Sphero Mini is a kids toy with a difference! Available from John Lewis for £79.99
Here at What Mobile, we have reviewed a number of the range from Sphero such as The Sphero Mini Soccer & Sphero Bolt. This latest review is covering the Sphero mini activity kit. We have actually reviewed the mini on its only before and this time we are given the activity kit. The activity kit costs £79.99 via John Lewis.
The Sphero Mini can be controlled via two different apps the Sphero Play which is designed to just allow a child to play with the Sphero right from the get-go. The other app is the Sphero Edu which is the educational side that teaches your child to learn basic coding. In this review, I had my 5-year-old niece using both apps.
Inside the box you have the following accessories:
- 1 x Sphero Mini Robot
- 1 x Sphero Mini silicone cover
- 10 x construction set walls
- 4 x construction set curves
- 14 x construction set posts
- 3 x cones
- 6 x pins (skittles)
- 15 x activity cards
- 1 x USB charging cable
Once you have given the Sphero Mini a full charge which takes an hour to do so. Make sure you remove the plastic shell and plug the Mini in. When the battery flashes blue it’s on charge and when the Mini goes a solid Green it’s ready to be used.
Like all the other Sphero devices to control this device via your mobile phone once you download the app, it will allow you to connect to the Sphero Mini via Bluetooth but you will need to put your phone close to the Sphero for the connection. You can use a Sphero on both IOS & Android so it will work on most phones and tablets.
The Activity Kit really takes using the Sphero Mini to the next level. You are given 15 activity cards to allow you to get to grips with the device and learn new challenges as the cards show different types of obstacle courses allowing for the child to learn logic and how to guide the Sphero Mini through different levels of difficulty when creating mazes from the various training cards that go from beginner to advanced.
Once you have set up an obstacle you need to navigate and the way to do that is the use of the apps. First up is the Sphero play app this app has preset controls on how to move the Mini via the following options:
- Scream Drive
- Block Mode
I found my niece preferred to use the Joystick and she was quite good at using it.
We also tested the Kick mode which was a little more difficult and this resulted in nearly losing the Sphero Mini under the sofa as it will just fly off really quickly. The block mode allows for basic coding and allows you to set up a series of instructions to allow a sequence of moves (up to 16 moves per sequence) which is great when you have set up the obstacle course and want to use coding to plan every move. You can even change the colour of the Mini in the sequence.
The Sphero App also has a number of games and all three allow you to use the joystick to play the games via your mobile phone.
Overall, The Sphero Mini is a great toy that has kept my kids and my sisters kids entertained for hours such as creating obstacle course to even creating your very own bowling lane and using the kick function on the Sphero play app which can be used by any member of the family as its very easy to use.
The Sphero Edu app allows for more of an educational and fun approach to learning and performs both functions seamlessly. The Edu app provides you with plenty of challenges to work through and develop your learning of basic coding. I found all the accessories you are given to design courses to be a great addition to create some great obstacle courses. What’s even better is the 15 activity cards to allow you to set up courses to move the Mini through via the apps.
My only negative on this product is a mistake I feel they have done is on the packaging it says kids 3 and above could use this. Am a father and I can tell you I do not want my 3-year-old playing with the activity kit with as they will put the smaller parts in their mouth. My advice is kids 5+ and as my niece is 5 years old I thought she was the youngest I would want to use the Mini and the activity kit and most importantly my mobile phone to control the Sphero Mini.
So for learning basic coding for anyone 5+ the Sphero Mini Activity kit turns learning into fun and even taught me a thing or 2 about basic coding.