Best robot toys for kids tested | The top 7 [+ videos]

by Joost Nusselder | Updated on:  February 7, 2021

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Robots are no longer just those toys that stagger back and forth and stick their arms forward.

They have become smart devices that can teach your child a lot about cause and effect and programming.

In this article we want to take you as parents into all the possibilities that the world of robots has to offer for children.

Cutest robot toys

We have made the best robot selection for you in different categories, from the best basic functions to the best personality and the most extensive programmable functions.

For most kids who want to start with a robot I would recommend this Wonder Workshop Dash recommend, especially from 6 years until about 8 years old, although he's still fun later on.

An award-winning design and great fun to learn different challenges.

But there are of course more, and perhaps more fun in other situations, for example for slightly older or younger children or with more experience.

Let's take a look at all the options first, then I'll go into more detail on each of these choices:

Toy robot Images

Best robot programming: Wonder Workshop Dash
Wonder Workshop Dash robot for children(view more images)

Best DIY robot making kit: Makeblock mBot Kit
Makeblock mBot Kit educational robot for kids(view more images)

Best Makeblock Add-on: Makeblock Light & Sound Pack
Mbot Light and Sound add-on(view more images)

Best outdoor robot: Sphero Ollie
Sphero Ollie outdoor robot(view more images)

Cutest first robot toy for preschool children: Clementoni Coko the Crocodile
Cutest robot toys for toddlers: Clementoni Coko the Crocodile(view more images)

Best Star Wars Robot: Sphero BB-9
Best Star Wars Robot: Sphero BB-9(view more images)

Best Robot Battle: Silverlit Robo Kombat Duo Set
Best Robot Fight Silverlit Robo Kombat Duo Set(view more images)

Top 7 best robot toys reviewed

Let's take a closer look at each of these:

Best Programming Robot: Wonder Workshop Dash Robot

Dash is a colorful robot designed to make coding fun without the typical frustrations of building and programming a robot.

Winner of the “Best Toy Award”, Dash is ready to play right out of the box, responds to your voice and rolls through the living room immediately after opening.

While Dash is ready to recognize a number of commands and can be used in games like hot potato, programming it for hundreds of other activities is really fun.

Use the free Apple, Android, or Kindle Fire apps to code in a fun 'Quest Mode' that's colorful and engaging, a great introduction to coding for kids from six years old.

Here's a first overview of what he can do:

With the push of a button, he can explore all his surroundings right out of the box. He sees for himself where he can go and where not.

He will automatically see where the edges of a table or room are, although the table can sometimes present challenges and it could fall off.

Dash can be programmed to follow a race track, dance, light up, make sounds, joust or play all kinds of other games.

Actually very easy with Blockly, an app on your phone or children's tablet to create a pattern for Dash to follow.

This is the best overall robot because of its many features and easy functions straight out of the box without actually programming.

Your kids unlock new skills the more programming assignments they make, using a reward system to keep them motivated and engaged.

Dash robots play well together, so your kids and their friends can even complete missions together.

This robot is well built, endlessly entertaining, and actually fun to program.

Check the latest prices here

Best DIY robot making kit: Makeblock mBot Kit

The mBot Robot is an educational beginner's kit intended to introduce children to STEM fundamentals such as programming, electronics and robotics.

Assembly parts are straightforward to put together, but provide a deeper level of creativity and thinking ability to do with your child

Assembly is a balance between accessibility and complexity;

Programming is fueled by Makeblock software Scratch 2.0, which provides kids with a drag-and-drop graphics programming platform to dictate a variety of robotic functions.

The nuclear robot is a simple vehicle with two wheels and a cute smiling face that is controlled via an app.

It is very affordable for what it can do and can be used right away, of course if you buy more add-ons you get more options but it can end up being more expensive than one of the others.

The system is therefore very flexible and the most educational of any of the robots here.

Watch this video review for more background info:

Choose from a variety of games such as balloon bursts or football and sumo - each one requires fun programming goals.

They can even customize the robot with Makeblock extensions and legos as they evolve in the Arduino open source ecosystem so they can create the robot of their dreams!

Check prices and availability here

Best Makeblock Add-on: Makeblock Light & Sound Pack

Expand your child's robot universe with this three-in-one add-on package that adds sound and light to their programming arsenal.

The kit includes light and LED sensors, as well as a sound sensor that reacts to blows.

They can build a scorpion robot that combines sound and color recognition or a light-chasing robot that follows the light with its eyes. Or, your child can equip their own desk lamp with an intelligent desk lamp robot that responds to touch and sound.

Here's how you can control it with your voice as you can see in this video:

All possible creations and parts can be combined with other robots to expand the number of fun games they can program.

All programming is done in Scratch 2.0, where kids learn STEM fundamentals in a fun and accessible way.

The Light and Sound add-on is for sale here

Best Outdoor Robot: Sphero Ollie

Let your child conquer the outdoors with Ollie, a cool rolling robot designed to perform adrenaline-pumping stunts.

If there was an X-Games for robots, Ollie would roll gold medals.

Coated in a durable polycarbonate housing that can survive a trip to the skate park for some cool tricks

The robot is coated in a durable polycarbonate housing that can survive a fall from a cliff, so there's no need to play carefully.

It can go as fast as 14 mph and capture the sensation of speed in a small cylindrical body that fits in your child's hand.

It comes with two blue Nubby Tires for indoor and smooth surfaces, while the Prime Hubs can conquer all kinds of terrain.

Here's an overview of some cool tricks he can do:

They can take Ollie to the skate park or the quarry and control the action with a smartphone.

Bluetooth is good for up to 30 meters of range and LEDs help them keep track of the robot at night.

He can do great tricks like:

You see, all kinds of tricks inspired by skateboarding and skating.

And all easy to control with the help of the app, which is actually as simple as a game controller.

And there is always a help menu in the app to show you how you did the tricks before.

Fun for children who, for example, also skate, or love stunt scooters.

Full movements ensure precise precision in trick mode, and the app even alerts them when they perform a difficult trick.

Ollie accessories add personalization and style.

Check the most current price here

Cutest first robot toy for toddlers: Clementoni Coko the Crocodile

Cutest robot toys for toddlers: Clementoni Coko the Crocodile

Clementoni Coko the Crocodile

Coko is a programmable crocodile robot. This STEM toys for preschoolers (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) is the perfect start to the development of your child's technical skills.

Robot Coko helps your kids learn technology and basic coding. There is a playful training.

Your child will be interested in this game with everything you need to execute commands and you can program this crocodile. 

You can try to make different routes and the robot will ride them. He can swim and he can even go to sleep. You can also give him special food.

It helps develop the basics of your child's programming and logic. Give your child a present! Give him or her his first robot!

Check the prices here

Best Star Wars Robot: Sphero BB-9

Bring Star Wars to life with the BB-9 smart droid, the perfect companion for any young fan.

BB-9 responds and recognizes voices, springs to life, and rolls around the living room or patio for commands such as "move forward."

Built with a camera and kids can even record holographic messages that can be viewed in augmented reality

You can also control BB-9 from a smartphone, where some instructions can send BB-9 out exploring the area at top speed of 4,5 mph.

BB-9 is built with a camera and kids can even record holographic messages that can be viewed in augmented reality, transforming the galaxy around them.

Check out more features in this video:

BB-9 rolls over carpets, wet surfaces, correcting its course through its surroundings, even modifying its personality in response to others.

Check the latest prices here

Best Robot Battle: Silverlit Robo Kombat Duo Set

Best Robot Fight Silverlit Robo Kombat Duo Set

(view more images)

I have a bit of a love-hate relationship with these robots. 

But perhaps you shouldn't expect too much robot-like behavior from it either.

Still, I wanted to list them because of the AI ​​that Silverlit put into it. That means you can play on your own while the other robot defends itself with the help of AI.

For example, I used that to create these scenes in our Playmobil Country movie, turned into a REAL BATTLE!

So you can fight in pairs by each picking up a controller, or you can battle alone by using only one of the two included controllers so that the other robot will defend itself.

You can deliver quite a few punches, and that makes it a nice play set for children who have to say something, shall we say.

But all in all, you shouldn't expect too much AI and not too much robot smartness.

Check the latest prices here

Robot toys for children's learning

Many systems and tools have been used over the years to aid in the development of children.

In both the school and home curriculum, many robots and other digital devices are now included as learning tools for children.

Especially in recent years, robot toys for children are gaining popularity in many households.

The use of robot technology for children's toys has shown a significant positive impact on the lives of the little ones.

It has long been known that home is the first school for children and parents are the first educators in their lives.

For this reason, parents choose to give their children robot toys. This way they can have fun and learn at the same time.

Why should you buy a toy robot?

Although toys are mainly seen as fun objects for children, they do more than just play items.

In general, toys have been shown to improve children's development. They enjoy themselves, increase their creativity and stimulate their imagination.

For a variety of reasons, some kids fall completely in love with robot toys. But what distinguishes robotic toys?

They seem more realistic and responsive because they are programmed to perform certain activities such as

This integration of machine-human aspect makes them attractive to children.

Some can also record and play children's voices, using hands-on experiential techniques that actively involve them in the game.

They are versatile and can be used to create a variety of designs and they simplify technology and complex STEM principles such as programming to a level that suits the skills of children.

They are educational in a fun way and make them great learning buddies for kids.

Robot kits pave the way for their future success in working life with their own programming and building kits.

They give children computational and creative writing skills.

What should you keep in mind when buying robot toys?

In this digital age, technology has become the second human language after speech. Hence, it is necessary to involve them as early as possible.

But how do you know which toy robots are suitable for your child?

Here are some helpful tips to keep in mind when buying robotic toys for the little ones.

Does the robot fit their age?

It is important that toys are age appropriate to suit their skill level and stage of development.

For example, while pet robots are suitable for younger children, it may not appeal to teens as they require more sophisticated toys.

In addition, robot toys for toddlers should:

How big is the robot?

Toys should be small enough for toddlers and children of other ages to hold or lift them.

How safe is the robot?

To ensure that robot toys are safe for children, they must:

How sustainable is the robot?

Younger children are known for being rough when it comes to handling toys.

Especially with toddlers, toys are subject to falls and is thrown on hard surfaces, but certainly also older children can play rough with it.

Toys must be made of a strong material.

How educational is the robot?

Depending on the age, robot toys must have different educational skills, including

Ability / limitations of the child

The type of toy is determined by the child's physical and mental ability.

Children with special needs may need different toys than the rest of the children their age.

For this reason, there are robots specially designed to meet their social needs.

Your child's intention / interest

That said, choosing the right robot for your child is easy.

If you notice their interest in science or technology, a Makeblock robot is an ideal gift for them.

What can children learn with a robot?

In addition to what children learn in school, educational robotic toys include learning and problem-solving activities.

STEM robots provide them with programming basics.

While it may just be fun for them, they are slowly learning the basics of programming without even knowing it!

By figuring out how to link parts of a robot to create different designs, they gain an understanding of how programming works.

This process of designing interactive robots improve their hand-eye coordination and creativity.

They also learn that solving challenges involves breaking them down into small manageable portions.

Why coding is important to learn for young children

It used to be believed that coding was difficult and boring and that it was a specialist profession mainly devoted to men.

But today our world has changed a lot. Coding is now an important part in many industries.

In the future, coding, like computer literacy, is believed to be a mandatory qualification in almost every career.

Robot kits and coding toys have made computer programming and coding easier and more fun for young children.

While there is no right or wrong age to learn to code, the sooner the better.

Young children and teens learn better when it comes to acquiring new skills.

Children are also driven by an unquenchable thirst to discover and explore challenging new things.

In addition, this period lays a great foundation for their maturity and shapes their future relationships.

As we get older, it becomes more difficult to learn new complex skills.

Maybe it's because of the busy lifestyles and responsibilities of us adults.

While it is true that the Internet offers numerous tutorials on coding for kids, there is undeniable beauty and power in learning to code using real and tangible items as compared to virtual learning.

But also read my article on learning to code for kids which contains a lot of tips and online material.

This is where robot toys and robot kits can help. In their own simple yet entertaining ways, they can get kids' attention.

The practice-oriented approach allows them to experiment.

Robot toy innovation has debunked the notion that it is difficult to master the art of programming.

Coding robots, especially the construction robots, help children to appreciate and use STEM skills. By doing it practically, they can understand it better.

Learning to code offers a lot more than gaining coding skills.

The benefits of coding for kids

In addition to being fun and educational, the STEM robot toy helps children develop valuable life skills and qualities.

Let's take a look at the features and benefits of learning to code.

Teaches patience and persistence

By trying and failing multiple times, they learn that failure is part of progress. They are more motivated to keep exercising.

They apply this skill in real life to give them hope to keep going when things seem difficult.

Problem solving skills / decision making ability

Coding can be challenging for children at first. They learn by trial and error. This way they know which decision works best and which does not.

By working with robots, they learn that every step, no matter how small, leads to success. This ability is extended to dealing with a difficult life situation.

Improves clear thinking and communication

The best communicators are those who can explain their complex ideas in the simplest language.

Clarity is a skill that many adults and children lack.

When children understand how things work, they can express themselves both orally and in writing in a logical and systematic way.

Feeds their creativity

By experimenting and learning new skills, children can improve their creativity and broaden their knowledge.

Improves computational skills

By organizing to build blocks and learning to balance, they learn to solve math equations in a simple way.

Builds their confidence and self-esteem

When children finally manage to create building blocks and create different designs, they are more confident and can believe in their ability to solve problems.

Opens endless career opportunities

Programmers, software, game and app developers are the most sought after professionals. In fact, the demand is so high that some vacancies are not filled.

In addition, these careers are lucrative. It paves the way to their financial freedom. Unfortunately, most people never achieve financial freedom in their lives.

On the contrary, there is an increasing trend of emerging millennial millionaires. But what sets many of these individuals apart from the rest of the population?

You guessed it good programming knowledge.

Robotic Stem Toys and Kits for Teens

Robot kits for teens range from beginner to intermediate level. They are more sophisticated but still entertaining to get their attention.

Teenagers have a better understanding of programming and can read scripts, follow instructions and commands.

Robot toys in the lives of children with special needs

Many toys for children are categorized by age group, as most children reach a developmental milestone in a certain time frame and in a predictable way.

But this is usually not the case with children with special needs. It takes patience, consistent practice and repetitive actions to learn skills.

That's why there are support robot toys designed especially for them.

Robot toys for autistic children, for example, provide them with a companion and help them practice their social skills.

How we tested

Our reviewers spent five hours testing a top-rated robot.

To get the most comprehensive results, they looked at how their children interacted and tried out the different functions.

We asked our testers to consider the most important features when using this robot, from STEM features to durability.

We have outlined the most important collection points, so that you also know what to look for when buying.

Read also: modern racing tracks with the latest AI

What we paid attention to

Test Results: Wonder Workshop Dash Robot (Best Overall)

Below, briefly, the findings of our best overall robot.

What we like

What we don't like

Our reviewers found the Dash robot to be a “fun” and “intriguing” toy with a strong focus on helping a child develop STEM skills.

Although it included some built-in commands, the robot required critical thinking skills for the majority of its movements, sounds and interactions, according to our testers.

With a big emphasis on coding skills, less advanced users of programming and interacting with Dash might find interacting with Dash to be time consuming and somewhat frustrating, one of our reviewers warned, but over time the robot will develop a fun personality.

As one of our testers revealed, "Dash is like a member of the family - our very own robot!"

Conclusion

The innovation of robot toys is a step in the right direction to raise a generation of tech-savvy children.

Not only do they expose children to the world of coding early in life, but they also make their future brighter.

Like video games, as robotic toys become more and more popular in our society, they can be addictive and obsessive.

Therefore, parents must ensure that their children balance real human interaction, physical activities and keeping in touch with the real world.

also look at our review of these best tablets with wifi to control them

Always something to do for the holidays or rainy day?

Play Choice now has the ultimate activity book collection, with over 60 pages of fun coloring pages and educational puzzles.

Joost Nusselder, the founder of Speelkeuze.nl is a content marketer, father and loves trying out new toys. As a child, he came into contact with everything around games when his mother started the Tin Soldier in Ede. Since 2016, he and his team have been creating helpful blog articles to help loyal readers with fun play ideas.