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Coding To Be Big Feature Of 2021 Christmas Presents

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Back in the day, Christmas presents were all about train sets, chocolate oranges and board games. Then came computer games and digital devices. But now, coding is taking centre stage. 

The BBC’s Science Focus magazine has published its list of the best coding toys for kids this year, devices that will not only provide lots of smiles on December 25th and fun thereafter, but help equip youngsters with crucial skills for work in the future and encourage them to take coding classes. 

An example is the Lego Mindstorms, aimed at those aged ten and up, which allows kids to build five different robots and then use the coding programme Scratch to bring them to life. Another Lego device, aimed at those aged 7-12, is the Creative Toolbox, using the Boost app to bring one of five robots to life. 

If everything is awesome with Lego, things may be even better - or just more advanced - with the Wonder Workshop Cue robot, aimed at the 11-18 range. This introduces Javascript as a code for teenagers to use in solving around 40 different challenges.

Learning Resources Artie, a robot aimed at those aged 7-11, can use Blockly, Snap!, Python or JavaScript. The coding tells the robot what to draw, and it then does it. 

For a really young audience, aged three upwards, there is a train set involved - but this involves coding for beginners using Scratch or Python to programme the intelino J-1 Smart Train to run on the route set out for it. 

With a football-related device for eight year olds and an LED display model for teenagers, there is certainly plenty of choice.

However, the best option of all may be an item with a distinctive BBC theme - the High Five Inventor Coding Kit. Designed with a Doctor Who theme, this could be absolutely ideal for big fans of the show, who can combine coding with their love of time-travelling adventures in the TARDIS, dodging Daleks and giving Cybermen the slip.