Getting kids coding with LEGO


LEGO is a classic toy we can all relate to. Kids love it, and adults love it too. Create spaceships, castles, supercars, famous monuments or create something completely unique. The possibilities are endless!

However, LEGO doesn’t just have to be an activity to keep the kids busy this summer. LEGO is also a great way to teach children basic programming skills, teaching them to control their LEGO creations. At our blue{shift} creative coding camps we use LEGO WeDo and LEGO Mindstorms as a way to teach our campers basic and advanced computational thinking and programming skills. In addition to this, LEGO have created LEGO Boost and LEGO Powered Up, specifically designed for children at home with their parents, rather than in the classroom. Here at blue{shift} we’ve rounded up the best that LEGO have to offer your little coder.

1) LEGO WeDo

LEGO WeDo robots were created as a way to teach younger, primary age children about programming and is a great tool for teaching kids about technology and engineering. Here at blue{shift} we use LEGO WeDo robots in our Mini Coders and Level 1 Scratch and Robotics courses, teaching children as young as four how to control a robot using the LEGO WeDo app. We believe that LEGO WeDo are a valuable tool for our campers as not only are they picking up fundamental programming skills but also doing something they love - building LEGO! By doing this, our smallest coders can start to understand how valuable coding skills are and how it can applied to aspects of everyday life.

If you are interested in buying a LEGO WeDo set for your little coder then be ready for an expensive investment at £133 from Amazon. It’s also important to ensure younger kids are supervised while using LEGO WeDo, as parts can easily go missing and are expensive to replace. However, if you’re not ready to invest in a set just yet, why not take a look at enrolling your child onto a blue{shift} Mini Coders or Level 1 Scratch and Robotics course, where they will be introduced to LEGO WeDo by our experienced teachers.

2) LEGO Boost

Released last year, LEGO Boost is designed for slightly older coders, from seven upwards. LEGO Boost has been designed as an educational tool that can be used at home with parents rather than in the classroom. When you buy the LEGO Boost Creative Toolbox your child will be able to build five different models and complete fun activities with the included playmat. All the building instructions are included in the Boost app which is also the key to coding your new robot friend.

Available from Amazon at just under £110, this is a great investment for your child due to the abundance of options available that will keep you kid coding well into their teens!

3) LEGO Powered Up

LEGO Powered Up is LEGO’s newest app-controlled LEGO kit, released this year. Connected via bluetooth, the app allows you to control the motorized engine(s) included in the LEGO set. Sets in the Powered Up range include a cargo train, a passenger train, and brand new this August - a Batmobile! Change the direction, performance and sound of the vehicle all using basic programming skills on the accompanying app. Available now from Argos, there's no better way to encourage your child to explore the world of coding while escaping to Gotham City!

4) LEGO Mindstorms

Aimed at older, more advanced coders, LEGO Mindstorms are the most powerful and malleable of the LEGO robotics range. The Mindstorms kits included infrared, colour and touch sensors and two different size motors. Using the programmable brick, coders are able to make their robots walk, talk, grab, think, shoot and even more. We recommend that only older more experienced coders use LEGO Mindstorms as instructions can be vague and set up can be fiddly

Available from Amazon from just under £260, these robots were designed as a useful educational tool in the classroom. Here at blue{shift} we think LEGO Mindstorms are a great way to encourage engineering skills and show campers the practical applications of code. If you think these sound like a perfect way to expand your child’s coding knowledge, why not take a look at our Level 3 Robotics Bootcamp! Your child will be creating complicated and sophisticated robot designs and completing complex challenges.

If you want to find out more about how LEGO robots are used in our creative coding camps take a look at our courses on our website, or contact us at hello@blueshiftcoding.com.