This New Harry Potter Coding Kit Lets Kids Build and Use Their Own Magic Wand

On first glance, Kano's new Harry Potter coding kit seems pretty fantastic.

Parents and educators across the country are working hard to get kids excited about learning science, technology, engineering and math. An industry of STEM toys, everything from build-it-yourself robots to engineering Barbie dolls, has sprung up to capitalize on this trend. And now, one of the biggest names in children’s entertainment is teaming up with one of our favorite coding toy makers: Harry Potter and Kano. The Harry Potter Kano Coding Kit, which was announced today, allows little tinkerers to build a working wand and conjure up some STEM skills in the process. Accio, good grades!

The kit tasks kids with assembling the various components of their very own wand that looks straight out of Olivanders. Said kit contains a gyroscope, accelerometer, and magnetometer that snap into the base of the wand and allow a tablet or computer to track its movements in tridimensional space. The kit also contains a programmable light and rumble pack.

Once they build the wand, kids can fire up a customized smart device app from Kano and begin working their way through 70 app-based challenges. The challenges, all of which require the kids to do coding to enable the wand with its “magic skill” take place across six settings from the Harry Potter universe, including Hogsmeade, Dragon Alley and the Forbidden Forest.

The challenges teach the fundamentals of coding using a block-based interface, as many coding toys do, but it also lets kids see their code written out in an all-text format. A JavaScript inspector helps kids identify bugs in the same way professional programmers do.

Best of all, the kit also includes a poster diagramming gestures kids can make with the wand that correspond to spells like Incendio, Stupefy, and Wingardium Leviosa. Kids can upload their code to Kano World, an online community of user-generated creations where they can also download creations made by other kids.

The Harry Potter Kano Coding Kit goes on sale October 1 and will retail for $99. You can pre-order it now.

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