The Best Robot Kits for Kids

By Rebecca / August 30, 2017
Robot Kits for Kids

Why Are Robotics Kits a Good Investment?

By getting your kids involved in robot kits and robot games, engineering, mathematics, and other science kits at an early age you allow them to learn the basics of programming, advance intellectually, grow in confidence, and teach kids to become more prepared for the constant technologically advancing world.

What Makes a Good Robot Kit?

  • How engaging is it for your kids and you? You want something that either will keep your child engaged and learning individually or allow you to work with your child.
  • What does it offer parts wise? How many parts and what the parts are in the kit are influential factors since this can give you some limits if the kit comes with only a few pieces?
  • What the kit does (make a robot program, teach about a type of energy source, etc.)
  • Are the instructions easy to follow for both you and or your child? Instructions and the ability to understand/follow the instructions are important for achieving the desirable end product.
  • Quality of the overall product.
  • Your budget, some robotics kits can be rather expensive than others.
  • Are the parts safe for your child's age group? Some robotics kits come with small metal bolts, electrical components, and other small pieces that would be a hazard if swallowed. Make sure the kits are age appropriate and suit your child's abilities.

Rating

5.0

Ages

3 years old and up

Pros

  • High quality, environmentally-friendly ABS materials used
  • All keys on remote control can be programmed to add many playing ways
  • Move in all directions
  • Two modes of walking speed
  • Remote Control: Infrared remote control distance of 30 meters with 2.4 GHz transmission
  • Comes with instructions and USB charging cable

Cons

  • 2 AA batteries required and not included (for remote control)
  • Due to being remote controlled it is best to keep both robot and remote control together
  • Fairly expensive price
  • Charging time for robot's battery is 2 – 3 hours and only lasts 20 – 30 minutes of play

Rating

5.0

Ages

3-7 years old

Pros

  • Six rechargeable SAM blocks
  • Curious Cars App to play the game and SAM Space App to program your own inventions, compatible with Apple Mac, IOS, Android, and Windows desktop
  • Includes 20+ projects
  • Includes easy-to-read instructions
  • Compatible with LEGO

Cons

  • Fairly expensive price wise
  • Uses Bluetooth

Rating

4.7

Ages

3 years old and up

Pros

  • Comes with 87 pieces
  • Nuts and bolts construction building toy is durable
  • Comes with an idea guide/instruction manual
  • Comes with a little storage container to put all the pieces inside
  • Fairly inexpensive price wise
  • Offers a wide variety of things to be built

Cons

  • Not for children under the age of 3 due to small pieces being a choking hazard
  • Nothing is motorized or programmable

Rating

4.5

Ages

3-10 years old

Pros

  • Comes with a 32-page illustrated instructions manual that is easy to read in story format
  • Has 53 pieces and makes ten different models
  • Highly durable pieces for safe construction
  • Fairly inexpensive price wise
  • Robots have moving parts, wheels, and gears

Cons

  • Nothing is motorized or programmed
SainSmart 17DOF Biped Black Educational Robot Kit

Rating

4.3

Ages

1-3 years old

Pros

  • Makes a little durable humanoid robot
  • Can be motorized
  • Parts are made of quality metal materials

Cons

  • Fairly expensive price wise
  • Time-consuming to build end product
  • Requires adult supervision
  • Instructions are downloaded
  • Motor is sold separately

Rating

4.0

Ages

3-8 years old

Pros

  • Comes with a step by step booklet
  • Compatible with most MAGFORMERS shapes and accessories except XL shapes
  • Can build eight walking robot characters
  • Motorized to make the little robots walk

Cons

  • The magnets can come loose and become a serious choking hazard, so parental supervision is advised
  • Fairly expensive price wise
  • Can be a little noisy due to the motor

Rating

3.5

Ages

3 years old and up

Pros

  • Made of wood
  • All non-toxic, child safe, and made to last
  • Comes with a small pouch to keep all pieces together
  • Fairly inexpensive price wise
  • No noise
  • No batteries required

Cons

  • Must be used under adult supervision
  • No step-by-step guide to help build
  • Not motorized or programmable

Rating

3.1

Ages

3-10 years old

Pros

  • Pieces easily come apart and go back together again
  • Made of durable natural rubber wood
  • Makes four robots
  • No noise
  • No batteries required
  • Fairly inexpensive price wise

Cons

  • Has a small ball that may pose a choking hazard

Rating

3.0

Ages

3 years old and up

Pros

  • Comes with detailed instructions
  • Builds a wide variety of toys through the step-by-step guide
  • Comes with mini battery-powered drill
  • Made of durable materials
  • Fairly inexpensive price wise

Cons

  • Requires 2 AA batteries that are not included

Rating

None available

Ages

3 years old and up

Pros

  • Solar powered, no batteries required
  • Comes with instructions
  • Simple to build
  • Fairly inexpensive price wise
  • Motorized

Cons

  • Relies heavily on sunlight
  • Not very fast

Recommendations: The best kits to buy for your little one would be Kids First Robot Engineer Kit and Storybook, Nuts and Bolts Building Toy for Toddlers to Pre-Kindergarten with Tool Box Storage Container, Idea Guide & Ratchet by Skoolzy, and 3D Creative Builder, 280 Pieces, Educational Kids Engineering Construction Building Toy with Power Drill. They all offer the safest toys quality and parts wise as well as being fairly inexpensive making for a budget-friendly investment.

Top Ten Robot Kits for Pre-Kindergarten (Pre-K) (Ages 3-4 Years Old)

1.  Magnetic Building Blocks Toy Set – Create Cars, Truck, Motorbikes, Robots and More

Rating

5.0

Ages

4 years old and up

Pros

  • Wide variety of design options
  • Comes with instructions
  • High-quality ABS plastic magnets reduce the chance of breaking
  • 30-day full refund if not satisfied with product
  • Comes with storage container to store all parts and pieces
  • No noises
  • No batteries required

Cons

  • Fairly high price
  • Small parts make this a potential choking hazard for those under the age of 3

Rating

4.9

Ages

4 years old and up

Pros

  • Contains an idea sheet
  • Fairly inexpensive price wise
  • Made of quality plastic and rubber materials
  • No noises
  • No batteries required

Cons

  • Does not contain instructions
  • Not motorized or programmable

Rating

3.9

Ages

3 years old and up

Pros

  • Equipped with touch, color, and infrared sensors
  • ARM9 processor, USB port for Wi-Fi and Internet connectivity, Micro SD card reader, back-lit buttons, and four motor ports
  • Intuitive software, Windows PC and Mac iOS, with an icon-based drag and drop programming interface
  • Control and command your robot with the enclosed remote control or download the free app for your smartphone or tablet
  • Motorized and programmable

Cons

  • Fairly expensive price wise
  • Requires 6 AA and 2 AAA for remote control

Rating

3.8

Ages

1-4 years old

Pros

  • Solar powered
  • Fairly inexpensive price wise
  • No batteries required
  • Micro vibration motor is driven by being placed directly in the sunlight
  • No assembly required

Cons

  • Requires direct sunlight to work

Rating

3.8

Ages

3-15 years old

Pros

  • Contains detailed instructions and all the necessary parts
  • Fairly inexpensive price wise
  • Good for teaching the importance of recycling and repurposing

Cons

  • 2 AAA batteries required, not included
  • Small parts, not for children under the age of 3 years
  • Requires an empty soda can
  • Requires a mini screwdriver
  • Does make noise as it moves

6.)

Rating

3.5

Ages

3-8 years old

Pros

  • Multiple bugs can be used at the same time
  • Fairly inexpensive price wise
  • Measures 360-degree movement
  • Remote controlled
  • Comes in red or blue

Cons

  • 2 AA batteries are required, 9V battery is required in each remote, batteries not included

Rating

3.4

Ages

4 years old and up

Pros

  • Free programmable software for Windows, Linux, iOS, and Android
  • Free downloadable lesson plans for teachers & classrooms
  • Customize with LEGO pieces to create your own unique robot
  • Scans barcodes to learn new functions and activities
  • A variety of programmable functions
  • Has a variety of features ranging from infrared sensors, speeds, buttons, and transmitters

Cons

  • Fairly expensive price wise
  • Makes noise
Discovery Kids

Rating

3.2

Ages

3 years old and up

Pros

  • Step-by-step instructions included
  • Fairly inexpensive price wise
  • Comes with screwdriver and remote control
  • Assembly required

Cons

  • Makes noise
  • No programming involved
  • Batteries required and not included

Rating

None

Ages

3 years old and up

Pros

  • Solar powered
  • Fairly inexpensive price
  • Work life of solar battery is approximately 3 – 5 years
  • Six different working models
  • Easy to assemble by following the steps in the instructions
  • Requires no batteries

Cons

  • Requires direct sunlight
  • Will not work in cloudy or shady locations or under fluorescent light
  • Will not work if built incorrectly
  • Only one project can be completed at a time

Rating

None

Ages

3-18 years old

Pros

  • Download the free 4 Ablilix Apps on iOS or Android to the remote control and program/ build the robot modules
  • Comes with a lithium ion battery
  • Programmable and motorized
  • Build six different modules of robots with four robotic actuators and four sensors
  • The app has step-by-step instructions to help with the assembly process

Cons

  • Fairly high price
  • Instructions have to be downloaded

Recommendations: The best robotics kits to buy for your pre-kindergartener would be the SCASTOE 6 IN 1 Solar Educational Robots Plane Kit DIY Children Kids Creative Funny Toy Blue, Abilix Building Block Robot for Kids Age 4+ Starter to Learn Robotics, Coding, and Electronics (4 Sensors, 248 Pieces Set), Contempo Views Lego Compatible Educational Robot: Customizable & Programmable Robot for Kids Students Libraries Schools Classrooms Teachers & Educators or the 4M Soda Can Robug. Each offers a nice variety of teachable lessons ranging from solar power, clean energy, recycling, programming for beginners and building basic robots without being overly expensive and complicated.

Top Ten Robot Kits for Grade School Children (Ages 5 Years Old and Up)

1. Amazing Toys Tronex 288+ Experiment Electronics Kit

Rating

5.0

Ages

8-15 years old

Pros

  • 288 different experiments involve interacting with light control, magnetic control, sound control, and touch control
  • AM/FM radio
  • Comes with hands-on circuit board

Cons

  • Requires 4 AA batteries not included
  • Fairly high price
  • Can be noisy
Meccano Tactical Copter Model Kit

Rating

4.8

Ages

10-12 years old

Pros

  • Highly detailed helicopter with rotating, foldable rotor, retractable landing gear, and a working winch
  • No batteries required
  • Comes with two real tools
  • Has step-by-step instructions that are easy to follow

Cons

  • Parts are a choking hazard for children under the age of 3
  • Fairly expensive price wise
Remote Control Building Kits

Rating

4.7

Ages

6 years old and up

Pros

  • Comes with easy-to-read and follow illustrated instructions
  • Made from high-quality, non-toxic materials, free of phthalates, lead, and other heavy metals
  • Variety of remote controlled models you can make

Cons

  • 2 AA batteries and 4 AAA batteries required, not included
  • Fairly expensive price wise
4 in 1 Remote Control Building Blocks

Rating

4.6

Ages

6 years old and up

Pros

  • ABS environmental material, made of non-toxic and safe materials
  • Four different models can be made with the kit

Cons

    • Product must be used under the direct supervision of adults
    • Fairly expensive

Rating

4.5

Ages

8 years old and up

Pros

  • Hundreds of coding and other projects available in Wonder and Blockly apps
  • Built-in tutorials on how to use the device
  • Comes fully assembled
  • No batteries required
  • Use your Apple or Android smartphone or tablet to transform Dot into hundreds of different toys and gadgets

Cons

  • Fairly expensive  
LEGO Mindstorms EV3 31313

Rating

4.5

Ages

10-15 years old

Pros

  • Powerful ARM9 processor, USB port for Wi-Fi and Internet connectivity, Micro SD card reader, back-lit buttons and 4 motor ports.
  • Includes 3 interactive servo motors, remote control, improved and redesigned color sensor, redesigned touch sensor, infrared sensor
  • Intuitive software, Windows PC and Apple Mac, with icon-based drag-and-drop programming interface
  • Building instructions for 5 robots included
  • Build and program your robots on the go with the intuitive EV3 Programmer App available for iOS and Android tablet devices
  • Bonus building instructions on LEGO's website

Cons

  • Maybe a bit confusing, there is a supplementary guide for this robotics kit
  • Fairly expensive  

Rating

4.2

Ages

7 years old and up

Pros

  • Fairly inexpensive price wise
  • Helps the child learn about electronic basics like soldering and simple circuits
  • A step-by-step video walkthrough showing the assembly is available online on DFRobot official website

Cons

  • No programming involved

Rating

4.2

Ages

12 years old and up

Pros

  • Get hands-on experience in graphical programming, electronics, and robotics
  • Drag and drop graphical programming software provides a quick way to learn programming, remote control robot, and realize multiple functions from the robot
  • Comes with various basic pre-assembled options, including obstacle-avoidance car, line-following vehicle, controlled via APP
  • Compatible with Makeblock platform and most of LEGO parts

Cons

  • Fairly expensive  

Rating

4.1

Ages

8-10 years old

Pros

  • Get hands-on experience in Arduino programming, electronics assembling, and robotics knowledge
  • Infrared remote control and Bluetooth 2.0 with EDR via phone and tablets of Android system
  • Easy to Assemble
  • Comes with instructions on how to assemble the robot car from scratch and all the necessary programs and codes are included in a tutorial

Cons

  • You will have to download the programming for the car from the Arduino IDE (Integrated Developer Environment) from the provided CD
  • Fairly expensive  

Rating

4.1

Ages

7 years old and up

Pros

  • Comes with instructions on how to assemble and play with it
  • Fairly inexpensive price wise
  • Can be combined with other sets
  • Motorized

Cons

  • Requires 2 AA batteries, not included
  • Pieces are small, so it may be a bit time consuming to assemble
  • No programming required