What to Look for in a Great Robot for Kids

Toys that build (artificial) intelligence.

White electronic robot toy on counter.
Building and/or interacting with robotic toys will help kids learn while keeping them entertained.Unsplash

Kids who use STEM toys gain technology literacy, critical thinking and problem solving skills, creativity and initiative, just to name a few. Plus, robots are objectively rad. Here’s what to look for when picking out a robotic bestie for your kid.

Lucky Doug Solar Robot Kit 12-in-1 Science STEM Robot Kit Toys for Kids Aged 8-12 and Older, Science Building Set Gifts for Boys Girls Students Teens, Educational DIY Assembly Kit with Solar Powered

Versatile Design

This option includes all the components to construct a dozen different droids.Lucky Doug

A great STEM toy is versatile and reusable—like a robot kit that teaches your little engineer to build not just one but multiple robots from the included gears, pistons and other components. It’s even better if those robots crawl, float and roll using solar power.

Power Your Fun Robo Pets Unicorn Toy - Remote Control Robot Pet Toy, Interactive Hand Motion Gestures, Walking, and Dancing Robot Unicorn Toy

Engaging Style

This mythical cyber-animal makes interactive play accessible with multiple modes, including arm signals.Power Your Fun

STEM-based education is built with hands-on experiences, so a great robot is interactive. A robot that responds to a remote control—by dancing, neighing, sitting or doing tricks—engages young learners. Bonus if the robot has multiple interactive modes so it also responds to hand gestures (which is especially helpful with the youngest explorers).

Ruko Smart Robots for Kids, Large Programmable Interactive RC Robot with Voice Control, APP Contol, Present for 4 5 6 7 8 9 Years Old Kids Boys and Girls

Advanced Tech

This model is programmable with up to 50 action combinations.Ruko

Of course, an awesome robot teaches programming skills. Look for a model that combines multiple control options—like remote control, voice control and control by app—and lots of programmable actions. That means more coding practice and more entertaining (read: funnier) action combinations.