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Kids First Coding and Robotics


Introduce your child to coding with Sammy the fun, screen-free robot!

Skill Development:
Ease of Use:
Age: 4+ years

Read our expert reviews →

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Meet Sammy. This cute little peanut butter and jelly sandwich is actually a robot that teaches coding principles. You don’t need a tablet, smartphone, or computer to program this robot; programs are created by simply laying down a sequence of physical code cards. As the robot drives over the code cards, an OID optical scanner on the bottom of the robot reads the code cards one by one and loads the program. Next, place the robot on a grid made of map cards, and the robot runs the program. You can program the robot to move in different directions, activate its output gear, light up its LED, play sounds, and respond to different function cards. The integrated output gear makes it possible to build simple robotic creations with arms or other moving parts that respond according to the program’s instructions.

This robot kit from Thames & Kosmos, also provides a series of building and coding lessons. The 30 lessons are aligned with standards for computer science education developed by the Computer Science Teachers Association (CSTA) and the International Society for Technology (ISTE) Education, as well as courses from Code.org. The lessons progress in complexity through the illustrated manual and cover six key areas in coding: sequencing, loops, events, conditionals, functions and variables.

In addition to Sammy, there are five other stories, each with a series of model-building and coding challenges and lessons related to it: a mouse moves through a maze to find cheese; a penguin wanders around a zoo; a soccer player moves a ball into the goal; a fire truck puts out a fire and a factory robot performs tasks in a factory scene. A full-colour illustrated manual guides users through the coding lessons and the assembly of the different models.

Additional information

Weight 2.8 kg
Dimensions 427 × 101 × 292 mm

What our testers said

“Now we need to press the bin button, so it gets rid of it and can memorise a new pattern.” – Girl aged 8

“Oh I get it, it makes those moves to configure and then starts the pattern.” – Boy aged 10

What our experts think

This colourful robot allows children to experiment with coding and sequencing while engaging in imaginative play (the superfood of a healthy play diet!). Our testers loved the variety of ideas and the fact they could also make up their own pattern for the robot to follow, which allows them to get creative. You can also change the robot into different characters, encouraging children to program the different ‘stories’ and then watch them be acted out.

Completing the sequences correctly required perseverance and our testers watched and smiled when the robot completed its program, giving them a real sense of achievement. We really like how the cards symbolise different instructions and children get a visual layout of their code, making it a very accessible (and screen-free!) way of learning programming, which is a key part of Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM). There are also different levels of coding, which allows for different ages and ability and provides the opportunity for progression.

Skills developed

– Introduces children to coding and programming

– Develops logic and strategic skills

– Encourages imaginative play