The latest addition to our household is a Code-a-Pillar from Fisher Price. He’s a cute little guy who does exactly what he’s told so he can stay, he’s very obedient! He’s a new toy that is designed to help kids get a head start on learning about coding. I must admit I thought this was a bit early but after doing a bit of investigating it turns out that coding is taught from KS1 upwards, so the first years of primary school. It’s amazing to think that when I was at Primary school we had one computer in the whole of the school, which was wheeled to each classroom once a week on a rickety old trolley. I don’t even think it had a colour screen, but now I’m showing my age!
I wasn’t sure what to expect in terms of difficulty for my just turned three year old when it came to coding the caterpillar but it actually couldn’t be much easier. Each of the segments on the caterpillar have a usb attachment, so they can be plugged together with ease. In fact even Arlo can do it at 16 months! The pieces are easy to handle and pull apart/push together and the symbols on top light up in different colour. Each segment does a different movement, so forwards, right, left, etc and you can attach these to the code a pillar in any order you like. Once you’ve plugged all the bits in you then press the button behind his head and off he goes! By playing with the Code a Pillar Athena is improving her problem solving, critical thinking and experimentation skills, all without realising it, making it a great pre-school learning toy.
The box came with two discs that you can use to create a sort of course, setting him up to go round them or stop at them. We’ve also been using chairs and table legs and the corners in our kitchen to give him little courses to run around in! There are expansion packs available to purchase separately too that can add extra actions and sounds, like repeat movement, 180 degree turns and happy or wacky sounds.
The only thing that I think could be improved is that unlike all our other Fisher Price learning toys the volume only has one setting! But that is a very small niggle indeed!
We were sent this item to review, all words and opinions are my own.