A Survey of Computational Toys and Kits for Young Children

This study presents a survey of computational toys and kits that enable young children (ages 7 years old and under) to explore computational ideas and practices. We examined physical, virtual, and hybrid kits across four different perspectives: how they are designed, how they support children to explore computational concepts and practices, how they enable children to engage in a range of projects and activities, and how they support transdisciplinary learning. Based on our analysis, we present design suggestions and opportunities to expand the possibilities in how children can engage in computing, what kinds of projects children can make, and what computational ideas and new domains of knowledge children can explore. This survey reveals the commonalities across existing kits and highlights ways for designers and researchers to expand the possibilities for children to create, explore, and play with computing.

  • Members: Junnan Yu, Ricarose Roque
  • Keywords: Computational thinking, early childhood, toys & kits
  • Publications:
    Yu, J. & Roque, R. (2018) A survey of computational toys and kits for young children. Proceedings of the Interaction Design and Children (IDC) conference. Trondheim, Norway. (Student Best Paper Award) (PDF)

    Yu, J. & Roque, R. (2019) A Review of Computational Toys and Kits for Young Children. International Journal of Child Computer Interaction.