KIBO Coding at Kohl Children’s Museum
Contributed by: Kohl Children's Museum, http://www.kohlchildrensmuseum.org
Toying with Tech is a bi-weekly drop in program at the Kohl Children’s Museum, located in Glenview, IL (outside Chicago). It is the “T” in Kohl Children’s Museum’s STEAM Explorers program. Lesson plans focus on foundational coding skills for children 2 through 8 years of age. Toying with Tech activities build on each other, but not all participants have attended previous sessions. Each activity must stand alone and be flexible enough to engage beginners as well as more advanced young coders. To meet the needs of our diverse visitor population and align with the museum’s philosophy of learning through play, Toying with Tech activities must be open-ended and hands-on while promoting creativity and encouraging collaboration. Some of our younger visitors are not yet readers, and there are many home languages spoken by our visitor families. KIBO, with physical blocks that include pictures and words, is a perfect fit for the museum’s philosophy and our visitors.
During the month of August, visitors were able to create mazes with foam blocks and code KIBO through the mazes. Children and adults were busy creating their codes, testing, debugging and creating all over again. The open-ended nature of the activity allowed children to start at their comfort level and continue to increase the level of complexity at their pace. Coding with KIBO blocks instead of on a tablet or computer allowed for more interaction and collaboration. Children created mazes for others to code KIBO to navigate, and more experienced peers assisted new KIBO users.
Learn more about “Toying with Tech” at Kohl Children’s Museum.