Robotics for kids is a fun and hands-on way to introduce them to coding, engineering, and STEM. 

Technology is no longer an optional part of education. Engineering and programming knowledge are crucial for many jobs including robotics. Just as it happens, learning about robotics covers both of those areas.

We’ll cover the basics of robotics and give you helpful resources to get your child started in robotics and pursue their interest in technology. When your child is ready to level up their robotics skills, join our top-rated python classes for kids.

What is a robot?

A robot is a machine that is programmed to carry out a range of tasks automatically. 

When you think of robots, you might imagine something like Wall-E: a mechanical being with human traits, such as eyes or hands. But a robot can be any complex machine programmed for a task, for example, a mechanical arm that performs open heart surgery is a robot. 

Generally, a robot can sense its environment, process information, and act upon its surroundings to accomplish specific goals. These goals can be industrial tasks like assembling products on an assembly line to more complex actions like exploring distant planets or assisting with surgeries.

Robots come in various forms, from simple and stationary to highly complex and mobile. They can also be programmed to perform a wide range of functions depending on their design and capabilities.

Every robot requires a power source, controller, sensors (internal and external), actuators (like motors for movement), and computer code or software.

The most common types of robots, according to Intel, are:

Robots are becoming more commonplace than ever and current projections show that by 2030, the global stock of robots will reach 20 million.

Robotics for kids, different types of robots

How do you explain robotics to kids?

Robotics is the field of designing, building, and operating robots

Kids are likely to be familiar with a few robots. You can explain robotics to kids using popular examples from TV shows and movies. For example, R2-D2 from Star Wars or Optimus Prime from Transformers. This is a relatable and engaging way to get them interested in learning more about robots.

Explain that robots are smart machines that can move around and do things all on their own. They can look like a human, an animal, or just a machine. They can have eyes (sensors) to see what’s around them, a brain (computer) to think and make decisions, and arms or wheels (actuators) to do things like picking up toys, cleaning the floor, or even playing games! In robotics, engineers and programmers build the robots and program their brains.

Because of the many parts of a robot, robotics for kids can encompass many fields. For example:

What age should kids start robotics? 

Any kid who has the curiosity to learn about robotics can get involved in learning. With that in mind, the best age for kids robotics is 8 to 14. 

By 8 years old, most kids should have the motor skills necessary to explore robotics in a fun and educational way. Learning how to assemble or program a robot at a young age helps exercise their critical thinking abilities and hone creativity when it comes to problem-solving. 

The NIH (National Institute of Health) says, “Research has determined that incorporating educational robotics into young children’s educational experiences leads to significant improvement in their engineering and technological conceptual understanding and assists them in engaging in computational thinking and in developing their technology understanding.” 

Here’s a suggested path for kids to learn robotics:

8-10 Year Olds – Introduction to Basic Concepts:

10-12 Year Olds – Programming Fundamentals:

12-14 Year Olds – Hands-On Building and Design:

14+ Year Olds – Advanced Topics and Specializations: