Sunday 26 April 2020

Learning Resources Coding Critters *Review*

{Gifted Items} Being thrust into the home schooling role has challenged my husband and I some what! Not only are we juggling our jobs, the house work and having the kids at home all the time we then suddenly become home educators! During this awful time both my husband and I agreed that we still wanted to try and keep up with some essential learning over the next few weeks. It can be hard to engage them, of course, it's an unusual scenario suddenly the home that you play in and have fun in turns into school of Mum and Dad! It's all very confusing for them so anything that will help engage them and make learning a bit more fun and enjoyable I'm welcoming it with open arms. 

We were recently sent some really cute little coding critters; Bopper, Hip and Hop and an add on Fluffy and Buffy (RRP £7.50) from Learning Resources (RRP £40.00). Designed to encourage STEM thinking and introduce the concept of coding I knew these were going to appeal to my two, especially Elarna as they are adorable. Having used products from Learning Resources I knew that they were going to be excellent quality and aim to encourage the child to learn through engagement and enjoyment. 

Elarna thought they were absolutely fab and they are quite simple for the child to get to grips with and such a lovely introduction to coding. Using the directional arrows on Bopper's back to create  a sequence of up to 30 steps, Bopper can turn and go forwards, backwards and even has a 'play' mode where she will dance and go to sleep and make the cutest noises. Included in the set is Bopper and a load of accessories to add to the coding experience, it encourages the child to use their imagination and make up little stories and scenarios while coding Bopper to eat the carrot for example or go to the swings, there are so many possibilities. There is also a little storybook adventure included with further ideas for fun and ideas for what can be done. 

What did we love?

- Of course the educational aspect! It's a toy cleverly disguised as an educational resource, Elarna played with it and all whilst I knew she was learning to code and create her own little patterns and sequences. It's fab!

- I love the little accessories that were included, the mini carrot and teeny tiny bunny are just so sweet. 

- It is a fab little boredom buster, Elarna is often playing with it and creating her own little adventures with Bopper, it's fantastic for expanding a childs imaginative side and encouraging problem solving. 

- Learning Resources is a great brand and I was reassured that the toy was safe and fit for purpose. 

Anything we weren't so keen on?

- The bunny sometimes seems to malfunction, I'm not sure if it's the batteries we use even though we have changed them but just occasionally the bunnny stops working and makes weird noises but then turning it off and on again seems to sort the issue!

- I wasn't keen on the cardboard trees included in the accesories, they come with little plastic stands to prop them up but they aren't very sturdy. 

Overall we loved the coding critters, such a great little educational toy and anything that encourages my children to learn through play in this current climate is welcomed. They are aimed at age 4 to around 10 years old which is quite a broad age range but I can see how they can appeal to the younger child and the older. Elarna, who is now five really engaged with them where as Alfie not so much. You know your own child and what will appeal and I had a feeling that Elarna would take to them more. Coding Critters are available from leading retailers and are just a great thing to be getting while we are all in the middle of home schooling.

* Please note we were kindly sent the Coding Critters free of charge in exchange for review, all thoughts are my own. 

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