When we start talking about coding and programming, there is a wide variety of options out there for older kids and tweens to start developing the foundation for necessary STEM skills. But now, thanks to Fisher-Price, we’re seeing that world open up for a younger segment of learners: preschoolers.

Fisher-Price’s Think & Learn Code-A-Pillar is a great introductory coding toy to teach kids all about critical thinking skills at a young age. Preschoolers can arrange Code-A-Pillar’s segments in different combinations to send it on new paths. The segments are big and chunky, so they’re perfect for little hands, and they’re easy to connect, so playtime will remain all about fun, rather than frustration. Each segment features a different command, allowing the Code-A-Pillar to move forward left, right, and even pause for a couple seconds before moving again.


Kids can freely connect the segments so that their Code-A-Pillar can travel any which way, or they can use the two included targets for more of a challenge. Kids can set up the targets somewhere in the room and then use trial and error to move the Code-A-Pillar to the targets. This will teach kids problem-solving skills that will later help in their development. It also gives them an introduction to the concepts of sequencing and experimentation, and it allows them to correct their own mistakes, teaching them that failure is not indeed the end of the world—or the end of the caterpillar’s path.

By connecting the pieces together, kids are learning those all-important STEM skills that are becoming necessary for success in today’s jobs. Learning how connecting the segments in different ways teaches sequencing, while sending a Code-A-Pillar off to reach the targets is programming. They’re also developing large and fine motor skills with each wiggle from the caterpillar.

Plus, each of the eight included segments light up, and the motorized head segment has lights, sounds, and blinking eyes. All of these fun sensory features keep kids engaged as they program their new friend. Additional segment add-ons are also available, but sold separately.