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Apple adds coding, robotics sessions to its Summer Camp lineup

Registration opens today for Apple's 2016 Summer Camp program, where kids will be able to make movies, create stories and play around with Sphero, the adorable rolling robot.

Apple Summer Camp participants also get cool shirts.

Apple has roped in charming programmable robot Sphero and the folks at coding course provider Tynker to build new coding and robotics sessions for its 2016 Summer Camp.

Registration opened on Tuesday for the free camps, set to take place in the US, the UK, China and Canada in July. The tech titan has offered the program for several years now, running the camps in its stores using Apple-built hardware and software.

The new coding and robotics camps will run alongside the two existing options in which children are invited to use iMovies and iBooks Author for filmmaking and interactive storytelling.

At WWDC, its developers conference held earlier this month, Apple released a new coding tutorial app for iPad called Swift Playground. It teaches basic coding using Apple's own Swift programming language, but it will not be used in the Summer Camp program.

Swift Playgrounds was designed for children ages 12 and up, said an Apple spokeswoman, whereas the Summer Camps are designed for kiddiwinks aged 8 to 12.

Each camp involves three 90-minute sessions spread over three days. On the first two days children work on their projects and on the final day they come together, along with their parents, to present their finished work. Children will be supplied with iPad Pros and Apple Pencils while they work on their projects.

Apple is also formalising sessions aimed at parents for the first time this year. They will be able to either learn what their kids are learning in order to understand what they are up to, or enjoy sessions on managing multi-device setups and sharing within the home.