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A fun robot is a great toy for a kid when you want to encourage building, creativity, and overall STEM skills. From talking, dancing, taking commands, and more, these robots can do it all. Though they're technologically advanced, many of them are also budget-friendly.
Here are the top robot toys to encourage all inquisitive minds:
Think Gizmos RoboShooter Remote Control Robot
This remote-control robot does it all. From talking to shooting disks to busting a move, he is a robot of many talents. Once you load him up with the brightly colored disks (12 are included), you use the remote to get him into position, then it’s ready, aim, fire. (Parents, take cover!) He can even be programmed ahead of time to move and fire on his own for a surprise attack.
A touch of the “dance“ button and he’ll show you his moves. He can also walk forward, backward, left and right, and will greet you when you turn him on, “Greetings, Master, I await your command.” All that power takes six AA batteries, which aren’t included, so you may want to stock up as kids will want to start using this one pronto. Recommended for ages five and up, this robot is all about fun.
"For whatever reason, kids—including ours—love throwing and shooting things at their parents, friends, siblings, and anyone else around. If your child is in this phase, you will probably appreciate the RoboShooter, as it’s a gentler alternative to, say, Nerf guns."—Kaity Velez, Product Tester
LEGO Creator Robo Explorer 31062 Robot Toy
Little builders can create their own robots with this inexpensive Lego robot kit. It has everything they need to build a robot-explorer, a robot dog, and a robot bird. While the robots won’t talk, dance or move electronically, they feature movable tracks and body parts for lots of kid-powered, imaginative fun. Two batteries (included) power cool features on the robots like light-up eyes and a light-up jetpack.
The set is recommended for kids ages 7 to 12, and there are more than 200 pieces in all. Kids can follow the directions for the suggested creations or dream up wild, new robotic characters of their own. For the price, it’s a great gift for young roboticists.
Ozobot Bit Maker Starter Pack
Thought it’s just one cubic inch in size, this robot's powers are pretty major. Kids are in control as they use special markers to draw codes paper or the screen of tablet device. The Ozobot then follows the directions as dictated by the codes. Kids will be fascinated by their newfound power and get a taste of what coding is all about.
This starter pack comes with the Ozobot, a charging cable, four markers, skins, stickers, and more than 20 suggested games and activities. When they’re ready to take their coding skills to the next level, there’s also an Ozobot website and apps for them to explore. One lithium battery is required, but it’s included, so Ozobot is ready to go out of the box. Recommended for ages eight and up, it’s a great toy that’s both fun and educational.
SmartGurlz Coding Robot for Girls, Jen on Robotic Scooter
Part of the award-winning line of SmartGurlz toys, Maria is a doll with a robotic “Siggy” scooter that can be programmed by little coders. They use the SugarCoded app on a smartphone or tablet to send her on missions and other adventures including dances, obstacle courses, fashion shows, and more. The app also lets them solve missions, win points, and see how their friends are doing as well. Girl power, indeed.
Designed for kids ages five and up, it’s a great way to introduce STEM and coding skills in a fun and engaging way. It runs on one nine-volt battery (not included), but you can also purchase a rechargeable battery (sold separately).
littleBits Star Wars Droid Inventor Kit
Star Wars fans will flip for this kit that lets them build their own droid. It includes everything they need to bring it to life, including the electric blocks and parts, a nine-volt battery, and an app that guides them. Recommended for kids ages eight and up, and it’s designed to be simple enough for them to construct without the help of parents, so they feel a sense of accomplishment. If they want to get extra creative, they can put the directions aside and build a bot straight from their imagination.
Once it’s finished, they can teach their droid new skills and send it on missions and challenges. The droid runs in drive mode (kids control it via the app), self-nav mode (the smart bot has a “mind” of its own), and even, force mode, where kids can guide it with the simple wave of a hand. Kids and adults alike will be blown away by the things this droid can do.
ZOOB BuilderZ ZOOB Bot Moving Building Modeling System
This kit offers a beginning course in robotics as it contains everything kids need to build their own cool bot. It comes with 49 pieces, two wheels, a pull-back two-wheel motor, four tires, and cool, light up eyes. Instructions to build four ZOOB-Bots are included, as is the required battery. Kids can go by the book, or come with up with creations of their own as their imagination is the best guide. The pieces simply snap together, and they work with other ZOOB kits for expanded building.
Recommended for ages six up and an affordable price, it’s a great way to get kids interested in robotics and start building those STEM skills
We bought two top-rated robot toys and our reviewers tested them for 20 hours. We asked our testers to consider the most important features when using these toys, from their price to their entertainment value. We’ve outlined the key takeaways here so that you, too, know what to look for when shopping.
Function Some robots will delight kids with their tricks and human-like capabilities; others will help them learn important skills. Certain robots come ready to wow kids out of the box, while in the cases of other models, putting them together is part of the fun. Consider your child’s age, interests, and attention span when choosing the perfect robot toy.
Complexity While most robots come with a recommended age range, think about a child’s individual skills when choosing a bot. Kids who like a challenge may prefer a bot they can program themselves, using STEM skills, while others may just want to play games and dance with their toy.
Price From basic, affordable bots to more expensive ones with bells and whistles aplenty, robots come in a wide range of prices. If you’re not sure about a child’s affinity for robots, you may want to start with a more basic model, while devoted fans might get more use out of a sophisticated bot. Don’t forget to consider the cost of batteries, too — some require quite a few and need replacing frequently.