Thanks to Best Buy for sponsoring this post.
When I was a kid, I spent much of my summer vacation watching TV and playing video games with the occasional outside play if my parents got on my case to do something else. I became an expert at my favorite video games and other gaming enigmas (up, up, down, down, left, right, left, right, B, A, start), I have yet to find where it has done me any good in the “real world”.
Luckily, today, parents have some great options for helping kids learn some “real world” skills while they are enjoying their summer vacation.
As a dad of 6, one of my favorite options at the moment is a small robot called Ozobot EVO.
The Ozobot EVO teaches Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) skills while kids are playing with markers and paper.
Let me explain…
Ozbot uses optical sensors to read colors.
It is designed to follow a track and perform different actions based on the colors and combinations it reads. You can either use the included mat or create your own tracks by drawing on paper.
When kids draw tracks on paper, they can alternate the colors of the markers to tell it to do different things. For instance, the command to turn around and go the other way at the end of the track would be the code “blue, red” written with the marker.
I was amazed at how simply this concept works. Within minutes, my kids were figuring out how to “code” the Ozobot and having a great time memorizing which codes would send which commands.
The Ozobot Evo starter pack has everything your kids need to get started, including a mat, markers and paper. They can then draw colorful pictures that the Ozobot’s optical sensors read as movement commands.
My kids have had a blast playing with this and I know as a dad, I feel much better seeing them spend time beefing up their coding skills than I do having them sit in front of the TV.
You can find Ozobot at your local Best Buy. Best Buy carries products from basic learning games to advanced toys designed to stimulate a child’s mind in the STEM areas, helping to develop logic and problem solving skills.
See it in action below:
The reviewer has been compensated in the form of a Best Buy Gift Card and/or received the product/service at a reduced price or for free.