Have you ever wondered if there is one particular coding robot that is better than any other? When it comes to coding toys for kids, I look for coding robot toys that can be screen-based or unplugged, connected or not. The more options a coding bot has, the higher a chance I will be interested.
There are so many different toy options out there to help kids learn to code that I can be really picky when it comes to what I purchase for my boys. For example, I have had a chance to experiment with two different robots for kids from Ozobot. These two ozobot robots would be at the top of my list of highly engaging, extremely user-friendly multi-use learning tool!
Ozobot has two different options right now, the Ozobot Bit and the Ozobot Evo. If you are looking for a super versatile robot toy that can help teach programming for kids, while also providing lots of options for unplugged coding activities, keep reading to find out about these two impressive little bots!
The original Ozobot robot, the “Bit” is better suited for younger kids. If you are looking for coding games your child can play without a computer, Bit would be a wonderful choice.
Bit can work straight out of the box. It is pre-programmed to follow lines and read code by “seeing” patterns of colors on a black line. If you want to teach your kids to code, Bit would provide a wonderful discussion point about how different sensors can provide different input. This input can then be interpreted, understood, and run, all within a matter of a few milliseconds!
Bit comes with a set of four markers to get your little coder started. When starting out, I didn’t have my boys worry about the color codes or anything that complex, we just drew and had fun! We loved how Bit not only followed our lines but also changed color depending on what color it was driving over!
If my boys were a little older, I might have introduced the idea of color codes, or maybe even Ozobot’s coding platform – OzoBlockly. The color codes tend to be a bit tricky for small hands that have not quite mastered their fine-motor skills, so I would suggest using these color code stickers. OzoBlockly can be used on any device that has an internet connection and a screen. There are activities for all skill levels, from pre-reading to “Master” level coders. Be sure to select the activities and examples for the “Bit” if that’s what you have!
The latest kids coding bot from Ozobot is called the “Evo”. Much like Bit, Evo can read lines, turn colors, and follow color-based codes. However, as my son pointed out, they don’t call it “Evo” for nothing! This is one of the most sophisticated coding robot toys around.
I think the biggest difference for us was the amount of LED lights on Evo versus Bit. While Bit has one LED on top, Evo has 7 spread out around the top and front of its small dome shape. Beyond the flashy lights, my boys also noticed the sounds right away! The speaker makes you jump if you’re used to a silent Bit, but the familiar beeps and boops put you right at home! (Familiar to anyone who has seen certain George Lucas stories from the late 70’s and early 80’s…)
I have to be honest, we had so much fun playing with Evo’s lights and sounds, we almost forgot that there is an app that can connect to Evo! Evo is Bluetooth-enabled, which means that the firmware that runs it can be updated when necessary – all through the app. This means Evo might last longer, with bugs being worked out and upgrades sent to fix them as need be. (What a great chance to talk to your kids about the very necessary step of debugging your code!)
Once we remembered the app, I think the part of the app my boys most enjoyed was the driving feature. I’m sure as they get older the games and challenges will help them learn to code, but for now, those pieces were a bit over their heads.
If you are considering purchasing an Evo for you or a loved one, I might suggest looking at the Educator Kit. I wish I had seen this before I bought Evo by itself. The kit has not only Evo, but also access to a whole slew of resources and lessons, on-screen or unplugged, that will help even the least tech-savvy parent teach their kids to code. The kit would also be a wonderful gift for any educator in your life!
I think the thing I most appreciate about both Bit and Evo is just how many different activities you can do with one tiny little bot. In a device no bigger around than a US quarter, my boys found hours worth of enjoyment and fun!
While Bit doesn’t have all the flashy features and sounds that Evo does, I honestly feel like it would be perfect for my boys at this age. The markers and some paper is really all they needed to get started!
That being said, Evo can do everything Bit can do and more. Between the features and the ability to upgrade Evo’s firmware when needed, I would probably spring for Evo anyway. I know my boys may not make use of all of the features right away, but maybe mom will get to brush up on her coding skills?
Have you tried out Ozobot Bit or Evo? These robot toys for kids are a lot of fun! Which one do you feel would be the best for your family? What other coding games or activities have you used to help you teach your kids to code?
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Katie is mom of two rambunctious boys and a self-proclaimed super nerd. With a background in neuroscience, she is passionate about sharing her love of all things STEM with her kids. She loves to find creative ways to teach kids computer science and geek out about coding and math. You can find her blogging at Teach Your Kids Code and in her spare time, documenting her families travels at Tear Free Travel.