Hello there! The 2023 Christmas and Holiday season is finally here and it’s the perfect time to inspire and encourage the young minds to learn something new and exciting. I’ve put together an amazing list of the best toys that teach kids how to code and tinker with technology. These toys are not only fun to play with, they also spark curiosity, ignite interest, and inspire creativity in coding and technology.
Feeling overwhelmed and not sure what to look for in a toy?
Don’t worry, I’m here to help! Let me share a few tips on what to consider when picking out a toy for your young learner. With a mix of returning favorites and new options, there is something for everyone on this list.
So let’s get excited and inspired to explore the wonderful world of coding together!
Coding Toys and Gadgets
It’s the holiday season – a time for giving and spreading joy around us. As I wrap up teaching my technology students this college term, I’m excited to share my passion for technology and coding with you. If you’re wondering what to get your young person this holiday season, fear not! I have the perfect list of toys and gadgets that will teach them the basics of coding and logical thinking.
If you’re new to coding, no worries! I’ve got you covered with an easy-to-understand explanation of what coding is all about. Let’s make this holiday season special by introducing our loved ones to the world of coding and technology.
Here’s to a wonderful holiday season filled with love and learning!
I Never Want To Grow Up!!
I love toys and always have. But I really loved the toys that sparked my imagination and curiosity.
My kids are now much older now but I still love toys and gadgets. So do they.
Do you remember your favorite toy?
Why was it your favorite? Keep that in mind when you pick out a gift for a young learner. If you are looking for that cool tech gift that can inspire a young coder, keep these 6 areas in mind.
6 Key Areas To Keep In Mind When Selecting A Coding Toy
- Get up and move! Anything is OK with moderation, even being at a computer. Once again, I highly recommend the SPHERO line of robots that you can code. They get you up and moving as you move them around obstacles courses and other challenges. If Sphero isn’t your choice, then look for toys that allow you to create, move around and even take out doors.
- Price – Yes, I know we love our kids and would give them the moon. But you really don’t have to buy a $1000 computer and software to get coding. Look for something that fits your budget. A child can enjoy a $40 gadget as much as a $400. You know the old story…”I bought all these gifts, and my son played with the boxes”. Actually that was me. I used my imagination with everything. Which leads me to this one….
(See the Coding Toy Idea Book download for the full 6 tips/advice)
My List of Great Coding Toys (STEM/STEAM)
The guide is broken out by ages from 36 months to 14 yrs old and UP. The ages are simply guides. You know your child best!
The toys and gadgets I have listed here have links (via my Amazon affiliate account). Please feel free to use it or search it on your own.
This is a sample of what you can find in the Coding Toy Idea Book Download.....
Ages: 36 months to 5 yrs
Ages: 36 months to 6 yrs Old
What: Kids connect segments of the Code-a-Pillar and control how it moves left, right, and forward in a variety of combinations while it lights up and makes sounds.
Why I Like It: NO SCREEN!! Also it is Fisher Price and this has been very popular for a few years now. Priced under $30, it encourages young kids to experiment, build, and have fun. There is no limit to the number of combinations a young person can make as you send it towards specific targets in a room.
Ages: 36 months to 5 yrs old
What: OSMO is a set of learning games and this one is a great starting place. It requires an iPad or Amazon Fire Tablet (no Wifi) as kids become engaged with problem solving activities in a very interactive way.
Why I Like It: Osmo has become a very popular system of learning games that do grow as a kid gets older. So this is not a one time buy and forget about a year later. I like it because it is a BROADER learning toy that goes beyond just learning how to code.
Ages: 8 yrs and Up
Ages: 8 yrs old to 12 yrs old
What: This kit won a Family Choice Award for 2021. Using a customizable circuit board and a guidebook created by educators it gets kids up and coding fast!!
Why I Like It: The fact that over 25,000 kids and teachers provided their input in its creation gives it some pretty solid legs to stand on! I also like the fact that as you gain knowledge and experience you can move to a free online code editor designed by kids!
The family of robotic devices from Sphero.com allow you to control them with a smartphone or tablet app and then also program them.
For younger kids just starting out the app is a cool way to just start having fun and learning the foundations of controlling a robot. Then you can step it up by learning to code Macros (think of a to-do list approach), OrbBasic, and the OVAL (a full programming language).
Ages: 10 yrs and Older
Ages: 10 yrs and up
What: A coding board game that comes with 120 challenges of increasing difficulty.
Why I Like It: A great game that gets kids thinking at a GREAT PRICE. In cybersecurity, you have to learn to think one step (if not more) ahead than your adversary Black Hat Hacker. This is a great alternative for that kid you want to explore the high job growth field of cybersecurity.
Ages: 12 yrs and Older
Ages: 12 yrs and up
What: Work with electronics and create code to control them.
Why I Like It: I have use this in my college class as it introduces young people to embedded software. Embedded software is software code you create that tells hardware what to do.
Ages: 14 yrs and Older
Ages: 14 yrs and up
What: An easy and safe to pilot programmable drone.
Why I Like It: I have used this particular drone to teach coding. You can use the app and if you have an Apple device, use the block coding tools. There are also several websites that have interfaces to program. Or if you are into learning how to code, you can write the software using a Raspberry Pi and send the commands to the drone. This drone is A LOT OF FUN!!
Shop for a number of coding toys and devices on the GetMeCoding Amazon Affiliate page.
Proceeds from these purchases help us keep our lights on and computers running over at GetMeCoding.com
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays everyone!!!
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