Electronics are the way of the world. We use it in our homes, at work, in our cars, in our school and just about any where else you can think of. They offer convenience, short cuts and allow us to do things we have never done in the past (i.e. Facetime a person across the world). We shouldn’t be surprised that toy manufactures are starting to jump on the idea that kids need electronics in their life. Like every other life skill, its best to start early. In past years, we have seen the creation of toys that mimic adult electronics (i.e. tablets and phones), but it isn’t until recently that toy manufacturers are stepping up to create a toy that teaches the kids the background working of electronics, in particular CODING.
This past summer, the kids I visited the Hasbro House in Toronto for their holiday preview sale. There were so many new amazing toys from Nerf racing cars to Toilet bowl games to SEA PONIES (yes they are back!), but there was one toy that captured the attention of all three kids (ages 12 to 6) and that was Dance Coding Belle.
Dance Coding Belle
- Code your own dances with Connect the Dots– This is the first step in the coding learning process. There are pre-determined paths for children to connect together to create a choreographed dance. Courtesy of Hasbro
- Code your own dance with Block Coding – This is for the more advanced coder. You can form different dances by dragging and droping movements from the palette.
- Free Hand – This is the most advanced. You can created dance patterns by drawing your device and Belle will mimic it by herself. Courtesy of Hasbro
- Dance with Belle – Press the charm on her necklace and Belle instruct children how to dance to one of her 7 songs. The movements are repetitive so younger children can easily join in.
While Belle isn’t your regular 12 inch doll, she is certainly one that will keep your children occupied for hours. She opens up a door to a new world where they can gain a better understanding of technology and how it works, thus putting them in control. The best part is she was designed in such a way that children can easily advance from Belle to Scratch and other starter programming languages, naturally!