Galaxy Kids Code Club believes that coding is more than an essential skill for every child in this digital age. Coding is also fun and a great way to express creativity. It’s never too early to start honing basic coding skills. So, we’ve curated our favorite coding toys and STEM gifts for kids of various age groups. We hope this will help you find the perfect educational gift for all the young people in your lives whether it be your own children, nieces, nephews, or friends! You might also consider signing a child up for a free trial class at Galaxy Kids Code Club.
Preschoolers Coding Toys
The best coding toys for this age group are interactive and do not require screens. Products should encourage learning through play while also exercising important skills like problem solving, planning and sequencing.
This fun kit fosters pre-coding skills by introducing the principles of sequencing, problem-solving, and logical thinking. It breaks down images into sequences of symbols. With the suction cup tool, kids grab tiles and then pop them into position on the grid according to the challenge card. We also love that it includes storage right inside the robot shaped casing to keep everything together.
Code-a-pillar builds motor skills in addition to pre-coding skills. Preschoolers twist the dials on the caterpillar’s segments to direct it where they want it to go. Lights and sounds can also be added to the sequence for more excitement and fun. As children grow they can up the challenge by building mazes with other toys and furniture and planning out how to navigate the caterpillar through the maze. The Think & Learn Code-a-pillar has more than 1,000 possible coding combinations for kids to explore.
Who doesn’t love play dough! Tech Will Save Us has come up with a way to use play dough to teach basic electricity and conductivity. The LED lights and buzzers included in this kit will really bring your child’s creations to life. It also comes with a digital hub, Make Platform, with tons of recipes and project ideas to keep your little geniuses busy all winter long.
Ages 5-10 Coding Toys
Music and coding go hand-in-hand and now kids can do both with Osmo’s Coding Jam. This is an open ended platform where Kids mix sounds and share compositions while learning the basics of coding. Osmo is so accessible to young coders because they use real-world blocks to build code and then see the results in real time on the tablet.
Coder Bunnyz is a coding board game created by an incredible 9-year old girl who wanted to make learning to code accessible to people of all ages. The game teaches core coding concepts like loops, branches, functions, conditionals. Also for older kids, advanced concepts like inheritance, parallelism, lists, stacks, queues and algorithms. The young inventor also has a second game, CoderMindz, for older kids interesting in learning about Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning.
We use the Code-and-Go Robot Mouse at Galaxy Kids Code Club to teach our youngest coders and they love it! Young coders can build their own mazes with the included pieces or use their own toys and books. Coding the mouse is as simple as pushing a button. The mouse also lights-up, makes sounds, and has colorful buttons to match coding cards for easy programming and sequencing. Prefect for tactile and visual learners!
We are huge fans of Kano kits! Kids build an electronic device and then use it to learn how to code with self-paced guided lessons. With the Disney Frozen 2 sensor, kids create their very own Frozen adventures with Elsa as well as the other Frozen characters. They use hand motions to conjure powers like making rainbow snowflakes, filling the screen with mini Svens, or throwing snowballs. The free companion app can be used with a number of different PCs, MacOS, and tablets. Also check out the Harry Potter Coding Wand and Star Wars the Force Coding Kit
Ages 11+ Coding Toys
Base Kit 2 from Let’s Start Coding, comes with over 50 projects and free video tutorials. Working code examples help kids get started learning through experimentation and play. Kids have 1000+ lines of code that they can tinker, modify, and customize. This kit is based on the C++ coding language which requires typing. So, solid keyboarding skills are helpful.
CoDrone Lite is a programmable drone designed to teach kids programming. This is great for beginners as well as kids with some prior coding experience, using a block based coding platform. Lessons include programming custom flight patterns, programming remotes, navigating through obstacles, and more.
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