Robotics offers a playful and tangible way for young children to engage with technology and engineering concepts during their foundational early childhood years. This paper describes the development of KIBO, a newly created robotics kit for children ages 4-7 developed at Tufts University through funding from the National Science Foundation. Designed explicitly for very young children, the KIBO kit has gone through several design iterations based on feedback from teachers and children over the past three years. The newest version of KIBO allows young children to becomes engineers by constructing robots using motors, sensors, and craft materials. Children also become programmers by exploring sequences, loops, and variables. In line with screen-time recommendations for young children, KIBO is programmed to move using tangible programming blocks – no computer, tablet, or screen required.
Sullivan, A., Elkin, M., & Bers, M. U. (2015). KIBO Robot Demo: Engaging young children in programming and engineering. In Proceedings of the 14th International Conference on Interaction Design and Children (IDC '15). ACM, Boston, MA, USA.