The 5 Best Smart Toys For Kids

Elementary-aged children are inquisitive, to say the least. Asking upwards of 400 questions every day. While answering your child’s incessant questions can be exhausting, curiosity is beneficial to their cognitive development. Curiosity means your child wants to learn how things work and why things are the way that they are.

Toy developers have caught onto this eagerness to learn and have created toys that teach school-aged children impressive technology-based skills. Implementing the concepts of computer programming into easy-to-use toys has allowed for children as young as four to learn the basics of coding. With these interactive toys in tow, the next time you have computer problems, you might be able to enlist the help of your six-year-old rather than hauling your computer to the nearest computer store. A win-win for everyone.

Think & Learn Code-A-Pillar

This unique caterpillar will teach little ones the basic principles of coding, without them even realizing it. The toy encourages children to arrange and rearrange its easy-to-connect parts to direct its movement. As your child works to figure out how to make this caterpillar crawl in different directions they develop critical thinking, problem solving, and sequencing skills. The best part about this toy, it encourages their creativity as there is no “right way” to do it. Simply rearrange the pieces in any combination and the caterpillar will be on its way.

Dash and Dot

Dash and Dot are robots created specifically for developing minds. Dot is the brains of a robot and comes with pre-programmed games for children to play as soon as they open the box. In combination with free apps, children learn how games are created and can even create games of their own to play with Dot. Dash is a real robot that can sing, dance, and navigate around the house, all while responding to a child’s voice commands. This toy won’t limit learning potential as it has numerous applications that create new behaviors for Dash and new learning experiences for children. These impressive robots develop important critical thinking and technology-related skills that help children excel in elementary school and beyond.  

MaKey MaKey Invention Kit

The Makey Makey is a circuit board that turns any object with the ability to conduct electricity into a key on a keyboard. Kids can get creative using food, cutlery, or even humans as controls for their home computer. Kids can use the Makey Makey circuit and a conductor to move up, down, left, right, or click the spacebar and mouse. Parents and kids can have fun learning to code and program together with this fun invention kit. The possibilities and opportunities for learning are truly endless. The kit comes ready to use with alligator clips, connector wires, a USB cable, and (most importantly for parents) an instruction, and project guide.

Kano Computer Kit

As intimidating as building a computer may sound, this kit comes with a simple story guide that tells you how to build it. The kit comes fully equipped with everything needed to build your own computer, the only thing you need to provide is a screen with an HDMI input. Once built, this kit teaches the basics of coding with real coding language, through fun challenges and games.  Kids will learn Python, JavaScript, and terminal commands, morphing them into a computer programming, website developing whiz. Parents can even give this one a try to expand their computer knowledge since the kit is suitable for ages 6 to 106.

Osmo Genius Kit

This appropriately named kit combines hands-on play with iPad applications, changing the way children use the iPad forever. Osmo uses smart technology to detect the area in front of your iPad so that users can play interactive games with physical objects. Simply download the five compatible games from the iTunes App Store to expand gameplay beyond the screen and promote creative thinking and hands-on learning. Osmo’s games develop math, reading, engineering, problem solving, and artistic skills. Combined, these fun games have the ability to mold children into a well-rounded, elementary-aged geniuses.

Kali Muir is an ambitious freelance writer with a BA in Communications. She was born in Canada but has since lived in Norway, Denmark, and England. Her work experience is as diverse as her past addresses, including roles in technical communication, corporate communication, marketing, and article writing. She has experience working in varied business sectors: Oil & Gas, Engineering & Technology, Clothing & Equipment Retail, and Creative Writing. Follow Kali’s professional and personal journey at www.kalimuir.com, or connect with her on LinkedIn and Twitter.

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