Bits and Bricks is a mini-module from LEGO that can be used to teach children the basics of coding using simple algorithms.
Bit is a little very adventurous LEGO robot, but as with all small creatures, sometimes Bit cannot get his programs right. The children can help Bit solve the challenges by figuring out which programs are needed. They can do this by creating a sequence of small behavior blocks that tells Bit what to do.
There are three tutorials to teach the basics, such as moving and turning, then three challenges to demonstrate what’s been learnt.
The website uses HTML5, so will work fine on iPads. To build up the program, just drag the icons to make the sequence. Click on the numbers to change them.
As an additional activity children could build mazes out of LEGO. They can then use arrow cards to build up an algorithm (sequence of instructions) to move a minifig around the maze. You might even like to do this before you try the Bits and Bricks games.
Take it Further
As an extension to this, you can use Lego WeDo to code real Lego roamers. These little bots can be programmed using a very similar interface to the Bits and Bricks game, and can move and interact using light and motion sensors.
Hour of Code
The Lego Bits and Bricks game forms part of the Hour of Code initiative aimed towards kids as young as 5 and 6 to get them excited about computer coding. If you like this game, then there are many more like it on the Hour of Code website that use characters that the children will be familiar with from other games and movies.
Check them out.
If you have any other ideas for coding with LEGO, please put them in the comments below!