Coding has become an elementary component in everyone’s life. From tech companies to industrial sectors, coding has become predominant in any field. Giving your kids a hint of coding and what it can achieve from an early age is absolutely critical.
Below we will discuss the things to consider when choosing the best coding toy for your kids and the best ones on the market today.
Things to Consider
The first and foremost factor to consider is the child’s age. If your kid is between 3-6 years of age, coding kits with blunt edges, big buttons, and just the fundamentals of coding should be enough. As they start to age, the toys get boring and you should consider replacing them with other more challenging coding toys such as customizable robots.
As your kid ages, their brains start decrypting more difficult and complex things. You, finding it easy to do 8th-grade math in your senior year, advocate that. The difficulty level of the toys is determined by their complexity and the age group they focus on.
Coding toys are great for introducing your kids to the world of logic and algorithms. It’s not always necessary for your kid to learn coding to play with these toys. The robot toys that are made for children between the age of 3-9 years are focused on visual learning rather than traditional coding. They make use of block coding, that is easy to learn and keeps the children engaged.
For pre-teens and teenagers, sensors play a major role. Motors, a number of sensors, and the programmability of such sensors are major determinants for engagement. Although most of the toys mentioned here are programmable through Scratch, Python may also be required for the sensors to work efficiently.
You don’t need hundreds of dollars to introduce your kids to nooks and crannies of coding. We’ve enlisted coding toys that are suitable for every budget. However, with great functionality comes great pricing.
Best Coding Toys for Kids
We’ve carefully chosen 6 toys that are perfect for the age group mentioned. Without further ado, let’s get going.
LittleBits is a STEM kit architecture based on little magnetically connected devices termed Bits. Instead of a particular component like a diode or resistor, each Bit symbolizes a function—say, an input switch or a photodetector. Output, input, logic, and power are all color-coded to signify their function.
Difficulty: Moderately difficult
- Easy to use even without a coding background.
- Makes coding fun and is designed to make cool things out of it.
- Can be integrated with any LittleBits kit.
- Price is on the higher side.
- Some kids may not be interested in all of the resources that come as a bundle.
Botzee is unique in the way that you not only design the robot, but also write the program that the robot follows to do a range of moves, stunts, and other tasks.
Botzees is the place to go if you’re looking for something different for your kid’s next event.
- Option to use the bot without coding.
- Your kid can code the bot with simple instructions.
- Dedicated motors for movements, dancing, or clapping.
- Rounded edges and huge blocks.
- BPA-free materials
- App dependency. Counterproductive for reducing screen time.
3. Lego Boost
The LEGO Boost kit allows your kid to build five models that are powered by a smartphone app. The application is accessible on both Android and iOS devices, however, for the best experience, a tablet is suggested.
The Lego pieces are just as crucial as the software interface in this creative toolset. Its USP is a unique design that makes it reliable to play with while also teaching your kid a lot about robotics and programming. It’s also a lot more fun than it appears.
Difficulty: Moderately Difficult
- Numbered user-friendly Lego bricks
- 5 distinct robot models
- Can be controlled through a dedicated app
- Option for playing audio, but no speakers in the build.
- Price is on the higher side
4. DJI RoboMaster S1
The DJI RoboMaster S1 is the company’s first robot of its sort, and while it doesn’t fly like the bulk of DJI goods, it’s an interesting robot that helps youngsters learn to code while also being really enjoyable to play with.
The RoboMaster S1 will be ready to view, feel, and listen to its surroundings once assembled through an array of 31 onboard sensors and a stabilized 1080p camera.
Difficulty: Very Difficult
- A lot of sensors can be programmed in any way.
- It can do complex tasks like bringing a coke, guarding a door, and so forth.
- 100w brushless motor
- Comprehensive programming knowledge is required
- Price is on a higher side
5. Wonder Workshop
Dash is more than a toy: it’s a learning tool meant to captivate young minds and teach them the fundamentals of coding. And it expands as your children’s talents develop, providing harder obstacles over time. The Wonder Workshop toy isn’t cheap, but it’s a commitment worthy of those who want to include more STEM education in your kid’s development.
Age: 4 – 8
Difficulty: Easy to Moderately Easy
- Charming moves and sound
- Easy setup
- Add-on kits are available
- Durable build
- On a higher pricing side
6. Osmo Coding
Osmo comprises a Base unit into which you insert the iPad in an upright position, as well as a little plastic reflecting cover that slips over the camera and allows the iPad to ‘see’ what’s going on on the table beneath. This “Reflective AI technology” enables children to interact with actual real-world objects while still reaping the benefits of the iPad.
- Easy to use block codes
- No special setup needed
- Real-time code reflection
- Reflective AI technology
- The AI technology isn’t always perfect
The Bottom Line
Hopefully, you would now be able to choose the best coding toy for your kid’s next birthday. Depending on the age group mentioned, and the pricing, choose a toy that sits parallel with your kids’ comprehensive abilities and interests.