I have always been a huge fan of wooden toys. I love the look of them. Not only do they look classy, but they make me look like a really good Montessori-minded mom. The issue is that I also really love technology. As a former science teacher, I appreciate toys and apps that teach my kids coding basics. It isn’t easy to find classic wooden toys that also align with the tech standards of STEAM. Engineering, yes, but not so much with technology.
When Robobloq reached out to me to see if I wanted to review their new product, Coding Express, I almost didn’t even open the email. After years of doing toy reviews, I’m honestly a little over it. As someone who identifies as a minimalist, I get anxious when we get things we don’t need. My kids don’t need any new toys. And at this point in my toy reviewing career (if we can call it that) we aren’t likely to find new toys that hold their interests for long.
Something made me open the Robobloq email. I don’t know what it was. Curiosity, maybe?
Thank goodness I did because the world needs to know about this toy.
Coding Express is the toy I’ve been waiting for for my entire parenting existence. Finally we have a toy on the market that marries the look of traditional wooden toys with technology.
What is Coding Express?
Coding Express is a smart robotic train from Robobloq that teaches kids the basics of coding. It can be played both on the track and off the track. My favorite part is that it is compatible with general wooden tracks like BRIO and IKEA. It is so nice to have a toy that integrates easily with toys that most kids already have at home.
How does Coding Express teach coding?
Players can control Coding Express by placing colorful stickers on the train tracks. This is the basic concept of coding. Kids learn that different colors or combinations of colors tell the train to do different things. This is a great way to teach kids that you can “tell” a computer to do things. While they won’t be learning binary code from Coding Express, they will get the basic concept of how coding works.
You can also control it off with a whistle and even with your hands. It is a great intelligent toy that can improve children’s creativity and logical thinking skills.
My overall review of Coding Express is positive
My kids have loved playing with Coding Express. All three of my kids, ages 7, 5, and 3, can play with it on different levels. To me that is the mark of a good toy.
We even took the train to a friend’s house to test it out. Our dear friends have a huge wooden train set so we were able to really expand on the original set that comes with Coding Express. It was so much fun to see the train go through so much track!
The only con is that the stickers can get a little gross on the back-end when small children are using them. Coding Express comes with 4 sets of stickers. I’d suggest only keeping one in the box and putting the others away for later use. I did not do that so a lot of our stickers have seen better days at this point.
However, they are still working and easily adhere to the tracks. I don’t foresee needing new ones anytime soon now that I’m keeping an eye on the stickers.
Where can you buy Coding Express?
You can buy it on the Robobloq website here—> Coding Express
Or you can buy it from Amazon here—-> Coding Express
On Amazon you have a choice to buy the train and stickers only or the entire set with wooden tracks.
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