I have been compensated for this post in the form of a product. All opinions are mine and mine alone. This post is sponsored by ThinkFun.
We live in a digital world and our reliance on computers continues to increase. This makes it more important than ever to learn the basics of computing an early age. However, learning more new computer concepts such as programming can benefit children in so many ways. Research has shown that learning coding can reinforce problem solving, analytic reasoning, and other valuable skills. I have encouraged my son to learn programming and ThinkFun helped me out by sending me their //CODE: Rover Control to review.
ThinkFun, originally called Binary Arts, was created by Bill Ritchie and Andrea Barthello in 1985. From the beginning, the husband and wife duo was dedicated to creating products that combined learning and fun. Their very first product was the Hexadecimal puzzle and in the next few years, they introduced several puzzles including SpinOut, which is now a Games Magazine Hall of Fame classic.
Since its start, ThinkFun has became an industry leader in creating games that encourage learning and strengthen various skills through play. The company works with a team of educators and psychologist to learn how their games can further enhance thinking patterns and skills. ThinkFun offers games in four major categories: logic and problem solving, visual perception and reasoning, STEM and creative thinking, and word and language skills. With a huge selection, you can find a game for any age and skill level.
Age range: 8 and up
Includes: 4 Terrain Maps
- Booklet with 40 Challenges
- 3 Erasable Markers
- 7 Station Tokens
- 4 Start and End Tokens
- Sample Storage Card
- Solution Booklet
Two Mars Rovers are programmed to explore 40 courses on 4 types of terrain. Each terrain has colored segments that make up a pathway and the Rovers are programmed to move along these colored segments. Nature intervened however, and a dust storm wiped away most of the colored segments. In order to help the Rovers complete their mission, the player must color the white pathway correctly.
The player selects a challenge card and a corresponding course. The courses contain an illustration of the Rover’s programmed path. He or she then uses the markers to color the map to match the challenge card in order to help the Rover follow the course. After the course is colored completely, the player moves the Rover along the pathway in the order indicated on the course. If the Rover makes it to the end of the course, the player is successful.
My 11 year old loves to learn new things and Rover Control was perfect for him. The instructions are very clear and they explain everything in detail. This is great since I know absolutely nothing about coding. The game includes beginner, intermediate, advanced, and expert levels. My son started with the beginner levels and has moved up to intermediate. His goal is to master the expert levels. You could really see his brain working as he played with this game and I love that! At times, he gets stumped while coloring the course, but he continues to work at it until he figures it out.
One of my favorite things about Rover Control is that it distracted him from video games! He actually became interested in something that does not have a screen and this is not always an easy task. I also appreciate that it teaches him valuable skills while he is having fun. It is definitely age appropriate and I would highly recommend it to any parent wanting to help their child get a start on programming/coding.
You can pick up your own copy of Rover Control at Target for just $14.99!