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We had some pretty special friends join us in our home for Christmas. Their names are Dash and Dot and they are programmable robots for kids created by the Wonder Workshop (I received free product and am being compensated for my time in creating this post. All opinions and ideas are my own, though). The aim of these toys is to teach kids programming, and it is working well in our home! The reason it is working so well is because this kind of programming is play.
Do your kids love computers or other electronics? Sometimes this can be seen as a negative, but if you use it to teach them new skills, it can really be an incredible thing! The world we live in is so focused on technology. The sooner your kids can learn and excel in programming skills, the more it will help them in this world! If you have been wanting to find a fun way for your kids to learn programming, I VERY highly recommend looking into Dash & Dot from the Wonder Workshop!!
In some countries, programming is taught in elementary school. The United States does not usually teach it, though. The kids growing up now are our future, and can really benefit from learning it. Learning programming teaches problem solving, pattern recognition, and data analysis. Playing with these cool robots can help your kids learn basic programming skills.
Dash & Dot (created for ages 5-12) connect wirelessly to apps that are downloaded onto mobile devices. The apps then help you to program them to perform all different functions. They can do so many fun and silly things. They have sensors, programmable buttons, lights on various parts of the robot that flash different colors, speakers, accelerometers, and gyroscopes (to turn around). You can also add on accessories to add to the things they can do! If your kids like Legos, they can be added to Dash & Dot, too. You can build with Legos onto the accessories. They charge with regular USB chargers making it easy to keep them play-ready!
There are a few different apps available that work with Dash & Dot.
Go is the beginning app to help you learn what they can do. In this app you can play around with the robots, learn their sounds and features and learn different fun ways to play with them. This app works sort of like a remote control. You push buttons on the screen and the robots react to what you tell them to do. My 3-year-old loves to open this one up and play with Dash and Dot.
Path starts with beginner coding (for ages 5-7). In this app you can draw a path to have them navigate around. You can measure your room to plan a route in the free play section or play in different worlds to unlock new special effects. There is a farm, a race track and other fun places to visit. In these apps they learn sequencing, too. This is my 7-year-old daughter’s favorite one to play with. She likes playing in the different worlds.
Blockly is the most advanced app. In this one they learn coding. The app has instructions that you drag and drop into a series that tells the robots what to do. You can add in sounds, lights, movement of different speeds and lengths, and more. This is the app we have been experimenting with the most for my oldest son.
In Blockly, we created a maze and my son programmed Dash to move through it and find Dot.
There is also a Xylo app that works with their xylophone attachment. We do not have this (yet).
Here is a video of us maneuvering Dash through the maze. He almost made it!!
I really cannot say enough good about Dash and Dot. We have been having so much fun playing and learning with them! I know my kids will be using them for a long time to come. We can’t with to get some of the accessories to make playing even more fun!