About Lego WeDo 1.0
The original Lego WeDo launched in 2009, renamed Lego WeDo 1.0 after the new 2.0 kit was put on sale. It is being discontinued at the end of 2017. One of the main differences from the newer 2.0 is that this kit is connected to the computer by a wire (tethered) where as WeDo 2.0 is connected by a Bluetooth connection and is therefore ‘wireless’.
Still lots of fun, full of great activities and cool models to help you learn about programming and engineering. You may be able to pick one up second hand from Ebay but you will need to buy the software separately – and it only works on a laptop.
Lego produced an extension kit (see below) which added some quite challenging models but you will need to buy another software disc to access these instructions. A nice cheap addition are the twin LED lights from the power functions range which can be controlled using the WeDo software.
Unfortunately the wire going into the motor is not very strong so be careful not to pull it. Some people tape the wire to the side of the motor to stop it getting yanked. They can be mended using a soldering iron, a Youtube video shows you how, but they are only £6 from Lego.
I would still recommend this kit for younger children aged 5 years to 7 years before moving onto the WeDo 2.0. Overall the models are simpler, there are less pieces and the pictures are more child friendly. This kit still has a lot of fans so selling it shouldn’t be a problem.
Basic WeDo 1.0 kit – 9580
This is the basic kit which contains 158 pieces, including the electrical components. It includes all the pieces needed to build the 12 main Lego WeDo models found on the official software.
It does not contain the software required to control the motors and sensors, or the instructions to build the Lego models.
Cost – around £95 to £100 (price dropping in 2017)
LED lights 8870
From the power functions range. A fun and cheap addition to the basic kit.
Cost – about £6
(Best place to buy – official Lego shop)
WeDo 1.0 Programming Software
This is the software designed by Lego. Version 1.2 has the simple drag and drop programming format that is clear and instinctive. It is used to control the WeDo motors and sensors (and your computer’s built in sound sensor) as well as enabling the user to add sounds, backgrounds and text.
It is suitable for children aged 5 to 11+, however older children (12, 13, 14 years) really enjoy its simplicity and can create surprisingly complex algorithms with it.
Within the program are the building instructions for the 12 main Lego WeDo models. There are also 20 ‘Getting started’ activities which teach the user about engineering and programming.
If your child is under 8 years old, new to programming or lacks confidence in this area, the WeDo 1.0 software is recommended. It is so simple to use the children learn it quickly, feel confident and enjoy exploring its functions.
A good idea is to use the Lego software until your child is confident, and then progress to Scratch.
Cost around £60- £70 (price dropping in 2017)
(Check Ebay for used copies – they are quite rare. However, this means you should be able to sell yours fairly easily when you no longer need it.)
Free Scratch Programming Software
Scratch is a free downloadable programming format that can be connected to the Lego WeDo motors and sensors. It is more powerful than the Lego software, but is more complex. Many schools are now using it to teach programming – there are lots of activities and support online.
Scratch is suitable for confident upper key stage 2 children. Unfortunately, the instructions for the 12 main WeDo models are not integrated into this software however they can be downloaded from Lego as a PDF.
Lego WeDo Resource kit – 9585
This extension kit provides 326 extra pieces that are required to build another 8 more challenging Lego models. Aimed at children in Y4 and older. Great for extending competent and enthusiastic builders.
Cost around £50
Resource kit instructions disc
The instructions for the 6 additional models are supplied on a disc and must be purchased separately. However, 2 of the models on the disc are available to download from Lego along with 2 more that are not on the disc.
Cost – around £47