A few months ago, my branch manager approached me about building a kit that would be shared among the libraries in Washington County, Minnesota. She introduced me to these little robots called Bee-Bots.
These tiny adorable machines are designed to teach computer programming to young children. It immediately reminded me of a tabletop game called Robo Rally, where players draw cards and use them to direct their robots across a board. Same concept, different age groups. Bee-Bots are made for children ages 3 to 7. Robo Rally is for players 12 years and older.
As part of the kit, I created various activities to appeal to a wide range of ages and interests. The kit comes with four squishy dice that players can roll and move the Bee-Bot according to that number. They can also navigate mazes, conduct scientific experiments, and even race each other while avoiding monsters.
It comes with a variety of mats to play on. The mat pictured above is by the manufacturer. I included additional handmade mats that librarians can customize. There are also a few mats that I designed myself. Creating mazes is more time-consuming than it seems, so I made it easier for librarians with time constraints.
My coworker introduced the kit this week. She had the children create a town that the Bee-Bots could navigate. There are a lot of creative things you can do with these robots, and I’m excited to see what people come up with.