They say coding’s a skill every child should pick up, so we're loving these cool robot toys that teach even the littlest kids the principles of programming!
Before the 21st century becomes the Matrix, our kids have got to learn how to hack it. But if they’re so used to smartphones, tablets and laptops, how can they get into coding without a screen, in an age-appropriate way? Through play, of course! Though we miss the old Furbies and tamagotchis, we haven’t decided if kids today are luckier for having smarter, app-connected, smartphone and tablet compatible robots. One thing’s for sure: the new generation of robot toys are way cooler… plus teach programming and coding for kids!
Robot toys to teach kids coding
Following a successful Kickstarter, this Montessori-approved turtle toy teaches kids aged three and up how to code without screens. By popping in coding blocks into a control board, kids can help Cubetto travel the map and go on epic adventures. Kids can learn basic programming and infinite loops as well as doll up their friendly bot for adventuring.
Where: Primo Toys, S$339 via Playhao
Dash and Dot
These bright-eyed, lovable pair of robots come with a range of apps that kids aged six and up can download to their smartphone or tablet to control and program their robots. From planning simple routes to making games, coding becomes a matter of just ‘getting the hang of it’. There’s no limit to what energetic Dash and brainy Dot can do!
Where: Wonder Workshop, from $102 via ToyTag
We got our hands on the Star Wars BB-8 robot toy from Sphero years back and chanced upon its series of awesome toys to teach kids how to code. And there are plenty! The company has different variations of its programmable robot ball that inspire and teach coding to kids in a fun way. We love the SPRK+, which allow the little ones to complete STEAM activities. And you’ll know the kiddos won’t get bored of it when there are more than 30,000 to chose from.
Where: Sphero, $176 via ToyTag
DJI Tello EDU
What’s cooler than a drone? A programmable drone, of course. Popular drone maker DJI has created its own Tello EDU programmable drone where kids can learn how to code. They’ve partnered with Ryze Robotics to teach kids Scratch, Python and Swift, which are three of the most popular programming languages. Plenty of ways to let the kids’ creativity fly – literally!
Where: DJI or Ryze Tech, $190 via The Drone Shop
Marty the Robot
Where: Robotical, £150 from Robotical’s website