Monday, 6 November 2017

Top Coding Toys and Gifts for Preschoolers Aged 3-4: Expert Picks

We've put together a list of our favourite coding toys and gifts for preschoolers aged 3-4. Yes, there are products for pre-readers that will help them develop coding skills.

UK computing pioneer Dame Stephanie Shirley suggested that children as young as two should be learning to code. She's absolutely right that really young children can develop coding skills in the right environment.

  1. Primo Cubetto - 3+

    Primo's Cubetto robot takes a Montessori style approach to teaching kids to code. It's a wooden robot that is programmed by placing wooden blocks into a tray, it's hands-on and doesn't require a screen to operate. Primo will be very at home in design conscious households. It's a great option for some quality parent and child time.

    UPDATE 2018: Code and Colour is the latest kit for Cubetto this year. It's an add-on kit for the wooden robot.

    Review: See our full review of Cubetto for more information.

  2. Code and Learn Spaceship

    The Learning Journey International have launched a new little Code and Learn Robot in the form of a Spaceship. The kit comes with a grid and instruction cards. Young children can learn the basics of programming without the need of a tablet. The toy works with an infrared remote and requires AA and AAA batteries.

    Code and Learn Spaceship is available from Amazon.
  3. Alex Toys Coding 4+

    ALEX Toys have release a new range of Future Coders activity sets. Their Future Coders Robot Races Coding Skills Kit includes a big play mat that kids actually stand on to play a coding game. The kit includes a timer and challenge cards. Kids have to plan their moves with direction tiles to complete challenges. A great way to combine physical activity with learning to code.

  4. Fisher Price Code-a-Pillar

    Code a Pillar is programmed by sequencing its body segments. It's noisy and it needs a lot of space but it's really appealing to young children. We've found that older siblings love programming Code a pillar too. We've seen Code a Pillar discounted since it's initial release. See our review of the Fisher Price Code a Pillar.

  5. Elmoji 3+ / Coji 4+

    Last year WowWee brought out the Coji coding robot for children aged 4+ and this year they've created Elmoji, an Elmo-themed version of the robot for children from age 3+. These robots are programmed using Emoji symbols so they can be used by children who haven't yet learned to read. These robots have connected apps so you need a smart device to program them and use connected features. You can read our review of Coji.

  6. Code & Go Mouse - 5+

    We really like the Code & Go Mouse range from Learning Resources. Kids program a mouse using its buttons to navigate a maze to find the cheese. It's not quite as accurate as more expensive floor robots, but we've found that it's good enough and offers great value for money. Parents will really appreciate that it comes with lots of activity cards so kids can set up challenges to solve. This means that it's easy to see how to use the set to develop children's coding skills. Learning Resources recommend the Code & Go Mouse for age 5+, but we think that kids who are keen will get a lot from it at a slightly younger age. Read our full hands-on review.

  7. Botley The Coding Robot

    NEW FOR 2018
    Botley The Coding Robot is a new addition this year from Learning Resources and is aimed at children 5+, however we think it's accessible to younger children and you may get more life out of your robot by investing in one earlier. We've reviewed Botley earlier this year and it's fantastic. Read our full hands-on review.

  8. A tablet

    One of the most useful gifts to help a child learn to code is a tablet. There are lots of excellent apps that help children learn to code and also many coding toys such as Elmoji/Coji require a connected device. An iPad is a great option as there are some fantastic iOS games that teach kids to code. But there are also some great options for the Amazon Fire tablets if you're on a tight budget.

  9. First Coding Book - 5+

    DK's My First Coding Book by Kiki Prottsman is recommended for age 5+, but again we'd go younger on this one for children who are interesting in coding and have some support at home. The book introduced early coding concepts through hands-on paper-based activities. Kids can learn important computing concepts before they start coding on a computer.

Coding Toys Gift Ideas for Other Age Groups

  • Coding Toys for Little Kids - ages 5-7
  • Coding Toys for Big Kids - ages 8-10
  • Coding Toys and Kits for Tweens - ages 10-12
  • Coding Kits for Teens - ages 13+

More from Tech Age Kids:


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