Robot Turtles Is A Board Game Designed By A Googler To Teach Kids Core Coding Principles

Natasha Lomas | TechCrunch | September 4, 2013

There are plenty of online resources aimed at teaching kids coding but here’s an offline take that uses old school gamification to get kids engaged and learning programming principles while they’re having some good old-fashioned family fun (as board game makers used to put it, in the 1980s). Robot Turtles is a board game designed by entrepreneur and CEO of Google Comparison Dan Shapiro — currently on leave from the day job so he can work on cool projects like this.

The board game is designed to teach basic programming principles via a series of instruction cards which move the players’ pieces (turtles) around the board. The basic object of the game is for players to navigate a maze and capture jewels but the gameplay is sneakily teaching them core coding fundamentals, such as using limited syntax to express complex ideas, getting a grasp on order of operations, and learning debugging by being able to undo instructions when they make mistakes. In other words: essential coding skills.