Updated: Nov 25, 2020
Robot Turtles is a superb game to teach kids ages 4-7 the basics of coding. The goal of the game is to program your robot turtle to get to their matching gem. What I love about this one is that it is so engaging for the kids and has a fully customizable game board that gives it the feel of a video game with levels to beat and new obstacles and abilities to unlock as they progress through the game, becoming more competent coders as they go. You can also teach them the basics of game design by letting them create their own levels and play test them. This is my go to STEM game Preschool through 1st Grade.
The Robot Turtle noises are a MUST for the game. Please don't skip over this as it adds so much play and imaginative fun to the game. Start by making the noises yourself and asking the kids to tell you what noises to make if you cannot think of any. As they get older, you can even let them make the noises while you move the turtles if you like. If they are understanding the game and want to play more than 1 card at a time, let them play 3 at a time. This is great for learning to plan ahead and actually code your robot turtle.
By the end of the game, they will be able to write their entire code all in one turn and utilize function cards to shorten their code. If they make a mistake at any point, they have simply to shout bug as they tap their bug token. This is just like the process of actually coding. A mistake is called a bug. Spot it and fix it. It's all part of the process.
I cannot say enough good things about Robot Turtles! I just want to emphasize that it is a beautifully designed game for younger children. If you have older children, or your children have mastered Robot Turtles and made it through all the levels, look into Codermarz or Potato Pirates. You can purchase a copy of Robot Turtles on Amazon.