Try Before You Buy: Bitsbox
Target Market: Children 6 – 12
Price – $20 – $40
Rating: 4/5 –multiple price points, educational, fun, great gift
Looking for a gift idea for a child? The Bitsbox may be your answer. This box brings hours of enjoyment for kids who love technology and being creative. The company boasts 500,000 kids have built apps on their website with subscribers in over 50 countries. There is also an educator box, which includes subscriptions for a classroom.
Check out the full review below.
Bitsbox is a subscription box for children age 6 – 12, which teaches coding. Featuring three monthly price points, the box contains all the materials needed for children to create apps online and play on their tablets. Bitsbox selects themes that are gender neutral and also accepts user-submitted theme suggestions for consideration.
Standard Bitsboxes will include a book, stickers, poster, tattoos, trading cards and a mystery toy with a theme. The sample theme for our box was animals. It arrived quickly with all the pieces described including a balloon animal set as the mystery toy.
Additional Items Needed
A computer with a web browser (Google Chrome works recommended). There are no downloads – it’s all within the website. Games can be played on tablets once created.
The box is colorful and the contents were very pleasing. My seven year old daughter quickly followed the instructions and was able to access the website with no trouble. She worked through the demo and started coding within minutes by following along with the book. It was very easy to understand and she needed no parental involvement.
The website is very simple and works well on an older machine. It was very easy to download the QR code to put the apps that were created on her tablet as well. She enjoyed the fun of learning to code and how easy it was to change monkey to parrot if she wanted to spice up the apps. Additionally, it was very easy for her to understand without my help so non-tech families shouldn’t be afraid.
This box contains a lot of educational components. Obviously, learning to code at a young age is great. This alone is extremely valuable. Additionally, coding teaches problem solving skills. There was multiple occasions where my daughter typed a code incorrectly, missing a letter or comma. When this happens, the code will not work so she must double-check her work to discover the error. This skill will be useful as she progresses through school.
“At Bitsbox we love to emphasize the fact that our team is made up of moms and dads themselves, and this spirit guides the startup in all of its endeavors,” said Michael Harris, PR Representative for Bitsbox. “As parents, the Bitsbox team created the company not simply to teach their kids how to code, but to provide all children with the opportunity to have fun as they do something creative and engaging. In fact, Bitsbox CEO Scott Lininger came up with the idea of Bitsbox after trying to teach his own daughter how to code.”
The box provides sample apps for the children to create, but the creativity can flow once they understand the basics of coding. The large posters is filled with numerous “stamps” that can be insert into any app so instead of having a funky monkey dancing, you can make it a dancing cow, chicken, duck or any other of the long list of items. Additionally, if you don’t find the stamp you’re looking for, you can email Bitsbox to see if they’ll create one just for you.
“Coding is for everyone,” said Alexandra Ostler, Director of Revenue for Bitsbox. “Whether you want to be a fireman, a fairy princess or a doctor, you can code. Technology is pervasive in our modern life and Bitsbox aims to empower the next generation to flex their creativity with these modern tools.”
Bitsbox subscriptions start at just $20 for a digital copy of the PDF book to create new apps, $25 for just the book and $30 – $40 (depending on your subscription) for the box like I received. Each month will feature a different theme for the box and new apps for the kids to create. Additionally, there is an educator kit for teachers to use in the classroom.
Overall, I think Bitsbox is great for kids. It teaches great skills for children to learn and presented in a very easy to follow format. I love there are multiple price points to fit in any budget from just the PDF to the full box.
Would I Buy It For My Child?
Absolutely! There’s a lot of valuable learning here from coding to problem solving.
Would I Buy It As A Gift?
Absolutely! You could even arrange with the parents to have the first box shipped before an event (birthday / Christmas / Easter) and then wrap that box. Then the kids will be delighted when the next box arrives quickly.
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Product Review by Hayley Lynn Martin for Pennsylvania Bridges