How to Choose a STEM Robot Toy for Beginners? All You Need to Know
Parents, teachers, and guardians are eager to develop new skills in kids and spark their interest in the current technologies through STEM education. A STEM Robot is an exceptional way to do that because it covers a wide range of skills, such as problem-solving, critical thinking, coding, collaboration, confidence, etc. It teaches kids and students modern skills in an innovative, interactive, and interesting way.
STEM robot toys are undoubtedly quite helpful for learning, but people struggle with choosing the right one. They do not know which robot is suitable for kids of a certain age and what to look for while buying such robots. It is a major problem that every beginner faces.
If you are a beginner and looking for a STEM toy robot for your kids, you are in the right place. We will discuss everything you need to know about STEM robot toys and how you can select them along. We will also share some recommendations to make your search easier.
What is STEM Robot Toy, How Does STEM Robot Toy Inspire Kids
STEM toy robots ignite the interest in kids to learn core and demanding STEM subjects that include Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. These toys involve some activities that hook up kids and help them learn many skills in an interactive way.
For instance, when you get a robot toy in your hand, you need to assemble it according to the instructions. This assembling requires quick decision-making, collaboration with teammates, and various soft skills. Once the robot is assembled, the kids can learn about the components, the function of various parts, coding, and enjoy the results. It is full of fun and knowledge.
When you code something, in most cases, the result is not the same as you expected. There can be issues in the code. It triggers kids to solve the problem and think critically. They evaluate the code, make various changes, and try again. This exercise teaches consistency, critical thinking, decision-making, creativity, and problem-solving.
It is quite difficult to compel kids to study difficult STEM subjects, and they might get bored during the study. But with the help of STEM robot toys, they can interact with the robot, play with it, and develop their skills while having fun. When kids easily code and control the robots, they enjoy the confidence that they can do these things without any hassle. It inspires them to learn more and more and practice what they have learned.
Things You Should Consider Before Choosing a STEM Robot Toy
There are only a few factors you need to consider. Choosing a robot toy is not difficult if you consider the following things.
You can find STEM toys for all age groups. There are robot toys for toddlers, kids, boys/girls, teenagers, etc. These are specifically designed for a specific age group according to the difficulty level, required skills, and other prerequisites.
Robots that have vast functionality, such as coding, assembling, wiring, connection with computers, etc., are suitable for kids that are seven years old or above. It is because they should have the basic knowledge of computers to code the robot.
Simply put, you need to check the age group before buying a robot toy for boys and girls.
Make sure the coding language is easy enough for the kids. For kids 7-10 years, there should be drag-and-drop or block-based coding. It helps them to control the robot easily. Along with that, there should be options to access the raw/backend codes, such as the Python and Arduino codes, so that kids can look at them after mastering the simple code. Teenagers can also directly code if they do not want to drop and drop the functions.
What the Robot Can Do
The functionality of the robot is also important. Some robots can be turned into line-following robots, obstacle-sensing robots, racing cars, self-balancing cars, etc. You can even find toy robots with multiple functionalities.
Compare different robots and choose the right one according to the interest of the kid you are buying for. The more the functions, the better it is. Also, look at the add-ons for the robot toy because you might need to upgrade it after some time.
Robot toys for specific groups are made after considering the safety measures. Usually, these are completely safe, but as a teacher, guardian, and parent, you also need to look from your end. Most importantly, the robot should be made from non-toxic materials. All parts and components should be safe to use.
Recommended Robot Toys
mBot Neo is an ideal robot toy for beginners who want to start coding with fun experiences and learning. It is a beginner-friendly robot kit for 8-12 years old kids.
The coding is exceptionally simple to get started. Kids can easily understand the concepts, interact with the results, and enjoy the Feedback. After a bit of understanding of the scratch code, they can also look at the Python code to dig deeper.The best part is that you can get add-ons to upgrade the robots and add more functionality, such as a camera, robot pack, Bluetooth remote, and smart world. It helps in understanding the core subjects by applying them in the real world. It builds an internet to explore AI, IoT, data science, and electronics.
mBot Mega is a remote-control car with 360-degree rotation and side drifting. It is a massive bundle of fun and learning, especially for those who love to play with cars.
Beginners can learn programming with it. They can start with drag-and-drop coding and then polish their skills in Arduino and Python. It gives a complete step-by-step path. There are also three presets, including gesture recognition, obstacle avoidance, and line tracking, to start without any hassle.
It can also be upgraded with more kits and add-ons. Kids can work with a wide range of IO modules and build more STEM projects.
mBot Ranger is a 3-in-1 robot that can be assembled and coded as a robot tank, racing car, and self-balance car. It is a robot that can run on different terrains, which maximizes fun and learning. There are presets to engage kids and help them get started in no time. The available presets are voice control, racing car, draw and run, obstacle avoidance, line following, driving, musician, and nervous bird.
It can be coded with block-based drag-and-drop coding. Kids can also look at the backend Arduino code and program directly. The best part is that it can be converted into more than a dozen types of robots through add-on packs. It is a perfect learning toy robot for kids.