STEM toys and games are great ways for kids to learn coding, and this Christmas you’ll find toy shops stocked with a wide range of coding toys suitable for toddler to teen, so it’s time to get savvy. With coding becoming increasingly prevalent in classrooms – and in various industries and careers – coding toys are a great way for your child to gain an early advantage. We’ve come up with our top ten best coding toys to help you with your Christmas shopping this year.
JotBot is your very own interactive robot drawing buddy by VTech. Suitable for little ones aged 3+, he’s full of personality and will even sing as he works!
This cute little robot loves to draw and promotes drawing through fun dialogue and storytelling, so it’s perfect for the youngest of coders. Insert 1 of 15 double-sided drawing data chips to see JotBot draw the image on that chip. Code JotBot to draw using fun draw codes found in the included colour-coded guidebook. Just enter the directional codes onto the arrow keys on JotBot’s head and away he goes!
JotBot can draw on A3 and A4 paper and features a child-friendly felt tip pen. JotBot also draws with most pens and pencils too, so you don’t have to worry about losing the pens that come with him.
Suitable for: 3 years +
Start your early years preschool coding adventures with clumsy Rumble the dinosaur and his little friend Bumble! Super easy to get up and running, each Coding Critters set comes with a full-colour code-along storybook packed with multiple coding challenges.
Children can code Rumble the dino to crash around the pet playset, or make up their own coding stories and challenges! And when you’re not coding, turn on Play Mode to pet, feed and take care of Rumble the dinosaur just like a real pet.
Suitable for: 4 years +
Botley 2.0 introduces kids as young as five to the world of coding, and yes, we know, he’s mega cute.
The next generation of the award-winning remote control coding Botley robot includes expanded coding styles such as music, lights and movement. This bot offers screen-free coding so kids can learn coding and STEM skills without a tablet or phone – music to our ears!
Kids can programme Botley to do a sequence of up to 150 steps. They’ll also discover 16 fun interactions that transform Botley into a train, police car, ghost, and more!
Suitable for: 5-9 years
Ziggy the Robo Dog, Smyths
Meet Ziggy the Robo Dog. This futuristic pup can sing, dance, bark and play, but watch out! He’s already proving to be very popular, as he features in this year’s top toy predictions across many platforms, including John Lewis and Smyths, so it’s worth investing early if he’s the coding toy for you.
Ziggy can be controlled with nine voice commands, a remote control and programmable actions. He can sing and dance for the ultimate coding fun. Simply use the remote control to send Ziggy the Robo Dog forward, backward, left and right, and play with Ziggy to make him bark! Order your doggy to guard, and he’ll bark to protect his owner. This clever robo-dog can even mimic the calls and movements of ten other animals!
Suitable for: 5 years +
Clementoni’s Mind recognises your voice and responds to your commands. This coding toy uses an innovative integrated voice recognition system and can be commanded to move, introduce itself, move in space and draw shapes.
Create geometrical shapes and use them to compose drawings with the accompanying free app. With the Arithmetic mat, Mind can be programmed to perform operations. The Escape Room mat allows kids to solve problems, complete missions, and develop logical thinking, so there’s lots to keep them amused and engaged.
Experiment with coding instruction blocks, create complex geometrical shapes and play with loads of original interactive code games.
Suitable for: 6-10 years
Dash Robot is a child’s first real robot friend, teaching code in kid speak for girls and boys ages 6-11. With Wonder Workshop kids develop their problem-solving skills, creative capacity and sense of curiosity about how the world works. Responding to voice, navigating objects, dancing, and singing, the adorable Dash presents your kids with hundreds of projects, challenges, puzzles, and endless freeform play possibilities.
Working in conjunction with 5 free mobile apps for your Apple, Android and Kindle Fire devices, Dash comes fully assembled and ready to play out of the box, so you’re ready to go on Christmas Day!
Suitable for: 6-11 years
You’ll need 4 AA batteries, and with its built-in Wi-Fi server, you will need a tablet or computer to control Artie. He comes with 4 washable markers, a Quick Start Guide, and Activity Cards.
Suitable for: 7-11 years
Code and Play Toy, Lego Build
Learn the basics of robotics by building 1-in-5 multifunctional robot toys on a tablet using simple coding blocks. This fantastic Lego robot kit includes a moving/talking robot, versatile rover, musical instrument, robot interactive pet cat or AutoBuilder production line.
Children can get stuck in, building and coding with over 60 exciting activities included in the LEGO BOOST App for selected iOS/Android/Kindle smart devices. The set includes a LEGO Move Hub with Bluetooth, interactive motor and colour and distance sensor to bring the models to life.
The Code and Play toy offers real coding transformed into an intuitive, easy to use drag-and-drop interface that will boost children’s engineering and programming skills for life.
Suitable for 7-12 years
Artie Max, Amazon
Take creative coding to the max with the new Artie Max. The coding drawing robot brings coding and STEM learning to life by converting the code programmed in the simple user interface (UI) into real line drawings in up to 3 different colours.
Artie Max is the ideal way to introduce children to real programming while they express their creativity.
Suitable for: 8 years +
GinoBot is a highly programmable robot ready to be used straight from the box, so there’s minimal fuss on Christmas morning. Developed by a combination of engineers and academics, GinoBot is a neat tool for teaching STEM disciplines, computational thinking and digital literacy in a fun and hands-on way.
GinoBot helps you explore multi-divergent projects on a broad range of levels. He also has unlimited potential; you can look at adding on 3rd party electronics for even more fun!
Suitable for: 8-12 years