We are here with a selection of the best programmable robotics toys for kids.
Since there are so many STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math) and coding toys on the market these days, it can be difficult to figure out the best one which will be worth your money and will provide the maximum learning and a joyful experience to your kid.
Table of Contents
- 1 Best Christmas Deals in Programmable robot for kids
- 2 Best robotic kits and coding robots for children at a glance:
- 3 Lego WeDo 2.0 – Designed for the classroom but ideal for home
- 4 Code and Go Robot Mouse Activity Set – Screen free coding robot
- 5 Jimu Robot UnicornBot by UbTech – Powerful programmable robot
- 6 Lego Mindstorms Robot Inventor – A robot building kit
- 7 Dash by WonderWorkshop – Child’s first real robot friend
- 8 Makeblock mBot – The educational robotics kit to learn Arduino
- 9 Lego Boost, fun and educational robot
- 10 Code Kit by LittleBits – To learn coding and electronics playing
- 11 Edison – STEM and educational robot for everyone
- 12 Makey Makey – An invention kit for everyone
Best Christmas Deals in Programmable robot for kids
★ Osmo Coding kit (music creation, coding & problem solving) | Price on Amazon
★ Botzees Augmented Reality Robotic Building and Coding Kit | Price on Amazon
★ UBTECH Mythical Series: Unicornbot Kit-App-Enabled Building & Coding Stem Learning Kit | Price on Amazon
★ Sphero RVR: All-Terrain Programmable Robot with Customizable Hardware Platform | Price on Amazon
★ Thames & Kosmos Kids First Coding & Robotics | No App Needed | Grades K-2 | Price on Amazon
★ Learning Resources Code & Go for less than ¢20 | Price on Amazon
★ Learning Resources Botley coding robot | Price on Amazon
★ Kano computer DIY Kit New Edition | Price on Amazon
★ UBTECH JIMU Robot Builderbots Series: Overdrive Kit / App-Enabled Building and Coding (You save 30%) | Price on Amazon
You will find ideas for everyone in your family, from toddlers to teens; toys that empower boys and girls and teach coding and STEAM principles while they play.
Best robotic kits and coding robots for children at a glance:
- Best Screen-free Coding robot: Code and Go Robot Mouse Activity Set
- Best robotics kit for Lego fans 10 and up: Lego Mindstorms EV3
- Best Arduino starter robotics set: Makeblock mBot
- Best robotics kit for homeschool: Code Kit by LittleBits
- The funniest robotics kit: Lego Boost
Lego WeDo 2.0 is designed for the classroom, but it works great with motivated parents and children. Kids from either homeschooling or non-homeschooling families would love to play and learn just for fun.
Lego WeDo is compatible with all the Lego bricks you have around home. Children first build, motorize and put sensors on a model. The second part is the programming. As your kid moves forward you can get much more out of the projects. Lego WeDo introduces kids to computational thinking and engineering principles in a fun and engaging way. Of course, you can buy the essential robotics set if you homeschool your child.
Recommended age: 7 to 10 years.
‘Code and Go Robot Mouse’ by Learning Resources is an awesome first programming robot for children. Code & Go is ready to go out of the box and can be started in just 2 minutes (requires 3 AAA batteries, not included with the set).
Inside the box, there is a blue mouse coding robot, 16 grid pieces, 22 maze walls, 3 tunnel pieces, 30 double-sided coding cards, 10 double-sided maze activity cards, a plastic wedge of “cheese” and an activity guide.
This is a great toy designed to give your kid an introduction to robotics and programming without screens. It is not necessary to have a tablet or mobile to play with it (as it is with Botley or Cubetto Play Set). And the price in Amazon is under $40.
Recommended age: 5 to 9 years old.
Some people compare Jimu Robots with Lego Mindstorms EV3, although they are different proposals. UbTech are the creators of some amazing programmable robots, the Star Wars First Order Stormtrooper robot and Alpha PRO, a spectacular humanoid robot that has 16 servos.
Jimu Robot Mythical Series UnicornBot which has 2 servos, shares Alpha’s wide possibilities of programming (the Blockly programming interface makes it easy and fun to learn to code, works via Bluetooth). You can program your Unicornbot’s special color sensor using eight magical color cards.
After assembling the predesigned character piece by piece, following the 3-D building instructions on the app, you can start playing with the pre-programmed movements or you can try to create your own set of movements.
Recommended age: 8+ years.
Lego Mindstorms Robot Inventor is the most popular programmable robot building kit for kids ages 10 and up. Mindstorms Robot Inventor set is the perfect gift for your children to motivate them to learn the basics in programming, mechanics, and robotics. This set is compatible with normal Lego and Lego Technic parts.
This kit includes almost 1,000 Lego pieces, the intelligent brick, 4 Medium Motors, Color Sensor and Distance Sensor. The hub brick is a programmable intelligent brick that functions as the heart of the robot and the various sensors and motors. You can build many different things such as autonomous robots, remote-controlled vehicles, or create robots with precise functions. The robot inventor app includes 50 activities that bring your creations to life.
It’s not the cheapest robotics kit in the market but this set is a great investment for every family with a child into robotics. This is an amazing set combining creativity and technology with endless possibilities.
Recommended age: 10+ years.
Dash is a great quality programmable robot for curious minds, for a wide range of ages. It’s a wonderful introduction to robotics/programming and STEM activities. Kids can give Dash Robot voice commands and explore loops, events, conditions, and sequences with the included Dash Challenge Cards. It is controlled by Bluetooth via mobile or kids’ tablet and there are 5 free apps for endless hours of fun (for iOS and Android).
With Dash, your children can have entertainment for those rainy, snow or summer days. It is used in more than 20,000 schools as a powerful educational component.
Dash robot is perfect for use in a classroom or at home with family and friends, letting kids work solo or come together for group coding projects. This is compatible with Lego bricks and Swift Playgrounds from Apple (to program and control it).
Basic Dash kit includes the robot, Dash Challenge Cards, a catapult Launcher kit, and a power adapter. You can extend the possibilities even further with the Sketch kit, Building block connectors, and many more accessories from Wonder Workshop. Dash is fun for everyone!
Recommended age: 6 to 12 years.
Other Wonder Workshop coding robots are:
- Cue (for older siblings)
- Dot Creativity Set (for tighter budgets). A perfect set to share with Dash.
Makeblock mBot is an educational robotics kit for your child to learn how to program and practice with electronics. The board is based on Arduino UNO. Like with all robotic kits, playing has two parts:
- Robot assembling (includes instructions with very simple drawings to follow).
- Coding and playing the proposed challenges.
Makeblock mBot is aimed for children from 8/10 years and is a robotic toy ideal for maker children. Kids love it because there are lots of add-ons and expansions sets. mBot can be controlled with a smartphone, tablet or a computer via Bluetooth. We know a lot of adults who like this kit as a starter Arduino set.
Lego Boost is a fun and creative robot kit that teaches kids how to bring blocks to life with programming. With Lego Boost kit, children can move their building blocks thanks to the motors and sensors included in the set. This is a great set for teaching kids about building robots.
Kids from 7 to 12 years can build and also learn to program. This is a great set that combines building and programming with endless fun for all the family!
LittleBits are the Lego of electronics, they use small magnetic pieces (does not require welding!) to make prototypes and systems. With LittleBits kids will create home-made circuits that will then help the child build their first robot, household sensor or electronic toy.
Littlebits Code Kit provides an introductory experience to coding in the classroom, homeschool or with motivated kids at home by engaging kids through an activity they love: making and playing games.
The Code App works on Chrome, Mac, and Windows computers, and it is free to download. Many of the materials are aimed at teachers, but there are more than 100 activities and 10 lessons that children can follow themselves.
It’s easy to learn, even with no prior knowledge or experience in electronics or coding. The LittleBits Code Kit combines electronic building blocks with approachable drag-and-drop Google Blockly programming, providing a foundation of coding as a creative tool that can empower real-world inventions.
Recommended age: 8+ years.
Looking at the photo you may not see anything special, but it is definitely worth to try this out. Edison can detect and dodge obstacles, it moves with the sound of a clap, traces lines following its path and communicates with other Edison robots. In addition, it is very resistant, and it can even withstand a vehicle running it over (which is not an activity we would recommend, but it’s a good measure of resilience).
Edison is a very versatile little robot, and it can be programmed in different environments and levels according to the child’s age: you can begin interacting with it via a remote control, then code it in a Scratch-like environment and try a special version of the Python programming language. It is compatible with Lego, so you could use it as an engine for your Lego creations. You can get all this for less than $60.
Recommended Age: 4+ years
Makey Makey is an exceptional creative piece of kit. You can create a dance mat out of cardboard, the greatest banana piano, a giant controller to play with a video game or cardboard drums. It also a good entry point to programming with Scratch. It is a creative kit for inventions and allows making the leap from programming to tangible objects.
Makey Makey is an easy and fun way to break the wall between tangible games and screens. Best suited for kids older than 6 years, but even the 3-year-old kids will love Makey Makey! It’s so much fun, the only limit is your imagination.
Recommended age: 6+ years.
This article has been updated November 2020.
Do you need more ideas: check our Gift Guide.
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