With coding becoming a necessary skill in today’s digital world, toys offer a fun and exciting way for kids to learn to program. Coding toys come in various forms ranging from robots and games to gadgets and are tailored to teach kids the fundamentals of programming. Unfortunately, getting the best coding toys for your kids can be a challenge.
When looking for toys for your kids, consider those focusing on logic, have real-world applications, and are appropriate for your kid’s age. It is also crucial to get open-ended toys that teach kids coding concepts without making it look like a lesson. If you are thinking about gifting your child, below are the best coding toys you should consider.
1. Think and Learn Code-a-Pillar
Think and Learn Code-a-Pillar is best for toddlers due to its flashing lights and colorful pieces. It consists of a motorized head and eight detachable segments which connect through a USB-A port. Each segment moves either to the left, right, or forward. Therefore, the direction the Code-a-Pillar takes depends on the order in which you connect the segments.
For kids to understand the connection between the segment order and direction, the pieces light up while moving towards their designated route. The toy aims at teaching kids the concept of sequencing. It also comes with an expansion pack with additional commands. If your child is between 3 and 6 years old, this is the perfect toy for them.
2. Code and Go Robot Mouse
If you want a toy that doesn’t require Wi-Fi or a computer, the Code and Go Robot Mouse set is your perfect option. The set comes with 16 maze grids, three tunnels, 22 maze walls, 30 coding cards, ten activity cards, a cheese wedge, and a guide that introduces kids to coding concepts. Kids get to build a maze and then program Colby the mouse robot to go through the maze to find the cheese.
By making kids create a maze and program the mouse, kids learn about planning, sequencing, and problem-solving. The toy is screen-free and offers extra accessory packs that are optional for your kids to boost their learning. Code and Go Robot Mouse is appropriate for kids aged four years and above.
WowWee Coji is a robot that kids can program using emojis that determine the robot’s actions. For example, adding directional emojis causes it to move towards the indicated directions, while a rollercoaster emoji makes the robot dance. The bot also responds to physical triggers like shaking and tilting.
To load programs into the robot, you need a smartphone or tablet. The Coji Coding Robot apps come with games that show you how to develop specific instructions to control the robot. However, note that not all programs require a mobile device, and kids can also create if-then statements. Coji is ideal for kids between ages 4 and 7.
4. Botley 2.0
Botley the Coding Robot 2.0 offers fun and a screen-free way for kids to learn to code and hone their critical thinking skills. The mini-robot comes with 150 directional sequences with six directions which allow kids to experiment with coding through colors, music, and movements. It also has two removable faceplates with arms, 40 coding cards, six tiles, 27 pieces for building obstacles, and a starter guide containing coding challenges. Since Botley can move at different angles, kids have more coding opportunities and can turn the robot into various objects such as a police car, a train, and even a ghost. The Botley 2.0 is ideal for kids five years and older.
5. Sphero SPRK+
Sphero SPRK allows kids to learn programming by using a phone app to play with the robot. It consists of a small robot inside a scratch and water-resistant sphere. The toy connects to your smartphone via Bluetooth. The robot also comes with a protractor and sticky tape to help kids create mazes and tracks to program navigation into the robot. Since it has a 60-minute battery life, the package includes a charger and battery.
The above toys can help introduce coding to your kids and maintain their interest in programming. Although buying your child coding toys is a great way to teach them the basics of programming, coding schools and boot camps do a better job at teaching kids how to code. Consider enrolling your child in a coding school to make coding an essential part of their childhood education.