Coding is one skill that children must possess. If technology is the future, coding is the fuel for it.
STEM education has been in the limelight for some time now. The reason is the good future STEM education beholds. Edtech ventures are keen to invest and start up new platforms that offer code and stem education to students from the initial years of their education. However, various tools and toys are available to introduce coding to your little ones in a fun and engaging manner.
Here's a list of top coding and engineering toys to teach and introduce kids to the fundamentals of coding and engineering.
Augie is a premiere coding robot that would help kids be introduced to the concept of coding. The robot comes equipped with augmented reality technology and is developed for the initial introduction to the world of coding as kids have fun while exploring it. The robot engages the child and enhances various skills like critical thinking, creativity, problem-solving, and imagination. Augie comes with a free app that offers lesson plans and exciting gameplay to keep kids engaged and interested even when the robot isn't around.
Age Appropriate: For kids aged 4 and above
Availability: Amazon, Website
Agent Asha offers an introduction to coding but screen less. The game aims to get kids into coding and computer science and make them critical thinkers in the process. The product is a spy adventure book and activity pack that features an eleven-year-old, Asha Joshi, a secret agent and a coder for the Children's Spy Agency. The books help students learn how to go undercover (internet safety), avoid data-hungry baddies (digital literacy), design gadgets (computer programming), analyse intelligence (fake news) and more. The gameplay is a story-led, screenless way of teaching kids the computer curriculum in an engaging manner. The book also covers various how-to's on cracking codes and coding basics. The idea is to prepare kids for a digital future and make them aware of crucial concepts of digital literacy, internet usage, coding, etc.
The kit contains Agent Asha adventure storybook, a Personalised invitation to the Children's Spy Agency (CSA), Six STEM spy training activities, a Secret Agent wall map, CSA Secret Agent membership card, CSA gadget cards, Official CSA stickers and Access to the immersive online world of the CSA through iOS and Android app.
Age Appropriate: For kids aged between 7-11
This screenless coding game aims to help children learn coding basics without indulging them on screens. Kids get to complete puzzles and solve problems within to understand the concepts of coding. The gameplay enables them to create algorithms and sequences, telling Mochi where to go and what to do. There's a library of activities kids can pick from. Pick an adventure and start the journey to explore planets, ABCs, colours, plant cells and more. The robot in the kit comes with accessories, or the user can also add their own Lego. Though mocha is not screen-based, it provides engagement and interactivity via sound, motion, songs, and visual feedback.
Age Appropriate: For kids aged between 3-6
Botzees is a hands-on robotics kit with Augmented Reality puzzles that will help kids learn coding basics in a fun and engaging manner. The kit combines coding with creativity and construction and learning activities that will engage children in fun activities. There are six pre-designed Botzees that kids can program or create new ones from 130 easy-to-grip colourful blocks. The kit contains two motors, one sensor and a Bluetooth connectivity option. Kids can make the robot move, drum, dance, make sounds, and light up via the free app available for iOS and Android. The gameplay requires kids to drag-and-drop code blocks. Thirty interactive Augmented Reality puzzles will teach kids foundational coding concepts such as sequencing, looping, and conditional coding.
Age Appropriate: For kids aged between 4-9
Artie combines art with coding to help kids learn coding through art. Kids design code by easy drag and drop feature, remote control and point and click to draw the art and learn to code. Artie 3000 is a fun coding robot toy providing stem learning along with artistic creativity.
Artie 3000 do not require an internet connection as it comes with a built-in Wi-Fi server. However, it does need either a tablet, computer, or phone to control Artie. The robot comes with pre-programmed designs, shapes and games, making it beginner-friendly and allows them to start learning to code straight away. The kit comes with Artie 3000 robot, four washable markers, a quick start guide, and three activity cards. The robot works on four AA batteries.
Age Appropriate: For kids aged 7 and up
Dash is a six-inch-tall stack of spheres on three wheels, with a head on the top scooting around adorably. The body of the robot is covered with lights that kids can control. The robots can see, hear and speak. To control the robot, the user has to access the app through five apps for iOS or Android. The apps include tutorials to help users learn complex programs before setting you free to code away.
Dash also offers science lessons along the way. For instance, Dash doesn't turn wheels; it spins one faster than the other. Children can set the speeds for each wheel individually, getting them to understand the physics behind this through play and experimentation.
Age Appropriate: For kids aged between 6-11
Another screen less robot on this list, Cubetto, is a wooden robot that introduces kids to fundamental coding concepts. Cubetto offers learning through a unique approach of a tangible programming language where Kids can engage in hands-on activities to learn programming away from the screen. The robot combines Montessori learning principles with computer programming concepts, making it fit kids who haven't perfected speaking and reading yet. Every Cubetto Playset comes with a Cubetto board, 16 blocks, a world map and a storybook. The wooden robot, Cubetto, has to be told where to go and how to get there. The board works as the interface or take it as a command line. Kids use it with the blocks to send instructions to the robot. There's one main sequence (A), a subroutine (B), and a Go button (C) to send instructions to Cubetto. Each block is a specific and unambiguous instruction that is easily recognised as it is colour-coded and combined into a meaningful sequence.
Age Appropriate: For kids aged 3 and above.
This kit is ideal for little learners to understand the concept of coding and learn the basics of engineering, simple construction as they build fine motor skills with tools that are just the right fit for their tiny hands. The kit includes a kid-friendly power drill, fire truck body with retractable drill board, lift able ladder, 24 colourful bolts, 8 Snap-on fire & water topper, and Bolt Buddy Fire Chief, Fire-fighter and Dalmatian dog pal figurine. The Drill equipment requires 3 AAA batteries to function.
Age-appropriate: Apt for Pre-Schoolers
Kids love board games! How about a board game that helps them with learning coding concepts. Robot Turtles teaches programming fundamentals to kids with playing cards. The game requires kids to write programs with playing cards. Players dictate their Robot Turtle tokens on a game board by playing basic Code Cards like forwarding, Left and Right. The player whose Robot Turtle reaches a jewel wins. If they make a mistake, Bug Cards are there to undo a move. The game has Beginner to Advanced levels. As the players advance their coding, they encounter obstacles such as Ice Walls and use more complex Code Cards (like lasers to melt the walls). Two to five players can play at once, and everyone who gets the Robot Jewel wins.
Availability: Website and Amazon
Age Appropriate: For kids aged 4 and Up
Miko is a cute little robot that’ll be more of a companion to your little one. The robot engages, educates and entertain kids. This children-friendly robot can see, hear, sense, and remember your child’s moods. The robot interacts with the kids to teach and educate them. Every interaction with the robot makes the kid smarter and happier. The robot can sing, dance, narrate stories, run fun quizzes, play games, and share jokes. It has sounds, expressions, movements, and quirks that provide a real companion and not just a machine. The root also has a tele-connect feature with which Miko’s camera and chat feature can engage with the child remotely with encrypted control.
Availability: For kids aged between 5-10
Age Appropriate: website and various eCommerce
Play Shifu offers some really fantastic STEM learning toys for kids aged between four to twelve. The company has a wide range of screen toys, screenless toys, board games, and robots that will help you familiarise your kids with the concepts of STEM learning. All toys are ideal for creating an innovative and immersive learning experience for kids during their playtime. Their toys offer engaging learning through advanced technologies like augmented reality enhancing the screen time for kids.
Age Appropriate: For kids aged between 4-12
SP Robotic offers a unique approach to teach kids Robotics, Coding & other new-age technologies with fun! They offer an artificial intelligence-assisted Digital Learning Platform coupled with Hands-on Kits that help students learn various Technologies like Robotics, Coding, the Internet Of Things(IoT), Drones, Android App Building, Virtual Reality, and many more. Their kits and courses are ideal for helping kids as young as seven start their learning journey for coding and all things technology. Their courses are available both Online & Offline Smart classes via SP Robotics Maker Labs across 83 centres in 32 cities and 13 states within India.
Age Appropriate: For kids aged 7 and above
These one-eyed talking robots are adorable and will help your kids learn coding in a fun way. Dash is a mobile robot, whereas Dot is a stationary one. They integrate with iOS and Android devices to help kids understand the fundamentals of coding. Kids can use mobile apps to control them and make Dash run around the room, or have Dot blink her lights and so on. These robots respond to light and sound and sense object around them while moving.
Availability: website, Amazon
Age Appropriate: For kids aged 5 and above
Do mention the toys you use to educate your kids about coding.