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.

Great Value

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.

Cute as a Button

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).

Worth the Splurge

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.