Can you teach a 3 year old to code? Is that even possible? In this post we review the Fisher Price Think and Learn Code-a-Pillar and test it out with a preschooler, the youngest age the toy is designed for. Is it as good as everyone says? Let’s find out.think and learn toys. The coding caterpillar toy is a way for parents to teach preschoolers the concept of sequencing and also develop problem solving and critical thinking skills.
How can the code-a-pillar do that? What’s wrong with it and what’s right with it? Let’s review.
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Unboxing the Coding Caterpillar
Your first impression when you see the code-a-pillar in the box is ‘WOW’. It’s looks great and it’s not too big, so easy enough to store away.
What You Get In The Box
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- 1 x caterpillar head
- 3 x straight segments
- 2 x right turn segments
- 2 x left turn segments
- 1 x sound segment
- 2 x circle floor targets
Check out my video review below to see the Code-a-Pillar in action.
How It Works
There is a large button on the body of the coding caterpillar toy. When you push it, he makes an incredibly loud noise and each of the segments start to light up one by one. Each segment represents a movement. The Code-a-Pillar will move depending on the order of each segment.
For example if you wanted him to go around a corner, you could connect forward, then turn right, then forward again. Connecting two forwards together will make him move straight for longer. There is also a sound segment, so he will stop and make some more noise before going again.
There are additional Code-a-Pillar expansion packs that are purchased separately. The master moves expansion pack lets the coding caterpillar turn at 45 degree angles and 180 degrees. Other packs are for lights and sounds or just more basic movements.
Playing and Coding
Kids will play with the Think and Learn Code-a-Pillar differently depending on their age. Older children will enjoy problem solving and trying to get the caterpillar toy to move in different directions. Essentially teaching them the basics of sequencing.
My little one treated it like a moving robot toy. (At one stage he was covered in a blanket for nap time). It took a while for her to understand the concept of sequencing.
She enjoyed pulling the segments apart and pushing them together, but didn’t quite get how the arrows worked at the beginning. From my experience a 3 year old, is too young to get the full benefit of the toy. Maybe when she’s nearly 4, she will have a better grasp of it.
We had great fun though building towers and bridges from Duplo and trying to get the caterpillar to move towards them.
It’s definitely a toy that parents will be impressed with and will have fun playing with their kids with. Also, there is a separate Think & Learn Code-a-Pillar app, which is a coding game, but it’s not connected to the toy.
Unlike a lot of STEM toys, it was safe to play with a toddler about. I didn’t have to worry about my younger son swallowing something. He loved pressing the button to make it move and the noise it made as well. So full marks for an all round family toy.
You might also like:
- 11 Best Coding Games For Kids: Board Games & Tablets!
- 10 Best Coding Books for Kids
- 20 Best Robot Toys for Kids You Don’t Want To Miss
- 17 Best Build Your Own Robot Kits for Kids
Last update on 2018-04-21 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API