7 of the best coding toys for kids in 2021
The world is run by computers, and there are more and more careers available for those with programming skills. So if you have kids or young parents, a coding toy is a great way to give them a boost. It can teach them to think like a computer through gaming, so if they decide to learn to code in the future, they will already have the basics in place.
There are toys suitable for various age groups, and while some include hands-on experience with programming languages ââlike Python, others can be used without a screen at all, and all will give your child a coding experience.
Read on to discover our pick of the best coding toys for kids. Or, check out the best educational toys or the best science toys.
Best coding toys for kids in 2021
Lego MINDSTORMS Robot Inventor (suitable for ages 10 and up)
This Lego set allows budding engineers to build five different robots and bring them to life with the children’s coding language Scratch. Inside the box are the 949 parts needed to build the robots, including an LED display, speaker, precise sensors, and powerful motors. Kids can build Blast, which can break through obstacles and shoot missiles, Tricky, who can pick up and throw a ball, and more.
Download the free Lego MINDSTORMS Robot Inventor app to program robots in Scratch – or Python, for more advanced coders – and perform over 50 activities.
Lego BOOST Creative Toolkit (suitable for ages 7-12)
BOOST Creative Toolbox is another robot building kit from Lego, but this one is suitable for young children ages 7 and up. The 800 pieces can build five robots, including the dancing robot Vernie, Frankie the cat and even AutoBuilder, which builds miniature Lego models.
With the Lego BOOST app, kids can learn to code using loops and variables, and completing the challenges step by step will unlock more coding blocks. If you own the Lego City Arctic Scout Truck or the Lego NINJAGO Stormbringer, you can connect BOOST Creative Toolbox to bring your favorite sets to life.
Robot Cue Wonder Workshop (suitable for ages 11-18)
Through the app, you can use the motorized wheels to steer Cue and watch the robot avoid obstacles with the proximity sensors. And if you master all of the built-in features, you can purchase props that will let you use coding to draw, pick up items, and even shoot projectiles.
- The app is available for Apple iOS, Android OS, Fire OS, Windows 10, and Chromebook
Learning Resources Artie 3000 (suitable for ages 7-11)
Artie 3000 is a great choice for young programmers who want to let their creativity run free. First, insert one of the supplied pens, or one of a similar size. Then connect Artie to your device and use one of the many coding languages ââto ask the robot to draw your drawing and watch Artie draw it. No app or internet connection is required, just a tablet or computer, so kids can use Artie safely without supervision.
intelino J-1 Smart Train Starter Set (suitable for ages 3 and up)
Introduce your kids to coding from an early age with the intelino J-1 smart train. In the box you will find a smart motor and a wagon, 20 rails and a selection of colored snaps that can be placed on the rails to control the movement of the train. Use these tiles to program the train in screenless mode or download the app to learn Scratch or Python.
Children can write a program that tells the train which direction to go at a junction, how fast to travel, when to stop, and when to drop the car off.
Accessory elements include additional tracks, bridges, tunnels and support towers.
Sphero Mini Soccer (suitable for ages 8 and up)
Goal! Soccer fans can learn the basics of block-based coding with this robotic ball from Sphero. The Sphero Edu app contains over 100 computer lessons in a range of content areas and a variety of skill levels.
In addition to controlling its movement through programming, kids can use the Sphero Play app to move the ball in kick mode, joystick mode, slingshot mode and more. The battery lasts for almost an hour of charge, which you’ll need to master all three arcade-style games.
- The Sphero Edu app is compatible with iOS, Android, Amazon Fire OS, macOS, Windows and Chrome OS
- The Sphero Play app is compatible with iOS, Android and Amazon Fire OS
ImagiCharm Starter Kit (suitable for teenagers)
The imagiCharm is a customizable accessory that is only limited by the imagination. Teens can hang it on their backpack or keys and display exactly what they want on the 64-light display.
Through the app, teens can learn to code in Python with the in-app tutorials to create their perfect design, or even animations. The design can then be uploaded to the imagiCharm via Bluetooth.
- Compatible with iOS 13.0 or higher and Android 9 or higher