What are the seasons of the year? I’m pretty sure you learned that when you were little. They’re winter, spring, summer, fall, right? But did you know that there’s actually a 5th season??? It’s ROBOT SEASON!! Or at least in our house. It’s that time of year when we get to test all the new robots for the year. So here is our list of The Best Toy Robots for Kids. This list includes robot toys, robot kits, coding robots, robots for little kids…
The Best Toy Robots for Kids
Robots are a big investment, so it’s good to do a little research to make sure you’re getting the right one for your family or classroom. Luckily, I’ve done a lot of that research for you! You’ll find in each description the cool things the robot can do, the recommended age range, type of tech you need to use with it, and a general review of the robot.
Please note, I did receive some samples from the robot manufacturers free of charge to help me write this post and as an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. But all opinions are my own (and my daughter’s and husband’s too).
Cool Robot Toys for Kids
I’m going to kick of this list of the best robots for kids with the bots that are ready to go right out of the box. Maybe a little bit of charging time needed, but no complex build before the robot is ready to play.
Cozmo has been our newest pet in the house this fall. And our real pets (the kittens) love playing with Cozmo as much as my daughter does. Cozmo is fun right out of the box, no building necessary, which is great for younger kids looking for more instant gratification. Cozmo can move and manipulate the three cubes that come with it. You’ll need a tablet or phone to use the included app that has pre-programmed tricks and games as well as a simple coding interface to make custom movements. It incorporates a definite sense of personality which makes it feel like real AI for kids.
If you have older kids and like Cozmo, take a look at their newest robot, Vector. It incorporates a touch of home assistant tools like Alexa or Google Home into the robot fun of Cozmo and incorporates more machine learning.
Dash has earned the role of workhorse for the education set. For good reason. It’s a great robot for kids ages 6+ and it’s sturdy construction is ready to handle kids with ease. They can learn how to code with the included app (you’ll need a tablet or phone) and utilized an easy to follow drag and drop interface to get the bot moving. The STEM Creativity Bundle includes cool coding challenges to get kids thinking and the sketch add-on for a bit more creativity. And the tools available for educations are totally top-notch, whether you’re a teacher or just want to bring education into the home.
The Best Robot Building Kits for Kids
Now let’s move on to the robotics kits that involve a bit more building. These are for kids who can manage some construction time before the robot is ready to move.
To say that we’re a bit excited to see a unicorn robot kit, is a total understatement. I’m a firm believer in non-gendered toys and projects, buuuutttt… This unicorn will make any magic loving kid squeal. And my daughter is definitely a magic unicorn loving kid. Jimu bots like the Unicornbot or Cosmos Kits are as much about the build as they are about coding their actions. 300+ piece kits will keep the kids busy for a while with multiple builds per kit. Then the Blockly language app will keep them having fun after the building is done. The robots can navigate obstacles, pick up objects, show emotions, make sounds and more. You’ll need a tablet or phone for this one as well.
Kids LOVE LEGO bricks and are comfortable building with them so LEGO Boost is a natural way to add robotics to their play. This 847 piece robot kit can build 5 different robots: Vernie the Robot, Frankie the Cat, Guitar 4000, M.T.R.4 (a multi-tooled rover), and the Autobuilder. A tablet or phone is required to run the included Boost app and utilizes an easy to understand block programming method to get the robot moving, interacting, and sensing. I like Boost because the robots can do more than just move around and the kit has options for multiple diverse builds. Recommended for ages 7 to 12.
Have older kids that like LEGO? Than LEGO Mindstorm is the way to go. Recommended for ages 10+, Mindstorm kits incorporates the Technic brick system and a more complex programming language. The EV3 is a 601 piece robot kit that can walk, talk, play games, and complete tasks and includes instructions for 17 different robot builds. And the sky is the limit with this set as it can be incorporated with other LEGO sets for unique builds. It has a great set of integrated color, touch, and IR sensors, too. Can be controlled with the Mindstorm app or on a desktop or laptop computer with the Ev3 software.
The MBot is a budget friendly bot that incorporates many of the programmable aspects of some of the bigger bots. It takes a bit of building to get it going and it’s open case design helps kids understand how robots actually work inside. MBot uses the Blockly language in its Makeblock app on a tablet or phone or for more advanced coding, you can use the mBlock software on desktop. Program and watch it avoid obstacles, follow lines and more. MBot can also be integrated with LEGO bricks for more creative building.
The Best Toy Robots for Younger Kids
Learning Resources, the educational toy company many parents and teachers love, have entered the robot market this year with Botley. Intended for kids as young as 5, but feature rich enough for older kids, too. No assembly or electronics necessary with this, Botley is programmed right from the buttons on it’s back and the remote programmer. Kids will learn the basic of coding as they guide it through obstacle course challenges and more.
Looking for a cute robot for the kids to play with? Chippies will have them going awww…. It’s a souped up remote control toy that can dance, sing, chase its tail, barks, and more. More toy, less robot, but the young kids will love this one.
So tell me… How are you incorporating robotics into your kids’ world? I’d love to hear your thoughts on your favorites.