By Reyne Rice, Toy Trend Expert, New York, New York USA
First posted on the YourToyCom.com blog forum and community website serving the toys, games and childrens’ technology industries, on behalf of the Spielwarenmesse. Spielwarenmesse is the leading and largest International ToyFair in the world, held annually in Nuremberg, Germany in early February.
A few months ago, I had the pleasure of escorting Mr. Ernst Kick, CEO of the Spielwarenmesse, to a number of key business appointments in the USA. One of our stops was at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Lab in Boston, Massachusetts. There we met with various team members, who updated us on the work they were doing to engage children in the education of science and technology. Some of their innovative programs were designed to teach children to build animations and other programs, using a simple block-like computer programming code, called Scratch.
It was fascinating to see the examples of how children were using and understanding this simple coding program and creating products that were then shared forward with other children. Over the years, the free software provided by the MIT Lab’s Scratch programs has engaged millions of children worldwide in learning about programming code, and exploring the applications with relevant and fun animations, games and stories.