Can I teach my kids to code?

With the change in air outside here in the UK and Autumn really beginning to kick in after the extended warm weather in September, it’s time to recognise that keeping the kids shut outside is no longer a humane method of childcare – besides, thawing a wet, cold child is not a peaceful affair, and certainly doesn’t afford the appropriate investment of time. In a shear stroke of coincidence, the fruits of a Kickstarter campaign I joined last year has just been delivered through my mailbox this week, which will again bring a sense of peace and calm to the household, at least if only for one day.

Good things come in small packages, which seems to hold true at least for this boxed up modern day electronics kit, as after taking out the bright orange box from the bland brown packaging, then sliding out the beige box within, the colourful picture of the printed circuit board on the front is revealed. With what appears to be an Apple like attention to detail, the front edge of the box lifts up, held in place with a satisfyingly grippy magnetic strip hidden away inside the cardboard interior, the neatly organised interior is finally exposed.

Nestled inside the top are a couple of manuals and sheets of stickers, while the rest is divided into different sections, each securly holding the various components and cables required to build out the computer itself. Since this is a UK version, it’s been supplied with an appropriate mains adapter, but otherwise requires that you supply the monitor or display, which does need to sport an HDMI connection.

Since it would defeat the purpose, I’ve managed to resist chucking out the manuals (who RTFMs anyway?) and slamming it all together myself, but instead had a quick flick through the coding manual to identify that my kids will be well and truly absorbed by the Minecraft section. It looks like it I might already be calling mission accomplished the quiet household front, since Minecraft has held their attention for many hours along with their friends, and to be honest some of the results of their virtual construction is very, very, impressive.

Closing back up the box ready for Sunday, the true test will be keeping them from fighting over who gets to touch it first.