Bitsbox is a subscription service that teaches grade-school children (ages 6-12) how to code apps! Isn't that amazing? I am well on my way to raising my two boys to be complete nerds, and this subscription may be the key piece to the puzzle.
My Subscription Addiction paid for this box. (Check out our review process post to learn more about how we review boxes.)
This review is of the Bitsbox Deluxe, $44.95 a month, box.
The Subscription Box: Bitsbox
The Cost: There are 3 options. Digital Book is $19.95/month, Bitsbox Basic is $24.95/month with free shipping, and Bitsbox Deluxe is $44.95 + free shipping
The Products: All subscription types come with an online account for kids to create their apps. All subscriptions come with a book of projects, although the digital book option is a download. The Original Bitsbox also comes with toys and swag that support the little coder lifestyle.
Ships to: Worldwide
Good to Know: If you have multiple grade school children in your household, they can each set up an online account for free for working on their apps. There's no need to purchase multiple subscriptions!
Also Good to Know: You need a computer for your kids to work on; Bitsbox's interface won't work on a tablet or phone yet.
Keep Track of Your Subscriptions: Add this box to your subscription list or wishlist!
This is a new and hopefully permanent feature, the parents' guide!
Inside, it explains the concepts that the kids are learning with that month's projects. This is fantastic information!
Here are the oversized cards. This month's theme is "A Land Far Away!"
Here's a look at a couple of the cards. I like that each project seems to have a whole card dedicated to it, whereas in the old book each project might only have one page. That leaves room for more tips and tricks. Every project contains the code for the kids to copy to make their app work. Additionally, there are snippets of info such as "What's a Flag?" that help explain what the child has just copied, plus little challenges to see if the child understands the code well enough to alter the app a little. This technique works really, really well!
This month we received two toys. The first is this slingshot pencil. I don't really approve of this kind of toy, I feel like it's designed to cause trouble. I also don't know what it has to do with the theme.
Our other toy is this wooden snake. My kids are a little old for this, too, to be honest.
Bitsbox also includes stickers, temporary tattoos, and trading cards as a regular inclusion in every box. The trading cards have additional little apps that the kids can code. In previous reviews, I have seen people comment that the physical box is not worth the additional $20, which is a totally fair opinion to have. I just wanted to mention, though, that most of the value for us, personally, lies in the trading cards! They have tons of little apps and tips on them.
When the kids log in to their home screen, this is their "tablet" where they can see all the apps they have built. They can also go back into them and edit at any time.
This is the coding interface the kids use. Obviously, the graphics and sounds are already there for the kids to use, but they are writing real, honest-to-goodness code! Bitsbox makes it a really fun experience.
Now onto the apps! Feel free to click the links and actually see the apps in action! (They will run in your browser, no download required.)
My nine-year-old made this app which I find completely hilarious! It's the classic kiss-the-frog scenario, but it doesn't always work out just right.
He also made this app that lets you direct your dragon and his giant trail of fire all over your screen. It's kind of mesmerizing!
My ten-year-old made this app, which is pretty silly, but still funny. You wave a magic wand and turn a pumpkin into a boot full of kitty!
He also made this app which is really cool. He always tries to do at least one app that's a "stretch" challenge for him, and this month it's a race to catch the cookie snitch! And not accidentally catch a vampire bat!
Verdict: Bitsbox has become one of our favorite boxes! This month they toys were kind of a bust for us, but that's really the first time we have had that problem. The apps are funny and engaging, and they're not hard at all. I'm still astounded that they actually teach the kids how to code! It's a great value since both kids can share one box with separate accounts online for working. It's one of the rare boxes that last the kids all month because they can keep returning to it whenever they like to try new projects - and they do! We are huge fans!
Have your kids tried Bitsbox? What do you think?