Robot Turtles is the board game that teaches children as young as preschoolers the basics of computer programming in a way thatís both educational and lots of fun! It also happens to be the highest backed board game in Kickstarter history.
Children become Turtle Masters – their role is to lay cards in sequence (creating a program) that will send their turtle to the correct coloured gem. The fun bit is that grown-ups become Robot Movers – the Robot Masters are not allowed to touch the turtles at all so itís up to mum and dad, grandma and granddad or an older sibling or carer to move the turtles when the Turtle Master has finished assembling their directions. Plus, all Robot Movers know that to move a Robot Turtle you have to make all manner of beeps and blips, eeks and squawks as you move from square to square.
So how does it work? Itís simple – the Robot Turtle needs to get to the appropriate coloured gem. The Robot Masterís job is to assemble a program using cards with symbols on them to indicate what each card does (hence no need for reading).
The Robot Master lays the cards out in sequence then reads the sequence out for the Robot Mover (computer) to follow. There are different levels of play for different age groups – older children will enjoy circumnavigating additional challenges and obstacles and making use of the special functions – thereís even a special set of rules for the adults if they want to play when the children have gone to bed!
The game was invented by Dan Shapiro a Google CEO who wanted to teach his children the basics of computer programming without them spending yet more time sitting in front of a screen – hence Robot Turtles was developed as a way for families to play together whilst learning - recent changes in the National curriculum mean that all children need to not just be able to use a computer but also have an understanding of how they work.
Kids love Robot Turtles because it gives them the opportunity to show off their newly developed coding skills whilst being the boss. The Turtle Movers have to move the turtle where the Turtle Master says and if thereís a bug in the program – well itís up to the Turtle Master to correct it and start again.
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