Children’s toys have come a long way from the ones our parents – or even we – played with as children. The world has changed too, and teaching children skills they may need to succeed in today’s market has become a priority for many parents. In that spirit, here are some of the newest and most popular “smart” toys:
Wonder Workshop Cue Robot: Designed to teach children coding and problem-solving skills, the Wonder Workshop Cue Robot is an 8-inch tall voice-activated robot. It can talk about books and make jokes.
UBTECH JIMU Robot Builderbots Kit: JIMU Robot Builderbots allows children to physically build and write code for robots. They can then use Blockly coding to execute dozens of preprogrammed maneuvers and even create new custom actions.
Segway MiniPRO: The MiniPRO has the balancing capabilities of a hoverboard and the safety features of an electric scooter. Completely hands-free, it’s controlled by riders pressing their knees on the middle bar of the scooter. Precision sensors help balance the hoverboard, which can also be controlled via a smartphone. The MiniPRO has an anti-theft feature too.
3Doodler Start 3D Pen: 3D printing has entered mainstream society. The heat involved in the process, however, can pose a danger to children. So the engineers behind the 3Doodler Start 3D Pen made sure it doesn’t reach a hot enough temperature to cause concern.
With this pen, children can create 3D artwork, action figures, and fashion accessories. They can also fabricate components to use with other toys. Beware that once the plastics that come with the toy have been used up, a refill is required.
Pai Technologies Botzees AR Coding Robot: Children can build and program Botzees robots on their own. Botzees Robots come with a companion app that turns any area into a virtual reality playscape. Using augmented reality, children can create a digitally-illustrated world for their robots to enjoy and explore.
This is a great coding and robotics toy for budding STEM enthusiasts. The kit comes with two motors and one sensor and the possibility to build up to six pre-designed robots.
smART Pixelator: A combination of smart pixels and light-focused technology, smART Pixelator is perfect for children who like art and science. Children follow a pre-made design or upload a custom image and use a lighted grid to create detailed and elaborate pictures with little colored beads.
Once the artwork is completed, the beads can be heated and fused together yielding a permanent piece of artwork. Children can also use the kit to create three-dimensional components to play with.
Cozmo: Cozmo is an educational robot designed to teach children to code and play educational games. AI gives Cozmo a personality, which evolves as it spends more time with its owner. Its eyes act as a video camera to enable children to see life through the perspective of the robot.
Tinkering Labs Electric Moto Catalyst STEM Kit: Tinkering Labs consists of 10 different pre-designed “electric” activities. Children can also use the included motor, wheels, axels, and other engine parts with other toys to create their own electric automation or build a new robot.
Each box comes with 10 challenges and over 50 parts including real wood, motors, tools, hardware, storage bag, batteries, and safety glasses.
SmartLab Toys Smart Circuit: This circuitry kit enables children to build sophisticated games and gadgets. It has a number of pre-designed activities, but children have the option to make their own too. Components in the kit include snap-together base boards, light and sound modules, a microprocessor, and 31 jumper wires. It can be used to create complex electronic projects with sensors, lights, and sounds.