Digital literacy is quickly becoming crucial to a child’s learning, and even just a basic understanding of coding in today’s world can be a huge benefit. The good news is that with many fun toys and games based on coding fundamentals, it is easier than ever to teach your children code and programming essentials.
In this list, we will share with you 16 of the best coding toys for kids, focusing on toys that teach programming. From robot toys for 4-year-olds to coding kits for teenagers, all aim to teach kids digital skills in a fun and engaging way.
I have listed them roughly in age order to make it easier for you, starting with robot toys for toddlers. However, it is worth noting that many of the best STEM skills coding toys for kids use a variety of programming techniques, so while it may be listed as a toy for kids aged six and up . . . up goes a long way with these devices.
Looking for something for someone a little older? Check out the best robots for 10 year olds and up
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1. Colby Code & Go Robot Mouse Activity Set
Meet Colby, the Code & Go Robot Mouse is one of the best coding toys that lights up, makes sounds, and features colourful buttons to match coding cards. Colby turns coding for kids into a hands-on analogue activity, great for tactile and visual learners.
Your little ones can input up to 40 programmed coding commands to help their robot mouse activity set navigate obstacles through the 16 interlocking maze pieces introducing screen-free coding fundamentals in a fun way.
As kids learn to play with Colby, they build vital skills that include critical thinking, problem-solving, sequencing, and programming.Check price on Amazon
2. ALEX Toys Future Coders Robot Races Coding Skills Kit
OK, something a little bit different here; the Future Coders Robot Races Coding Skills Kit. The kit teaches kids early coding logic by asking them to dance, spin and jump their way to the finish line. It is a way of playing an active game while teaching early coding logic ideas.
The kit includes a play mat, 30 direction tiles, robot hat, googly eyes, 20 level cards, 44 stickers, a timer with a battery and instructions.Check price on Amazon
3. WowWee COJI The Coding Robot Toy
COJI is a fun preschool robot coding toy and one of the best robots for kids between four to seven. It teaches kids the basics of coding using familiar emojis to avoid complex concepts, reading tasks and can be enjoyed with or without the free app.
There are a range of different memory and problem-solving games that kids (and adults too if you like) can play with COJI that develop STEM skills from a very young age.
COJI also reacts to physical interactions such as tilting or shaking, so the fun doesn’t have to end when the kids have run out of screen time!
- Read more in our full WowWee Coji the Coding Robot Toy Review
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4. Root Robot – Learn to Code.
Use Root to make artwork, play music and create games—robotics for Kids & Adults. It is one of the best coding toys with various level-ups.
Designed with love from a team that worked at iRobot, Sonos, Apple, Google, Microsoft, MIT, and Harvard University, Root draws artwork, plays musical compositions, responds to touch. In addition, the Root Coding app includes integrated lessons, projects, and the ability to share what you code with other people from around the world.
Built with 3 levels of coding, Root makes it easy to start at any skill level using coding blocks for young kids. It does have a code a pillar challenge that teaches programming logic with resources code for advanced coders.
Level one is Easy to Code, built from the ground up to be approachable for beginners, even non-readers with a pure graphical touch-and-play interface to introduce coding fundamentals such as events, sequences, priorities, functions, loops, states, timing and program stepping.
Level two is Easy to Advance, which introduces variables, flow control, sensor values, units, operations and parallelism. The code converts between the levels, so you are never faced with starting at a blank screen, advancing to the next level for precision.
Finally, in level three, Reach Real Coding, here, kids can use drag-and-drop text blocks to manipulate the real languages and coding syntax of Swift.Check price on Amazon
5. Think Fun Robot Turtles STEM Toy and Coding Board Game for Preschoolers
Robot Turtles is one of ThinkFun’s best games for kids ages 4 and up. It was designed by programming expert Dan Shapiro and was the most-backed board game in Kickstarter history when first released.
Gameplay provides a stealth learning experience, where players learn programming basics principles in a fun, easy learning way. They do have coding blocks that are built on stem toys skills to learn coding basics.
Inspired by the Logo programming language, Robot Turtles lets Parents and children play together and write programs with playing cards.Check Price on Amazon
6. Botley the Coding Robot
Botley is probably the best educational robot for 5-year-olds and upwards, and there is a good reason it was a finalist in the Toy of the Year.
This little robot teaches your child to learn early STEM toys skills promoting critical thinking and problem-solving skills. He introduces kids to code with 40 coding cards, 6 double-sided tiles, 27 obstacle building pieces and a starter guide with coding challenges. This means that, unlike many other coding robots, Botley is completely screen-free, so you don’t have to worry about your little ones staring at more mobile device screens or tablets to enjoy this little bot.
Botley also features in: 23 of the best robot toys for kids
Oh, and one more bonus, Botley is ready right out of the box, no faffing around with software installations or downloading apps; insert the batteries, and you’re good to go!Check price on Amazon
7. Alilo Blocky programmable robot toy
It’s never too early to start developing children’s STEAM skills with visual learning early, especially when it also keeps them occupied for hours! Alilo is an all-in-one coding robot toy enabling kids to learn with interactive and intelligent robotic play, both with or without an app.
The included 25 programming graphics cards can be placed on the floor to allow Alilo to read and follow directions and hidden commands from invisible codes embedded in the graphics to give Alilo commands.
Alternatively, kids can use Alilo with an app to leverage SCRATCH Blocky Visual Drag and Drop Swift editor developed by MIT and Google to train children with executable coding and programming.Check price on Amazon
8. WowWee MiP STEM-Based Toy Robot
Perched atop dual wheels, this multifunctional and autonomous robot is more than just a kids robot toy. Equipped with GestureSense technology, any hand motion controls MiP or load up the free MiP App, and you can control with simple drag and drop commands.
This robot has an inquisitive personality and communicates through motion, sounds, and LED lights in his eyes and chest. It speaks the language of MiPish, a combination of MiP and gibberish. You can also feed it mood chips via the app to see just how whacky it can be.Check price on Amazon
9. Dash Coding Robot for Kids
Let me introduce Dash if you haven’t come across this little robot already. Dash is a coding robot for kids from 6 years and is already being used in over 20,000 classrooms to introduce kids to programming.
Dash responds to voice commands and sequences that can be programmed via the five free apps available to download, offering an open-ended learning platform for kids to grow.
What’s more, with Dash, you are also invited to join the Wonder League, a challenging community where kids can share ideas and collaborate. Also, Wonder Workshop regularly hold robotics competitions for kids leading to more opportunities to work together.
If you want to know more, be sure to check out our full Dash Robot Review.Check price on Amazon
10. Makeblock Codey Rocky Programmable Robot
Makeblock’s software, mBlock 5, is based on Scratch 3.0 from MIT, where kids can drag and drop blocks to begin programming. However, more advanced users may challenge themselves and switch to more advanced coding languages such as Python, one of the most widely used coding languages for AI and data analysis.
mBlock software supports and introduces AI functionalities, coding elements, stem skills including image and voice recognition and deep learning.
Codey Rocky is one of the best STEAM educational robots for kids.Check price on Amazon
11. Star Wars Droid Inventor Kit
How many boxes do you want ticked here? Coding . . . yes, robot droid . . . yes, Star Wars toy . . . yes, an opportunity to escape the rebel base . . . indeed!
Kids can learn their computer science skills using easy block-based coding to perform activities with many linked to the Star Wars franchise and R2-D2’s personality.
This programmable robot kit for beginners comes with the free Droid inventor app, including step-by-step instructions and video tutorials to guide kids through creating, customizing, and coding Droids, complete with 20 authentic droid sounds from the Star Wars films.Check price on Amazon
12. mBot Range Educational Programmable Robotic System Kit
The mBot ranger is one of four different programmable robots for kids that start from 8 years and up, with the most advanced starting from 12 and up.
The great thing about the set is that they are all cross-compatible, so if you start with the one aimed at the youngest kids, as they grow. Their skills improve, the kits are compatible with the mo15 of there advanced ones building up a collection of parts with the only limit of creation, their imagination.
The mBot series combines a powerful remote control board with mechanical elements and the mBlock Blockly app, which perfectly introduces coding for kids.
13. Code Rocket Coding Toy for Kids
Code Rocket is a beginner robotics kit that educators have designed for kids looking to get into coding. It is challenging without being frustrating, with an approach that focuses on experimentation and tinkering to learn.
The rocket is aimed at kids between the ages of 8 – 12 and will teach coding and problem-solving skills with so much fun hands-on activities and STEM toys learning through coding the Rocket’s LED lights, speaker, and buttons. There are 20 projects in the free online software that guide the learning process. No experience required!
If your kids are more into music than rockets, there are other coding toys for kids from the same company, such as this code piano, be sure to check the others out as well.
14. JIMU Robot Mythical Series: Unicornbot Kit
Ummm, it’s a robot unicorn with a flashing horn . . . I don’t think I need to say any more about how awesome this is—so moving on . . .
OK, just a little more.
The enchanted UnicornBot kit has everything needed to create a buildable, codable robot unicorn or go off the script and get creative with the 440 snap-together parts to create some other form of a horned beast.
The JIMU app has step-by-step instructions and introduces kids to the Blockly coding platform, drag-and-drop interlocking blocks of customizable sequences to make your robots navigate obstacles, pick-up objects, control light and sound effects, show emotions and more.
Did I say it was a robot unicorn?
15. Sphero SPRK+ STEAM Educational Robot
SPRK+ is Sphero’s complete educational robot designed to teach more than just programming by incorporating robotics and technology with collaborative STEAM activities, nurturing students’ imaginations in ways no other education program can.
SPRK+ stem coding toys teach coding skills with basic coding using board games for younger children. This is one of the best stem toys for a remote programmer to learn actual coding.
16. Ultimate Coding Kit for Kids
Finally, we hit the motherlode. When something is called the Ultimate Coding Kit for Kids, it’s got to be good, right? And this appears to be that.
With Let’s Start Coding, kids can learn real computer programming the fun way: hands-on! The kits include no-hassle electronic components that are simple to connect and allow the creation of dozens of real-world games, gadgets, and displays.
The package includes 14 step-by-step coding lessons to understand the basics of code over 90 different coding projects.
The Let’s Start Coding resources have been designed by educators and coders to teach the core concepts in a way that engages kids, challenges their minds, and introduces them to core coding concepts while they have fun!
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Things to consider before buying Best Coding Toys For Kids
If you are looking for the best coding toys for kids, then you will find that there is a lot to choose from in terms of technology and educational benefits. So much so, in fact, that it can be difficult to make a decision.
Since you want to get the best toy that will keep your child’s interest and give them a good foundation in technology, there are some things you need to consider before making your purchase.
One of the first things you should consider is the child’s age and skill level. If your children are younger, you want to get a toy that will be relatively easy for them. As they grow older, you can move toward more difficult or complex toys.
Learning should not be frustrating, so it is important to consider what your child will be able to accomplish with the toy before buying it.
Price is also something you should consider when purchasing a coding toy for your children. In this day and age, kids are used to having games and their own computer software that will give them hours of entertainment at a low price point. While learning toys should not be “cheap,” they should still be in a reasonable range for you and your family.
That said, many parents assume that because the toy is educational, therefore it must be cheap or even free! This is simply not true; no one expects textbooks from school to cost nothing. Coding toys may have been expensive in the past but they can now be had at a reasonable price.
Coding toys will teach your children a variety of languages, but it is important to consider which language you or your child speak so that the toy makes sense in its lessons.
Some coding lessons are in English while others use French, Spanish, German and other languages. If you speak one of these languages fluently, then there is no problem. However, if your child speaks only English, then they might do better with a different coding toy that uses English as well.
Functionality is another important feature to consider before buying a coding toy for your child. As you probably noticed, many of these toys are either tablets or smartphones that run on the Android operating system. This means that your children will be able to use them anywhere and play with them freely (with parental controls of course).
While these devices may seem like an excellent idea at first glance, they do have some drawbacks. One drawback is battery life; since most of these toys use rechargeable batteries that need to be changed frequently. Another issue is screen quality; while some screens work great others can be difficult to see and require kids to hold them at odd angles in order for the display to make sense.
Some coding toys do have a force coding kit or lego boost creative toolbox which is additional things from the brand.
All kids are rough on their toys, but this is especially true with children who like to drag around coding toys that they intend to use for learning. These devices can take a lot of abuse both inside and out, but they should still be made from high-quality materials in order to ensure long-term durability.
When you purchase your device, make sure that there is an option to return it if it arrives faulty or damaged during shipping. Most companies will offer this feature as part of trying to keep customer satisfaction high enough that people come back for more.
Many of these toys come with features that make them more interesting for kids. Many of them include several games that show children how to use the tools they learn about in real life. For example, coding games may allow your child to create their own game based on their personal interests.
Other devices will come ready to use with a connection to an online educational community where your child can interact with other smart young people around the world and share information at a moment’s notice. This allows kids who are using the same toy but live miles apart from one another to still be able to work together virtually while practising their coding and critical thinking skills.
A final thing to think about before making your purchase is connectivity. Most coding toys run on Android devices, but there are some that are not Bluetooth compatible. If your children want to use it with their existing device then you need to check the compatibility of the toy’s app before buying it.
With so many different brands and types of toys available for kids today, finding the perfect one can be overwhelming. The good news is that most coding toys offer a lot of features parents look for in educational entertainment products such as engaging graphics, decent sound quality, simple controls and voice prompts. As long as you follow these tips when choosing a toy for your child or children, you should be able to get yourself something they will love learning with.
Many coding toys are becoming more popular with children as they discover the fun of being able to learn complex information in an easy-to-understand manner. These toys are available in a wide range of prices, styles and functionality levels, so finding one that works for your child’s unique interests should not be difficult.
So there you go, that brings to an end this list of some of the best coding toys and robots available on Amazon. So what do you think? Do you have anything to add? An excellent recommendation to families? Let us know in the comments, and we’ll be sure to check it out and add it to the list.
Matt is the founder of the Little Robot Shop, who has spent much of the last decade hacking home cleaning with various robots and devices to make keeping his home clean as easy as possible. Not an easy task with two young children.
When not working on the Little Robot Shop website or YouTube channel, he works as technical support and product specialist for a fast-growing digital company. He does his best to get his younglings to code, which will be an essential skill in the future.