Has your student seen R2-D2 accompanying Luke Skywalker on a daring mission in Star Wars or used your Alexa to request their favorite song? Robots are all around us. Are you curious about the exciting world of robotics programming for kids? Look no further! Today we'll explore the best robotics classes, recommended robotics kits, and coding languages used in robotics. Discover how your child can embark on an educational journey that combines creativity, problem solving, and technical skills.

For live robotics guidance from an expert, join a fun live online Snap Circuits event, designed by professionals from Google, Stanford, and MIT:

Explore Robotics Programming for Kids

Did you know that the industrial robotics market is projected to reach $81.4 billion by 2028? That's right, and robotics programming can be a fun and effective way to introduce kids to these concepts. From choosing the right classes and picking a fun and educational robot coding kit, to understanding the coding languages used in robotics, this article is your one-stop guide to robotics programming for kids.

How to Learn Robotics Programming for Kids

1. Online Robotics Classes with Create & Learn

Live Online, Ages 7+, Small Group, Expert Led, Beginner-Friendly

Learn how to code robots to move, sense, lift, and more! Students can find out how to make robots transport objects and see how these topics are important in real-world scenarios in Junior Robotics and Robot Adventures. Or learn how to control electronic components like LED lights, speakers, and sensors, while building fun games and interactive experiments in a Micro:Bit class. Or even an introduction to circuitry and Arduino, to learn step by step how to design basic electronic systems like alarms, home sensing, and motor controls, and to write code that brings these systems to life.

  • Does my child need any prior knowledge of robotics? No, these courses are designed for robotics beginners. However students need to have taken Create & Learn's Scratch Ninja 1 and 2 or have at least 15 hours of Scratch coding experience and be familiar with basic coding blocks.
  • What equipment does my child need? No physical robot is required for most of the classes, though students can chose to get a Vex Robotics kit, Arduino Starter Kit, or microbit.
  • Is there a certificate? Yes, upon completion of each class your child will have the option to receive a certificate.
tinkergen robotics kits

2. TinkerGen Robotics Kits and Tutorials

Online and Offline Access, Ages 5-12, Beginner-Friendly

With TinkerGen Robotics, kids can create a variety of projects ranging from simple programmable robots to more complex machines equipped with sensors, and even AI-powered systems.. They have a variety of learning modules from M.A.R.K. Make A Robot Kit – the first multi-functional robocar to lead into the AI world to GameGo - a programmable console - and their kits usually come with easy-to-understand instructions and learning materials. Kids will learn how to program a robot to follow instructions and complete tasks, which can boost their logical thinking and problem-solving skills.

  • Are there any safety concerns associated with using TinkerGen Robotics? TinkerGen Robotics ensures that all their products meet safety standards. All the materials used are kid-friendly. However, it is always advisable for parents to supervise younger children during their initial encounters with the kits to ensure safe use.
  • How much do TinkerGen robotics kits cost? The cost of TinkerGen robotics can vary depending on the specific kit or product. It's best to check their official website or Amazon for accurate pricing.
  • Is there a curriculum provided? TinkerGen Robotics provides a range of learning resources, including step-by-step guides, video tutorials, and an online community where users can share their creations and learn from others. However there's not a specific structured curriculum to follow.
Dash robot app

3. Wonder Workshop's Dash Robot App System

Offline & Online, Ages 6-10, App-Based Learning, Kit

Wonder Workshop's Dash Robot is a lively, fun-filled approach to teaching kids robotics programming. The robot responds to voice commands, navigates objects, dances, and sings, all of which can be programmed by your child. It's app-based, making it accessible and convenient for kids to learn at their own pace. It comes complete with a getting started guide and there are challenges in the app that help keep kids on the path to learning.

  • Does my student need a smart device to use this? Yes, you need a smartphone or tablet to program the robot.
  • Is it a suitable learning tool for beginners? Absolutely, it's designed for kids with no prior coding knowledge.

4. ELEGOO UNO Project Super Starter Kit

For a deeper dive into the world of robotics and programming, consider the ELEGOO UNO Project Super Starter Kit. This kit uses Arduino (a popular open-source electronics platform) to help teens learn about programming and electronics. It provides all the components needed to start experimenting, and includes an Arduino UNO board, sensors, a servo motor, and other electronic components. It comes with extensive learning materials and is a great value for money. Teens can build simple projects like LED light controls to more complex ones like a small weather station.

  • Is it suitable for complete beginners? Yes, the kit includes detailed tutorials and a guidebook that walks through the basics and progressively introduces more complex projects. There are also live online Arduino classes led by experts available, for students who would benefit from personalized guidance and a structured learning path.
Botley robot for kids

5. Botley the Coding Robot

Offline, Ages 5-9, Screen-Free Learning

Botley the Coding Robot offers a unique, screen-free approach to teaching kids robotics programming. Your child can learn simple coding commands and logic by playing with Botley. It's an interactive way to introduce kids to coding without needing any digital device. Botley 2.0 knows multiple ways to code right out of the box—learn codes to move in six directions, play music, and even put on a light show or turn your robot into a train, police car, ghost, and more!

  • Does Botley require a computer or tablet? No, it offers screen-free learning.
  • Is this robot appropriate for beginners? Yes, it's perfectly suitable for those just starting.

Discover The Best Robotics Kits for Kids to Start Learning

When it comes to choosing the best robotics kits for kids, there are several excellent options available. Here are a few highly recommended kits that provide a comprehensive learning experience:

  • VEX IQ Robotics Construction Kit: The VEX IQ kit allows kids to build and program robots using a variety of sensors and motors, and it offers more advanced options as their skills progress.
  • Microbit: The micro:bit is a pocket-sized computer that is fully programmable, which means you can use it to make all sorts of creations, from robots to musical instruments.
  • Arduino Uno: The Arduino Uno is an open-source microcontroller board. The kits come with a variety of components like LEDs, sensors, and motors that can be used to create numerous fun projects.
  • Snap Circuits Jr Set: The Snap Circuits Jr. set provides a hands-on introduction to the basics of electrical circuits and engineering. It includes various components like resistors, capacitors, and motors, all designed to easily snap together on a plastic grid—no soldering required. Kids can follow the included project manual to build over 100 different electronic circuit projects, such as a flashing light or a siren.
  • Makeblock mBot: The mBot kit is perfect for beginners, providing an introduction to both robotics and coding. It comes with various sensors, motors, and a simple drag-and-drop programming environment.

Each of these kits provides a solid foundation in robotics and coding, offering a blend of hands-on building and programming activities. Consider your child's age, interests, the way they learn best, and skill level when selecting the most suitable kit to ignite their passion for robotics.

Understand the Coding Languages Used in Robotics

Robotics involves a variety of coding languages, each serving different purposes and levels of complexity. Here are some commonly used coding languages in the field of robotics:

  • Scratch: Scratch, an introductory block-based coding platform developed by MIT, is designed to make coding easy and intuitive for beginners. By mastering Scratch, children can grasp the fundamental concepts of coding such as loops, conditions, events, and variables which will later apply to all the programming they do for robotics. Join a free Scratch class to get started.
  • Python: Python is a versatile and beginner-friendly language widely used in robotics. Its simplicity and readability make it an ideal choice for beginners getting started with programming robots. Join a free Python class to get started.
  • C++: C++ is a powerful language commonly used for more advanced robotics applications. It offers better performance and control over hardware, making it suitable for complex robot systems.
  • Java: Java is a popular language with a vast ecosystem of libraries and frameworks. It is widely used in robotics for its versatility and portability across different platforms.
  • ROS (Robot Operating System): ROS is not a programming language itself but a flexible framework that supports multiple programming languages. It is extensively used in robotics research and development, providing a modular and distributed architecture.

The choice of coding language depends on the specific robotics project and the desired level of complexity. Scratch and Python are excellent options for beginners, while more advanced applications often leverage C++, Java, or specific frameworks like ROS. Consider your child's goals and the resources available when selecting a coding language for their robotics journey.

Take the Next Step in Robotics Programming for Kids

As our technological landscape continues to evolve, the value of learning robotics programming at an early age has never been clearer. In fact, a recent study reveals that kids engaged in robotics programming show significant improvements in problem solving and critical thinking skills. So why wait? An excellent class to consider for young learners is the Junior Robotics offered by Create & Learn, or Smart Devices for older students. These classes combine live online interactive coding lessons with exciting robotics projects, perfect for kindling a love for robotics in your child. For a deeper dive into the world of robotics, be sure to explore the history of robotics for kids.