11 Toys for Kids Who Want to Code

June 18, 2016, 11:00 PM UTC
Boys running along beach with a toy plane
Boys, aged 9-10, running along a beach at sunset with a toy plane
Photograph by Alistair Berg — Getty Images

This piece originally appeared on Uncubed.

We’re old enough to remember when educational games were limited to the back of a box of cereal. But a whole new generation of kids are lucky enough to have access to teaching toys, games, and gadgets that are actual fun. We’ve got 11 of the best toys around that help children learn coding and tech skills.

Dash and Dot

dashdotsINLINE Courtesy of Dash and Dot

The one-eyed, talking robots Dash and Dot integrate with iOS and Android devices to help teach kids ages 5 and up coding skills. Responding to light and sound, and sensing objects around them, the devices must be programmed to interact with the world around them.


jewelbotsINLINE Courtesy of Jewelbots

The programmable friendship bracelets from Jewelbots aim to make coding accessible to pre-teen girls. After a successful Kickstarter campaign which featured an endorsement from no less an authority than Bill Nye, the wearables will ship this summer.

Sphero SPRK Edition

spheroINLINE Courtesy of Sphero

You may recognize Sphero from their 2015 holiday hit BB-8, but it’s not all fun and games. The Sphero SPRK Edition promises to teach robotics, coding, and STEM principles through a C-based kid-friendly language called OVAL.

Mover Kit

moverkitINLINE Courtesy of Mover Kit

Launched on Kickstarter earlier this month, Mover Kit is an unassembled wearable that allows kids to create their own integrated apps, accessing the device’s accelerometer, magnetometer, and LEDs.

Tinker by Kiwi Crate

inkerkiwiINLINE Courtesy of Kiwi Crate

Kiwi Crate offers a series of subscription boxes for kids, and their Tinker Crate, intended for ages 9 – 16, includes a new STEM project every month.


puzzletsINLINE Courtesy of Puzzlets

Pairing with a tablet or computer, Puzzlets looks like an old-fashioned tile game but actually introduces complex coding and programming challenges. Kids use the tiles to move characters through 120 progressively more difficult levels.


goldiebloxINLINE Courtesy of GoldieBlox

One of the biggest players in bringing STEM to girls, GoldieBlox have outgrown their feud with the Beastie Boys to focus on bringing erector set-like toys that aim to close the gender gap in engineering.

Code Monkey Island

codemonkeyINLINE Courtesy of Code Monkey Island

Yes, an old-fashioned board game can actually teach coding skills. Code Monkey Island uses the logic required to do basic programming while helping your monkey score more bananas.


primoINLINE Courtesy of Primo

The Cubetto from Primo Toys combines old fashioned wooden block toys with robotics. Without using words, or screens, the Cubetto robot hopes to make abstract programming ideas accessible to all.


kanoINLINE Courtesy of Kano

The Kano lets kids assemble their own actual computer, using a Raspberry Pi-powered board, basic wiring, and modular display unit.

Robot Turtles

robotturtlesINLINE Courtesy of Robot Turtles

Not to be confused with the teenage mutants, Robot Turtles is a board game and ebook that teaches the fundamentals of programming to kids aged 3 – 8.