MatataLab offers music, art and robot-coding fun for children

2017 truly is the year of the crowdfunded coding toy: kids are spoilt for choice when it comes to programmable robots and gizmos. The latest example is called MatataLab, and it’s aimed at 4–9 year-olds who are just getting started with coding concepts.

It uses physical blocks that children can arrange to create their programs, rather than a screen and/or computer. What I also like about it is the emphasis on creativity: music, art and storytelling, rather than just coding something to go from A to B.

“Equipped with fun story maps and challenge books, kids could take adventure with the robot while learning fundamental coding concepts and build logical thinking and problem-solving skills,” is how its pitch on Kickstarter puts it. “Kids could not only learn basic music and drawing concepts but also could free their imagination to compose their own music and draw their dream world.”

MatataLab’s creators also hope that children will use it with Lego characters, clay, papercraft and even 3D printing. The company is selling three different kits too: the Starter Set ($99 if you’re early / $119 if not) is aimed at four year-olds with no experience of coding at all; the Advanced Set ($129 / $139) is for 4–6 year-olds who want to do a bit more, including the music elements; and the Pro set ($169) goes up to nine year-olds, adding in more advanced coding and art tasks.

MatataLab has already surpassed its £37,624 Kickstarter goal, so if all goes to plan, it’ll be shipping in May 2018.

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