Coding is a skill that’s emphasised for children at a young age these days, and although it may sound daunting, the basic concepts can actually be introduced easily by using simple games like Which Way? from OKIDO. This game is recommended for children of around 4-8 years old and I was really interested to give it a try as we’ve been impressed by OKIDO products in the past.
Which Way? Is made up of a magnetic board, along with a magnetic car which will drive along the paths that you create. The aim of the game is to code suitable pathways to help you reach destinations on the play board.
In the box you get the play board which is pretty large, 16 magnetic pieces which will be used to build the paths, spinner, the car and even replacement batteries for the car, along with a mini screw driver to put these in.
The concept of the game and the way this works is similar to the coding blocks concept or block programming, which is usually an easier way for children to learn and to get a more meaningful “coding” experience while still at a more basic level. Games like this are a really nice way to introduce these concepts and lay down the understanding at an earlier age in a hands on, screen-free way.
The concept of Which Way is quite easy, and has been made really fun with the moving car and enticing destinations like the ice cream van and the farm for your characters to visit, so definitely makes the topic of coding accessible and fun for young children.
While playing the game, each player spins to see which destination they need to visit and then plans out the route using the magnetic strips provided. Once you have an ideal route set out, your car will get on its way and follows the path perfectly which adds a fun element to the game.
We found this game more collaborative than competitive, and it can also be done by just one child as an educational activity.
My boys are at the older end of the age range for the game, R has just turned 8 and T and Z are a little older than the suggested age. They enjoyed the game, although did not find it so challenging due to their ages so I would recommend it more for children at the younger end of the recommended range. My youngest is coming up to three years old, and with a bit of adult help this game will actually be great for her already.
Overall OKIDO Which Way? is a great concept and a lovely way to introduce the building blocks of coding to very young children in a fun way, to get them thinking and learning while simply playing and enjoying themselves.