Is a coding robot for kids actually effective?

Giving your child an advantage in an increasingly competitive market is something every parent wants to do. One of the ways to do that is to encourage your child to be interested in STEM fields. Learning to code at a young age can help them more easily move into those fields and have an edge over others.

Is a coding robot for kids actually effective?
Robo Wunderkind Kids Coding & Robotics Platform Setup with the iPad App

Coding can be difficult to learn. But the younger you are when you learn something, the better you’re going to be at it and the easier it’s going to be to learn. With coding robots, your child can learn to code by doing an activity they’ll find fun, rather than something that makes them feel like they’re sitting in a classroom listening to a teacher. But the question is, do coding robots for kids really work?

To be honest, no one really knows how they work in the long-term. There aren’t a lot of studies that have been done on it, so we don’t have the research to back up any hard claims that are made.

What we do know that there are benefits to using coding robots for kids. They might not turn your kid into the next technology guru, but it’s certainly not going to hurt them. One thing that experts do say might be harmful is the time spent in front of a screen rather than time spent outdoors being a kid. So if you’re thinking about a coding robot for your kid, you might want to consider one of the screenless options. Or you can just limit the time your kid spends using it and force them to go outside, soak up some vitamin D, and play in the dirt.

When should you start your child on a coding robot?

Experts say that they should probably know how to read and write before they get started. So, typically around the age of five. But there are coding toys that are geared toward kids who a little younger. You’re going to be the best judge of whether or not your kid is ready to get started or if you should wait a little while longer. It’ll take until your child is in middle school or so until they can really learn to code and predict outcomes.

There’s also the idea that starting girls on coding at a young age will give them even more of an edge as they get older since women are underrepresented in STEM fields.

There are benefits to coding robots for kids

While there aren’t any research studies that show conclusive, hard evidence about the long-term outcomes of using robot toys to teach kids coding, you can find lists of the expected outcomes, and if there’s even a possibility of them, you’re going to do more good for your child than anything else.

One of the things that your child stands to gain from learning to code is confidence. And that confidence of lack thereof can make or break them when they get older. If they have confidence in their abilities because they have been exposed to something from a young age and aren’t intimidated by it, they’re going to do better than the kid who is sitting next to them in their computer science class who has never seen the material before.

Coding robots also encourage kids to be creative and to problem-solve. They’re creating stories and pictures and games. And while they are doing that, they’re coming up against problems that they have to think through. And those critical thinking skills will be invaluable as they get older and will make them more valuable and confident in their jobs and higher education classes.

Robots that don’t code are useful too

Robots that teach kids how to code are fantastic and starts them on a great path for the future, but maybe you’re just getting started with introducing your child to learning via a robot. Instead, you need something a little less intensive, something that will be more like a friendly toy.

Miko 2 Advanced AI Kids Robot

Kids robots can teach your child more than just coding. The Miko 2 not only entertains your child, but it also teaches your child through having conversations with them. It can recognize your child’s face and voice, identify their mood, and it’s adaptable. Which means it learns from its environment. With the app, parents can manage the Miko 2 and can manage discussion topics and limit playtime. The Miko 2 can hear, see, speak, learn, teach, and sing.

Pillar Learning Codi Educational Storytelling Robot

If you’re looking to ease your child from a young age into interacting with robot toys, the Pillar Learning Codi Educational Storytelling Robot is a great start. This robot is meant for kids aged one year and above, and it’s an educational storytelling robot. The device even has a voice that’s real-sounding for storytelling. It has 200 songs, lessons, and stories, and it can also help your child with their socioemotional skills.

Osmo iPad Game System

The Osmo iPad Game System is a great addition for anyone who already has an iPad their kids can use, or for anyone who’s looking to get an iPad for the home. There’s a wide range of topics for kids to learn, from spelling and math to gravity and business. All you have to do is attach the Osmo to the base of your iPad and place the red reflector over the camera. There is the Genius Kit, the Wonder Kit, and the Explorer Kit, and they all come with accessories that are recognizable with the red reflector over the camera. With this, your kid will be learning and having fun at the same time.

Get your kid started on coding at a young age and keep it going

When you familiarize your child with something, you help them gain the confidence mentioned above. But be sure you’re getting them the coding robot that best fits their age and ability. In order for the process to work the way you envision it might, they need to be engaged with the robot toy. It needs to fit their age range and their interests. It also needs to be at the skill level they need, so once they’ve mastered one robot toy, you’ll need to upgrade them into something else a little more challenging.

Mochi Robot LEGO-Compatible Screenless Coding

One thing about coding is that, typically, your child is going to have to spend some time using a screen. And you might be a parent who is trying to reduce your child’s screen time. Because let’s face it, kids spend a lot of time on screens now. What we like about the Mochi Robot LEGO-Compatible Screenless Coding is that it’s, well, screenless. We also like that it uses LEGOs, so you’re using something you likely already have around the house. This game is good for kids above the age of three, and it has twelve storybooks. So your child can learn to code while also learning about planets, letters, numbers, and a variety of other things.

Robo Wunderkind Kids Coding & Robotics Platform

The Robo Wunderkind is a good coding robot for kids aged from five to twelve. One of the things that coding robots do is disguise the fact that kids are actually learning. In this case, kids are building a toy to play with. They are creating and recreating toys using smart building blocks that paid with an app. And then they use that app to develop the code. It also works with LEGO, so this is another device that will allow you to pull double-duty on stuff that’s already around the house.

Kamibot Pi Creative Coding Robot

With the Kamibot, you can either use a screen in the learning process, or you can have your child use a screenless remote. We like how this one is versatile and gives both options for parents and kids. If you choose to use screens, the app is compatible with both Apple and Android systems. This coding robot is good for beginners, too, since it uses step-by-step instructions. And they’ll be learning via activities like drawing and competitive games. And we all know that a little competition can bring out the best in us.

Ozobot Bit Creative Coding Robot

Honestly, this little thing is just adorable. The Ozobot Bit comes with Color Code markers, stickers, activities, etc. Your child will be able to personalize their little Bit, and it comes with twenty-five STEAM activities. Despite being so small, you’ll be amazed at the amount of tech this little thing has packed inside of it. It has optical sensors for detecting Color Codes and lines. What that means is that when your child draws lines, the Bit will follow them. And your child will be able to use a visual programming editor on a tablet or laptop and hold their Bit up to the screen to code.

Artie 3000 Coding Drawing Robot

Most kids like to draw, and the Artie 3000 uses drawing to teach kids how to code. They’ll be able to come up with their own designs and drawings, and then the robot toy will translate that into drag-and-drop code. After that, Artie 3000 will draw what has been coded. And while he’s drawing, he’ll be moving forward and backward and spinning around in circles, so your child will enjoy watching him. Best of all, Artie will work with any computer, laptop, tablet, or smart device, so you don’t have to worry about having the right stuff around the house to be able to use him.

Kano Harry Potter Coding Wand

Who doesn’t want to be a wizard? After reading or watching Harry Potter, your kid will be amped up to play with a wand that actually does stuff. The Kano Harry Potter Coding Wand is gear for kids who are six years old and up, and it has over seventy step-by-step challenges. It will keep your child engaged and learning for hours, which is something every parent will appreciate. And it works on a variety of platforms, including iOS, Android, Mac, and PC devices. They’ll be able to change the code and see the results immediately, and we all know kids love instant gratification.

Star Wars the Force Coding Teaching Kit

One of the best ways to teach a kid something is to do it via something they enjoy. And kids are pretty pumped about Star Wars. As they should be. Because Star Wars is awesome. With the Star Wars the Force Coding Teaching Kit, your kid will feel like they are a Jedi. They’ll be able to create characters and adventures, all while learning how to code and learning about loops, logic, and variables. This coding robot is even a great way for adults to learn how to code, too, if it’s something you want to learn alongside your child.

DJI RoboMaster S1 Educational Robot

Kids and adults alike will learn a ton from the DJI RoboMaster S1 Educational Robot. Like the Star Wars coding teacher, the RoboMaster is a great way for adults and kids to spend time together learning how to code or brushing up on their skills. It’s a great way to introduce and teach kids about STEM subjects, and the RoboMaster uses compelling games to keeps users engaged. Since it’s modular, you can build it up however you want it, and you and your child can practice programming languages like Scratch and Python.

If you’ve been thinking about coding robots for kids, or you’ve already started your child on the path of learning to code, there’s bound to be something on this list that will help both them and you on your journey. But we’re curious what you have to say. Have you already gotten a coding robot for your kid? If you have, what benefits did you see from it? What advice do you have for people thinking about getting one, and is it something you would recommend?

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Tera has worked in the publishing industry since 2004 and considers the written word her first love. When she's not writing or editing, she's usually traveling, knitting, or binge-watching Netflix.
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