Over the past few months, we have been lucky enough to trial the Glow and Go Bot. This is a carefully considered robot, designed and developed by TTS who are educational specialists. The product innovation team at TTS have carefully considered all the elements and functions of the Glow and Go Bot to ensure that it provides babies and children with a good introduction to technology. Through the light, sound, texture and movement of the robot, the Glow and Go Bot supports babies through to pre-schoolers to develop a firm foundation of early technology skills. The resource encourages child-led learning to take place as it offers simple activities yet allows more complex scenarios, which means the children will have the confidence to be independent when exploring the robot’s functions. It is cross-curricular and supports a range of schematic behaviours. The light effects in a darkened room create a sensory, magical effect. It is an engaging, versatile robot offering a wealth of learning opportunities.
A charming, magical character, who merges awe and wonder with technology, as well as relating to children’s natural sense of curiosity. What will they discover as they explore the possibilities? What happens in the different modes? Will it go forwards, backwards, sideways or rotate? The children can speculate, test and evaluate how to get it to a specific destination or just explore freely. It is great for learning about stimulus-response and recognising that if a specific button is pressed, it will cause a reaction. This robot is pre Bee-Bot as the controls are so literal, merely press the arrow buttons to choose a direction. This is part of a technological journey where key skills are developed and foundations for understanding are laid down. It is developmentally aligned to young children’s needs, skills and interests. The children will play with the robot in many ways. Some will just enjoy pushing the buttons and seeing them light up, whilst others will plan amazing adventures.
If you are a teacher or practitioner and you use the Bee-Bots but notice that there are skills the children need to develop before using these, well here’s your answer. The Glow and Go bot has been designed to start children’s programming journey ahead of the Bee-Bot.
The Glow and Go Bots many amazing features
- It is good to go as soon as it’s out of the box
- Robust and rechargeable
- Illuminated movements
- Engaging and interactive
- Very clear controls
- There is more than one setting where you can remove the sound effects
- There are also different settings where you can choose a simple dance mode, or easy/difficult coding settings. The robot can carry out up to 10 commands
- The robot can move forwards, backwards, sideways and rotate. With helpful arrows on each button to help.
I have explored using this resource with my two children, Arlo (age 3) and Luca (age 4 ½ years), who are real-life examples of how this bot can be adapted at different early years developmental stages.
10 months +
- Children start to develop curiosity and understand the relationship between cause and effect. Glow and Go is the perfect learning resource to encourage little ones to sit up and lean forward to press the buttons. As the bot changes colour, plays music and dances it will capture their attention, encouraging them to move their body parts in different ways, whether it will be their little legs kicking out with excitement or a little shimmy when the bot plays a tune.
- Offers a multi-sensory experience, enabling them to immerse in exploratory play, exploring their sense of sight, touch and hearing.
Toddler (aged 2)
This is the stage my youngest child Arlo (3 years old) is at, and he has become more familiar with the bot’s functions and through trial and error has learnt that if you press the arrow 3 times, the bot will move 3 times in that direction. He has learnt to interact and become familiar with the different sequences and moves the Glow and Go Bot has to offer. Arlo has developed his enquiry skills, allowing him to manipulate and manoeuvre the bot to make a sequence of moves or noises.
Pre-school (aged 4)
My eldest child Luca (4 1/2 years old), through lots of exploration with the bot, has gained a deeper understanding of cause and effect through curiosity and enquiry, providing him with the fundamental programming skills needed to independently program the bot to carry out several directions, making it the prefect child-led toy. He is also able to mirror the actions the bot is making.
Luca now has a deeper understanding of how to use the arrows to change the direction of the robot and is beginning to estimate how many times he needs to press the arrow to get the robot to move in one direction to land on a specified destination or even manoeuvre around objects. Just being able to do this highlights that Luca has also been using and developing his mathematical skills, for example, estimating, using directional and positional language and even beginning to measure distance accurately.
As the child gets older and more knowledgeable and gets to know the bot and its functions, they will be able to extend the number of commands, or as another option, you can sequence 10 commands.
Over the past few months, I have noticed that this exposure and experience with the bot has provided even more learning opportunities for both of my children:
- Cognitive development (curiosity, enquiry, problem solving through cause and effect).
- Motor Skills- Gross motor skills when imitating the bots moves and dancing rhythmically. Fine motor skills when pressing the buttons.
- Social skills through collaborative play (e.g., taking turns).
- Communication and Language skills (listening to each other and carrying out actions given by each other when working as a team, new vocabulary related to commands and movements etc).
- Mathematical skills (distance, estimation, number, directional and positional language).
- Knowledge of the world around them when setting up small world scenes for the bot to explore.
- STEAM skills when using other resources to create small world scenes for the bot.
- Multi-sensory (tactile buttons, colourful lights, different sounds when buttons are pressed and movements).
My son’s school have been lucky enough to also trial the Glow and Go Bot and this is what they think:
“The children of Wallaby Class have LOVED using the Glow and Go Bot! All the children within our provision have autism and have really benefited from the robot’s multi-sensory nature – many of our younger children have been captivated by the lights and music! The different programmes have meant that children have been able to access different levels of challenge. It has been wonderful to see each child developing their understanding of cause and effect and starting to build early coding skills. Our older children have enjoyed making tracks and obstacle courses for the robot. We cannot wait to see how they use and make progress with the Glow and Go Bot moving forward!”
To conclude, my feedback is that the Glow and Go Bot really is the perfect piece of technology to grow with the child. Providing so many cross-curricular learning opportunities, it is ideal for both the home and school environment.
With many thanks to Molly Howard for sharing her thoughts and experiences with us.
For more information on Molly visit her via her Instagram page @ create_make_and_play