We've had lots of fun creating a coding board game over the past few months. Both my family and Elbrie's love board games and coding. We thought it would be fun to design our own board game to help our kids develop their coding and logical thinking skills. Yes, there are already some great coding board games, but we had some particular ideas we wanted to incorporate.
When it came to prototyping the board game, after trying a few other things, we found that LEGO works fantastically for the game, there's even an online LEGO coding mini game. We've developed our game with our 4 younger children (aged 5-9) and incorporated lots of their ideas.
Goals for our LEGO Coding Game
Our goals for the game are:
- Appeal to children aged 4-12, plus older siblings, parents and grandparents
- Help kids to develop coding skills such as sequencing, loops and conditions in a fun environment
- Appeal to kids who have already learned some coding and will enjoy applying their skills in a family game
- Provide a way to lure kids away from their screens while still encouraging and developing their interest in technology
- Introduce coding vocabulary such as bugs and debugging
- Be accessible to children who can't read yet while having enough depth to make older kids (and parents) have to really think
- Introduce rules gradually so kids can quickly start playing without being overwhelmed
- Be accessible to children who can't tell their left from their right yet (okay, not just children ...) and help them develop spatial awareness skills
- Make building the LEGO boards part of the learning process
- Support customization so families can extend the game with new levels and rules that work for them
- Be gender neutral to make sure that the theme, characters and colours are appealing to girls and boys.
- Include options to adjust the difficulty so that players of varying abilities can all play together
- Provide a fun way to introduce coding in clubs, camps, schools, libraries and at events which doesn't rely on wifi, charging or availability of expensive devices.
The game play mechanics worked so well that we'd love to get this made into a real game. We plan to submit it to the LEGO Ideas website soon and we'd love your support.