I received Robot Mouse Coding Activity Set free for review purposes, all opinions are my own.
The instructions for the game do a great job of exampling all the different pieces and what they are used for, but they don’t really explain how to play the game. Here are some basic steps to help your kids with this activity.
Step 1 – Pick an Activity Card
To start, choose one of the 20 Activity cards, the Activity cards have maze layouts on them. Use the maze grid pieces, maze walls and tunnels to build the maze layout on the card. Place Colby (the mouse) and the wedge of cheese in the maze like on the layout. (Colby is in the starting point and the cheese is the end point).
In the picture below you will notice a red lightning blot; on your way to the cheese you have to navigate Colby to the lightning spot and make Colby do an action (the red circle button) and then continue on to the cheese. Colby randomly chooses to do one of three actions, thethree actions are: move forward and back, a loud “SQUEAAKK”, or CHIRP-CHIRP-CHIRP and eyes light up. (Our Colby might be broken because it hasn’t done any of these things).
Step 2 – Write Your “Program”
Using the buttons on Colby’s back you can “program” him to navigate through the maze to the cheese. Press each button in the sequence that you want Colby to move (TIP: the left and right button only change Colby’s direction). You can use the “coding” cards to help keep track of all the steps to get to the cheese; there are cards for each step. For little kids, it helps for them to move Colby by hand through the maze and use the coding cards to keep track of each step.
Step 3 – Find the Cheese
Once you have your program in Colby, press the green circle button and he we execute each step you have entered. If your kids are like ours, they are going to want program the entire sequence from beginning to end. That works out great if you make it to the cheese but if there is a mistake in the middle they are going to have a hard time finding it. I did the same thing when I first started taking programming classes in school. I would write an entire program, run it and if the program didn’t work I wouldn’t know where to begin to fix it. As time went on, I learned to create small pieces of code, test them, and then create the next little part. I would do this until the entire program was finished and it would work. I tried to teach this same method to the kids. I told them to enter two or three movements at time and then send Colby on his way to see if he was following the right path. Then they would keep adding movements and testing until Colby maked it to the cheese.
Here is a video from Colby’s point of view going through a maze.
You can find the Robot Mouse Coding Activity Set on the Learning Resources web site.
You can also find it on Amazon here