The c-Jump Computer Programming board game embodies the two principles mentioned above. It is a game suitable for 2 to 4 players. It is recommended for children above 11 years of age although I suspect even those a couple of years younger may take a liking to it.
The game comprises a board with images of a ski-slope, a die and pawns in 4 colours, one for each player. The objective of the game is to roll the die and move as many paces as the number on the face of the die. The player who reaches the bottom of the slope first wins.
What makes this game a food educational toy is the fact that the “ski slope” on the board is littered with programming commands from computer languages like C++ and Java. By following the commands, a player can potentially reach the bottom of the slope faster. Along the way, the children learn basic programming concepts like loops, if then, else conditions, variables and so on.
Of course, they also learn concepts like addition and subtraction, and experience the pleasure of winning and the pain of losing. As parents, if you get to play along with the kids, use the opportunity to teach them to face the ups and downs of life with equanimity.
The c-Jump Computer Programming board game is priced at $25 and is available at ThinkGeek – although it is presently out of stock.