Top-Rated Robotic Toys for Children
Our Top 3 Picks
Sphero BB-8: Popular Robotic Toy for Kids
Star Wars is a true inspiration when it comes to robotics. It’s a legacy that has lived on to this day thanks to the cinema world. The Sphero Original BB-8 makes it as one of the top-rated robotic toys not just as a collectible for Star Wars fans. It’s a droid that brings the authenticity of robotics through fun controlling features and its adaptability.
Cozmo: Educational AI Robot Toy
If there’s one toy robot that you’ve probably already heard of, it’s Cozmo. It’s a robot that loves you and one that you’re bound to love. You really won’t be able to help but fall in love with this super cute mini rover as it’s ridiculously adorable. With its amazing programming and ability to respond with tons of expressions, he’s a true high-quality baby robot toy.
Wonder Dash Robot: Good for Boys/Girls
Sporting a bright blue color and simple design, this little robot packs a lot of surprises. It’s not your regular remote controlled robot for kids, while it does have that function too. This one of the best robot toys for kids comes to life animatedly and opens your little tots to a world of creativity and coding fun.
Sphero Original BB-8 by (No Droid Trainer)
Age: 3 year olds and up.
An app-controlled droid designed with a sturdy, waterproof polycarbonate material. It features a 30m range Bluetooth smart connection supporting gyroscopic propulsion. Moreover, it’s compatible with the Force Band for gesture control. Finally, playtime lasts a good 60minutes with its battery charged via an included induction-charging stand. Overall, it features simple controls and features making it a good robot for preschooler.
What We Like
This droid feels very authentic and realistic. We love how well it moves and that it’s app-enabled. You can opt to enjoy watching it explore or control it yourself. Moreover, it features a good range of expressions in response to your voice commands.
It’s one of the best toddler robot toys in its simplicity yet sturdiness. The BB-8 features an intuitive control system easy enough for a 3 year old. So overall, it’s quite simple making it a good children’s robot.
Meanwhile, it’s also one of the cheap robot toys on the market, considering how highly priced other robot toys are. It seems reasonably priced for what it offers.
Can it move on carpets and lawns?
Depending on how thick or plush the carpet design is it can slow the unit down. As tended lawns, the BB-8 doesn’t have a problem moving around.
Does it have an adaptive AI?
Its adaptive program is designed more to adjusting to terrain and surroundings with the goal of avoiding a fall or bump. It is able to collect data on Patrol mode and uses this to adapt. However, this data is not as detailed to a mapping level.
Anki Cozmo Robot Toy
Age: 8 year olds and up.
This popular robot for boys and girls introduces little ones to a world of fun with coding. Cozmo is robot enjoyable for kids and kids at heart alike. Featuring an adorable programmed personality with a wide range of emotions and reactions, Cozmo appeals more than just a regular toy. He’s a fun talking robot that learns as it explores. It features enjoyable games with a continuously evolving experience as you work with it through the Code Lab.
What We Like
Why do we like it? Well, what’s not to like? This little robotic critter brings so much joy with its AI technology. More than a robot, it’s like having a pet that gets to know you, being a learning robot toy. Cozmo really plays with you and learns through experience. Moreover, it’s a great way for kids to learn about basic coding ideas as you get to help update and develop Cozmo’s capabilities through the Coding Lab.
Meanwhile, Cozmo also features set games like a memory game and keep away which engages children more with the robot. Cozmo truly brings learn and play together and it tops other cool AI robots because of this.
How do you program Cozmo?
The latest update on Cozmo’s app lets you program new functions through the code lab. It’s very simple to use too. The app makes use of MIT’s Scratch programming language, a drag-and-drop system utilizing blocks of defined actions. You then arrange these blocks in a sequence and Cozmo follows-through the command.
The commands you can use include certain voice commands, expressions, and facial recognition. What’s even great is that the current experience with Cozmo will evolve furthermore with upcoming updates to the app.
What’s Cozmo’s battery life?
You can get up to 2 hours of playtime from a 12-minute charge using its charging dock. Cozmo is powered by an internal lithium-ion battery.
Wonder Workshop Dash Robot
Age: 6 year olds and up.
Wonder Workshop Dash features a cartoon-like robot with an animated response to surroundings, voice and even song and dance. It’s one of the best interactive robot toys winning multiple awards for its features.
This wonderful robot toy with a ton of games puzzles and challenges that keeps kids entertained through various free-form plays. Moreover, its format for challenges and learning makes it one of the most popular educational robot toys and currently utilized in over 10,000 learning institutions.
Unlike any regular remote-controlled robot, this one is also programmable. It’s an app-enabled RC robot that works on both Android and iOS. Moreover, it features a picture-based programming language making it kid or beginner friendly.
Wonder Workshop Dash also comes with two Building Brick Connectors. These allow kids to extend play with LEGO and LEGO Technic compatible bricks.
What We Like
Wonder Workshop Dash is both entertaining and educational. With the way it structures learning through puzzles and challenges, users have a more guided approach to unlocking features and skills of Wonder Dash.
This awesome robot for girls and boys has programmable features through the Wonder App available for both Android and iOS. Any kid or a new user can easily keep-up through its built-in tutorial, making it easy to use. Moreover, more than just free play, Wonder Workshop Dash develops problem-solving, patience and critical thinking with its designed challenges and projects. This means that both user and this toy robot evolve through use and play.
Overall, a cool and educational toy robot that deserves to top many reviews (including ours) fit for any boy or girl.
Does it really teach children about programming?
Its programming design makes it easy for children to understand the language and logic of it. It’s very well-designed coding app has been useful for school curriculums for as young as elementary students. It’s a good children’s robot especially for learning programming code basics.
What terrain or surfaces can this robot be used on?
Wonder Workshop Dash is best used on flat and smooth surfaces. It tends to struggle on carpeted or rough surfaces.
LEGO Mindstorms Walking Talking Robot Kit
Age: 10 year olds and up.
Probably the best Christmas toy you could ever give a kid, the LEGO Mindstorms kit is bound to make you the favorite parent, uncle, aunt, or grandparent (whichever applies). However, featuring a build and program approach including small parts, this isn’t one for a preschooler.
LEGO brings this newest and the coolest way to engage kids into a more advanced approach to robotics (compared to the preschool version at least). With this kit, kids can build and program their own walking and talking robot from 601 pieces of blocks including EV3 Brick & servo motors and other electronic parts. It really brings in a new robotics approach to the classic LEGO.
What We Like
More than just one robot, this kit is flexible to complete five different designs. This means there’s more than one way to enjoy the build part of it.
Meanwhile, featuring its free EV3 programming app, kids can program their robot to react, move, and talk however they imagine it to. Moreover, the experience can be upped a level when your kids are ready. With the use of EV3 Software for MAC and PC, kids can unlock and execute more advanced programming features.
While it’s recommended for kids, this kit is ageless. It’s complicated enough to engage 12 year olds and even kids over 14 years or adults who enjoy the build.
Overall, it’s fun, educational, evolving and features a good level of versatility for a robotic toy.
Can it be programmed using other programming languages (i.e.: Java, C++, python)?
Not by default but their website legomindstormsev3.com includes some pointers for customized firmware allowing a number of different programming languages. There are also guides/hacks on the internet for using Java and other languages with it.
How is the kit upgradable or extendable?
You can purchase other accessories and parts from the LEGO technic line to upgrade or extend features of the robot; you can also combine parts with other LEGO Mindstorms kits. It can also be connected to smaller cameras like the go pro though currently not yet integrated with the LEGO programming app/software.
Fisher-Price Think & Learn Teach ‘n Tag Movi
Age: Over 1 year to Age 2.
Featuring a wide range of animated emotions and three different games to play, this makes one of our favorite interactive robot toys for babies. Kids in preschool age can have fun playing tag, and “follow-me” games so they both learn and get a good workout at the same time. So it’s more than cute, it’s engaging!
This robot is mobile enough to keep up with young kids with 3600 movement and moves well enough to entertain more than one child at a time. In fact, some reviews talk about how it worked well with more than two toddlers in the household.
Plus, it interacts with children through games, talking, questions and over 60 different facial expressions that make it seem AI realistic. It’s a four-star rated toy for babies and has garnered many positive reviews for its quality and entertainment.
Why We Like It
This small robot by Fisher Price makes an awesome and engaging toy that gets your baby moving. It’s great to keep any preschooler active and engaged for a good hour or two. It’s a fun and friendly companion for young ones making one of the best gifts for any family with a toddler or baby.
Which surfaces does it work on?
It runs well on both smooth and carpeted surfaces.
Does it support different languages?
Currently available for English only
Programmable RC Robot by Leocam
Age: 6 months to 5 year olds
At first glance, this toy robot looks pretty simple and straightforward. However, it does come as more than just your usual RC robot. Featuring gesture sensing which simulates children’s movement, two movement modes and up to 50 programmable actions, it’s quite feature packed.
However, while the manufacturer recommends it for age as young as less than a year old, controls are too complex for this age. Controls may be more apt for 4 year olds and up.
Meanwhile, parents can probably control it to be followed around by their baby and toddler. And while younger kids can’t play yet with controls or programming they can enjoy the robot’s gestures and music as the robot dances, moves around and talks.
What We Like
This toy robot by Leocam is probably one of the cheap robot toys on the market when it comes to programmable RC robots. However, it doesn’t feel cheap. The plastic feels sturdy and it moves well.
We like how for its price you get programming features (though limited to 50) and a gesture sensing function. If it lasts, it can be a toy that grows with your child in terms of advancing in their access to controls and functions (and IF they don’t get too tired of it yet).
What batteries are used for it?
The unit uses 2x 1.5V AAA batteries.
What songs/lessons are included?
It includes basic nursery rhymes, ABC’s and counting basics.
Meccanoid G15: Cool Advanced Robot
Age: 10 year olds and up.
If you’re set on getting a programmable App-enabled toy robot the Meccanoid makes a great choice for a lower cost. It’s a 2016 award-winning toy for a reason.
For one, the Meccanoid G15 is programmable through a free app available for both Android and iOS. And while similar to the more expensive LEGO robot, which allows you to build and program it doesn’t come with the same price tag.
It packs a lot of fun with over a thousand statements and voice recognition. Moreover, this 2-feet tall robot wraps as a huge Christmas or birthday present to build-up and live up to an excited kid. While it’s recommended for kids over 10 years old, any 9 year old or even 7 year old can still enjoy this toy with some adult help on the build part. They’re sure to enjoy the robot’s LIM mode (Learned Intelligent Motion) which can record and copy gestures.
What We Like
Apart from being on the more affordable side for a programmable robot, the Meccanoid doesn’t hold back when it comes to features. Children get a full hands-on experience in robotics. Plus, thanks to the recent update on its Behavior Builder it now features an easier flowchart style drag-drop coding.
The robot also leaves more to explore and functions continue to evolve with more updates. Current owners are also looking forward to the upcoming release of open source API’s as well as 3D printable accessories and parts. This would then allow them to extend and expand the design of their own Meccanoids.
Does the robot walk or roll?
The Meccanoid rolls using its designed wheels.
Are the parts plastic or metal?
It has a mix of both metal and plastic parts though mostly metal in make giving it a realistic robot feel.
4M Tin Can: Awesome Gift for Christmas
Age: 9 year olds and up
Made with a recycled tin can, this robot kit will look like something you put together at the garage. Spell genius. But really, it does. The kit lets you make use of an old soda pop can to build your own little robot.
The kit lets kids explore the part of science useful for recycling. With that, it brings with it a different sense of accomplishment once completed. The kit also inspires creativity as it allows kids to motorize and bring to life different household items they can use in their designs.
The kit comes from 4M, a manufacturer dedicated to creating educational and creative toys for young minds.
What We Like
The kit really feels like a science project. It teaches the value of recycling and what role science can play to help. Moreover, it inspires a different sense of creativity as kids can make use of different household items in their creation depending on their chosen design.
Meanwhile, the kit itself is easy to use and assemble following the provided instructions. And while it teaches about robotics and recycling, it comes at an affordable cost.
What exactly can the robot do once assembled?
It can move back and forth and that’s about it.
What is the best can size for the kit?
A 12oz cylinder can is best.
Sky Viper Interactive Robot with Camera
Age: 7 year olds and up.
This toy robot with camera comes with a very sleek appeal. With its all black design, clawed arm and terrain track wheel kids also get some level of creativity with its use. Especially since Mebo 2.0 can move with an easy 3600 articulation and pick-up objects with its claw. It’s a function that can be both practical and fun.
Mebo 2.0 gives a live 720HD video and audio feed to your phone. Plus, you can control the robot remotely from wide range with WiFi connection. What makes this bot extra fun is that you can mask your voice and speak through it. It sparks the kind of imagination you’ve probably seen in movies like Home Alone, Dennis the Menace and Uncle Buck.
What We Like
There’s a lot to like with Mebo 2.0. It’s feature packed, well-designed and has both fun and practical uses. From picking up the remote and snacks, to communicating inside the house/camp to many fun applications at play.
It can be a little spy bot too. Its tank tread wheels let it roll on different surfaces while you control it remotely from anywhere with WiFi. While it may not be a programmable bot, it’s feature-packed enough for any kids at age 10 or even age 13 to enjoy.
What is its range and battery life?
Runtime for the battery is about 45 minutes to an hour (depending on functions used) while range can be over 200 feet also dependent on WiFi connectivity.
Does it have an app for Kindle fire?
The app for Kindle fire can be downloaded from a provided link.
Cheap Electronic Robot for Toddlers by Toysery
Age: 3 year olds and up.
This cheap little robot packs a lot of fun for babies and toddlers. Featuring colorful flashing lights, music and 3600 spinning movement, it’s a toy that can keep a toddler engaged. More than just moving back and forth as well as spinning, this little bot also steps side to side to the beat. Dances as you turn it on, it’s a simple straightforward robot toy without the need for controls.
The robot features toddler safe material and parts mostly made of plastic and is powered by 3x AAA batteries. The build is sturdy and thick and can take a number of hits or falls at play.
What We Like
This dancing robot from Toysery has just the right features to keep a toddler entertained. It features a wider range of movement as it can spin and side-step unlike other regular dancing toys. This inspires some movement and engagement with kids.
The lights sport a cool blue color that isn’t hard on the eyes and aren’t too bright. Meanwhile, they are at least bright enough for some fun with the lights off.
Make wise, the build feels pretty sturdy and can take a few hits making it safe for some toddler fun.
Is the spinning propeller child safe?
Yes, it doesn’t spin too fast as to cause any injury or hurt young kids.
What songs are included?
No particular songs, just a random tune to dance to.
Ozobot Bit Small Coding Robot
Age: 6 year olds and up.
This palm-sized robot may seem uninteresting but surprises many, well it’s not an award-winning robot for nothing.
The Ozobot Bit for one, works with a coding system that lets kids choose different colors, stickers and cut-outs to make their own DIY skin.
It features a creative coding system that is easy for kids to comprehend and enjoy. The Ozobot Bit is programmable through markers and color codes through its coding app. Plus, it also features block-based coding program and apps for more fun.
Kids also gets to learn the Ozobot Bit’s color language through a fun game using markers and activity sheets with the OzoDice game.
While it features programming and coding, Bit is easy for young kids to enjoy. It features optical sensors that respond to drawn color codes and follows this path to your command.
What We Like
The Ozobot Bit is as small as a small robot can be. However, this small bot is feature-packed and has many educational applications. It lets kids learn a combination of coding, colors, basic logic through fun themed applications and coding programs.
It features a progressive coding system from easy color-codes to block-based coding making it an evolving process for kids as they grow with this bot. It’s one of the reasons why it’s also recommended by educators and is applied in over 2000 educational institutions across the nation.
From mazes, to race-tracks and creative design, the Ozobot brings a new theme to robotics education and fun.
What kind of markers can you use for it?
Any markers with a light blue or green color will work with it, like Crayola or Sharpies. Note that darker colored markers might be inaccurately identified as black.
Just how small is Ozobot Bit?
It’s pocket-sized and about the size of a ping-pong ball.
ZOOB BuilderZ ZOOB Bot
Age: 6 year olds and up
Featuring 49 pieces to build with 2 wheel motors, 2 wheels, 4 tires and lit eyes, this kit creates a wide range of possibilities for your child’s imagination. Kids get to learn engineering as they build their robot using joints, gears and axels. With these pieces parts can rotate and spin.
Reviews note how enjoyable it is to build with the Zoob kit. Even when you loosely follow instructions for set builds you can still come-up with something cool. It’s a good starter kit for the build part of robotics as it helps young minds figure out how to make use of each piece.
What We Like
The Zoob robot toy kit offers a beginner course in robotics for young children. It may not include a coding or programming system but it gets kids in the tinkering mode with uniquely designed parts. See, rather than blocks that fit anywhere children build with pieces that include joints, balls, wheels and axels. This touches on both the creative and critical thinking side of a building.
Pieces are moveable when snapped together, this allows a wider range of motion to play with for the robot they build. It moves away from the regular stacking build where creations tend to be stiff and fixed to the design. Moreover, this kit can connect with other Zoob kit. This means kids can extend their build and creation possibilities.
How tall is the build for each set?
Robots created can go as high as 12” tall depending on how parts are put together.
Can it be dis-assembled after building?
Yes, you can take it apart and build a new easily.
How Young Kids Learn with Robot Toys
STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) used to be a subject that either bore or overwhelm a number of kids. It’s also the kind of topic that is best learned applied rather than spoken about. Using toys and games from robot toys to engage kids in STEM helps resolve this concern.
Robot toys comes in different sizes and concepts. From simple and straightforward on-and-go toys to build and create kits that get kids into the tinkering mode. Introducing young curious minds to the different facets of technology helps them get a better grasp of the inner workings of the tech earlier.
Robot toys help children see how each piece and code can bring to life something inanimate and the creative possibilities that go with it. Here are some of the things kids learn from robot toys:
Building an Interest and Enthusiasm
Kids get to have a deeper interest in the STEM as a subject with a first-hand experience of its applications. Since kids learn through play, it makes the subject more exciting and fun. Even simple toys sparks curiosity, getting children to wonder how things work within each robot. With robot toys, more than just being interested in the STEM, kids actually get to enjoy it.
Many robot toys and kits now offer a basic view of programming through designed apps. Some of these coding programs are even actual apps used to program real live robotic machines. Most coding apps are intuitive and easy to execute on featuring simple drag-and-drop application or color codes.
With these toys, Kids then get first-hand experience of how the series of commands and conditions translate to movement and reactions in robots. They get to create the codes themselves and see how it moves and changes their toy robot’s reactions, knowledge and capabilities.
Build and create kits help kids understand how different pieces form a whole and how each piece interacts with each other. They get to understand how to make creative thoughts come to life and how different components support different mechanisms of action.
Once upon a time, there were blocks and bricks, now, there knobs, motors, joints and axels for builds. There are roles for every piece exposing children to a better understanding of engineering concepts.
As kids get to program and put pieces together they are exposed to a wider range of creative possibilities. More than just building something to look at, they get to create or activate various functions and features in their creation.
Build and program kits are designed to provide both free-form and guided creations. Kids the get a chance to imagine and build their robots and let these creations come to life. Now, with coding features, more than just limiting their imagination to looks and basic mechanisms, they can also design how their robot moves and reacts. This means a wider range of creative possibilities.
Sense of Fulfillment
With all these put together, children can find a higher level of fulfillment in their creations. They’re creations become useful for play (and sometimes even practical uses). The pride comes not just in how something looks great but how well it moves and interacts.
Collaboration and Teamwork
There are robot toys in school curriculum now offer a different way for children to interact and collaborate. Some even feature activities and challenges that help children get their thinking hats together to find the solution. This means toy robots have not just become a means to teach STEM but also get children to work together in achieving specific results for their creation.
Robot toys bring to life the Kinesthetic learning principles of Maria Montessori. Children get to be engineers and designers through play. It gets them truly engaged and involved in the learning process and puts them in the heart of it. So robot toys are more than just fun, they’re educational.