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If you want to introduce your child to coding, then Ranger the dog is a great place to start!
We were sent the Learning Resources Coding Critters Ranger toy to review, and the kids have not stopped playing with Ranger since he arrived!
I’ve been wanting to get the kids into coding for a while. It is something they are likely to come across at school, but anything I can do to encourage their STEM education is great in my opinion.
Coding is, in simple terms, programming a computer to instruct it to perform a series of tasks.
Ranger offers a brilliant introduction to this, because your child can not only follow a guide to get Ranger to do what the accompanying story book suggests but they can also get creative!
The Coding Critters toy not only gives your child an idea of how they can programme devices to do what they want them to do, but using computers is also about letting your imagination run wild!
I love that Coding Critters not only makes coding accessible for kids, but it also makes it easy for parents to help teach their kids about it!
I don’t know about you, but I don’t have much idea about what coding involves beyond punching some buttons to get the computer to run a programme.
This makes it easy to understand for the whole family.
How does Coding Critters work?
The Coding Critters box contains Ranger, who operates with three AAA batteries which are not included, a little pup, a slide, a dog house, a ball, fire hydrant, tree a see-saw, a Ranger storybook and direction paw print cards.
Ranger has six buttons. There are four direction arrows on top, along with a round button to instruct him to go or clear the previous instructions, and his nose is another button.
Ranger does so many different things! You can tell him a series of directions, then watch him go forwards, left, right and backwards to get wherever you want him to go.
Your child can input a series of instructions with these direction arrows of up to 30 steps! It was wondering to see the girls deciding on a spot they wanted to get Ranger to in the room and then figuring out what arrows they needed to push to get him there.
Or he has a play mode, where he can dance, eat, take a nap or go on patrol.
As Ranger sets off on his journey, he makes barking and snuffling noises just like a dog.
The set of plastic accessories are great for creating an obstacle course for Ranger to walk around, or for sparking imagination for your child to make up their own story for Ranger.
The little puppy has a magnetic nose, which means you can tell Ranger to go forwards and connect with the magnet, then backwards and take the puppy with him!
Coding Critters comes with a storybook with suggested instructions for what to tell Ranger to do.
This is great as you can read the story with your child and get them engaged with the narrative, and they can programme Ranger to carry out what’s happening in the book to bring it all to life.
The girls’ favourite thing about Ranger was the dance mode, where he plays music and barks along while dancing around the room.
Our verdict on Coding Critters
Coding Critters is a fantastic introduction to coding for your child, and offers hours of fun for your little one.
I loved how simple it was for the kids, ages four and three, to get to grips with how to use the directional arrows and set Ranger off on his way.
The greatest thing is your child will be learning valuable STEM skills, but they won’t even know about it because they will be having so much fun!
We were gifted this toy in exchange for an honest review.