This week on Shark Tank, a group of former Google employees are going to try to convince the investors to throw them some cash to help their business. And once you hear all about it, you're probably going to want to know where to buy the Shark Tank Bitsbox for your kids. It's a pretty cool idea. Bitsbox works on a subscription model, so right now, the only place to sign up is on their website. The next box ships on Feb. 22, so don't sleep on ordering after you watch the show this weekend if you want one to occupy your kids throughout the rest of the winter months (and keep them coding all spring).
In case you missed it, each basic Bitsbox comes with a book of a few themed coding projects. Your kid picks one, and then hops onto the website to enter the code provided and create an app. Then there are prompts for the kid to go back and change the code to personalize their project. It's recommended for kids age 6-14 and is gender neutral (just like technology should be), so there's a wide range of children who might be interested. You don't have to have any experience to start, so no one should be intimidated about cracking the app codes. There are a few different options about what kinds of boxes you get on a monthly basis and that changes the cost.
The Basic box comes with a code project that get progressively harder each month and includes a cute binder for the coders to keep their stuff together. It costs $25 for a single box, but goes down to $22 if you sign up for three months, and just $19 if you sign up for a whole year. All of this can be purchased on the Bitsbox website!
There's also a Deluxe option that comes with more stuff: the app projects that "ramp up" every month, the binder, a bunch of stickers in case you want to reward your kid or start a chart to track progress, trading cards or a poster, that either offer "extra" challenge projects, or cool visuals about what's possible with code, a "mystery toy" that changes with the project themes each month, and temporary coding tattoos, because everyone loves a temporary tattoo. This option starts at $45 for one month, $40 for three, and $33 for a year. All shipping, by the way, is free.
If you aren't into adding more "stuff" to the pile of toys and school handouts on your kitchen table, there's also an online-only option (which might be better for older kids), where the projects arrive via a PDF in an email and kids are guided to the website to do the projects. That's $20 a month, no matter how long you sign up for.
If you don't think your child would be into it by themselves, there are also subscriptions for schools (and downloadable coding lesson plans, teachers!), so you can bring Bitsbox into your child's classroom.
I don't know about you, but I sort of want one for myself. If you've been thinking about seeing if your kid would be interested in coding and making their own apps that they can actually use, this seems like a decent place to start. If only for the temporary tattoos.