EAST AURORA. N.Y. (WIVB) — A new toy is teaching children how to code. The Fisher-Price toy called the “Code-a-Pillar” was actually developed right here in Western New York it’s headquarters in East Aurora.
It’s not your average caterpillar; it combines fundamental concepts of programming and makes coding fun for kids.
It looks and sounds like a traditional toy, but the technology inside of it actually gives toddlers first hand experience with basic coding skills.
“It’s really about having fun first, and they might not be realizing they’re doing coding but it’s sort of one of those building blocks of education that’s going to be important as they move into school,” said Tony Favorito, Fisher-Price Director of Design.
Kids control the Code-a-Pillar actions by connecting eight parts. Once they push start, it’s moves according to how the kids programmed it. McCoy is one of several toddlers who got to test it out.
“I like to see him watch it as they put it in and watch it move and then he realizes as it his the wall then he’ll turn it around and sometimes switch the pieces so that maybe next time it doesn’t hit the wall,” said McCoy’s mom Courtney Craig.
The Code-a-Pillar encourages problem solving, and gets toddlers to think and make decisions.
“If you look at some of those big processing codes in software they’re really complicated. But we’re trying to take a very simple approach to it so that you’re just doing simple tasks. so you’re telling Code-a-Pillar hey turn right, turn left, turn on your lights,” said Favorito.
It targets kids ages 3 to 5 years old, and teaches them skills they may use well beyond their childhood years.
“Because of success of products like iPads and so many devices out there, people are using those in such a different way then they were 10 years ago so there’s definitely a future in things like coding,” said Favorito.
The Code-a-Pillar costs $50. The toy will be released in stores all over the world starting next month.