I’m always happy when companies find a way to take their kids’ toys, games and activities and add components or extensions that keep them fresh for kids to play with. One of the best tech companies at this: Wonder Workshop, whose robots we’ve called “the best of what coding toys for kids can be.”
While there are plenty of cool coding projects kids can do using Dot, Dash and newest robot Cue — one of the reasons my own daughter hasn’t gotten tired of her robots after three years (whoo!) — the company has just introduced the Wonder Workshop Sketch Pack, which is an absolutely joy.
Especially for parents like me who love connecting coding education with art and design. Team STEAM!
Related: 7 cool ways Crayola is taking on STEM in 2018
The kit essentially lets you add a harness to Cue or Dash that holds these special triangular dry erase markers. And yes, that beats trying to MacGyver a marker holder out of duck tape, which my kids have done too.
Put your robot down on the special whiteboard sketch mat, then use the free apps (iOS and Android) to program your robot to create colorful drawings, geometric figures, crazy shapes, messages to friends — then erase and start again.
I like that the kit comes with a few project cards to get kids started with basics and work their way up to custom designs. This way, they can master squares and triangles before taking on a house or a rocket ship or a photo-real portrait of Tom Holland as Spiderman.
(Yep, my 13-year-old daughter is determined to figure out how to do this.)
It’s a fantastic way to bring new life to your robots, and comes just in time for summer, when so many of us are looking for too-hot-to-play-outside ideas, or fun activities that keep minds sharp between school years. And I’m always grateful for educational toys that my kids don’t walk away from after just a few tries.
Fair warning though: While the kit itself is small and packs away nicely in a file-sized box, the mat is huge. I think it’s great to have, but you’ll need a good amount of space to roll it up and stash away. That is, if your kids let you stash it away at all.
Find the Wonder Workshop Sketch Pack including mat, harness, markers, dry eraser, and project cards from the company website. If you already own the Dash or Cue robots, and just want the basic Sketch Pack (no mat), you can buy it for $39.99 from our affiliate Amazon.
Thanks to the company for sending a kit for editorial consideration.