I received the Base Kit 2 set from Timberdoodle Co in exchange for my honest review. I am under no obligation to write a positive review, nor would I ever promote or recommend a product my family doesn't find useful or beneficial. I used this product with my 14-year-old rising 9th grader and my 11-year-old rising 6th grader. Base Kit 2 is a part of Timberdoodles 5th Grade Curriculum Kit.
We were so excited to receive this product to try after previously using the Code Rocket and Code Piano by Let's Start Coding. Timberdoodle has always curated wonderful extras to create wonderful well-rounded curriculum for kids of any age. This seemed like it would be a wonderful addition to our STEM/STEAM studies and raise the bar as my kids are getting older and tech is big in the world today.
Base Kit 2 by Let’s Start Coding is a coding set intended for ages 8+. The set includes the Maker Board 2.0, USB cable, Turn Knob, 5 LED Lights, Mini Speaker, 4 Buttons, and 14 double sided reference cards. In order to use the coding kit, the user no longer has to download an app but can work directly off the web browser. Just click on which product you are using and get started.
The Maker Board is connected to your computer via the USB cable where it can then be programmed. The online learning program includes over 50 different coding projects of varying difficulties and introduces coding in a simple and easy way for younger users. These programs help the user understand exactly what each line of code represents and how that code produces reactions to the maker board e.g., a light or a sound on the board turning on or buttons or knobs making things work. Once the user understands what the code for a given project represents, they can then take on the extra challenge called a “Bug Hunt” where they are given lines of faulty code to fix. Because one incorrect letter/symbol can derail an entire program (those sneaky semicolons!), while it can be frustrating for younger users to find the mistake, this can help to build up their perseverance in locating problems and fixing them. Working on problem solving skill is always a bonus, right?
This program is designed very similarly to real-world coding programs. This can be very beneficial to kids interested in tech. It will make the transition from a kids coding program to a professional coding program much easier. So, for those future computer programmers this is a good starting program. This toy can help foster an interest in computer programming, and also enhances their computational, critical, and creative thinking skills. Once the user understands the basic aspects of coding, they will be able to create their own code for the board. The problem-solving aspect of this coding kit allows the user to employ iterative design, as if the code is not correctly inputted into the program it will not run. To find the problem, the user will have to analyze the solution, locate the faulty code, fix it, and run the program again to see if the problem was truly fixed.
The Base Kit 2 is an outstanding toy for fostering computation thinking, computer programming, and iterative design skills in young children.
Like the Code Rocket my kids were split on what they thought of this kit. My son who really enjoys coding really loved the challenges. My daughter who isn't big on coding wasn't a fan. She found the challenges very difficult. As it really can be just a semicolon, an uncapitalized letter, or an extra space in the wrong place and it doesn't work. Overall, it is truly a very neat concept that can really prepare your child for real world coding and work on several computer skills they will need in our technology driven world.
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