A grinning caterpillar zooms around the table with blinking lights. Its bright purple eyes light up as it takes a moment to process the commands attached as various segments behind its head. Designed for preschoolers, Fisher-Price’s Code-a-Pillar is a caterpillar-shaped toy that comes with a motorized head and eight segments that can be strung in a sequence like a line of code to form the rest of its body. Each segment is code for the toy to go straight, turn left or right and stop to play a song for your child.
Code-A-Pillar is part of the Fisher-Price’s Think & Learn series that’s built to inspire critical thinking and problem solving skills in three to eight-year-old who could potentially be future coders. At a time when AI-heavy smart toys are flying off the shelves, the toy-maker seems to have hit the mark with its easy to use, code-teaching caterpillar. There are no screens and so, there’s no swiping involved. A simple start button tells the toy it’s time to play. The $50 toy will be available in June this year for parents who want to instill the basics of coding in their little ones.