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Cool Coding Toys for Kids

What is Coding?

Coding is another term for computer programming; it’s the instructions (code) used to tell a computer what to do. And it’s a good skill for kids to learn. It’s not just your computer or tablet that was programmed by a coder, so was your iPhone, microwave, car, and maybe even your watch. It’s a skill that many software engineers, computer programmers, and many more need to have. There are different computer languages too that coders use. These include Python, Ruby, PHP, Java, and many more.

So coding toys for kids are not just fun, these toys teach a real world STEM skill that could help your kids someday get a good job. These are some of the 2016 best coding toys for kids of all ages (and their parents too!).

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You can also buy additional segments here for more commands such as silly sounds and lights.

The Caterpillar Coding Toy for Preschoolers and Kindergarten Kids

The Fisher-Price Think & Learn Code-a-Piller is a simple coding toy that will have preschoolers and kindergartners giggling as they learn how to tell their caterpillar what they want it to do. Each segment tells the body to do something like move forward or turn 90 degrees to the right. The segments are marked on the top with a picture so kids know exactly what each one does. Each segment comes off the body and kids can reattached them in any order. They learn what each configuration does by doing.

You can also buy additional segments here for more commands such as silly sounds and lights.

This toy is rated for ages 3 to 6, but with supervision even toddlers will love this toy and be able to figure out how to make it do what they want.  And older kids in the house will probably be unable to resist trying this toy out.

Although it will move on carpet, it’s much more mobile and fun to use on a hard surface.

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This coding toy is a step up from the caterpillar.

Code & Go Robot Mouse Coding Set – Ages 5-15

This is another great coding toy for preschool and kindergarten aged kids, a bit more advanced than the caterpillar. Kids set up a maze that the robot mouse has to go through to find the prize, which is cheese of course. The set comes with activity cards that map out different maze configurations, or your kids can make their own.  The robot mouse has arrow buttons on his back that tell him which direction to go. The mouse is programmed by pressing those buttons as a sequence of instructions on the mouse’s back.

Kids don’t have to use the included maze. They can put Colby the robot mouse on the floor and create their own maze with their toys.

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No batteries needed! That’s always a bonus feature of any toy. It comes with a USB charging cable.

The Programmable Dash and Dot Robots – Age 8+

This set comes with two robots to program, Dash who moves on his own and Dot who needs interaction from your child to activate.

With a free app on your smartphone or tablet (iOS and Android), your kids can code to have this cute blue Dash robot dance, light up, make noises, and have adventures. Dash will even respond to voice commands. The apps come with a tutorial that’s easy for kids to follow and learn.

There are two different coding apps for Dash and Dot. The Wonder app lets your kids send immediate commands to the robot toy. The Blockly app lets your kids code a sequence of instructions for Dash to follow. The app may be hard to find if you just search for “Dash.” Do a search for “Wonder for Dash” and “Blockly for Dash.”

Kano Computer Kit – Age 6+

Kids and adults can quickly get hooked on all the activities in this kit. Instead of hours mindlessly playing on the iPad, this will keep you child creating and learning for hours.

This is a beginner’s computer building and coding kid used by schools and coding clubs. First kids build and set up their computer and then they learn to program it to make art, music, play games and more. It has leveled activities who they can work their way to up to more complex coding.

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The Kano Computer Kit teaches more than one coding language, including Python and Javascript.

The Kano Computer Kit is for kids ages 6 and up. Even kids in kindergarten can learn on this computer. For building the computer, the set comes with an easy to follow instruction booklet. Similar to a Lego instruction booklet, kids can follow the pictures to understand the step by step instructions.

The Kano Computer Kit doesn’t come with a monitor, but you don’t need anything too fancy to connect it to. Any HDMI monitor should work.

 

 


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