Kano offered to send over a coding kit. Being utterly phobic of anything like that, but knowing the rest of the family would approve I said yes. I absolutely love the way it was packaged, the simplicity of it, the way it deconstructs a computer safely and imaginatively. It is such an irresistibly clever idea, to approach coding like Lego. It was a joy to receive and unpack.
What is a Kano?
‘Kano is a computer you build and code yourself. Lego simple, Raspberry Pi powerful, and hugely fun.’
So the Kano is basically a computer, but in separate components – it is really easy put together, like Lego, it even comes with a book instead of an instruction manual. Which seriously appealed to me. It is beautifully constructed to tell the Kano story. Top marks for design.
The raspberry Pi is it’s brain, you can see it here, cased and wired up, which kids get to do all by themselves, a bit like building Lego.
There’s a speaker (it’s voice box?)
A memory card (for well, it’s memory)
Cables to connect it to screen (central nervous system?) and a keyboard and wifi (the human body analogy seems to end here)
‘But what on earth do you do with it after that?’ I asked my husband, because he makes video games happen.
‘All kinds of stuff!’ he said.
So obviously I was clear as mud.
So I let him loose with it with the kids, and let him explain and be honest about how it worked in our house.
Mr A the ex coder speaks…
‘Brilliant idea, well implemented. Kids LOVED putting it together in pieces, showed an interest in what each bit was and wanted to customise it immediately.
Where it fell down in our house was that they both wanted to ‘own’ it, and as neither could, it had to be shared which meant it lost interest once the building was complete. We got into the start of the coding and understanding the keyboard, only 8yo L was with me at this stage, 6yo G had wandered off.
L already knew the basics of computing so this didn’t hold her interest for long, then we had to wait for an update, which was the deal breaker for interest levels.
Loved it as a past coder myself, with just one child, more focused it could have worked better.’
I think Mr A was a little bit disappointed the kids weren’t keener, but that is no reflection on Kano, more where our kids are at interest wise right now, but this is the kind of kit we could definitely revisit over time, I’ve also been talking to L’s school about loaning it to the coding club as I think alongside her peers, rather than sibling, L might be more confident and keener to crack some coding.
We absolutely think for the right child, at the right time this would make a perfect gift ad open up a whole world of interest and opportunity. My son is a little young and my daughter perhaps not prepared to be patient for this sort of thing. But with a child who is really keen and ready, this is absolutely the right piece of kit.
I need this now! Where can I buy a Kano?
Kano kits are £119.99 and you can buy it here
I’m feeling lucky, how do I win one?
So you have a child who is keen to really get to grips with coding, fancy winning a Kano?
Just follow the rafflecopter instructions!
Terms and Conditions
There is one prize of one Kano set The prize is non-transferable and no cash alternative is offered.
Open to UK residents aged 18 and over, excluding employees and relatives of Parentshaped and Kano.
Closing date for entries is 14/6/2015
One entry per person
Entrants must log into rafflecopter and leave a comment
Optional entry methods are to follow on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook. Pinterest and tweet on Twitter.
The winner will be chosen at random from all valid entries
The winner will be informed within 14 days of the closing date and will need to respond with a postal address within 28 days or a new winner will be chosen
The winner’s name will be available on request
The prize will be sent within 28 days of receiving the winner’s address
This is a joint promotion between Parentshaped and Kano.
Entry to this confirms that participants have read, understood and agree to be bound by these Terms and Conditions.
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