Recommended age: 4-7
Features: Screenless learning | Whiteboard top | Fosters creativity
I am completely enamored by the idea of Kibo. As an educator in 2022, I consider programming a critical skill for everyone. Nearly anyone can benefit from understanding how to describe steps in a clear and coherent manner. So the idea that Kibo can begin teaching this to very young children is fascinating.
Kibo is a kinetic STEM kit. Best of all, it's a tool for learning that doesn't require the use of a screen. By combining physical blocks in the right order, kids can instruct Kibo to take action. Kids can also add on capabilities like light, sound, and sensors, all with large, easy-to-attach add-ons. I can see this in use in a kindergarten or nursery school, as well as at home.
If you're considering Kibo, keep in mind two issues. First, it comes in a plain cardboard box with a KIBO label, so if you give this as a gift keep in mind that the gift opening experience might not be as exciting as getting a LEGO. Also, at nearly $300, this is not an inexpensive gift. Still, it could unlock something wonderful in the little ones and set them on a path to master technology later in life.