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In the spirit of STEM toys, we selected the best robot for kids that combine fun functionality with true robotics learning. We’ve included options with simple designs intended for preschoolers, as well as more complex robot toys that use common programming languages for older children and advanced robotics learners.
Our pick for the best overall robot for kids is Wonder Workshop Dash. It combines great coding and learning functions with a cute, fun robot toy. For the best educational robot, we pick Anki Cozmo, a true robot with lots of opportunities for learning about robotics through play.
If you’re on a budget, it’ll be best to go with REMOKING Robot Toy, an adorable and affordable option that is excellent for young children and fun for the whole family.
Related post: The Best Build Your Own Robot Kits for Adults
- Best Robot for Kids
- Best Overall – Wonder Workshop Dash
- Best Educational Robot – Anki Cozmo
- Best Budget Option – REMOKING Robot Toy
- Best for Young Children – Fisher-Price Code-a-Pillar
- Best Large-Scale Robot – Meccano Mechanoid XL 2.0 Robot-Building Kit
- Best for Preschoolers – Fisher-Price Code ‘n Learn Kinderbot
- Best App-Enabled Robot Toy – Sphero SPRK+
- Best Engineering Experience – LEGO Mindstorms EV3
- Best Build-it-Yourself Robot – Lucky Doug Solar Robot Kit
- What to Consider When Buying the Best Robot for Kids
- Frequently Asked Questions
Best Robot for Kids
Best Overall – Wonder Workshop Dash
The Wonder Workshop Dash is a hugely popular and well-liked robot. It’s appropriate for kids as young as six but will be fun for kids of all ages and adults. You can buy the basic robot, which comes with all of the integrated features such as voice command and coding options, or enhance the user experience with add-ons such as challenge cards, a sketch kit, and more. The Dash can be programmed to play music, build with blocks, draw, etc., making it a versatile option that will grow with your child.
A small but fun feature is that this robot arrives charged with enough power for up to 5 hours of use out of the box. It’s got a lot of different methods for interacting, including traditional coding, voice commands, explore loops, events, and sequences. All of this means that it is an open-ended robot toy that provides opportunities for different kinds of play and learning, making it more educational and tons of fun!
Best Educational Robot – Anki Cozmo
The Anki Cozmo is a true robot that will teach your child about robotics, programming, and many other things along the way. Its small size makes it a great option for traveling or small spaces, and the functionality makes it a really versatile and valuable toy for any child.
This durable robot is a great choice if you are looking for something that offers ongoing exposure to coding. The interactive apps are updated regularly and are suitable for beginner, intermediate, and advanced users. This robot also allows kids to play interactively, code to create new sequences, and explore the world.
Best Budget Option – REMOKING Robot Toy
The REMOKING Robot Toy is an excellent choice if you are looking for a simple but well-equipped robot. It responds to voice and touch commands, and can even learn to talk! This budget-friendly toy is perfect for younger kids or those new to robots and robotics. It’s great for learning about giving simple commands and all of the cool things that electronics can do.
The REMOKING Robot is also a great size. It’s a great option for younger children who respond well to making it dance, talking to it, and learning to give simple voice commands. Another nice feature is the sleep/off mode, which can be given by voice so that you won’t have any surprise midnight dance parties!
Best for Young Children – Fisher-Price Code-a-Pillar
The Fisher-Price Code-a-Pillar is the perfect robot for younger children. It provides a simple but elegant introduction to coding theory, the pieces are large enough for small hands to handle, and the overall robot is large enough to feel substantial and for young children to interact with it effectively. It comes with 8 segments and two targets. You can purchase additional segments with more commands to make the sequences longer or mix-up the actions.
Besides coding itself, this toy will help your child learn about planning and cause and effect. As they put the caterpillar together and watch it carry out the actions, they’ll learn how to make adjustments to make it go the way they intend, and think up new ways to accomplish the same task (such as arrive from a different direction or do a task in reverse).
Best Large-Scale Robot – Meccano Mechanoid XL 2.0 Robot-Building Kit
The Meccano Mechanoid XL 2.0 is a large-scale (life-sized for younger children) robot-building kit that allows your child to create the physical robot using the high-quality building kit, then program and teach their robot how to move, talk, and even mimic them! It is part of the Erector by Meccano range of build-it-yourself STEM toys. The finished robot has LED eyes and can be operated using an iOS or Android smartphone or tablet. As they build and play with this excellent toy, your child will learn about engineering and computer science while striving to create the end-product.
This robot includes some pre-programmed features, including over 3,000 phrases and Learned Intelligent Movement (LIM) technology, which allows it to imitate your child as they interact with it. It can also record what you do and say to repeat it back, making for a rich interactive experience that leads to open-ended play and STEM learning opportunities.
Best for Preschoolers – Fisher-Price Code ‘n Learn Kinderbot
The Fisher-Price Code ‘n Learn Kinderbot is aimed at children 3-6 years old. It’s a cute toy with robot features and a lot of interactive learning packed into one package. The toy comes with several accessories that the robot can pick up and move around, along with an integrated command center that allows kids to create sequences and complete tasks.
It’s a great toy for open-ended robotics and coding learning. There is a set of “challenge” cards that comes with the robot, which encourages your child to try new tasks and get creative while playing with your robot. This toy is on the larger size, which is great for kids since they can easily hold the robot and press the buttons.
Best App-Enabled Robot Toy – Sphero SPRK+
The fun spherical robot uses bluetooth to connect with your device. It is scratch resistant, waterproof, and charges inductively. The app includes games that you can play with your robot, and you can share creations with the Sphero community, making this a great introduction to the world of coding and robotics!
Best Engineering Experience – LEGO Mindstorms EV3
The LEGO Mindstorms EV3 is a full engineering experience. By first building and then coding this complex and interactive robot, your child will be immersed in engineering, design, construction, and computer science. The robot includes over 600 pieces, with 3 motors plus color, touch, and IR sensors to complete the package. You can choose from 17 robot designs, and program it to walk, talk, grab, and shoot at targets.
Once your child has chosen and completed building their robot, they can begin with simple programming on a mobile device. As they progress to more advanced programming, they can move to computer-based coding features for greater complexity.
The robot also comes with a remote control, making it truly versatile and appropriate for anyone interested in a robot. Watch your child’s creativity shine as they build and program this great robot toy! It’s great for kids ten and older, or the whole family!
Best Build-it-Yourself Robot – Lucky Doug Solar Robot Kit
The Lucky Doug Solar Robot Kit is a creative robot toy made from connectable pieces. The kit includes instructions for 12 different robot shapes, but with 190 pieces, your child can create their own unique design, offering even more great learning opportunities. The solar-powered robot is environmentally friendly and actions are designed to help encourage learning about the environment as well as coding and robotics.
By bringing in the building element, this robot toy is also great for learning about engineering, design, and building. This robot toy truly integrates multiple STEM subjects and makes for a rewarding and rich learning toy that kids and adults are sure to love!
What to Consider When Buying the Best Robot for Kids
These days, there are a lot of robots out there, especially robotics toys aimed at children. Buying your child a robot is a great way to introduce them to robotics, coding, sequencing, logic, and planning. Because programming is so open-ended, these toys can be an excellent way to introduce critical thinking skills in a fun, engaging, and cool package!
Many robots come with coding apps or programs that have a range of difficulties so that as your child grows and learns, they can do more complex and difficult things with the same toy. Some robot toys are more suited to open-ended learning, while others are more like remote-control toys that move or talk using pre-programmed information.
Many of the toy robots out there are fancy remote-control-toys that rely on pre-existing programs and complete a fixed set of actions or functions. Depending on what you are looking for, this may be a good option. But if you want something that has a coding or educational component, we recommend finding a more open-ended toy that allows you to create commands and actions yourself.
Some of the nicer robots are quite small. It’s good to know what you’re getting, and if you are buying for a younger child, it might be good to buy something on the larger-end to avoid choking hazards. Small robots could be great toys for children to take when traveling, while larger robots would be more engaging for younger children.
We all know that electronics change rapidly and are quickly out-of-date. Many of the robots focused on coding and learning rely on apps that are regularly updated, ensuring that your robot toy will be relevant for years to come. It’s worth checking reviews and company content to ensure that you know what you’re getting!
What Else Will You Need
All robots will need some sort of power source to operate, some use batteries, some have rechargeable power sources, and at least one option we found uses solar power. The robots aimed at older children typically use another device – smartphone or table in most cases – to write code and operate the robot. Be sure you know what else you’ll need to make your robot work!
Building Kits vs. Pre-Built Robots
When deciding whether to buy a pre-built robot or a build and program robot toy kit, it’s good to keep in mind your child’s age, building skill and experience, and their interests. Some kids love building things and will get extra enjoyment from creating their robot toy before programming and playing with it. Others may be too young for the complexity required to build a robot from scratch, or may just be interested in learning to program and interact with the toy. If you’re not sure, perhaps one of the simpler build kits is a good fit, as it will allow for both!
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I make a robot for kids?
Most of the robots out there designed for kids come pre-assembled, but there are some fun build-your-own robot kits out there. We’ve recommended one above, but we know that there are others available from companies like KiwiCo and on Amazon. If this is something you are specifically looking for, check around, we recommend looking for something that still has open-ended learning opportunities and other features that will be fun for your child.
Do all kids robots use apps?
Not all, but many. We find that the simpler robots designed for younger children (pre-school and kindergarten age-ranges) typically use simple designs like buttons you can press in sequence or pieces that can be assembled in different orders to create actions. The more advanced robots typically use apps, and most are both iOS and Android compatible.
What’s so great about robotics and coding?
Robotics and coding are becoming more and more central in our daily lives, which means that kids who understand and have those skills will have a lot of opportunities to work in or around the tech industry. Robotics can be anything automated, and all robots need code written to control their actions. Buying your child a programmable robot is a great way to introduce them to these subjects in a fun and engaging way.
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Last update on 2020-09-27 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API