Toy Robots & Coding in Preschool

featured image with robot face

It is all new. Having access to little toy robots is not something that has happened to students at Dobie PreK Center. This is the first school year that preschoolers in our school have the opportunity to try the toy robots called Bee-Bots. This was possible through an interlibrary loan.

The instructions the students could give were simple. Using the arrows, students had to give the commands to move forward, backwards, to the right, or the left. They could repeat these commands as many times as they wanted, and they could reset the commands when the Bee-Bot had finished following the commands from the last set of orders.

The students were very excited to try the Bee-Bots. They heard the instructions and practiced with the teacher how to use the Bee-Bots before they played on their own. But as soon as they started using them, most forgot that the Bee-Bot moved according to the commands they provided and would laugh watching the Bee-Bots move. At first, students would press the arrows without remembering what they had pressed.  It was interesting to see how, little by little, some students realized that the Bee-Bot movements depended on their own instructions. 

Bee-Bots and similar toy robots provide our students with opportunities to learn the basics of coding. In our school, we are now making an effort to find ways to fund the purchase of similar toy robots for our students.

4 Comments

  1. I have a lot of resources for Bee-Bot if you would like them(songs, algorithm cards, lesson plan sites). I started using them last year with PreK – 2nd grade, so they weren’t left out of the coding experience I was giving 3 – 5th grade.
    I hope to eventually work with teachers to check out for classroom use to support content area.

    You should look into code and go mouse also(Learning Resources). They are much more affordable and do the same thing. We have both at Houston ES.

  2. Wow! I love that you are using the Bee-bots with your Pre-K kiddos. It’s amazing that even our youngest learners can learn the basics of coding. It will be great to see what they can do next!

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