11 Best Coding Toys for Kids
Looking for the best coding toys for kids? This list features coding toys and kits that teach kids to code in an engaging way. Kids will be using their creativity and problem-solving skills to create their own games, navigate their robots, and more.
Introducing your children to some of the best coding toys for kids can be an ideal way to help set them up for success later in life. Coding toys can help your child learn invaluable skills that will continue to serve them well as they grow and develop through childhood.
Of course, the fact that you’re here suggests that you may already know that. What you may not know, however, is precisely which toys are worth spending your hard-earned money on and which ones are going to add the most value to your child’s life.
That’s where this guide comes in handy.
Below, we’ve taken an in-depth look at the very best coding toys for kids to help you determine the one that’s worth investing in.
Top 11 Best Coding Toys For Kids
1. Osmo – Coding Starter Kit for iPad
Recommended age: 5 – 10+
While there was some debate about exactly which coding toy deserved to be called the best of the best, we ultimately had to give it to the Osmo – Coding Starter Kit for iPad as it so perfectly combines several features and components that make it ideal for children of almost all ages and abilities.
This award-winning STEM kit combines 31 physical coding blocks with an intuitive iPad app that kids can use to solve coding puzzles, create musical compositions and work their way through an adventure, all while learning coding fundamentals and developing strategic thinking.
The whole set can be used solo or in Duo mode, which further promotes the development of teamwork skills and cooperation.
Finally, one thing we really like is the plethora of available games graded from beginner level to expert, ensuring that no matter where your child is on their coding journey, there’s something to suit their age and ability.
2. Let’sStartCoding Code Car
Recommended Age: 10+
If you’re looking for a toy that helps your young ones learn coding skills while also getting hands-on, practical experience in creating something, the Let’sStartCoding Code Car kit may be the ideal option.
This affordable set teaches children the essentials of C++ coding while at the same time giving them everything they need to build their own, fully-working toy car, complete with 5 onboard LED lights, 4 buttons, and a working speaker.
Along the way, young learners can use the free software to complete a series of lessons that teach them everything from programming those LED lights to fine-tuning the car horn, setting the car alarm, and more.
The kit will also teach more experienced young coders how to hack the code car for further customization options.
3. Makeblock mBot Pink Robot Kit
Recommended age: 8+
If you’re looking for the perfect gift for girls that will teach them how to code while also learning about electronics and mechanics at the same time, the Makeblock mBot Pink Robot Kit may be just the thing.
Our pick of the best coding toys for girls, this entry-level kit gives your child the opportunity to build their very own working robot using little more than a screwdriver and the included components.
All the while, the intuitive drag-and-drop software teaches them how to program their robot through an impressive 60 different programming games.
Technical skills they’ll learn center around Scratch and Python coding, while skills such as creative problem solving, communication and strategic thinking are also strongly encouraged.
4. Let’sStartCoding Code Lab Kit
Recommended age: 5+
Another best-selling kit from one of the leading STEM brands on the market, the Let’sStartCoding Code Lab Kit, offers a complete package. The highlight is the 100+ sequenced project pages that teach children the building blocks of all major programming languages.
Elsewhere, this extensive kit features more than 2,200 lines of code to tweak and modify, plus 9 hours of video material to engage children in the learning process.
By following those videos, young ones will have the opportunity to learn how to use C++ coding language to create LED flashlights, a four-note piano, a thermometer, and other items that they’ll be able to treasure as a reminder of how much fun they had from learning.
5. Playz My First Coding and Computer Science Kit
Recommended Age: 6+
The first thing we love about the Playz My First Coding and Computer Science Kit is how appealingly affordable it is.
If you’re looking to introduce your children to the joys of coding but prefer to keep your costs down, the attractive pricing alone would make this a worthwhile purchase.
Thankfully, the My First Coding kit has more to offer, as that low cost belies a tremendously high value.
The package contains 30 different tools, parts, and ingredients that children can use to fuel their creativity as they set about learning how to build binary necklaces, mystery mazes, ancient encryption devices, and many more.
The best part about this is that the kit does all this without requiring the use of a computer, meaning kids can get a head start on learning coding fundamentals even if there are no devices available for them to use.
6. Learning Resources Coding Critters Bopper
Recommended Age: 4+
If you’re looking to get your little ones started at a young age, the Learning Resources Coding Critters Bopper may be the one for you.
The cute, colorful, and adorably playful design will undoubtedly appeal to kids aged 4+. Still, while it may seem like just another fun toy on the surface, a closer look reveals this to be a handy learning tool.
The 22 piece set allows both parents and children to design their coding challenges. At the same time, the screen-free storybook guides them through many highly stimulating yet easy-to-follow lessons.
What really attracted us about this one is that it doesn’t just teach coding skills. Instead, young ones are tasked with using coding to keep their playful new pet alive and happy. This can prove helpful in teaching them about the importance of responsibility and caring for others.
7. Let’sStartCoding Piano Jumble
Recommended Age: 8 – 12
Our final product picked from Let’sStartCoding’s wide range of excellent coding-related toys; the Piano Jumbo combines music and C++ coding skills to offer both endless fun and invaluable learning experiences.
The full kit includes a Code Piano Jumbo Circuit board, USB cable, and a bumper instruction and reference book, which walks first-time coders through a series of projects that get increasingly more challenging as they go on.
That means that young ones can start by developing some rudimentary skills as they learn to create a simple beeping tone before expanding on their know-how up to the point where they use the Piano Jumbo to build their very own music booth.
This truly is an essential toy for any child with a passion for music and an interest in technology.
8. Sphero Mini App-Enabled Programmable Robot Ball
Recommended Age: 5+
Although it’s far from the cheapest item in this guide, the Sphero Mini App-Enabled Programmable Robot Ball is another budget-friendly toy that packs a whole lot of learning into one tiny device.
The programmable robot is no bigger than a ping pong ball, yet it manages to feature a gyroscope, accelerometer and LED lights, all of which can be programmed via the beginner-friendly mobile app.
A highlight for our kids was creating their obstacle course using the three traffic cones and six bowling pins that come included in the set, then using their newfound coding process to guide the Sphero Mini through the course, a challenge that proves to be as entertaining as it is educational.
9. Wonder Workshop Dash – Coding Robot for Kids 6+
Recommended Age: 6+
Although the costly price tag may be off-putting to some, the Wonder Workshop Dash-Coding Robot for Kids nonetheless represents excellent value for money.
This uniquely designed coding toy boasts a fun and colorful appearance, which will undoubtedly have your young ones eager to play with it.
They can use either their own voice commands or five different downloadable apps to control their newfound robotic pal when they do.
In doing so, learners will get to experiment and explore coding loops, conditions, events, and sequences, all while developing the kind of critical thinking skills that will serve them well as they get older.
10. Bitsbox Coding Subscription Box for Kids
Recommended Age: 6-12
If your goal is to keep your kids engaged in coding for a long time to come, the Bitsbox Coding Subscription Box may be just the thing.
One of the best STEM subscription boxes for kids interested in coding, this one presents new challenges and exciting projects such as learning how to make video games, simulations, and other enjoyable creations.
The monthly coding package also comes with fun bonus features such as app trading cards, books, and temporary tattoos to help young ones feel motivated, inspired, and rewarded for all their hard work.
11. Learning Resources Botley the Coding Robot 2.0 Activity Set
Recommended Age: 5+
Botley is an adorable little machine and the perfect coding toy for kids in kindergarten and elementary school. We include Botley as part of our homeschooling curriculum for the kids to learn logic, sequencing, and early coding fundamentals.
Botley the Coding Robot 2.0 Activity Set is packed with 16 fun interactions for kids to explore and has expanded coding styles like music, lights, and movements.
My favorite part of Botley 2.0 is that it allows kids to solve fun STEM challenges without the need for a tablet or screen. You can feel good that your kids are learning important critical thinking and problem-solving skills without worrying about eye strain.
What to Look for When Choosing the Best Coding Toys for Kids
As you’ve probably determined by now, any one of our top 11 picks could technically be considered the best coding toy for kids depending on various factors.
Below, we’ll talk through each of those factors and why they’re so essential to consider when choosing which toy to buy for your children.
Whether you’re shopping for kid’s microscopes, LEGO sets, coding toys, or just about anything else for your young ones, the recommended age is always a critical factor to consider.
Of course, there’s always the chance that a particular toy may contain small parts or other features that would be dangerous to young children, but there’s more to it than that.
Pick a toy that’s recommended for an age much higher than that of your child, and there’s every chance that they’ll simply find it too complicated and confusing to enjoy.
Likewise, choosing a product that’s for children much younger than yours, and you run the risk that they’ll be bored and unstimulated in no time.
Online or Offline
Throughout this guide, we’ve tried to include a mixture of coding toys that require a computer or smart device, as well as those that need no technology whatsoever.
Both undoubtedly have a lot to offer. However, those that do require an app, computer software, or access to the Internet often prove to take the practice of learning how to code to a whole new level.
That said, they’re also most often more expensive than their non-digital counterparts.
Meanwhile, those toys that don’t require a computer may not be as advanced. Still, they’re certainly more affordable and a great way to introduce your kids to the world of coding and gauge their level of interest and enthusiasm before upgrading to a more high-tech toy.
Finally, suppose your child is interested in learning a particular coding language. In that case, it’s just as important to find a toy that teaches that specific language.
With some models, you’ll find that the approach teaches them the fundamentals of coding as a general practice. However, others will focus more on specific languages such as Python, Java, or Visual Basic.
Final Thought: What is the Best Coding Toy for Kids to Buy?
There are many options out there when it comes to choosing the best coding toy for kids, and, ultimately, the one you spend your hard-earned money on is all going to come down to a personal choice about what’s ultimately best for them -and for you.
If you’re looking to introduce them to the world of coding but prefer to keep one eye on your wallet, you’ll find the combination of low cost and high quality offered by the Playz My First Coding and Computer Science Kit an ideal choice.
If you’re looking for a subscription box to keep them engaged in coding month after month, the Bitsbox Coding Subscription Box provides a host of exciting projects that will keep them not only engaged but enthused and excited.
However, if you’re simply looking for a recommendation for the all-round best coding toy for kids around right now, then the popular, award-winning Osmo – Coding Starter Kit for iPad is the way to go thanks to its vast assortment of projects, optional two-person mode, and combination of both online and offline learning.