Code Like Kids

Looking for a fun, unique learning and development opportunity which builds team morale
and provides an engaging staff experience?

Or perhaps you want to increase your company’s community engagement, but aren’t sure where to start?

Code Like Kids may be the answer!

(PLUS, you will also be helping Digital Xtra Fund inspire more young people with tech…)

Digital Xtra Fund is the leading Scottish charity supporting extracurricular tech activities for young people which develop skills such as coding, robotics, games development, cyber, and data science. We believe every young person should have access to fun, meaningful activities regardless of their gender, background, or where they live as well as an understanding of the opportunities these skills provide.

Digital Xtra Fund also encourages industry to engage with their local tech clubs to help provide context and guidance for young people. However, feedback shows that while many staff are keen to engage, they are also anxious doing so being unfamiliar with tools such as block coding or popular equipment such as micro:bits, Sphero indis, Marty the Robot, or LEGO robotics.

In response, Digital Xtra Fund has created Code Like Kids – a learning and development opportunity which builds teamwork, creativity, and problem-solving skills while also reducing anxiety around volunteering. Staff will participate in fun, play-based activities with some of the most popular coding devices used by young people while exploring how these platforms relate to the ‘real world’.

Code Like Kids can be enjoyed by individuals and teams of any type from marketing & sales to back-end developers. This is because participants require no previous experience with coding or with any of the devices – it’s all about having fun and learning something new.

Code Like Kids consists of the following four modules:

Sphero indi

Device: Sphero indi educational robots are fun and engaging little cars used to introduce computational thinking to younger children and explore coding concepts such as loops and testing. These dynamic devices provide an unplugged coding experience meaning it teaches concepts without using screens for writing code. Sphero indis are primarily designed for early learners (Nursery to P3 or 3+), however, resources and lesson plans are available to tailor activities for older pupils. Otherwise, the very popular Sphero BOLT or more advanced Sphero RVR+ is more suitable for older learners (ages 8+).

Activity Description: In this module, participants will be introduced to programming using Sphero indi which is coded by driving over different coloured mats on the floor. Each colour results in a different result! Working in teams, participants will help indi navigate through a series of challenges by breaking down each one into a series of smaller tasks. Participants will develop their problem solving, analytical, and testing skills as they build up to the final surprise challenge. Participants will also get to try the Sphero Edu Junior app to to change the lights, sounds, and movement settings of the robots. It’s amazing how much fun can be packed into such a little car! 

Duration and group size: Approximately 1 hour working in groups of 2-3 

Set up: Some desk work followed by activities on a large, flat surface (i.e. very large table or available floor space )

DXF - Indi edited

BBC micro:bits

Device: The BBC micro:bit is the epitome of “big things come in small packages”. BBC micro:bits are inexpensive, pocket-sized computers which can be used to easily demonstrate how software and hardware work together. It has an LED light display, two buttons, and many input/output features. It can be used to sense, measure, and log light, temperature, sound, movement, or magnetism and can easily be coded in Microsoft MakeCode. They are suitable for primary-aged pupils (P3 and above, ages 7+) but can be extended to secondary-aged pupils (and beyond) using Python or JavaScript. There are also many, many accessories and add-ons available.

Activity Description: Participants will work in teams or individually to create their own ‘Rock, Paper, Scissor’ game before competing to determine who is the ultimate ‘Rock, Paper, Scissor’ Master. They will learn about block coding (Scratch) and see how software and hardware can work together. They will also learn about variables and discuss how to improve the game’s UX (user experience) all while developing skills such as computational thinking, problem-solving, and resilience (an important skill in many roles!). And for those feeling extra confident – why not take it to the next level with a game of ‘Rock, Paper, Scissors, Lizard, Spock’…

Duration and group size: Approximately 1-1.5 hours working in groups of 1-2 

Set up: Cabaret or horseshoe-style setup to better facilitate interaction amongst learners. Power sources for laptops may also be required.

DXF - Microbit cropped

LEGO Education SPIKE Prime

Device: What do you get when you mix the top selling toy in the world with coding? Anything you can imagine. LEGO Education SPIKE Prime combines colourful LEGO building elements with engineering, robotics, and programming and is suitable for upper primary and secondary pupils (P5+, ages 10+). Alternatively, LEGO Education SPIKE Essential has more of a focus on story-telling as well as engineering and is more suitable for lower primary (P3-P5, ages 6+), and LEGO Education Coding Express sets are suitable for even younger learners (ELC-P2, ages 2+) utilising screenless coding. 

Activity Description: This module is the ultimate teamwork test. Participants will each adopt roles within their team (i.e. Team Leader, Builder, Coder) mirroring how teams work in ‘real life’ before working together using SPIKE Prime to assemble and code a robotic arm. They will then test their build through various dexterity challenges. Fun for LEGO fans or complete newbies, this module will develop leadership, teamwork, and problem-solving skills as well as participants’ ability to follow directions while building their devices because, as any experienced LEGO builder will tell you, there is nothing worse than getting to the last step only to realise you’ve incorrectly placed a brick back in step 4…

Duration and group size: Approximately 1-1.5 hours working in groups of 2-3 

Set up: Cabaret or horseshoe-style setup to facilitate interaction amongst learners. Power sources for laptops may also be required.

DXF- LEGO brick

Marty the Robot 

Device: Marty the Robot is a programmable humanoid robot with lots of character. Marty is equipped with several separate motors meaning he can walk, dance, kick a football, and even eyebrow-wiggle. It is a Scottish invention (Robotical Ltd) which has been designed to create a learning journey from unplugged activities to engage early years, block coding for primary and early-secondary aged pupils, to text-based programming using Python for secondary pupils and beyond. 

Activity Description: This module introduces Marty’s unplugged and sequencer modes, followed by a summary of MartyBlocks Jr (Scratch Jr), before quickly moving onto MartyBlocks (Scratch). Then, using Digital Xtra Fund’s five robots – Marty McFly, Doc Brown, Marlene, Marty Jr, and Martina – teams will use their collective imaginations to plan a workout or dance routine using as much movement and personality as possible! With nine servo motors to allow movement (three in each leg, one for each arm, and one to move the eyes), the sky’s the limit. Each team will then show off what they’ve learned with bonus points for the most creative and fun routines!

Duration and group size: Approximately 1 hour working in groups of 2-3 

Set up: Cabaret or horseshoe-style setup to facilitate interaction amongst learners. Power sources for laptops may also be required.

DXF - Marty cropped

We offer a half-day session (approximately 4 hours) which includes all four Code Like Kids modules or individual sessions which can be delivered separately and includes one module of your choice (approximately 1-1.5 hours each):


  • Half-day session includes all 4 modules: minimum £2,500 donation to Digital Xtra Fund (max 15 persons)
  • Individual session includes 1 module of your choice: minimum £750 donation to Digital Xtra Fund per session (max 15 persons)

In addition, all companies or organisations who participate in Code Like Kids will be recognised as a Supporter on our Partners And Supporters page as a thank you for their donation.

Book your session today!

Please get in touch to discuss options for delivering your Code Like Kids learning and development session as spaces are limited. You can contact the team via email and include “Code Like Kids” in the subject line or reach out to us on Twitter.

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