If you are looking for some great educational toys for any special occasion then look no further than these coding toys. Your kids will not only love playing with them, but they will also develop some critical coding skills in the process.
Who knows, it might even inspire you to learn more about coding too?
How can I get my child to code?
As computer literacy is only going to become more important in the future, you might want to consider starting them early with learning to code.
With that in mind, some ways to get your kids to code include (courtesy of The Journal) :
- Emphasize that Coding = Creativity
- Encourage Exploration
- Tap Into Each Child's Passions
- Make Coding a Social Activity
- Find a Mentor
- Keep Problem Solving Fun
What is the best coding robot for kids?
If you really want to turbocharge your child's love of coding you should consider combining it with robots. We've detailed some further down the article, but other great examples include, but are not limited to:
- Wonder Workshop Dash
- Wonder Workshop Cue Coding Robot
- Evo App-Connected Coding Robot
- Learning Resources Code & Go Robot Mouse Activity Set
- UBTECH Builderbots Kit Interactive Robotic Building Block System
- Wonder Workshop Dot Creativity Kit Robot
What is a coding toy?
As the name suggests, a coding toy is just that --a toy that teaches children some basic coding skills. The main emphasis for the toy is that it will require some form of coding to get the most out of it.
This could include a sequence of buttons or dials on the toy, or some other external physical blocks or pieces needing to be combined in sequence. Many toys also integrate with a smartphone or tablet app to provide even more functionality.
"As coding moves from school to home, many toy manufacturers are responding with gadgets that turn homework into a game. Most coding toys work by using a companion app to teach children how to combine commands to make the toys generate sounds, lights, and movement." - New York Times.
What are some examples of great coding toys for kids?
So, without further ado, here are 15 great coding toys for kids for you to consider buying them, for say, this Christmas. Trust us when we say this list is far from exhaustive.
1. Coding + LEGO = Win, win, win
What better coding toy for your kids than one that also includes LEGO. The LEGO Boost Creative Toolbox has everything your little terror will need to grasp the basics of coding.
Plus did we also mention its LEGO? What's not to like?
2. Check out the OSMO Coding Awebie Game booster pack
Produced by OSMO, the Coding Awebie Game is another great coding toy for kids. It is targeted at children between the ages of 5 and 12.
It consists of a series of magnetic coding blocks, each for a particular action like jump, grasp, etc for characters on the iPad or Fire Tablet. The game is designed to make coding fun and exciting and spark an interest for a lifetime.
*requires OSMO base and an iPad or Fire Tablet
3. Botley the Coding Robot will melt your heart
Designed for children 5+ in age, Learning Resources Botley the Coding Robot will also win adults over in no time at all. The cute little bot will quickly teach your kids some basic STEM and coding skills in a fun and exciting way.
The best part is that it works straight out of the box (after plugging some batteries in of course). Botley is a completely screen-free game that does not require a smartphone or tablet.
4. Artie 3000 combines art and coding in one package
Produced by Educational Insights, Artie 3000 is a coding toy for kids with a difference. Kids design the code and Artie does handles the arty-bit by sketching out patterns in front of your very eyes.
Artie was specifically designed for coding beginners and is aimed at children 7 years plus.
5. Coding Critters are another good coding toy choice
Another coding toy for kids offering from Learning Resources, Coding Critters are for younger wannabe coders. Each set comes with its own coding pet as well as an interactive 22-piece playset.
Children will need to develop and test their coding skills to make their pet eat, do tricks and navigate obstacle courses.
6. Anki's Cozmo is yet another fun coding toy
Anki's Cozmo is a great coding toy for you to consider treating your little terrors. It would also make a great little Christmas or birthday present.
This pint-sized robot can be challenged to complete games or simply explore space using its interactive smartphone application.
One of the more expensive toys on our list, Cozmo is incredibly high quality and very robust so you should get money's worth out of it.
7. The Code-a-Pillar might be worth a punt
Fischer-Price's Think and Learn Code-a-Pillar Twist is another great coding toy for kids. With an aesthetically pleasing design and easy to use "coding interface", this coding toy is perfect for preschoolers.
Each of the caterpillar's segments has a dial that can be set to specific actions in any order your little coder desires.
8. The Sikaye RC Robot is pretty cool
The Sikaye RC Robot is an intelligent programmable robot that would make an ideal present. Using the robot's remote control, it can be commanded to perform various actions in sequence including dancing, singing or performing other actions.
9. Code Master is a fun coding board game for the whole family
Produced by ThinkFun, the Code Master Programming Logic Game is another great gift idea for any occasion. ThinkFun has sold well over 50 million games worldwide and this example is a very unique way of teaching your kids the basics of coding.
"Code Master is the ultimate coding board game and STEM toy, and teaches programming logic through fun gameplay." - ThinkFun.
10. Sphero SPRK is another great coding toy choice
SPRK by Sphero is an app-enabled robotic ball that comes complete with programmable sensors and LED lights. It is the perfect toy for teaching children basic STEM and coding skills.
11. Code 'n Learn Kinderbot is another great offering from Fischer-Price
Here is yet another great little coding toy from Fischer-Price. The Code 'n Learn Kinderbot is very cute and will stealthily expand your kid's coding skills in no time.
It is aimed at preschoolers and comes complete with 3 play modes: free coding, learning challenges, and "secret codes."
12. Get your kids to build their own codable R2D2!
Designed by littleBits, their Star Wars Droid Inventor Kit is truly awesome. Kids will get the chance to build iconic droids from the Star Wars universe and use 6+ code blocks to complete some challenging coding-based missions.
13. The Code Piano helps add the arts to STEM
Designed by Let's Start Coding, Code Piano is a great way for young coders to develop two skills with one toy. They will learn to make and modify their own electronic music using this very different coding toy for kids.
It is most suitable for children 8 years plus, but younger kids might like to have a crack too.
14. Hacker Cybersecurity Coding Game is does everything it says on the box
Another coding toy offering from Think Fun, this board game will introduce children to the dark secrets of hackers. The game is designed to develop critical skills like reasoning as well as provide them with some basic coding principles too.
15. Bit Coding Robot by Ozobot is another great choice
Designed by Ozobot, the Bit Coding Robot is a pocket-sized basic robot that will help kids build some early STEM and coding skills. It is aimed at children 6 years plus and is ready to roll on arrival.
It offers two ways to code including color-coding to enable children to code screen-free. You can boost the robot's capability by using Ozobot's Ozoblocky online programming editor too.
16. Check out this DIY Coding Kit for kids
Specifically designed for children between the age of 8 and 12, this coding kit is a perfect educational gift. The kit comes with all the parts needed for your little one to grasp the fundamentals of coding and develop some important programming skills.