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New Lego set aims to teach kids to code through creativity

Lego Boost is focused on making programming both accessible and fun for young kids by using customizable and personable robots to introduce kids to the basics of coding.

At CES in Las Vegas this week, Lego revealed a new playset that teaches children to code using their own Lego creations and a smartphone app.

The kit, called Lego Boost, isn't the first programming-centric line the company has rolled out, but Boost is the first to focus on making coding both accessible and fun for younger kids.

Different efforts like Girls Make Games and the Hour of Code have emphasized ways to explore and teach programming to younger generations, and Lego Boost is no different. However simple, tools like this can help younger kids develop an early understanding of basic coding, and can provide a strong foundation for the next generation of game developers.

Kids are able to create one of five Lego robots using the Boost set, each with a different look and unique functions. Specialized blocks within the kit sync up to the Boost app via Bluetooth and allow players to control and create tasks for each of the different bots.

Basic commands within the app are broken down into categories for movement, speech, and action. Players are able to drag and connect commands to create functions for connected bots. This allows young kids to program their creations to do anything from basic movements to more complex tasks that make use of sensors that read color or sound.

“We know that children dream of bringing their Lego creations to life, and our chief ambition for Lego Boost is to fulfill that wish. Once children build a Lego creation, we give them simple coding tools to ‘boost’ their models by adding personality,” said Lego Group design lead Simon Kent. “We want children to first and foremost have a fun and limitless play experience; adding the coding opportunity is the means to get there.”

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