Want to introduce your preschooler to some computer coding with a clap, smile and jump in the air? Code Hopper cleverly keeps kids engaged as they build their pathway of bright foam mats, designing the sequence of directions requiring decision making and following commands as a computer follows code. Kids don’t realize they are learning the 3 basic fundamentals of computer programming when they design their path with mats following a sequence of directions–“wave your arms,” or “wiggle your fingers,” answering conditional questions–“Do you see a circle?” and repetition–“Repeat 2x.”Kids get the benefit of seeing the written action illustrated, which gives some early practice in reading. One of the trends I saw at the International Toy Fair in New York City this year was what I called STEM+language. What is obviously a game to introduce STEM skills, also gives practice in language learning through reading, following directions and problem solving, Our 5 year-old friend loved engineering her own path, making decisions and following the directions on her path of commands. This is truly a fun way to learn!

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