Last year we reviewed a lovable robot called Cubetto. Cubetto helps young children understand computational thinking without the use of a screen by using colourful hands-on components. Using a control board, kids can plot out a route for Cubetto to follow using brightly coloured pegs to represent various commands. Once the commands are set out on the board, a press of a button will send Cubetto on his merry way.
It’s a simple idea but one that Primo Toys have capitalised on with strong links to schools and a burgeoning selection of add-on packages including different command pegs, activity packs and themed mats.
They also released a companion ebook to help further explain the concept to parents and teachers. Fundamentally it’s about the value of computational thinking not just for future coders but as a learning methodology.
The pack comprises a set of colourful marker pens, a stretch rubber band (to attach pens to Cubetto), a large washable mat and additional written learning materials. We let our kids at the mat and found that it tackled the one issue that we didn’t even realise existed with Cubetto originally.
With multiple children, we are constantly having to get one or more of them to wait and take turns. This was the case with Cubetto as only one child had the control board at any given moment. The great thing about the new Colouring Pack is that when someone’s not controlling Cubetto, they almost automatically grab for a pen and start colouring in a square. It’s a great way to keep multiple children busy and for us that is priceless.
The pens that come with Cubetto are an ideal size for little fingers but did get a little blotchy when left on a stationary Cubetto. I’d be interested to see what Cubetto could do with a big sheet of paper and some thin felt tips (and perhaps an even bigger control board!). Here’s what we got up to.
It may be available as an add-on already (I’m definitely going to check) but what I’d love to see is a ‘loop’ command and perhaps a 45 degree turn so that you could devise a repeating pattern that Cubetto follows again and again like an upscaled Spirograph.
As it is though this a great expansion of the concept and one that is definitely sure to impress children in an educational setting. We’d definitely recommend the Colouring Pack to Cubetto owners and if you haven’t already got a Cubetto, definitely check out our previous review and video to see our first impressions.
Cubetto is available from Primo Toys.