The following 10 are a great mix of toys that will help introduce or develop your child's knowledge and confidence with coding.
Well now, what have we here? Apparently an almost perfect example of coding toys and tools for children. Fisher-Price is renowned the world over for the quality of their toys but this might be a game changer. The Code-a-Pillar lets your child play and learn some basic coding at the same time.
The toy comprises of eight segments and a head. Each segment has a symbol on its back to show a direction or an 'action' icon such as playing music or wiggling. The segments can be linked together in a sequence and the Code-a-Pillar will follow it faithfully.
There are also expansion packs for additional commands. A word of warning for parents, however. There is no volume control!
2. Lego Boost Robotics
Who can argue with Lego for Christmas? Especially a Lego kit that is an example of coding toys and tools for children. This set lets your little ones learn how to program robots. The kit is aimed at children between the ages of 7 and 12, but does Lego really have an age limit?
The kit comes with bricks, of course, a central processing unit and some sensors. The assembled robots can be programmed using an iPad or Android tablet with the included app.
Project builds are a little challenging but less so than their Mindstorm Kits. It is compatible with all other Lego Sets for full customization.
3. Coji from WowWee
This cute little bot is called Coji and it can be programmed using emojis. Kids can use a tablet or smartphone to loaf programs onto the robot and have the time of their lives. Some basic functions are also available without using a mobile device, which is nice.
Each emoji will describe a specific robot action which can be built into a sequence. For instance, directional symbols will move the robot (as you'd expect). Adding a musical instrument will make Coji play a little tune for your child.
Children can also build-in if-then statements. The accompanying app also has some games to make the experience more immersive.
4. Code and Go Robot Mouse Activity Set
Here's a great little toy to teach basic coding that doesn't need a computer or WiFi. Your child gets to build a maze and then program Colby the mouse to traverse it.
Simple yet effective. The set comes with mazes depicted on so-called 'activity cards' that your child can build. Or, of course, your child can design their own.
Coding involves basic direction commands or 'actions' like lighting up or making a sound. This one is targeted at children as young as 5 and doesn't require any reading skills.
5. Kano Computer Kit
Kano is ideal for children who want to build their own little computer. The entire set is powered using a Raspberry Pi as well as Kano's very own OS and keyboard.
The set comes complete with an HDMI cable to connect to a TV or monitor. The Pi comes in a transparent case so kids can see the 'gubbins' at work. Cables are also color-coded to help young builders put the kit together.
The set also comes with a handy guidebook to walk young ones through the entire process.
Cubetto is actually a Kickstarter project from the startup company Primo Toys, It was launched in 2016 and raised 15 times its goal of $100,000.
The toy is designed for 3-year-olds and is made of wood. Cubetto doesn't require any screens and will teach your little one the basics of programming commands.
The wooden robot is controlled from a board where children insert wooden 'commands' or coding blocks.
7. Dough Universe Advertising
This one isn't necessarily coding per se, but it is a novel option worthy of consideration. It's not very often you'll see electronics and clay combined into one toy. With Dough Universe you get just that. A company called Technology Will Save Us recently also launched a kickstart to make what they call a "squishy play experience".
The clay is a special kind called "electro-dough" which can actually conduct electricity. The kit comes complete with a simple battery pack, a speaker, and a video game-like controller.
The toy is aimed at kids between the ages of 4 and 6 and is designed to let them build simple circuits and mold them into any shape. It also comes with a neat app to guide children through the process.
8. Sphero SPRK+
Sphero is, as the name suggests, a spherical robot that connects to a smart device via Bluetooth. It comes with batteries that are powered up via an inductive charger too.
Sphero works with an app called Lighting Lab as well as another called Sphero Edu. Both these apps provide a platform for children to program Sphero using a graphical interface.
Ozobot is a neat little line-following robot that will help kids learn the principles of coding. This little fella will follow black line drawings on a piece of paper or tablet screen. Strategically placed red dots will also make the robot perform certain actions.
These can include a color change, direction change or change in speed. There is a new EVO model too but the original one is great for introducing the basic concepts of coding.
EVO comes with some extra features like IR Proximity Sensing, RC-controlled movements and some autonomous behaviors.
Last but not least on our list of coding toys is Augie. Augie is a premiere coding robot that comes equipped with augmented reality technology. The toy has been developed to help introduce children to coding whilst having fun at the same time. Augie will engage your child's creativity and imagination whilst enhancing their critical thinking and problem-solving skills.
Augie also comes with a free app that offers engaging lesson plans and exciting gameplay.
So there you go. Have any of these coding toys and tools for children tickle your fancy?