This Robotic Puzzle Game Teaches Kids Basic Coding Skills

ActivePuzzle
ActivePuzzle

Kids don't need to look at a screen to learn the basics of STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math). A new electronic puzzle kit raising money on Kickstarter encourages kids to use their hands as well as their brains to put together robots that complete various tasks.

The game, called ActivePuzzle, utilizes the classic jigsaw puzzle pieces many kids already know. In this case, the slots and tabs that hold the parts together double as input and output channels.

Each piece serves a different function. One block stores the battery and supplies the robot with power; another holds a proximity sensor that allows it to "see" and follow objects in front of it. With up to 22 different blocks, ActivePuzzle is multiple robot toys in one, including a maze runner, a street light, a wake-up alarm, and a spinning dancer. (See it in action in the video below.)

Even though ActivePuzzle doesn't use computer screens, it's meant to act as a child's introduction to coding. The intuitive game teaches players concepts like sequencing, programming, and problem-solving—basics that are essential to people working in STEM fields.

Since the launch of its crowdfunding campaign on February 27, ActivePuzzle has already exceeded its initial goal and raised more than $24,000. Backers have until March 28 to reserve a kit of their own. A pledge of $78 gets you 16 puzzle pieces, while a $122 pledge gets you 22 pieces.

Buy it on Kickstarter.

Take Advantage of Amazon's Early Black Friday Deals on Tech, Kitchen Appliances, and More

Amazon
Amazon

This article contains affiliate links to products selected by our editors. Mental Floss may receive a commission for purchases made through these links.

Even though Black Friday is still a few days away, Amazon is offering early deals on kitchen appliances, tech, video games, and plenty more. We will keep updating this page as sales come in, but for now, here are the best Amazon Black Friday sales to check out.

Kitchen

Instant Pot/Amazon

- Instant Pot Duo Plus 9-in-115 Quart Electric Pressure Cooker; $90 (save $40) 

- Le Creuset Enameled Cast Iron Signature Sauteuse 3.5 Quarts; $180 (save $120)

- KitchenAid KSMSFTA Sifter with Scale Attachment; $95 (save $75) 

- Keurig K-Mini Coffee Maker; $60 (save $20)

- Cuisinart Bread Maker; $88 (save $97)

- Anova Culinary Sous Vide Precision Cooker; $139 (save $60)

- Aicook Juicer Machine; $35 (save $15)

- JoyJolt Double Wall Insulated Espresso Mugs - Set of Two; $14 (save $10) 

- Longzon Silicone Stretch Lids - Set of 14; $13 (save $14)

HadinEEon Milk Frother; $37 (save $33)

Home Appliances

Roomba/Amazon

- iRobot Roomba 675 Robot Vacuum with Wi-Fi Connectivity; $179 (save $101)

- Fairywill Electric Toothbrush with Four Brush Heads; $19 (save $9)

- ASAKUKI 500ml Premium Essential Oil Diffuser; $22 (save $4)

- Facebook Portal Smart Video Calling 10 inch Touch Screen Display with Alexa; $129 (save $50)

- Bissell air320 Smart Air Purifier with HEPA and Carbon Filters; $280 (save $50)

Oscillating Quiet Cooling Fan Tower; $59 (save $31) 

TaoTronics PTC 1500W Fast Quiet Heating Ceramic Tower; $55 (save $10)

Vitamix 068051 FoodCycler 2 Liter Capacity; $300 (save $100)

AmazonBasics 8-Sheet Home Office Shredder; $33 (save $7)

Ring Video Doorbell; $70 (save $30) 

Video games

Nintendo

- Legend of Zelda Link's Awakening for Nintendo Switch; $40 (save $20)

- Marvel's Spider-Man: Game of The Year Edition for PlayStation 4; $20 (save $20)

- Marvel's Avengers; $27 (save $33)

- Minecraft Dungeons Hero Edition for Nintendo Switch; $20 (save $10)

- The Last of Us Part II for PlayStation 4; $30 (save $30)

- LEGO Harry Potter: Collection; $15 (save $15)

- Ghost of Tsushima; $40 (save $20)

BioShock: The Collection; $20 (save $30)

The Sims 4; $20 (save $20)

God of War for PlayStation 4; $10 (save $10)

Days Gone for PlayStation 4; $20 (save $6)

Luigi's Mansion 3 for Nintendo Switch; $40 (save $20)

Computers and tablets

Microsoft/Amazon

- Apple MacBook Air 13 inches with 256 GB; $899 (save $100)

- New Apple MacBook Pro 16 inches with 512 GB; $2149 (save $250) 

- Samsung Chromebook 4 Chrome OS 11.6 inches with 32 GB; $210 (save $20) 

- Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 with 13.5 inch Touch-Screen; $1200 (save $400)

- Lenovo ThinkPad T490 Laptop; $889 (save $111)

- Amazon Fire HD 10 Tablet (64GB); $120 (save $70)

- Amazon Fire HD 10 Kids Edition Tablet (32 GB); $130 (save $70)

- Samsung Galaxy Tab A 8 inches with 32 GB; $100 (save $50)

Apple iPad Mini (64 GB); $379 (save $20)

- Apple iMac 27 inches with 256 GB; $1649 (save $150)

- Vankyo MatrixPad S2 Tablet; $120 (save $10)

Tech, gadgets, and TVs

Apple/Amazon

- Apple Watch Series 3 with GPS; $179 (save $20) 

- SAMSUNG 75-inch Class Crystal 4K Smart TV; $998 (save $200)

- Apple AirPods Pro; $199 (save $50)

- Nixplay 2K Smart Digital Picture Frame 9.7 Inch Silver; $238 (save $92)

- All-New Amazon Echo Dot with Clock and Alexa (4th Gen); $39 (save $21)

- MACTREM LED Ring Light 6" with Tripod Stand; $16 (save $3)

- Anker Soundcore Upgraded Bluetooth Speaker; $22 (save $8)

- Amazon Fire TV Stick with Alexa Voice Remote; $28 (save $12)

Canon EOS M50 Mirrorless Camera with EF-M 15-45mm Lens; $549 (save $100)

DR. J Professional HI-04 Mini Projector; $93 (save $37)

Sign Up Today: Get exclusive deals, product news, reviews, and more with the Mental Floss Smart Shopping newsletter!

Get Early Access to Black Friday Savings On Rosetta Stone

Rosetta Stone
Rosetta Stone

This article contains affiliate links to products selected by our editors. Mental Floss may receive a commission for purchases made through these links. If you haven't received your voucher or have a question about your order, contact the Mental Floss shop here.

For anyone looking to learn a new language, you can grab The Social Distancing Lifetime Subscription Bundle, which features the award-winning Rosetta Stone program, for just $170 by using the code GETSOCIAL10. This adds up to a 77-percent discount from its original price.

The bundle includes a lifetime subscription to Rosetta Stone, the 12-Minute Premium Micro Book Library, and KeepSolid VPN. Each tool is perfect for solo learning with the safety to access the apps anywhere.

Anywhere is great because you’ll want to be traveling everywhere after you start learning any of the 24 languages offered in the Rosetta Stone lifetime subscription. And while travel may have to wait during social distancing efforts, you’ll get a taste of a new culture while you immerse yourself in the local languages. After all, The Wall Street Journal called Rosetta Stone, “the next best thing to living in a country.”

When you are ready to travel, you’ll be grateful to yourself for securing a KeepSolid VPN subscription that can protect your data on any public Wi-Fi, lift any speed or bandwidth limits, and access over 300 servers in 80 countries with military-grade encryption. It comes with tons of other features that helped it secure its Top VPN ranking with PC Mag.

As if learning a new language and planning your travels across the globe weren’t enough to keep you busy, the Social Distancing Lifetime Subscription Bundle also includes the 12-Minute Premium Micro Book Library, which hosts hundreds of books in microformats for you to read or listen to whenever you want to take in a little extra knowledge or entertainment.

You can get the packed Social Distancing Lifetime Subscription Bundle right now during this early Black Friday sale. And with the coupon code GETSOCIAL10, you'll get an additional 10 percent off, bringing the total down to just $170.

Prices subject to change.

Sign Up Today: Get exclusive deals, product news, reviews, and more with the Mental Floss Smart Shopping newsletter!