There’s something so special about wooden toys. Kids probably don’t care but parents can appreciate well crafted and designed toys made from wood. Crazy about robots, I was delighted to have the opportunity to play with a loaner Cubetto with my almost 4 year old daughter.
Disclaimer: We received Cubetto on loan to review. Our opinions and views are our own.
Cubetto is a wooden robot from the start up company Primo Toys. As with many unique robots, Cubetto started out as a successfully funded ed-tech Kickstarter project. Designed to teach kids the basics of coding without using a screen, it’s certainly a unique looking robot with tons of educational value. Let’s review.
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This wooden robot is very much designed for preschoolers and has that look and feel. It has colorful tiles and uses a lovely light blue color on the robot and board.
What You Get In The Box
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- 1 x Wooden Cubetto Robot
- 1 x Wooden Interface Control Board
- 16 x Coding Tile Blocks
- 1 x World Map
- 1 x Story Book
- 1 x Instruction Book
How it Works
Cubetto is a square wooden box with a smiley face that has two large wheels underneath and a switch for on off. It needs batteries, along with the interface control board and both need to be paired to each other when you begin.
The control board has 4 rows each with 4 holes where you insert the little directional coding tiles. The first three rows follow the shape of a snake and the last row is a functions row. Basically you put the tiles in the slots to make the robot go forward and turn in a certain direction.
Each tile will only fit in one way. It looks like a little semi circle puzzle that slots into the board and each piece activates a blue light on the board.
The tiles are different colors and each one symbolises a direction. When you’re ready there’s a large blue button with a sound icon that you press to start it all up.
Playing and Coding
When you start to put in the tiles for the first row, it’s very easy. For example, green to go forward, yellow turn left, green forward and red turn right. The semi circles on the tiles must always face north on the board.
Then this is where it gets tricky, you have to turn the board around 180 degrees otherwise you’ll be reading the directions upside down. If you get what I mean.
You can place the little robot guy on the map that comes with it, specifically designed so that each cube on the map corresponds with each tile movement. Or you can just let him roam about on the floor.
The map is nice as it gives kids a visual base to work on, and a goal to reach. My daughter started off just trying her best to get the robot to move to the castle. We had the world map, but you can get additional adventure packs such as the Ocean, Ancient Egypt and Deep Space.
The Cubetto playset kit only comes with the exact amount of pieces that fit on the board. Like a puzzle, if you lose a piece you’re in trouble. You can get more pieces of course as an add-on, but since it’s designed for young children, an extra bag of them would be great.
It’s an expensive piece of kit and as it was a loaner that we got, I didn’t feel comfortable letting the kids throw it around. So I’ve no idea how it would fair in the drop test. I can confirm the code-a-pillar I reviewed is still going after been dropped from several heights though.
One my favorite things about Cubetto is that it’s not noisy, so it’s durable on the ears!
There’s a lot of competition out there for robots that teach code with a much lower price point. Although no doubt, you’re paying for a quality made toy here. It would be a nice addition for any classroom for montessori, preschool and primary school children. Different ages will play with the robot differently and the company have designed lesson plans to help educators get started.
Last update on 2018-05-22 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API