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Discovery Kit Guides

Descriptions and resources for available kits to check out through PPLD

About This Kit

This activity set provides a fun and interactive introduction to coding concepts, as Colby, the programmable mouse, races through a maze to find the cheese. Using an activity card, kids build a maze out of plastic grid pieces, wall, and tunnels (the cheese is the prize at the end!). Next, they use coding cards (with directional symbols) to plan a step-by-step path through the maze. Finally, they program the sequence of steps into the robot mouse, and then watch Colby race toward the cheese!

Kids can follow the mazes presented on the activity cards, or build their own maze!

Recommended for ages 5+






How to Check Out This Kit

Discovery Kits can be reserved in the catalog for pickup at any PPLD location. They check out for seven days but can be renewed as long as there are no holds.

Due to the size of the kits, all Discovery Kits must be returned to library staff at the main desk during regular business hours. Please do not return this item to a book drop.

Learning Outcomes

Playing and experimenting with the Code& Go Robot Mouse Activity Set will encourage users to do the following:

  • Learn about basic coding and programming skills in a fun and engaging way;
  • Build problem-solving and critical thinking skills
  • Explore design skills
  • Learn about cause and effect and if-then logic
  • Build awareness of spatial concepts and calculating distances


Getting Started

First, unpack the pieces. Start by taking a close look at the mouse. Identify the color and function of each of the mouse's buttons (these are listed in the "Basic Operation" section of the Activity Guide). The "Power/Speed" button is on the bottom of the mouse. The rest of the buttons are on Colby's back:

  • FORWARD: For each forward step, Colby moves forward a set amount (5")
  • REVERSE: For each reverse step, Colby moves backward a set amount (5")
  • ROTATE RIGHT: For each rotate right step, Colby rotates to the right 90 degrees
  • ROTATE LEFT: For each rotate left step, Colby rotates to the left 90 degrees
  • ACTION: For each action step, Colby will perform one of three random actions (move forward and back, squeak, or chip/light eyes)
  • GO: Press to execute your programmed sequence (up to 40 steps)
  • CLEAR: To clear all programmed steps, press and hold until you hear a confirmation noise

Reinforce that green button means go- it tells the mouse to perform an action.

Set the mouse on the floor or a table, Let the child try moving the mouse forward by pushing the blue arrow once (FORWARD) and the the green button. Explain that the mouse moves forward in the direction its nose is pointing. Let the child explore the other directional arrows, one at a time.

Remember to press and hold the yellow button to clear the mouse's memory after each command. While practicing this new skill, children need to see each command in isolation. Pressing CLEAR before entering new steps will ensure the mouse moves exactly as programmed.

  • Set up a maze and complete a programming sequence as follows:
  • Snap together the maze pieces to form a 4 x 4 grid
  • Select the first activity card; position the mouse, cheese, and maze walls as shown
  • Help the child count the number of spaces between the mousse and cheese
  • Lay out coding cards. Explain that these cards help map the mouse's path. Work together to find the correct cards (two forward) and place them side by side.
  • Ask the child to program the mouse to reach the cheese (does the child tap forward twice?)

If the child easily grasps this child (correctly programs the mouse to match the coding string), try adding 1-2 more spaces between the mouse and cheese, placing additional maze walls on the grid, or integrating a turn for the mouse to make before reaching the cheese. Multi-step sequences can be very difficult for young learners to remember, although the coding cards help. Begin with short series of moves, before gradually adding in turns and building different maze configurations. Most of all, keep it fun!