Teaching Kids Javascript Without Pulling Out Your Hair

“Yeah, I can do Javascript.  I’m awesome at Javascript”

Those were the words I overheard my 10 year old sharing with a friend at the park the other day.  They were devising a business plan.  I’m not quite sure how Javascript came into play, but I was a little surprised at his assertion.

On the ride home I asked him “So, you’re awesome at Javascript?”.  And he confirmed, he was definitely awesome at Javascript, and he wanted to practice with the BitsBox cards more to get even more awesome.

I hadn’t even made the connection, to be honest.  But it made sense.  Baloo (10) is not a braggart (except to his brothers).  So if he was telling a friend he was awesome at Javascript, he felt very confident that he was, indeed, awesome at Javascript.  And we have BitsBox to thank for that.

Teaching kids javascript doesn't have to be hard! Let BitsBox do all the work for you as your kids play and learn to code!

This post is a review of the BitsBox subscription.  I was compensated for my time in reviewing the product, writing the review, and offering the giveaway.  The opinions in this post are my own (and my kids).

Our initial review of BitsBox was the beginning of our coding journey.  We’ve done little bits here and there, but we really started focusing on coding skills with that first box.  Now that we have two months of practice under our belts (and by we I mostly mean he), it’s getting a lot easier.

Quick note: the founders of BitsBox will be on Shark Tank on Feb 17!  It’ll be on ABC at 8 P.M. MST.

Teaching kids javascript doesn't have to be hard! Let BitsBox do all the work for you as your kids play and learn to code!

Intuitive Coding Practice with BitsBox

One of the biggest problems I’ve noticed with learning certain skills (like math) is that it teaches you how to solve one problem.  And we often don’t learn how to apply the skill in other problems.  This is why, when learning math, we are expected to complete multiple problems that are similar.  We need to show that we understand how to apply the techniques.

My favorite part of BitsBox is that it doesn’t just leave you with one way to use a skill.  It outlines how to code an app and then it gives you challenges that help you learn how to adjust settings.  For example, in the Mars Needs Milk app, at the bottom there are two challenges.  The first asks you to slow down the cow as it flies to the moon.  Now, we will look back at the lines, figure out which line controls the speed of the cow, and see how we can adjust the number to make the movement faster and slower.

The challenges have been highly motivational for Baloo.  He likes to adjust a lot of the different numbers to see the effect.  As far as I’m concerned, playing in that way will just make him more familiar with coding.

Teaching kids javascript doesn't have to be hard! Let BitsBox do all the work for you as your kids play and learn to code!

 

Who is BitsBox Perfect For?

I originally thought the BitsBox was perfect for Baloo (10) but I’ve found that Royal (7) can use it just fine, too.  In fact, I think it’s an excellent introduction for him.  While Baloo picks it all up quickly and spends more time tinkering with different aspects, Royal is learning how precise coding must be.  A misplaced space can crash the entire thing.  It’s simple enough for him to put the app together and he can even do most of the challenges.  Yet it’s still challenging enough for Baloo to get a significant boost in his coding knowledge. Teaching kids javascript doesn't have to be hard! Let BitsBox do all the work for you as your kids play and learn to code!

 

Improvements in Coding Skill

When we first started playing with the BitsBox I was excited to see how Baloo’s skill would grow.  I’ve actually been impressed with how quickly he has picked up the concepts and ideas behind coding.  He goes through all the BitsBox apps independently but he likes to show off his work.  (Which is super easy, by the way.  They have a QR Code for each app.  Just scan it on your phone and they can play the apps they’ve made!)

Teaching kids javascript doesn't have to be hard! Let BitsBox do all the work for you as your kids play and learn to code!

 

Very often, while showing off, he’ll say something like “I wonder if I could change that to a robot” or suggest some other change to the app.  He’ll be gone for a few moments and then back to show off his app again – with the changes.Teaching kids javascript doesn't have to be hard! Let BitsBox do all the work for you as your kids play and learn to code!

Each month there is an extra toy in the BitsBox.  Last month was oragami (going with the animal theme) and this month it’s this adorable Robot Cube Puzzle.  It starts as a cube…Teaching kids javascript doesn't have to be hard! Let BitsBox do all the work for you as your kids play and learn to code!

But the pieces are connected with elastic so the shape can change.  It turns into this adorable Robot but you can change the shape quite a bit.  I honestly found it fun as a fidget toy.  And putting it back into cube shape is a challenge, indeed.  It’s a great spatial challenge (one that the boys picked up on must faster than I did).

Teaching kids javascript doesn't have to be hard! Let BitsBox do all the work for you as your kids play and learn to code!

 

Where Can you Purchase BitsBox?

I highly recommend looking at the one-time product shop initially.  As with any subscription, make sure it fits your family’s needs!

You can also get great deals with the subscribe option though.  And you can use the code ROYALBALOO20 to get 20% off the first payment of any BitsBox subscriptions!

 

Keep in Touch with BitsBox

They have two newsletters – one for everyone and another for teachers.

They are also on:
BitsBox Facebook
Instagram: @BitsBoxKids
BitsBox Twitter
BitsBox Pinterest
Teaching kids javascript doesn't have to be hard! Let's BitsBox do all the work for you as you kids play and learn to code!

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