Toys teach kids to code

Gen Zs are often of the mindset that “playtime” should be purposeful, and they’re even choosing to engage in play that can inform future career aspirations. More toys and games teaching children about technology could be encouraging STEM career paths, including these ones that help kids learn how to code.


Augie combines two recent trends in toys and gaming: coding and augmented reality. The robot by Pai Technology is designed for preschool-aged kids to play and learn how to code. The mini robot, which flashes color, makes sounds, and moves on four wheels, offers multiple modes of engagement when connected to a smart device. In the coding modes, children can learn how to write code and build commands to program Augie to move a certain way or make a certain sound. Augie also offers AR video games. 


Botley is also a coding robot, but for parents who are concerned about their children’s screen time, it actually allows users to unplug from devices while learning. Rather than connecting to a smart device, users learn how to program Botley using a remote control that allows the robot to navigate its movements around the 77 pieces included in the kit. Although the screen-free playtime means children aren’t learning the process of actual coding, the principles needed to program the robot using the remote are fundamental in learning to code.


Mattel has made moves to make its iconic doll line more diverse in appearance, and now it's giving Barbie more diversified career options. In a partnership with Tynker, a coding platform for children, Mattel created a coding Barbie. Kids can learn basic programming concepts with the software included with the doll or get even more functionality from a premium subscription. Barbie is the latest coding collaboration between the two brands; coding programs are also available with certain Hot Wheels and Monster High toys.