From preschoolers to older kids, learning with robots offers a ton of benefits! This includes everything from creative expression to coding skills to preparation for the careers of the future. Robotics is fun, engaging, and educational!
But which robotics resources are you supposed to go with? In this guide, we help navigate you through the world of robotics. Below, you’ll find the best recommendations for robotics kits and robot toys for beginners and kids of all ages (including teenagers).
Ready to learn about robotics for kids? Let’s dive in!
What is Robotics for Kids?
First, you may be asking yourself what exactly robotics is for kids. There are two main components: design (including assembly) and operation. By learning how to assemble and operate a robot, a child learns and becomes accustomed to various STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) concepts and activities.
Along with tactile and sensory development, robotics teaches machine design, coding skills, technological innovation, and more. The power of it all lies in the use of play!
Why Robotics for Kids?
In a nutshell, robotics makes learning fun!
What can children learn from robotics? As well as being excellent STEM toys—robot building kits boost interest in STEM learning, as we mentioned already—robotics also increases critical thinking and problem-solving skills in an interactive & engaging way!
Along with critical soft/life skills, learning how to build robots also helps kids of all ages to learn programming language and computer science skills. From Scratch coding to Arduino programming, there are so many opportunities to learn & grow!
Last but not least, DIY robot building helps to express one’s creativity. And with the right learning environment and cooperation, it’s a great way to learn how to collaborate with others and build a project via strong teamwork.
Juni recently posted an article on our new robotics course. In collaboration with Makeblock, NASA, and the Global Foundation for Ocean Exploration, we are excited to offer Intro to Robotics: Exploring Uncharted Territories with Scratch Coding. This course is ideal for kids ages 8-11. Try a free class today!
Best Robotics Kits for Beginners
Let’s start with the top 10 robot kits and toys for beginners!
4M Kidzlabs Robotic Hand Kit
Want to amaze friends? The 4M Kidzlabs Robotic Hand Kit is a fun & hands-on (pun intended) DIY project! Kids love to build the kit and then practice fine finger articulation with this highly affordable STEM toy.
Offering fully articulating fingers and grip power, this robotic hand kit is a fun entry into the world of robots. If you are an aspiring scientist (or just curious about robot design), this is a great starting point! Note: this kit does contain small parts and should be kept away from kids under the age of 3.
ALEX Toys ZOOB BuilderZ ZOOB Bot
Designed for young kids ages 6+, the Alex Toys BuilderZ ZOOB Bot allows you to build a robot with motorized wheels and light-up eyes! This is a fun way to bolster motor skills, along with understanding how parts come together to form a robot.
As a great intro to robotics, the BuilderZ ZOOB Bot includes more than 50 pieces. Keep in mind that batteries are required to operate the eyes. There are easy-to-follow instructions to build four different robots, including Bot Wedgie Warpspeed and Bot Frantic Fred. You can also build your own creation!
Blockaroo Magnetic Foam Building Blocks
Looking for a robot toy for preschoolers? Look no further than the Blockaroo Magnetic Foam Building Blocks! Offering one of the best approaches to early STEM learning, the kit helps young kids learn how to sort, count, and stack with ease!
Safe (and magical to little ones), the Blockaroo set is made of foam and connects with magnets. It’s also non-toxic, so the kit provides hours of worry-free tactile and sensory development. As they get older, kids can continue to develop critical-thinking and engineering skills with this set.
Botley the Coding Robot
Reasonably priced, the Learning Resources Botley the Coding Robot Activity Set is an awesome pick for kids ages 5-10 when it comes to learning about robotics and programming (with sequences up to 150 steps)!
From moving in different directions to playing music to putting on a light show, Botley offers the building blocks of a solid foundation in robot use and coding. The robot comes to life with an easy-to-use remote control. With the use of the handy remote, kids can easily learn their first STEM and coding lessons!
Brio Builder Record & Play Set
Got a young engineer in the making (age 3+)? The Brio Builder Record & Play Set is a brilliant, screen-free STEM learning kit that brings to life robots, vehicles, and more with a cool sound recorder unit!
Including 67 components and a record-and-play unit, the Brio Builder Record & Play Set helps young minds explore their creativity and engineering abilities. It’s one thing to build a robot, but when you add the recorder unit to the equation, it takes it to a whole new level of entertainment and enrichment!
Bristlebot Robotics Kit
As one of the most affordable robot kits on this list, the Bristlebot Robotics Kit for kindergartners and younger kids! This is one of the best sets when it comes to the introduction of robotics to little ones
Want to incorporate household items? This kit is perfect! From plastic cups to cleaning brushes to markers, kids can utilize any number of items found around the house. The kit includes various electronic components, and there are three kinds of robots that can be built for a fun, hands-on DIY experience!
JIMU AstroBot Series: Cosmos Kit
Enjoy Scratch programming language? Want to dive in deeper with cool applications? the JIMU AstroBot Series (available on Amazon) checks all the boxes! According to experts, this kit utilizes Scratch coding languages the best out of all other kits available right now.
Along with producing an adorable-looking robot, the Cosmos kit makes it a joy to learn robotics and coding at the same time. One downside is that it’s only compatible with other JIMU kits. However, if you’re okay with staying in this ecosystem, the JIMU AstroBot Series is an exceptional way to introduce the world of robots to young kids!
LEGO BOOST Creative Toolbox
At the top of our list, we have the LEGO BOOST Creative Toolbox. This is considered the best programmable robot kit for beginners ages 7-12. Why is it a great pick? For starters, it makes three disciplines (coding, engineering, and robotics) super fun & accessible!
Along with being both entertaining & educational, the BOOST set offers five models. These include Vernie the Robot (dancing and talking robot), M.T.R.4 (Multi-Tooled Rover 4), Guitar4000 (learn how to play a song), Frankie the Cat (teaches our to take care of a pet), and Autobuilder (an automated LEGO production system).
Smithsonian Science Activities Robo Spider
Excellent for beginners age 8+, the Smithsonian Science Activities Robo Spider Kit is a highly affordable option that allows you to build your own robot spider. It’s also great for kids that also like spiders and insects in general!
Motorized and battery powered, the Robo Spider moves with eight multi-jointed legs. This helps it mimic the movement of a real spider!
Thames & Kosmos Kids First Coding & Robotics
Rounding out our list, we have the Thames & Kosmos Kids First Coding & Robotics kit. Designed for younger learners ages 4-8, Sammy the Robot resembles a peanut butter & jelly sandwich! Looks are deceiving, however, as the cute robot actually is an excellent way to teach coding for kindergartners, first graders, and second graders!
One handy feature is that this kit doesn’t require the addition of a mobile device, laptop or other type of computer. Instead, kids program the robot with code cards. Sammy the Robot uses an optical scanner to read the cards, which prompt them to either move in different directions, turn on and off LED lights, and more!
Robotics Kits for Kids of All Ages
From beginner to advanced, there’s a robotics kit ideal for all age groups, from preschoolers to 18-year-olds and beyond. Let’s check out the different robots!
LEGO Star Wars Boost Droid Commander Robot Toy
What do you get when you combine the fun of robots and LEGO with the power of coding? With nearly 1,200 pieces, the LEGO Star Wars Boost Droid Commander Robot Toy is the ultimate learning-and-playing kit (especially for Star Wars fans)!
There are three popular droids to build (Gonk Droid, Mouse Droid, and R2-D2). With the assistance of an interactive motor and special sensor, kids can explore robotics through one of 40 missions. As with other LEGO kits, this one can be used in conjunction with the mobile app called LEGO BOOST (available on Android, iOS, Kindle, and Windows).
Tinkering Labs Electric Motors Catalyst Kit
Got an aspiring inventor on your hands? Along with robots, the Tinkering Labs Electric Motors Catalyst STEM Kit allows kids to build cars, creatures, and more. This is definitely a great kit for young inventors and those interested in electric motors!
One of the highlights of this kit is that it offers an endless number of potential projects. Ideal for ages 8-12, the STEM kit makes science and technology fun & super accessible. It also comes with a collection of challenge cards for inspiration. From a machine that draws lines to a vehicle with suspension, this kit certainly delivers!
4M Tin Can Edge-Detector Robot
As a “green science” robot, the 4M Tin Can Edge-Detector Robot helps save the planet one soda can at a time! How does it do this? By literally using a can as part of its construction. Designed for ages 8 and older, this robot is a DIY winner!
Combining lessons on robotics and renewable materials, the Tin Can Edge-Detector Robot kit utilizes a tin can for the robot’s body. Once assembled, it can detect the edge of a table with various sensors located in its base. It then turns around to avoid falling off the edge. Fun & engaging, this kit introduces green science and robots to young minds!
LEGO MINDSTORMS Robot Inventor Set
In search of more advanced programming? LEGO Robotics is one of the best ways to encourage an interest in robotics and other STEM disciplines! Continuing that success is the LEGO MINDSTORMS Robot Inventor Building Set.
Composed of nearly 950 pieces, this building set is comprehensive. Kids 10 & up can build various robots while also coding and interacting with them via the LEGO BOOST mobile app. It’s also a fairly expensive kit, too. That being said, the LEGO MINDSTORMS set is one of the best ways to learn, code, and play when it comes to robotics!
Digital Dream Lab Cozmo Robot Toy
Already dipped your toe into robotics? Looking for something more advanced? The Digital Dream Lab Cozmo 2.0 Robot Toy takes it to a whole new level! If you’re interested in advanced artificial intelligence, the Cozmo robot definitely does not disappoint.
As an educational robot toy, Cozmo 2.0 is both companion and collaborator. Its movements, voice, and even emotions can be customized via programming. Young programmers get to learn how to code and see that code come to life through Cozmo! Keep in mind that there’s currently a waiting period while pre-orders are being fulfilled.
ELEGOO UNO R3 Project Smart Robot Kit
Ideal for both beginners and professionals, the Elegoo Uno R3 Project Smart Robot Car Kit is a controller board setup (compatible with Arduino) that’s a fantastic way to learn about programming, electronics, and robotics for people of all ages!
With 24 kinds of module parts, the robot car allows for control via smartphone or tablet (along with the included infrared remote control). A number of handy ports make it simple to assemble, too. You can also make tracks or runways, using black tape on a light-colored surface, that the robot car can then navigate on its own!
Wonder Workshop Dash Coding Robot
Know a kid age 6+ that’s interested in robots? Want them to learn coding while having fun? The Wonder Workshop Dash Coding Robot is the top pick! Unlike other robot toys, Dash comes fully assembled (and even already charged).
Along with four apps (all free) that can be downloaded, Dash is compatible with LEGO. The robot comes with two building brick connectors and allows kids to incorporate their own LEGO bricks. With its multiple sensors and impressive skills, Dash acts as a companion and guide through the world of programming, robotics, and fun times!
Sphero indi Educational Robot Student Kit
As a kit designed to engage 1-3 children, the Sphero indi Educational Robot Student Kit is a fantastic option for parents and educators looking for a kit that can foster strong teamwork, group learning, and collaborative fun!
With an emphasis on computation thinking, computer science, and STEAM principles, the kit opens up the imagination with play-based learning. It comes with an indi robot and color tiles for hours of puzzles, mazes, and programming experiences. In addition, kids can further build their coding skills with the Sphero Edu Jr. App!
Thames & Kosmos Geckobot Wall Climbing Robot
Ever been mesmerized by the seemingly gravity-defying gecko? The Thames & Kosmos Geckbot Wall Climbing Robot lets kids explore the physics and air suction that allow the real-life green reptile to walk on walls!
Designed for children age 8+, the Geckobot is a super fun way to learn about robotics design and gravity. And if you’re worried kids might get bored with the singular gecko option, there’s a total of seven models to choose. These include a robotic arm with gripper, crawling inch worm, smartphone holder, suction tow truck and car, ellipsograph, and suction gun!
Makeblock mBot Robot Kit
Looking for a great robot for aspiring programmers? The Makeblock mBot Robot Kit is one of the best STEAM kits for kids! Utilizing Scratch (a visual programming language) and an app with 60 game-based tasks, the mBot is simple, fun, and powerful.
What makes this a great pick? Along with teaching Scratch coding (with included software), the mBot provides easy assembly. It only takes about 15 minutes to put one together with the help of easy-to-understand 3D instructions. If you want a kid to learn design, critical thinking, and programming, the mBot is one of the best options!
And speaking of the Makeblock mBot Coding Robot, Juni offers a self-paced robotics course utilizing this robot! In partnership with Makeblock, NASA, and the Global Foundation for Ocean Exploration, this course allows a child to build their own mBot Neo from the ground up and then use Scratch to bring it to life and explore Mars or the ocean!
Best Robotics Kits for Older Kids
Now, let’s take a look at the top robot kits for tweens and teens!
Kidwill 13-in-1 Educational Solar Robot Kit
Powered by either the sun or batteries, the Kidwell 13-in-1 Educational Solar Robot Kit offers hours and hours of fun design, assembly, and operation for older kids! As the name implies, you can create 13 types of robots that perform funny and functional movements.
As a green technology set, the Kidwell Solar Robot teaches fundamentals of robotics as well as environmentally-friendly solar technology. All components are made from quality materials, ensuring long-lasting operation. From surfer to zombie chaser to running beetle, the kit is as entertaining as it is educational!
LEGO Mindstorms EV3 31313
Arguably the best buildable robot kit out there, the LEGO Mindstorms EV3 Kit is nothing short of spectacular! Offering more than 600 pieces and 17 robot designs, this kit will no doubt keep a pre-teen or teenager busy with their creations!
Offering interactive servo motors, sensors, and more, the EV3 kit is controlled by a dedicated app. It’s also compatible with all LEGO build sets, making it a fantastic pick for those that already have a bunch of LEGO sets. Keep in mind that this is also one of the most expensive robot kits on the market.
POKONBOY Building Blocks Robot Kit
Using plastic blocks similar to LEGO, the POKONBOY Building Blocks Robot Kit takes it up a notch for pre-teens and teenagers alike! As far as educational STEM toys go, this one is ready to provide hours of entertaining & enrichment!
Made up of more than 350 pieces, the robot helps to boost problem-solving skills and hand-eye coordination. It can be controlled either by the included 2.4GHz remote controller or smartphone (via a downloadable app and Bluetooth). It also comes with rechargeable batteries. This kit is actually great for any kid 8+, not just teenagers!
Sphero BOLT Coding Robot
As a coding robotics ball, the Sphero BOLT Coding Robot is one of the most advanced of its kind! Sphero also offers an at-home guide to help with STEAM learning. As the site says, this robot is helping to usher the next generation of coding.
The robot ball is also a great option for at-home students. It’s packed with programmable sensors, infrared communication, and a colorful LED light matrix, all in a small & round package, making it ideal for learning coding at home. The battery also offers more than four hours of use, which helps keep things rolling for longer!
UBTECH Unicornbot Kit
Buildable and codable, the UBTECH Unicornbot Kit offers everything you need to enjoy the magic of robotics! If you have an interest in coding and mythical creatures, this robot kit will delight with its movement, dancing, playing, and more!
Keep in mind that there are quite a bit of parts—440 to be exact. The cool thing is that these parts are interlocking and interchangeable, allowing you to build the Unicornbot or something completely different! Whether you’ve got your eye set on the unicorn or want to let your imagination run free, this kit delivers on all counts!
Final Thoughts on Robotics for Kids
Science kits make STEM subjects accessible and hands-on for children, and robotics is one of the best ways to get kids interested in STEM learning!
Building your own robot comes with so many rewards, including leveling up STEM skills, boosting confidence, and flexing creative muscles! Exploring with the right robotics toys and kits is a good starting point, but to take it to the next level, it can be super helpful to enroll in tailored programs and classes for successful STEAM-centric learning.
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