If the A.I. takeover is inevitable, why don’t we let the kids build the robots? We don’t know about you, but we’d take Wall-E and Baymax over T-1000 any day. While these kits aren’t designed to churn out futuristic android assassins, they do foster S.T.E.M. skills and creative thinking. Read along to discover nine mind-bending robot kits for kids.

Our Top Picks

Wonder Workshop Dash Robot

Best Overall

Wonder Workshop Dash Robot

Owi Hydraulic Arm Edge Kit

Best Budget Buy

Owi Hydraulic Arm Edge Kit

How to Pick the Best Robot Kits for Kids

1. Recommended Age

These days, kids are basically expected to know basic coding before they pop out of the womb. Still, there’s no reason to overwhelm youngsters with an exorbitant number of tiny pieces or impossibly perplexing apps. Robot toys should pose as an age-appropriate challenge that can be completed within a child’s attention span. In other words, save the hundred-piece rigs for ultra patient kids over the age of 10.

2. Power Source

These days, kids are basically expected to know basic coding before they pop out of the womb. Still, there’s no reason to overwhelm youngsters with an exorbitant number of tiny pieces or impossibly perplexing apps. Robot toys should pose as an age-appropriate challenge that can be completed within a child’s attention span. In other words, save the hundred-piece rigs for ultra patient kids over the age of 10.

3. Programmable

Codable toys are a fat checkmark the for “T” in S.T.E.M. They also offer an abundance of playtime possibilities, helping to ensure that your child’s new robot toy doesn’t fall into the black hole at the bottom of their toy bin.

4. Materials

As always, pay close attention to what type of materials make up a robotic kit. Many modern toys are made of plastic, which is durable and long-lasting. Then again, metal, wood, and even cardboard can be used to create robots of all shapes and sizes.

5. Number of Pieces

Robot kits are sort of like complex interactive jigsaw puzzles. The ones with one to 50 pieces are typically suitable for young children. Meanwhile, kits with 100 pieces or more are geared toward children 8 and older. While piece-heavy pieces pose an engineering challenge for young children, they are also difficult to keep track of.

6. Functions

We’ve seen robots that can walk, talk, dance, sing, swim, shoot, draw, and more. Be sure to pick an android with a repertoire that will dazzle your child’s imagination. Many, though not all, modern robot kits help teach coding, which can open the door to literally hundreds of different robotic movements. Meanwhile, others pose as simple machines. Both types of robot kits teach S.T.E.M. skills and both empower kids to build, create, and learn. Just be sure to choose one that will resonate with your little one!

The Winners

#1

Wonder Workshop Dash Robot

Best Overall

While Dash Robot provides hours of giggle-inducing playtime, it’s also a number-one choice of educators around the world. That’s because Dash brings children into the coding cockpit, enabling them to flex their S.T.E.M. skills while watching the magic unfold before their eyes. There’s no need to spend hours piecing together Dash, he comes fully assembled and ready for individual or group coding exercises!

  • You'll love: Won many awards
  • Transforms into different creatures and objects
  • Teaches coding
  • Long-lasting rechargeable battery

Recommended Age: 8 years and up
Power Source: Lithium-Ion battery
Programmable: Five free Apps
Materials: Plastic
Number of Pieces: One
Functions: Sings, draws, moves

#2

Lego Mindstorm Robot Kit

Upgrade Choice

The sky is the limit with the EV3 programmable Lego robot. This mohawk-clad rover has a fierce presence, but his personality is yours to design. With a little coding knowledge, SPIK3R’s (or one of the 16 other robots) every move is at your command. Like all Lego sets, this can be combined with other Lego construction kits for an endless myriad of possibilities!

  • You'll love: 17 interchangeable robot designs
  • Comes with remote control
  • Compatible with all Lego construction kits
  • Hundreds of codable movements
  • Watch for: Requires six batteries

Requires batteries : six batteries
Recommended Age: 10-15 years
Power Source: 6 AA batteries
Programmable: Robot Commander App and Infrared Remote Control
Materials: Plastic
Number of Pieces: 601
Functions: Walk, talk, “think:

#3

Owi Hydraulic Arm Edge Kit

Best Budget Buy

Do your child’s ears perk at the sound of the Army Corp of Engineers? If so, this codeless Owi Hydraulic Arm Edge Kit is probably the water-powered catalyst that will launch them toward a pension-padded government job. Kids can piece together a fully functioning crane arm with vacuum power.

  • You'll love: No coding necessary
  • Suitable for beginner engineers
  • Lift and move small objects
  • Build-in braking system

Recommended Age: 10 to 15 years
Power Source: Water!
Programmable: No
Materials: Plastic
Number of Pieces: 229
Functions: Vacuum-powered crane

#4

Lego Building and Coding Kit

Best Lego robotics

Looking to use your child’s love of Legos as a springboard for their future engineering career? The Lego Building and Coding toolbox is a five-in-one Lego robotics kit combines science, technology, engineering, and mathematics into a seemingly never-ending hand-on experience. While building it is half the fun, kids get a second dose of satisfaction when they program their block creations.

  • You'll love: Can build five different models
  • Detects color, distance, tilts, and motions
  • Functions as a light
  • Rolls smoothly
  • Can be used to build miniature Lego models
  • Comes with Lego Playmat
  • Watch for: Need an iPad or Android Tablet to program

Recommended Age: 7-12 years
Power Source: 6 AA batteries
Programmable: Codable Behaviors with Lego Boost App
Materials: Plastic and Metal
Number of Pieces: 847
Functions: Functioning Robot, Cat, M.T.R., Auto Builder, and Guitar, Color and Distance Sensors

#5

littleBits Star Wars Droid Inventor Kit

Wee Star Wars fans will relish the opportunity to build their very own R2-D2. ThE LittleBits Star Wars Droid Inventor Kit is a parent-approved robot kit that includes frustration-free magnetic connectors and a fully functioning robot motor. When your done building Artoo, just download the free app and enter some basic codes to bring your little astromech droid to, albeit artificial, life.

  • You'll love: Over 22 coding missions
  • Easy to follow instructions
  • Magnetic connections
  • Kids can give their Android its own personality
  • Includes stickers and programming ideas
  • Manual and App-driven modes
  • Watch for: Requires smart device with Bluetooth

Recommended Age: 8 years and up
Power Source: 2 C batteries
Programmable: 22 Coding Missions with Bluetooth-compatible Android Device
Materials: Magnetic Plastic Blocks
Number of Pieces: 20+
Functions: Customizable movements and sounds

#6

Thames & Kosmos RC Machines

If your child graduated from Baby Einstein with flying colors, it may be time to invest in this multifaceted Thames & Kosmos RC Machines kit. With 10 different models to build and a functioning remote control, this is the autonomous engineering kit you’ve been dreaming of!

  • You'll love: Comes with 48-page manual
  • Three motors
  • Buildable vehicles
  • Functioning machines
  • Watch for: No on/off button

Recommended Age: 8 years and up
Power Source: AAA batteries
Programmable: Remote control
Materials: Plastic
Number of Pieces: 182
Functions: 10 buildable remote-controlled models

#7

Nintendo Labo - Variety Kit

Is your child constantly glued to their Nintendo Switch? Let yourself feel good about that excess screen time by making it educational. Nintendo Labo – Variety Kit features five Toy-Con projects that can be brought to life with Nintendo Switch console and Joy-Con controllers. Once your finished piecing together your creation, you can use it to partake in dozens of entertaining activities.

  • You'll love: Five unique projects
  • Toy-Con Garage included
  • Use stickers, markers, and paint to customize
  • Recyclable
  • Watch for: Need to Own Nintendo Switch System

Recommended Age: 8 and up
Power Source: Rechargeable battery
Programmable: Via Nintendo Switch
Materials: Cardboard and Software
Number of Pieces: Five Separate Projects
Functions: RC car, fishing rod, Toy-Con House, Motorbike, Toy-Con Piano

#8

Owi 14-in-1 Educational Solar Robot

Best solar robotics kit

Be like Helios and harness the power of the sun! Okay, this 14-in-1 Educational Solar Robot is more comic relief than Greek warrior. Nevertheless, what child turns down the opportunity to build a zombie-chasing android that transforms into a gear-driven crab?

  • You'll love: 14 different modes
  • Silly realistic movements
  • Moves on land and water
  • Teaches alternative energy
  • Watch for: Tiny pieces

Recommended Age: 10 years and up
Power Source: Solar
Programmable: No
Materials: Plastic
Functions: Walk, crawl, float, swim

#9

4-in-1 Solar Robot Kit

Best remote controlled robot kit

Nothing says progressive parent like a 4-in-1 Solar Robot Kit! Let your little one build a wriggling robot worm and then bask in the envy of your parent peers. While 237 pieces may sound like a lot, this kit is frustration-free and suitable for young school-agers.

  • You'll love: Easy connectors
  • Remote control
  • No coding background necessary
  • Four different buildable creatures

Recommended Age: 6 years and up
Power Source: Sun
Programmable: Remote control
Materials: Plastic
Number of Pieces: 237
Functions: Worm, robot, knight, tanker

DIY, Craft and Décor: Ideas for robotic toy lovers

Robot Stuffies

Blogger Julie Gillrie has an incredible tutorial on how to make your very own stuffed robot. Who doesn’t want to snuggle a silvery android before bed?

Recycled Robots

Check out Southern Made Simple’s adorable toilet paper roll robots ! Is there a better way to recycle your bathroom trash? We certainly don’t think so!

Quick Decision

Wonder Workshop Dash Robot– Best Overall
Our list wouldn’t be complete without our editor’s choice, Wonder Workshop’s educational, entertaining, and fully autonomous Dash Robot

Lego Mindstorm Robot Kit – Upgrade Choice
Of course, our upgrade option, the LEGO MINDSTORMS EV3 Robot Kit is the toy equivalent to an AP engineering class.

Owi Hydraulic Arm Edge Kit – Best Budget Buy
Finally, for those with a little less padding in the wallet, our best budget buy, the OWI Hydraulic Arm Edge Kit, offers hours of sustainable entertainment!

bb-8 droid toy

REMOTE CONTROL BB-8 DROIDS

Are your kids sci-fi enthusiasts? Then we’ve got something they’ll love… Check out our guide to the best remote control BB-8 Droids!

Gary B.

Gary B.

Gary is a father of two, self-identified RC fanboy, and part-time guitar plucker. When he's not racing his collection of remote-controlled vehicles or strumming away, we bend his arm and get him to write with precision and expertise on a range of mechanical and electrical toys.

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