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Coding Farmers

Lower Age: 7+
Price: $16.99
Year Added: 2017

Coding Farmers is a board game for children ages seven and up where farmers race each other on programmable tractors to be the first one to reach the barn. The game includes a Game Board, 60 Action Cards (with instructions in English and Java code), 60 Code Cards (with instructions in Java code only), six Rule Cards, a die, and four tractor tokens. In the provided manual, children can find directions for four different modes of play. However, they are also encouraged to work collaboratively and use creative thinking and design skills to make their own rules. The manual also introduces the set of criteria, or rules of movement, that govern the different areas of the Game Board. Players must find ways to overcome obstacles, such as rocks, windmills, and bridges. Otherwise, their farmer may not be successful and reach the barn first! Players always start their turn with the number of Cards greater than or equal to two. They must make an observation of their token’s position on the Game Board, test the solution each card gives them (sometimes a card’s criteria yields no movement), and use evidence-based reasoning to pick a card to proceed with. Critical thinking and decision making skills are necessary in order to decide between multiple options for moving their tractor and to understand which move will bring them closer to the barn. The manual also offers a “Brief Introduction to Programming Concepts,” where, with parental guidance, children can learn about variable assignments, logical operations, loops, and other essential computer science and Java programming concepts. Children will also encounter various obstacles (rocks, streams, etc) to overcome in order to be successful in the game.


Engineering thinking and design practices the gift encourages children to do or learn about: Make observations, idea generation, plan a solution, create a prototype or process,  recognize patterns, communicate their solution, optimize their solution, apply mathematics, logical thinking


Engineering text or context explicitly provided by the gift: Constraints


Additional practices and skills needed by engineers that were addressed by the gift: Coding, computational thinking, critical thinking, programming, logical thinking



Overall ratings:

  • Children Reviews
    • Rating: 4.33 out of 5.0
    • Feedback:
      • “Once we figured the game out it was really fun! I like how it taught you how a computer would word it.” F, 11
      • “The girls are competitive so this board game is fun!” F, 7 & F, 9
  • Parents Reviews
    • Rating: 4.25 out of 5.0
    • Feedback:
      • “I love that you can play it with multiple ages/levels because of the different levels of cards.” parent of 9- and 11-year-old
  • Engineering & STEM Experts Reviews
    • Rating: 4.33 out of 5.0
    • Feedback:
      • “This gift brings a lot of critical thinking and logical reasoning. It is more geared towards programming, but definitely is applicable to the mindset of budding engineers. The game is very adaptable to accommodate all skill levels. The game's movement mechanic allows the child to truly consider the best routes to success. It's simple rules make it easy to learn but extremely engaging. From young children to college students, this is a perfect game to engage the minds of engineers and programmers alike.”
      • “Coding Farmers allows children to get a feel for coding logic and thinking through an interactive game where players must race to the barn.  The user must utilize their decision making and critical thinking skills to decide between 2 different game moves and understand which move will bring them closer to the end goal.  while playing, children will also encounter obstacles they must overcome in order to be successful (ex. rocks, streams, etc.)”
      • “The players must plan their moves ahead in order to win. They have to realize the optimal moves in order to avoid hazards. I think it gives a great fundamental syntax of the language.“
      • “This game helps teach the basics of Java coding. The game makes you decide on and think about risk/reward situations. It promotes strategy and refines math skills.”