly easy, and required 5 AA batteries (2 for the remote, 3 for the robot). Our 5-year old enjoyed putting the stickers on some of the activity set pieces while the 8-year old read some of the instruction booklet (he was excited to code).We started Botley on the "Line" feature where he can follow a thick black line on the included cardboard play space (like a 2-sided puzzle that can be assembled many different ways). It was pretty fun and the younger kids thought it was great. You can draw your own thick black line on white paper and Botley will supposedly follow it, but we haven't tried this yet.The 8-year old was itching to code so we flipped the board over and tried to follow the coding challenges from the booklet. He jumped right to Challenge 6 and it took him a few minutes to get the hang of it, but once he got started he really enjoyed it. He spent 45 minutes working coding and playing with Botley, trying to get him to do different things.The 5-year old wanted a turn to code next and was very excited. She is a "do it myself" girl so once I explained the steps she really got into it. We used the deck of cards to keep track of the moves she wanted Botley to make, then coding them into the remote. She was so pleased with herself when Botley did the things she "told" him to do! She seemed really satisfied with it. She played with Botley for about an hour the first day, though with adult assistance.The 3-year old was obviously too young for the "ages 5+" recommendation, and with good reason. He liked rolling the balls, LOVED pushing the buttons on the remote, and trying to steal Botley and/or the remote from his siblings the entire day.PROS:- Easy to set up.- Adorable, endearing beeps and noises (uh-oh!, oooooh!).- Remote beeps and lights up to indicate that the button was pushed (when coding), which is very helpful.- Comes with a set of cards so kids can put the "moves" in order to help with the coding.- Booklet has 10 coding activities (in increasing difficulty) to get kids started on coding.CON:- Hard to share, not a great toy for multiple children to play at onceI highly recommend a Botley for the 5-9 year old in your life, but if you have more than one child, I recommend you buy two!
My 5 yr. old son loves Botley! He has such a cute little voice and sounds so friendly. The set includes such a nice variety of pieces. You can use the 12 cubes and 8 rods to construct a maze that Botley can then be programmed to run through. The cubes can also be stacked to construct a small wall, that Botley can then be programmed to run into and knock down with his attachable arms. There are also 40 coding cards to be used in conjunction with this cube & rod maze or as a stand alone. The child lays out the coding cards and then follows the coding cards one by one while they enter the code into Botley. Then they watch him to make sure that the code they entered follows their desired pathway. If it does great, they can add to it or delete it and try a different combination.The set also includes 2 cones, 2 balls, 2 flags, and a large orange circle that is supposed to be used as Botley's goal to reach. The cones, balls, and flags are nice to use as obstacles which Botley is suppose to overcome. One of the options on the remote is labeled, "Object Detection" and this indicates to Botley that when he runs into one of the obstacles, he is suppose to figure out how to maneuver around it....he has not been successful so far at doing this though and still completing the rest of his course....but this might be user error.The robot also includes 6 double-sided cardboard cards. They measure roughly 6 x 6" each. One side is black and white and the other is multi-colored. When Botley's settings are switched to "line" mode, he runs along the black line outlined on the black and white side of the cards. This feature also seems a little finicky. Sometimes he just spins in a circle because he cannot find the black line so it is important to line him up precisely. Also, the cards really cannot be used easily on a carpeted surface because sometimes the robot's wheels get caught on the carpeting and this pushes him off the black line and he gets stuck. Of all his features this is the one we have struggled with the most. I also wish that they had included about 10x the number of these cards. The path it makes is tiny and short and is really a waste of time to set up. He cannot transition from the cube & rod maze to the black & white maze on his own so they cannot be combined, unfortunately. I wish they had developed a ramp feature so that this was possible because, it would have greatly increased the mobility of Botley and the number of different possible builds for the maze. As it stands both maze options are very small and thus limited.The other side of the cards are brightly colored and designed to practice some more advanced/independent coding opportunities. My son is just starting out and is only 5 years old and so we have only used this option once. But, it does seem to have great possibilities and I'm looking forward to him being able to use this option more in the future.I love that the sound can be turned off (for when the parent gets tired of hearing it or when there is a sleeping sibling in the house). I also think it was such a cute idea to include a list of "secret coding commands" in the instruction booklet. These allow him to preform cute tricks in which he says, "Hi" and spins etc.I don't love that we have gone through about 20 AAA batteries since purchasing it less then 1 month ago. It does have an off switch and this has not been used as effectively as it should have been and yet, I do think that simply using one D-cell battery in both the robot and the remote would have been a much better approach.Overall, we love him and recommend him as a great beginning coding toy.#learningresources #botley
As a mom who likes to limit screen time, I'm ALWAYS looking for an educational but FUN toy to keep the kids busy. When I heard about Botley, with a completely screen-free code programming transmitter, I was intrigued. At the moment, I can't think of another product out there that will help teach my kids about coding without being attached to a screen of some sort.Botley was an answered prayer just when we really started cracking down on tablet usage. My daughter is learning the basics of coding with an adorable little robot and a kid-sized remote. The instructions made it really easy to work on the basics, gradually working up to more challenging codes.My daughter loved the fact that Botley can sense and follow lines, so she's begging me to use a ton of paper to make him a large path.He makes cute little noises and says hi, which really seems to entertain my 6 year old. Her attention is held and I seriously can't wait to get to the more challenging tasks to keep her busy even longer. And, though she's learning a lot, she's mainly having fun, so she'll continue to play with this more than most of her robotic toys that do very little to engage her growing brain!