Find out why we love to use Coding Awbie to teach kids ages 3-9 how to string together commands and learn basic concepts of coding with Osmo!
We believe that coding and computer science are an essential part of a child’s education. However, there are many schools that do not even teach computer science at the elementary or preschool level.
It’s up to parents to encourage kids to explore programming and educational technology like Coding Awbie from Osmo is a fantastic tool to get kids started with hands-on learning with technology!
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Why should kids learn to code?
We are two parents who both read and write code and develop coding activities for kids for a living! We understand how to teach our kids the fundamentals of computer programming and we also appreciate good educational tech tools that keep our kids engaged and learning coding concepts.
Learning coding skills is not only important for computer programming, but the basics of coding actually emphasize logical reasoning and computational thinking skills. These skills are critical for ALL children to learn for any future career.
What is Coding Awbie?
Coding Awbie is an educational game for iPads and Fire Tablets that uses the basics of coding to teach kids ages 4 and up how to code developed by Osmo. This game uses interactive blocks instead of written code to string together commands to guide Awbie on his adventure.
Coding with Awbie teaches some fundamental concepts of computer programming like sequences, loops, and conditional actions that help Awbie to perform feats like walking around, jumping over obstacles, and picking up objects through 35+ levels.
How to get started with Osmo Coding Awbie?
To move Awbie, kids will place blocks of code in a sequence on the table. We love that these coding blocks allow kids a hands-on, tangible coding experience.
This tech toy is a really great fit for 4K and kindergarten-aged kids because the interactive blocks provide a tactile, sensory experience for kinesthetic learners. In addition, there is no need to write lines of code, so pre-literate kids can enjoy playing, too.
What do I need to play Coding Awbie?
The Osmo system comes with a reflective glass that utilizes the camera on your device to see the table directly in front of it. The system will have a hard time seeing your code if hands are in the way, so make sure to move hands and unused coding blocks out of the way before tapping the “Play” button.
As you progress through the levels, there will be more complex commands that utilize the Repeat block and IF block. The IF block tells Awbie to go down a different branch if he runs into trouble. The Repeat block teaches kids about Loops. Kids will begin to understand and watch for repeating patterns in Awbie’s path.
What coding concepts does Coding Awbie teach?
Coding Awbie emphasizes basic concepts of coding, including algorithms, sequences, decomposition, conditionals, and loops.
What are algorithms?
An algorithm is a set of instructions. Throughout the game, players are asked to give Awbie instructions to help him get through the levels and find his pets while collecting strawberries and plants to put in his garden.
Kids will determine the algorithm for Awbie to follow and push the “Play” button to run their code. Algorithms and sequences go together. Imagine getting a recipe for a cake that is all out of order. You wouldn’t be able to bake a cake following the instructions as written.
What are sequences?
Sequences are the order in which actions happen in code. Kids will learn that it is important to give instructions to Awbie in the correct order. Learning that computers follow directions as they are given to them is a great basic computer programming skill for young kids.
Playing Coding Awbie helps kids to understand basic coding sequences, like how many steps to move Awbie so he doesn’t crash headlong into the thick bushes or fall into the river. If the code is not in the correct order, Awbie will not be able to complete his task.
What is decomposition?
Decomposition is the process of breaking down larger problems into smaller, easier to solve problems. As kids progress through levels, they will find that the levels increase in difficulty. Challenges will include jumping over water, skipping over lily-pads, and going up or down steps.
Learning how to break down Awbie’s path will teach kids the basic coding concept of decomposition and help them to write more concise and accurate algorithms for Awbie to follow. Decomposition also helps strengthen problem-solving skills, which is a key component of a computational thinker!
What are conditionals?
A conditional statement tells a computer to follow a set of instructions, but only under a specific condition. When a condition is TRUE, the computer follows one set of instructions. If the condition is not met, the computer follows a different set of instructions.
The If-Then statement is a conditional statement that runs when a condition is TRUE. For example, IF the traffic light is green, THEN drive.
Coding Awbie comes with an IF block for coding conditionals. The IF block tells Awbie to go down a different branch if he runs into trouble.
What are loops?
Loops are used to tell Awbie to complete a sequence a set number of times. Coding Awbie comes with a Repeat block to teach kids about loops. Kids will begin to understand and watch for repeating patterns in Awbie’s path.
Loops are important because they help to prevent errors in code by reusing the same code instead of having to write additional code. Loops also help to keep code clear and concise.
Why is coding important?
If you’re not convinced that coding is an important component of your child’s education, here are some quick stats from Code.org, a non-profit organization dedicated to increasing educational opportunities in computer science for students across the globe.
According to Code.org, 90% of parents want their child to study computer science, yet only 45% of schools teach computer programming. 67% of all new jobs in STEM are in computing.
Of all school subjects, kids enjoy computer science and arts the most. Finally, computing jobs are the #1 source of new wages in the United States and these jobs are projected to grow at twice the rate of all other jobs.
The Department of Labor estimates another 546,200 coding jobs will be added by 2028!
Coding Awbie Review
Osmo Coding Awbie is an engaging educational game that has helped our kids learn basic coding concepts. We strongly believe that Coding Awbie is a helpful tool for parents who are hoping to add more STEM learning into their children’s education.
Coding Awbie helps to reinforce more than just computer programming skills. When young kids are introduced to coding games at an early age, they are also learning lifelong learning skills and concepts like collaboration, problem-solving, logical reasoning, and following directions.
We recommend Coding Awbie for beginning kid coders ages 5 and up! Our 3yr old is already beginning his Coding Awbie adventures!
Osmo Coding Games
Osmo offers three different coding games for kids: Coding Awbie, Coding Jam, and Coding Duo.
Coding Awbie helps kids to build problem-solving and logic skills while gaining basic understanding of coding concepts.
Coding Jam is a musical coding game that comes with coding blocks that are used to create patterns and loops to compose music.
Coding Duo is a collaborative strategy coding game where kids are challenged to solve advanced puzzles solo or with a friend. This game uses Awbie and a new character, a friendly monster named Mo, to work together to solve challenges.
Meet Toni, the Maker Mom behind Our Family Code
Hey there, I’m Toni! I’m a software engineer and Maker Mom that finds my joy in unleashing my children’s curiosity by exploring STEAM concepts with my fantastic five!
When I’m not chasing toddlers or raising tweens, you can find me tearing things up and putting them back together over here at Our Family Code.
I am the owner and content creator of multiple educational websites designed to increase access to STEAM & STEM education with a focus on teaching computer science and coding to kids of all ages!
You can also find out more about me by visiting ToniGardner.com!
This post was originally published on December 19, 2017.