10 Great Coding Gifts For Tweens

Great coding gifts for tweens

The tweenage life is full of surprises and changes. It is the stage where kids become more responsible and aware of their identity and want. As a period of discovery, you would want your child or family member to make the most out of their time during this point in their life. If they are interested in stem toys or coding, then giving them a coding gift might just be the perfect jumpstart to push them to pursue the field.

Looking for the great coding gifts for tweens might be a hard task. Thankfully, we have compiled a list of products that will surely be worthy of your purchase. Follow this guide and your recipient will surely appreciate and love your effort.

You may also enjoy our look at coding games: 

*The product links in this post are affiliate links, which means that if you purchase after following one, I make a small commission from the sale at no additional cost to yourself. Please see our disclosure page for more information.

Top Picks

Sphero SPRK+ Robot Ball
Avengers Hero Kit
Computer Science Kit
Sphero SPRK+: App-Enabled Robot Ball with Programmable Sensors + LED Lights - STEM Educational Toy...
Avengers Hero Inventor Kit - Kids 8+ Build & Customize Electronic Super Hero Gear
Playz My First Coding & Computer Science Kit - Learn About Binary Codes, Encryption, Algorithms &...
Brand
Sphero
LittleBits
Playz
Material
Plastic
Plastic
Plastic
Ages
8 years and up
8 years and up
6 years and up
Department
Boys & Girls
Boys & Girls
Boys & Girls
Item weight
14.4 ounces
3.52 ounces
1.05 pounds
Dimensions
2.87 x 2.87 x 2.87 inches
16 x 5 x 12 inches
12.2 x 10.1 x 2.8 inches
App control
STEM toy
-
Sphero SPRK+ Robot Ball
Sphero SPRK+: App-Enabled Robot Ball with Programmable Sensors + LED Lights - STEM Educational Toy...
Brand
Sphero
Material
Plastic
Ages
8 years and up
Department
Boys & Girls
Item weight
14.4 ounces
Dimensions
2.87 x 2.87 x 2.87 inches
App control
STEM toy
-
Avengers Hero Kit
Avengers Hero Inventor Kit - Kids 8+ Build & Customize Electronic Super Hero Gear
Brand
LittleBits
Material
Plastic
Ages
8 years and up
Department
Boys & Girls
Item weight
3.52 ounces
Dimensions
16 x 5 x 12 inches
App control
STEM toy
Computer Science Kit
Playz My First Coding & Computer Science Kit - Learn About Binary Codes, Encryption, Algorithms &...
Brand
Playz
Material
Plastic
Ages
6 years and up
Department
Boys & Girls
Item weight
1.05 pounds
Dimensions
12.2 x 10.1 x 2.8 inches
App control
STEM toy

Last update on 2021-02-09 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Features to look for in gifts for tweens

Here are some features that you should consider before buying a coding gift. If possible, all of the features included in this list must be present as they add great value to the product.

Mother and her son playing with great coding gift

Computer programming

A coding gift must be capable of teaching the basic and advanced programming skills. Basic coding concepts must always be tackled such as problem-solving, basic calculations, logic-making, as well as brainstorming. If all of these tenets are touched, then the coding gift is a great one and you should consider buying it.

Multi-platform

Well-created coders are those that have support for multiple platforms. Some of these platforms include PC, smartphone app, or even tablets and separate screen interfaces. This will greatly widen the knowledge of the user in terms of other devices and will test proficiency in compatibilities.

Design

We all know that those ages 10 to 13 are very particular about the looks of their things. Thus, you must also consider the aesthetics and overall design of the product that you will buy. It is a good thing if the coding gift is educational and easy to the eyes since it will make the whole coding process easier. Furthermore, design can also refer to the internal system or architecture of the coding robot.

Optimization

When buying a coding robot, you need to make sure that it meets standards in terms of efficiency. The whole platform must be free of bugs or glitches that might ruin the user experience. Only go for products that are proven to be optimized and 100% working by other users as their reviews will help you gauge the general capabilities of the coder.

Product reviews 

1. Educational Insights Artie 3000 Coding Robot

Educational Insights Artie 3000 The Coding Robot: Drawing Robot for Homeschool & Classroom - STEM...

The Educational Insights Artie 3000 Coding Robot is a drawing robot that can be programmed to do specific shapes, lines, and curves. It has support for multiple languages, making it very suitable for kids of various ages. What I like about this robot is that it is very to use and there are levels of proficiency available.

If you like this, you may also like 3 more robots to draw with kids.

  • Wide programming language catalog. You can use JS, Blockly, Python, or Snap for the robot’s instructions.
  • Remote control. The device comes with physical remote control.
  • Visible results. Since Artie deals with drawings, the users can see the fruits of their efforts.
  • Compact coding robot. No parts and components need to be assembled so everything is in one place.
  • Problems in block coding. When longer codes are involved, dragging becomes a bit of a hassle.
  • Low enjoyment factor. Drawing coding gets repetitive in the long run.
Sale
Educational Insights Artie 3000 The Coding Robot
Educational Insights Artie 3000 The Coding Robot, Drawing Robot for Homeschool & Classroom - STEM Toy, Ages 7+, Beginners can start coding right away.

Last update on 2021-06-24 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

2. Playz My First Coding & Computer Science Kit

Playz My First Coding & Computer Science Kit - Learn About Binary Codes, Encryption, Algorithms &...

The Playz My First Coding & Computer Science Kit is a coding educational tool that can function without a physical computer. It uses a puzzle-based system to help kids learn the basic skills needed to code. It has tons of games that are available suitable for kids aged 6 up to 12.

  • Different games to choose from. A user can do binary necklaces, encryption tools, and sorting races with the kit.
  • Informative visuals. The manual is very easy to understand and follow.
  • Credible company. Playz has been a part of the educational toys industry for a long time, and they have a great track record.
  • Collaborative playing. A user can invite others to use the tool with them as it has multiplayer games.
  • Limited tech capabilities. No computer interface so there are lesser applications in ICT.
  • Not for small kids. Some parts such as tweezers are hard for small kids to use.
Sale
Playz My First Coding & Computer Science Kit
Playz My First Coding & Computer Science Kit - Learn About Binary Codes, Encryption, Algorithms & Pixelation Through Fun Puzzling Activities Without Using a Computer for Boys, Girls, Teenagers, Kids.

Last update on 2021-06-17 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

3. Avengers Hero Inventor Kit

Avengers Hero Inventor Kit - Kids 8+ Build & Customize Electronic Super Hero Gear

The Avengers Hero Inventor Kit is an educational toy based on the popular superhero comics by Marvel. This is a gauntlet-based gear in which kids will be able to code the gauntlet for more than 10 sound effects and battle cry. It comes with different colors and modules that can be customized, as well as an app with block-based coding capabilities.

  • Block-based logical coding. In block-based coding, programs are easy to follow thanks to the logical flow.
  • Personalized gear. Tweens can personalize their gauntlet according to their chosen sounds and gestures.
  • Popular trend. Marvel Avengers is a popular franchise, and this can be a good avenue to invite them to code.
  • Teaches about circuitries. The kit can also be used to introduce fundamental electrical engineering concepts.
  • Bluetooth connectivity. There are reports of the Bluetooth interface not connecting properly.
  • Bugs and glitches. Software and hardware parts can get unresponsive.
Avengers Hero Inventor Kit
Avengers Hero Inventor Kit - Kids 8+ Build & Customize Electronic Super Hero Gear, Unlock hours and hours of STEAM learning with over 18 activities for Super hero kids to build, play and code.

Last update on 2021-02-12 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

4. Sphero SPRK+ Robot Ball Coding Gift

Sphero SPRK+: App-Enabled Robot Ball with Programmable Sensors + LED Lights - STEM Educational Toy...

Ever wanted to give your child or family member their own personal BB8? Then the Sphero SPRK+ Robot Ball Coding Gift might be perfect for you! It is an advanced robot ball complete with customizable sensors that can be used for navigation and movement. Coding of the device is also possible, thanks to the JavaScript language embedded in it. The Sphero can house some amazing STEM applications and activities that will surely get the user interested in the field.

The Spehero SPRK+ is widely considered one of the best coding toys around. For more information, check out our post where we compare Sphero to a simlar product from Ozobot.

  • Native application. You can use the Sphero app to discover famous projects or even access the robot at the comfort of your phone.
  • Great sensors. The device is equipped with IR, a gyroscope, accelerometer, and encoders for movement.
  • 3-way coding. Language assembly can be done in the app, Scratch, or even JavaScript.
  • Durable material. The robot is housed by a scratch and water-resistant shell for protection.
  • Problems with the iOS connection. Some users reported unresponsiveness with Apple devices.
  • App glitches. Sphero app can be a bit hard to manipulate.
Sphero SPRK+ Robot Ball with Sensors
Sphero SPRK+, App-Enabled Robot Ball with Programmable Sensors + LED Lights - STEM Educational Toy for Kids - Learn JavaScript, Easily learn programming, complete hands-on activities, and share your creations with the community.

Last update on 2021-02-09 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

5. Boolean Box Build a Computer Science Kit for Tweens

Boolean Box Build a Computer Science Kit for Kids | Includes Electronics, Coding, Animation and...

The Boolean Box Build a Computer Science Kit is a powerful educational toy that combines both the concepts of basic electronics and programming. It features several input and output devices as well as a Raspberry Pi processor. By combining the contents of the kit, kids will be able to create different games, animate events, and even make stories on the DIY computer. Great for developing those critical thinking skills.

  • Introduces Block Coding. The Boolean Box is controlled through a graphical language.
  • Teaches electronics. Breadboard and connecting wires are necessary, thus, some electronics are involved.
  • Advanced scripts. It also has compatibility with Python.
  • Meets international standards. The electrical requirements of the Science kit are compliant with most guidelines.
  • Gender-specific. The device is advertised as for girls only.
  • Display settings. The HDMI to display port can be hard to set up.
Boolean Box Build a Computer Science Kit
Boolean Box Build a Computer Science Kit for Kids - Includes Electronics, Coding, Animation and Lessons in Scratch, Minecraft, Python, Ages 8 and Up.

Last update on 2021-06-17 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

6. Piper Computer Kit

Piper Computer Kit: Award-Winning Build-A-Computer Age 8+ STEAM Learning, with Raspberry Pi, Google...

The Piper Computer Kit is a critically acclaimed DIY PC suitable for kids aged 8 onwards. It runs through Raspberry Pi, and users can code, create, and design their own games in it. The building process of the PC is also presented as a story mode, helping it to be a very engaging learning material for young learners.

  • Graphical coding. It runs through the Blockly platform which is a good entry-level language.
  • 9-inch screen. It has its own user interface ready to be used by a child.
  • Compact and mobile. The device is fairly small and you can bring it almost everywhere.
  • Speaker and sounds. Instructions are available in the English language thanks to the built-in sound module.
  • Challenging to get started. Many things need to be done before the first operation.
  • Not for those who easily get bored. It needs to be constantly reviewed and learned.
Piper Computer Kit: Award-Winning
Piper Computer Kit, Award-Winning Build-A-Computer Age 8+ STEAM Learning, with Raspberry Pi, Google Blockly, StoryMode, Games, Python, and Amazing Projects!

Last update on 2021-06-17 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

7. The Thames & Kosmos Kids First Coding & Robotics

Thames & Kosmos Kids First Coding & Robotics | No App Needed | Grades K-2 | Intro to Sequences,...

The Thames & Kosmos Kids First Coding & Robotics is a set of tools designed to introduce kids to basic programming language. This includes loops, conditions, events, and even sequences. The toy has gained many awards over the years due to the benefits and foundational coding concepts that it brings to the users.

  • No app needed. The device does not need electricity to function.
  • Story mode. Activities are presented as missions with a plot, making it very interesting.
  • Coding lessons. Dozens of lessons are available to teach young learners the basics of coding.
  • Certified. International bodies have certified this tool as effective for kids.
  • Limited technology. It does not have cross-platform capabilities such as on PC or smartphones.
  • User needs to be interested. Those that are not curious about coding will most likely drop usage of the toy quickly.
Sale
Kids First Coding & Robotics
Kids First Coding & Robotics, No App Needed, Grades K-2, Intro To Sequences, Loops, Functions, Conditions, Events, Algorithms, Variables, Parents’ Choice Gold Award Winner, by Thames & Kosmos.

Last update on 2021-02-12 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

8. Kano Computer Kit

Kano Computer Kit – A Computer Anyone Can Make

The Kano Computer Kit is a DIY PC that can be built by kids and tweens. It is run by Raspberry Pi, LED lights, and a power button for operation. It also has an input device in the form of a touchpad and mouse. The PC allows kids to create games and do activities, or even modify their Minecraft games.

  • Fun assembly. The whole process is DIY, and the instructions are very clear.
  • Block-based coding. The product introduces easy graphical coding.
  • Play games. It can also run Minecraft, Pong, and Snake.
  • Actual computer. The Kano can run various programs such as Youtube, Mail, and Paint.
  • Customer support. There are reports of zero refunds or replacements when the device is unresponsive.
  • Problems with TV connection. Wiring the HDMI to a display can be a bit annoying.
Kano Computer Kit – A Computer Anyone Can Make
  • Build your own computer. Comes with step-by-step book, Raspberry Pi 3, programmable LED lights, DIY case, power button, wireless keyboard with track pad, memory, HDMI and power cables, stickers, Kano...
  • New - learn to code with 100's of creative challenges and stories , Voltage - 5 volts

Last update on 2021-06-17 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

9. Wonder Workshop Dash

Wonder Workshop - Dash Robot Coding for Kids 6+ - Dash Challenge Cards & Catapult Launcher - (Amazon...

The Wonder Workshop Dash is a fun and interactive robot that can navigate objects, follow commands, and trigger events. The robot can be coded using the Blockly app for customization. The best part about this robot is that you can install or snap LEGO blocks for full customization!

Read our full overview in our Dash Robot review.

  • Multiple apps for control. You can access the robot through Wonder, Blockly, Go, and Path apps. They each have their own uses.
  • Compatible with many phones. Most Samsung and Apple devices can function with it.
  • Teaches advanced coding. Blockly can help a child learn about core programming concepts.
  • Great community. The app can also be a platform where you discover other projects that you can use.
  • Updating problems. There are some issues regarding firmware improvements.
  • Bluetooth connection. Sometimes, the BLE module does not connect.
Wonder Workshop - Dash Robot Coding for Kids
Wonder Workshop - Dash Robot Coding for Kids 6+ - Dash Challenge Cards & Catapult Launcher - Amazon Exclusive, Dash Robot voice commands and explore loops, events, conditions, and sequences.

Last update on 2021-06-04 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

10. Intelino J-1 Smart Train Starter Set

intelino J-1 Smart Train Starter Set - Works Screen-Free and App-Connected - Robot Toy Train That...

The Intelino J-1 Smart Train Starter Set is a cool-looking, train-based robot that has multiple engines, wagons, tracks, snaps, and decals included in it. Movement can be manipulated through a Blockly platform, and this helps in customizing the robot. Not only that, but the device is also highly interactive and intelligent.

  • Direct usage. The train can be used out of the package.
  • Programmable sensors. This helps in the robot’s ability to gain information about the world around it.
  • Magnet coupling. Wagons attach with the use of magnets.
  • Battery capacity. It has 100 minutes of run time.
  • Limited coding. Most movement instructions only consist of speed, stop, reverse, and go.
  • Automatic junction turning. It goes to places it shouldn’t go when auto-mode is on.
intelino J-1 Smart Train Starter Set
intelino J-1 Smart Train Starter Set, Works Screen-Free and App-Connected, Robot Toy Train That Teaches Coding Through Play, Wooden Train Set Compatible, Ages 3+.

Last update on 2021-06-17 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Buyer Guide & FAQs

The gift that you should buy should add value to the life of the receiver. It must either give them happiness or make their life better in the long run. In this part, durability also comes in, as well as the build of the robot.

Another thing that you should look for in a robot gift is usability. You would not want to purchase something that will be unused and just left to rot. As much as possible, get a robot that they can benefit from regularly. This will also help them remember you every time that they use the item.

Happy children building coding robots at robotics school

Different types of coding robot and coding toys

Different robots have different purposes. Some belong in manufacturing, and some are built for enjoyment. Let us look at some types of robot gifts that can surely be enjoyed.

Coding Toys

These kits are meant for enjoyment, and they usually involve a physical object that represents something. They can take the form of robotic balls, dogs, trains, or even humanoids. The coding part of toys is mainly concerned with specifying movements and gestures. Thus, it involves the manipulation of locomotive behaviors as well as the data gathering of sensors while utilizing coding basics.

DIY PC

DIY PCs are build-it-yourself computers that are composed of a chip, i/o device, as well as a case. The programming or coding part of these materials mainly tackle software and platforms that are inside the computer. They can also be a good introduction to electronics and electrical systems.

Key points for consideration before buying?

Two boys assembling their great coding gifts robots

Build quality

When choosing a gift for tweens, you must also consider build quality. This refers to the materials that are used in the creation of the coder, and longevity and durability deeply rely on this factor.

Complexity

Coding gifts for tweens should have a fair amount of complexity so that they are inspired to take up the challenge. If a coding gift is too easy, they might easily get bored and drop the material. If your tween has not had too much experience, look for something that aims to introduce programming with progressive levels such as a robotics kit. 

Repurposing

A product having multiple functions and capabilities is a must since you can still use it after you have mastered the basics of coding.

Coding Skills Improvement

Every coding tool must be able to introduce basic concepts of programming, add valuable skills in coding, and improve problem-solving capabilities.

FAQs

How do I get into coding without experience?

Coding toys or materials are great ways to start coding! This can help introduce core concepts and skills that are necessary.

What is the right age to start coding?

There is no specific right age. However, it is always better to start early so that the skills can be polished later.

How do beginners practice coding?

Beginners can practice coding with the use of graphical languages such as Blockly as they are easier to grasp.

Do I need internet for these toys?

No, the internet is not a necessity. However, it is highly recommended to have one since some features can only be accessed with an internet connection.

Are coding gifts expensive?

No. They are very affordable and there are many great gifts in the $100 to $200 range.

Final Thoughts

Coding gifts are perfect for tweens since they will help them get acquainted with possible hobbies or even careers in the future. As someone with a background in Electronics, I prefer the Piper Computer Kit since it is a stand-alone DIY computer with a screen. However, every other product presented in this article is great, and they will surely be appreciated by the receiver.

What do you think about this list? Did you like it? Comment your reactions below!

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About the Author: Matt Hulland