How to choose a robot kit for kids & teenagers

There is a huge variety of robot kits available, you could easily get confused with so many choices. Some are educational, promoting interest in the STEM fields, engineering and robotics from a young age, while others are just plain fun.

We love robots. We know robots.

We did our homework so you don’t have to. Why should you trust us when choosing a robot?

To help you decide, we have researched a variety of reputable guides about robots for kids, from websites such as Engadget, Tom’s Guide, Make Magazine and many more.

We have read a lot of Amazon reviews about these bots and we found which kits are most popular and what are the real pro’s and con’s for each one. We’ve learned about who they are suitable for.

We have been monitoring the news on robots for the last year with the help of our own little robot (which we have programmed in Python – yes, we also love robots) More than 30,000 news articles have been pouring in our system!

We have drawn the conclusions and put put them together this video series which will help you choose wisely.

While some robot kits include a pre-made robot, and a programming platform, others walk you through building a humanoid bot, a car, a tank, a spider or whatnot. Some robots can fly, others can swim.

A good robotics kit will challenge your kid to build and program

Some focus on teaching the Scratch language, or how to program Arduino or Raspberry Pi, while others use very simple commands to make the robot move.

Based on our research, we believe the best robotics kits challenge you to build and program a robot in an open-ended way. This means you can build some example robots, plus designs you invent yourself.

Robots for kids – buying criteria

When buying a robot kit for your kid, consider the following:

  • Age: Some robot kits are simple enough for kindergarteners, others target teenagers while others are for adults. Choose accordingly.
  • A complete package: Everything you need to build and program the robot should be contained in the box (in most cases you will need to have your own tablet, phone, or computer).
  • Clear instructions: Look for a step-by-step guide to building and programming the robot. (booklet or an app).
  • Open-ended structure: You can build a variety of example robots, plus designs you invent yourself.
  • Coding language: Most robots use a block-based programming language that helps users learn basic concepts, just by dragging boxes around a screen. Look for simpler blocks for younger kids and more complex for teens.
  • Building capability: Some robots come premade, while other products require constructing devices. We favor options that include both building and programming, so children will not get bored easily.
  • Price: Robot kits for beginners can cost anywhere between $20 and $500, depending on the complexity, number of sensors, motors and building blocks available. We think that paying something between $85 and $300 should get you all of the ideal features in a robotics kit for beginners.
Watch: Robot kits for kids – buying criteria