Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Coding With Kids & The Fisher-Price Code-A-Pillar >> Review

The Fisher-Price Code-A-Pillar

With two children, we have a pretty good stash of toys now. We have had toys come and go, we've had toys that were a five minute wonder and others that they play with almost daily that for whatever reason has really fascinated them.

It's not often a toy comes along that really grabs the kids attention for long, especially both of them but as soon as we were sent the Code-A-Pillar for review from family favourite Fisher-Price, I could see this one was a keeper and one that we will be definitely adding to in order to grow the fun even more - literally.

This pre-school learning toy has captured a current trend for coding for the little ones, enabling them to develop their problem solving and pattern making skills. Kids are able to experiment with patterns for fun or to get the cute Code-A-Pillar from A to B thinking practically. It's one of those toys that encourages so much learning, but is completely covered up by fun, bright colour, lights and sounds.

More about the Code-A-Pillar

This brilliant toy comes in 9 sturdy plastic sections that can be linked together in multiple sequences. Each segment has a different movement or action such as straight forward, left, right and music playing, or dancing stop as we call it.

As the kids slot the Code-A-Pillar together it creates a new sequence of movements and sounds meaning it can be different every time and both kids (2 and nearly 5) love it but for completely different reasons. It's a toy that grows with the children and their learning, but also literally with the option to buy add-on packs that do various new moves - these will be on our letter to Santa this year!

The pack includes the head which Sophie adores and carries round like a baby, as well as the links and two discs that mark the start and finish for kids wanting to map out a root. The kids can really put thought into what pattern will get the Code-A-Pillar to where they want it to go. This is coding/ programming in it's most basic form and it's such a great way to get those young minds ticking whilst having lots of fun.

The face is really cute with big blinking eyes, it is incredibly robust and well made and has come under lots of heavy action already with my two and their friends and yet remains completely fully working, without a single mark or scar - amazing! The Code-A-Pillar is still smiling away, good as new.

The music and sounds are pretty loud but enjoyable and really enjoyed by the kids, especially the dancing segment. When the parts are all linked up, the Code-A-Pillar very cleverly learns the pattern as they light up one by one before it starts to move.


Since it's arrival, the Code-A-Pillar has become a firm favourite in the toy box. This toy has an RRP of £49.99 with the expansion packs at £14.99 each. I think the prices are pretty good considering the coolness of this toy, the durability of it and the fun that can be had. I love that the toy can grow with them mentally and physically and after a few weeks play it's come out without fail every day and been played with for a long time.

Soph loves the head part most of all and putting it together, listening to the music etc. Alf however being a little older likes to think a little more as he puts it together, thinking logically about where he wants it to go, how he can make it get off the rug, out the door etc etc, it's so much fun and very versatile. This is really different to anything I have seen before, especially 'learning' toys as this is completely unique and fun.

The music is great, though a little loud and I would have liked the option of a lower volume at times but this is the only vaguely negative thing I can think of! I am super glad it doesn't have an annoying voice or say anything silly.

I love this toy, the kids and their friends love it and agree it would be a lovely gift for other boys and girls. I think from reading the product descriptions and the association with 'coding' it would be presumed this should be for older kids, but I think all kids will love it from around 2 when they can put the parts together. I couldn't tell you what age to cap it at as I also enjoy it at 32!

I would really recommend this and give it a big shiny double thumbs up from us all.

You can read all about the Code-A-Pillar on the Fisher-Price website and if you want to go and see one in the flesh or buy, you will find him hanging out in shops such as Smyths Toys, Toys R Us and Argos. I can see this being one of those must have Christmas gifts this year!