I was really keen to try the Coding Critters MagiCoders from Learning Resources. I still remember my first coding experience at school although that certainly took longer than it does now! As a Good Play Guide Ambassador they kindly provided us with Blazer the Dragon to see how we got on.
MagiCoders Coding Critters allows young children to engage in early coding while having fun. There are a few different MagiCoders Coding Critters we tried out Blazer the Dragon. My youngest is a big dragon fan and both boys are very into magic so the idea of casting spells on a dragon to make it move went down well.
In the kit you get:
- 1 Magicoder – Blazer the Dragon in our case
- 1 Wand
- Play set including – 2x targets, a ball, a chest, 3 fire balls, a catapult and castle
- 12 x directional coding cards
- Spell book
The directional cards were really helpful when we started out for the boys as it provided a colour coded visual aid. I also found using the set a great way to work on directional language.
There are two main ways to use your MagiCoder. Firstly you can use the magic wand to code simple direction sequences that the Dragon then follows. This is great but it does take a moment to respond so requires a little patience that my youngest found hard. My niece and my eldest did enjoy being able to control the movements.
A really nice feature is the sounds, as he moves about the dragon makes little growls and other dragon sounds. His horn also lights up or flashes.
The other main way to use your MagiCoder is casting magic spells. You can set your want to ‘spell’ and use your spell book to cast various spells. This is a really great feature as many of the spells are great fun. My eldest really likes the ‘chase the ball’ spell. Once you cast this spell the dragon will then follow the ball as you pull it around. You can create spells that make Blazer the Dragon dance, sing and even show his different emotions.
I really like all then different spells and the kids love seeing all Blazer’s skills. One issue was it can be hard to tell what function is set i.e. directional or spells so this can be a little frustrating particularly at first.
Learning through play
I am always a big fan of anything that encourages learning whist having fun and the MagiCoders defiently does that. The play set really helps with the fun, being able to see if you can get the dragon through the castle arch and using your catapult to hit the targets are great games to play.
See Blazer in action over on my Instagram Reel.