Cubetto Review – No Screen Coding for Children Aged 3+
Cubetto from Primo Toys is a very modern toy with a classic feel. It’s a friendly wooden robot that teaches children the basics of computer programming through hands on play. It’s your child’s first coding kit and it introduces your child to coding in a very fun and exciting way.
Cubetto, the award winning wooden robot is designed to get children as young as three into coding. The toy has most recently won a Gold Cannes Lion Award and has even beat Lego in the Junior Design Awards last year. Cubetto (RRP £175) is powered by a revolutionary coding language made of tangible blocks, instead of text on screens – whereby children guide the robot across a world map that comes included.
The Cubetto kit consists of a control board, coding blocks, the Cubetto robot, a map, instructions and an educational story book.
You put a grid map (you get one in your kit but you can buy other designs too) on a flat surface and then decide what route you’d like the robot to take. Then you add the coding blocks to the coding board — they’re actions — to create programs.
This kit comes with 16 blocks — 4 of each of Forward, Left, Right and Function. You write your program by placing the blocks in a sequence on your control board. There’s a curved queue that you follow and this has 12 slots. Once you’re happy, you press the Go button and watch the Cubetto robot move around on the map.
There’s a function line with four slots and this lets you give the same set of directions more than once. Put the directions you’d like in the function line and then use the blue blocks to recall that sequence — this is also known as a subroutine. If you don’t have any blocks in your function line, the blue one means the robot spins around.
I love the idea of teaching children coding without screens. The robot and the control board look very traditional being made of wood and the coding blocks are fun and bright colours like many wooden toys are. The fabric map is lovely too but it creases easily so I would suggest keeping it rolled up rather than folded as the robot can struggle on the creases.
The story book is brilliant and has lots of challenges for kids to do to take the robot on exciting coding adventures.
The only thing I would change is to have more coding blocks to ensure you can do all the combinations you might want to do.
Cubetto is suitable for children aged 3+ and my eldest is nearly 3.5 years old. She loves it but is not quite ready to follow the instructions yet and she doesn’t know left and right. She still very much enjoys putting the coding blocks into the board and watching what happens but she’s a bit too young for the full experience.
I can see the Cubetto working beautifully in a classroom environment with children that are a bit older — maybe 4 to 8 years old. It’s a great learning toy that children will love exploring and it’s the perfect way to introduce coding to kids and get them excited about learning more about it. Computers are a huge part of modern life and they’re only going to get more important for generations to come.
I'm a mum in my early 30s with over 15 years of childcare experience working as a private nanny, babysitter and a few years as a nursery teacher. Now I've got my own family too! I love finding great products for mums and kids.