4 years old

Botley the Coding Robot


We have been lucky enough to be reviewing Botley the Coding Robot from Learning Resources!  It has been so much fun to explore all of the different things that he can do in order to share them with you, and I could see us having a lot more fun with Botley!

First of all, I am a big fan of all STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) toys, I think that it's great to combine the learning of all different skills in a fun way.  And Botley definitely ticks all of the boxes there, the children were excited as soon as they saw the box and couldn't wait to start programming Botley to move around.

There is definitely something very appealing about this cute little robot.  The children took to him straight away, and he's so easy for them to use.  You can tell straight away that the robot is going to roll around on those big wheels and be controlled by the remote (which does not have too many confusing buttons on it.)

As soon as you open the box you can see that there is so much more to Botley as well!  He can be used a simple robot that you can program to move around, but he also comes with plenty of accessories that you can use to make him do a variety of different tasks.

One of the many things that Botley can do is to follow a line.  There are large puzzle pieces that come in the set, and on one side of them is a simple black line.  You can attach these pieces together in a variety of different ways to make a long twisting and turning line for Botley to follow.  Then you simply switch him to line mode, place his sensor over the line and press the button on the top of him.  Then you can watch him as he travels along the line.  We did this first to watch Botley move around and the children were so excited to see him do this all on his own!

But of course the children couldn't wait to start giving Botley their instructions to move.  So then we started to try programming Botley to move in different ways.

Each of the children had a turn to press the arrows in different directions and just let him go.  They set up a sort of track for him to follow and placed all sorts of different items that he came with down as well, but they didn't realise that it was a bit trickier than they thought to get him to go exactly where they wanted.  So we had to take things back and do them one step at a time.

Botley also comes with a set of cards and these are great for planning out the moves that you want Botley to do before entering them into the remote control.  We were able to place the arrows in a pattern to make a square shape, this way Ivy was then able to follow along with the directions on the cards as she entered them into the remote and set him off on his way.  She was so excited to see him go in the same square pattern that we had set up with the cards.

You can also set yourself (or each other) little challenges.  We did this using the cards again to set up a little route with the challenge of getting Botley to push the ball along and into the hoop.  

Ivy really enjoyed this challenge and was so excited to see when Botley actually got the ball into the hoop!  As she improved and became more confident she helped more with choosing the cards that we needed to follow, and eventually I am sure that she will not need them at all.

Botley also has a feature that he can detect and avoid objects around him.  This is also quite a fun setting to put Botley on and just watch him as he manoeuvres his way around an obstacle course of objects that you place around him.

We are having so much fun playing with Botley already and can't wait to see what else he can do as we become more confident with programming him.  I love this this is a toy that both my 4 year old and 6 year old enjoy playing with at different levels and that I know that they will continue to enjoy.  It's the perfect toy to pull out on a rainy day and spend time exploring and challenging each other.

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*This is a review post, we were given Botley the Coding Robot from Learning Resources in order to play with it and write our honest opinions.*

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