Cubetto – Hands on coding for ages 3 and up on Kickstarter

By on March 11, 2016
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That is not a strictly open source project, but it is too inspiring not to be shared. And, apart from being funded by Randi Zuckerberg and Massimo Banzi, Cubotto got 187% funding on Kickstarter just after 4 days…

Cubetto is a coding toy for girls and boys. Powered by a tangible programming language. It’s super fun, super intuitive, and we need your help to make it happen! A playful programming language you can touch. Montessori approved, and LOGO Turtle inspired. Learn programming away from the screen.

Cubetto combines Montessori learning principles with computer programming concepts. We sold, hand-built, and shipped over 800 early prototypes to educators and parents in over 40 countries to test our assumptions.

Every Cubetto Playset comes with all the necessary parts to begin play right out of the box:

1. Cubetto
2. Board
3. 16 Blocks (4x Forward, 4x Right, 4x Left, 4x Function)
4. 1x1m World Map
5. Story Book

Cubetto is a wooden robot that wants to be told where to go and how to get there. A smiling companion capable of motoring his way through any adventure.

Our blocks are a new, procedural programming language. Much like LOGO was back in the 70’s, except you can touch it! Each block is a specific and unambiguous instruction, easy to recognise and combine into a meaningful sequence.

  • Green – Forward
  • Yellow – Left 90º
  • Red – Right 90º
  • Blue – Function

How is this Montessori?

It’s non-prescriptive – Cubetto gives children the ability to solve problems within the world they create. This gives them freedom to express their creativity and aptitudes, unconstrained by the challenges of literacy, or the distractions of a screen.

It’s child-centered – All they need to get started is a nudge in understanding that blocks = actions.  After this point, even the discovery of what each block does can be led by the child, leaving adults to observe and only help when needed.

It’s auto-didactic – Solving problems with the blocks is about trial and error. Once a sequence is sent to Cubetto, the result is immediate and non-abstract, giving children concrete grounds on which to self-correct without adult intervention. Just change the blocks and go again.

It’s designed for scaffolding: When a problem is too complex, the right sequence is easily pooled from collective knowledge of children in the play session. Each child can in turn add a block, or a suggestion, layering in their individual competence to the solution in small steps.


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