8 Build-Your-Own Robot Kits For Kids

Teaching basic robotics to kids is an excellent way to foster a love for science and engineering that will grow with them as they get older. In my experience, fun robot kits for kids are a great way to introduce children to simple engineering concepts. In addition, I found robotics projects increase creativity, teach children to follow directions, and the finished product gives them a sense of accomplishment and confidence. Not only that, but they have a cool toy to play with when the project is complete.

In a world where instant gratification is often the norm, I found putting a little time and effort into building a toy will help kids to appreciate the toys they have and the mechanics behind them.  The building process really builds hand-eye coordination and motor skills – something every kid will need as they grow up.

There’s a variety of robot kits for kids, ranging from programmable, remote-controlled robots to simple, easy-to-assemble pull-back toys. I suggest when choosing a project to create, consider your child’s age and interest level. A child experienced in building things with legos or erector sets may enjoy more complicated robot kits, while a beginner may enjoy something simple and easy. I recommend when shopping for robotics kits for kids, it’s best to look for ones that don’t require soldering, as many projects designed for adults do. Shop for a set in which the finished design looks cool and is durable, and the project level is appropriate for your young engineer.

(If you are looking for pre-made robot toys – don’t worry. We have a great guide to help you pick the best robot toy for kids.)

The Best Robot Building Kits – 2024 Edition

LEGO robotics kit
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the other uses an app on your phone and Bluetooth controls.
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Wonder Workshop Dash
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4M Tin Can
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Botley the Coding Robot
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4M Table Top
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Smithsonian Science Activities Robo-Spider Kit
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Build-Your-Own Robot Kits For Kids and Teens

1. Top Overall: Lego Mindstorms Robot Inventor Building Set 51515

Mindstorms from Lego are a great example of robotic kits for kids that all children - boys and girls alike - love to build.  It's not a robot kit for toddlers - this is a robot kit for teens and middle school aged kids.   See also boys,children,children's,kid,kids,kids robot kit,kids robotics kits,kit,kit for kids,kits,kits for children,kits for kids,robot,robot kids kit,robot kit,robot kit for kids,robot kits,robot kits for kids,robot kits for toddlers,robot kits kids,robot's,robotic,robotic kit,robotic kit for kids,robotic kits,robotic kits for kids,robotics,robotics kit,robotics kits,robotics kits for kids,robots.

It’s brand new for 2020, and it’s just the LEGO robotics kit we’ve been waiting for! It’s the perfect robotics kit for a kid looking for a fun STEM skills challenge. It’s why we name this the best robotics kit for kids for this Christmas season.  Heck, it has so many features you might want to get one yourself if robots are your jam.

Clocking in at almost 1,000 pieces, there are hours of building and play contained inside.  You’ll find 4 medium motors, a color sensor, a distance sensor, and an intelligent hub in this kit.  You can choose which of the five different robots you want to build – it might depend on your child’s mood that day.

Blast is the tallest at over 14″ tall.  This robot can use its claw, hammer, or even fire missiles.   Tricky can play ball (both basketball and soccer). Maybe you feel like playing an instrument? You can program Charlie to play the drums, among other things.  Robot toys have come so far in the past few years – it’s amazing all the things your kid will be able to make this toy do!

All robots are controlled through an easy-to-use Scratch-based LEGO MINDSTORMS Robot Inventor App. This LEGO set comes with a rechargeable battery – no last-minute hunting for power needed when this gift is opened.

This kit is made for children 10 and up – but a child with a love of Lego’s and robots could probably enjoy this a few years early.  (It does have small parts, so not too early.)

2. Makeblock Starter Robot Kit

Makeblock Starter Set

The Makeblock Starter Robot Kit is a great robot kit for kids. It’s fun to build and helps builders learn not only robotics and electronics, it also uses basic Arduino programming. (Arduino is an easy to use open-source electronics prototyping platform.) The kit builds either a semi-autonomous tank or three-wheeled car and the finished product is pretty cool.

There are two versions of this robotics kit. One controls the mechanical creation with infra-red commands; the other uses an app on your phone and Bluetooth controls. Either way, this robotics for kids kit is a great bridge between a toy and a more monumental robotic challenge.  Bonus: Your child might discover they love programming on the Ardunio as well!

Ages: 12+

Best for: Serious beginners, Arduino,  coding

3. Wonder Workshop Dash Robot

Wonder Workshop Dash

Most definitely the cutest little robot for kids, the Wonder Workshop Dash is perfect for kids just getting into robotics, coding, and making. While it has been on the market for a few years now, it’s lost none of its popularity.  That’s for a good reason – it’s really fun to program and use and easy for kids to come up to speed.   It is the best robotics kit for younger kids, in my opinion, because kids can begin “programming” almost immediately upon taking the robot out of the box.

You might find that your child is playing with the Wonder Workshop Dash in his or her school.  At last count, over 20,000 schools are using this toy to teach programming and logic at an age-appropriate level.  It responds to voice commands provided by the app, so children with no experience can quickly begin feeling the joy of watching their robot respond to commands.

Controlled via a free app for both Apple and Android systems, kids can use their phone or tablet to build and program the robot Dash to move, dance, light up, make sounds, avoid obstacles, and even react to their voice.   They made it simple so your kid can simply have fun!

Ages: 8+

Best for: Beginners, coding, apps

4. 4M Tin Can

4M Tin Can Project

If you aren’t willing to sink hundreds of dollars into a robotic toy that your kid may or may not like, test the waters with the 4M Tin Can robot.  Teach recycling and robotics with the 4M Tin Can robot. The kit includes everything to assemble the cute creature except a used can. The finished product is an entertaining walking and wobbling robot that kids will love.

It’s not an overly-complicated build, but your young scientist may need a little bit of assistance.  I think it’s perfect for showing a child what is possible with robots cheaply.  If they like it, you should soon graduate with more feature-filled options.

Ages: 8+

Best for: Simple, Low cost

5. LEGO Mindstorms EV3

LEGO Mindstorms EV3

The king of the DIY robot space when it was first released in 2013, the LEGO Mindstorms EV3 is still a great choice even now in 2024.  It’s amazing how well this robotics toy has aged over the past decade.

While it does come at a heftier price tag than some other robotics kits, Lego robotics offers some amazing enhancements to the hugely popular world of LEGO. It’s based on the extremely popular LEGO and LEGO Technic systems.  With building guides for five unique robots, the EV3 can be controlled directly from a smartphone or programmed via iOS/Android apps and PC/Mac machines.

Ages: 10+

Best for: LEGO lovers, Coding, High-end

6. ELEGOO UNO R3 Project Smart Robot Car Kit V 3.0 Plus

There are some kids that are ready for a real-world robotics kit – with servo motors, breadboard, and sensors you wire together.  If your older kids are ready for such a challenge, the Elegoo UNO R3 is a great choice to keep them engaged and challenged.

One of the hardest parts of putting together a robot kit from a microcontroller and parts is hunting down all the required components.  The Elegoo Uno takes care of that problem for you and your child.  You’ll have all the parts in one spot – and with easy-to-follow instructions, you’ll be able to assemble the robot with relative ease.  While the Elegoo Uno R3 is fun, it’s not a toy – it’s an actual robot you end up programming through the Arduino Microcontroller.

This means you’ll need some electronics experience to be able to assemble this robot.  We aren’t talking expertise – but you’ll have to know the difference between the + and – leads and why reversing them can be bad, for example. A site like this should suffice.  But this learning curve also means you can add sensors and other fun items to the robot as you and your child’s skills grow.

7. Learning Resources Botley the Coding Robot Activity Set

While running a robot from a screen or tablet can be great, sometimes it’s just another layer of complexity to get in the way of fun.  Botley the Coding Robot was created to get your children up and running with programming their robot as quickly as possible.  Just make sure you have 5 AAA batteries on hand!

Created by Learning Resources, one of the leaders in STEM and educational toys since the mid-1980s, Botley has a few different ways to play.  In line-following mode, Botley will follow a thick dark line on the cardboard play pieces.  This mode is best for younger children getting their feet wet for some immediate positive feedback.

Older kids will find actual programming is done using the remote.  Steps are entered into the remote (in a basic directional programming language) to tell Botley, the Coding Robot, where to go.  Kids will need to use their problem-solving skills to plan ahead on where they want the robot to go.  There are loops and branching commands as well (if an obstacle is encountered, go this direction instead).

It’s not as robust a programming language as some of the more complex robots – but that’s the point, isn’t it? It’s meant to be a good first introduction to logic and programming in the real world.

8. 4M Table Top Robot

4M Table Top Robot- robot kits for kids

The 4M Table Top is a clever, easily assembled, and inexpensive activity set. Kids will enjoy building this cool looking little spider creation. After building, just install the batteries and start it up. It walks across a table and then senses when it’s too close to the edge, then turns to go a different direction. This is a really fun introduction to electronic projects for kids.

Ages: 9+

Best for: Simple, Low cost


ZOOB BOT - great fun for kids

A NAPPA Children’s Competition Honor Winner, the ZOOB BOT is a fun and simple build. It’s a great introduction to robotics and building without being too daunting for younger children.

The robot is made up of 40 gears, joints, and axles that just snap together. It includes instructions for different robot styles, but there’s potential for a creative maker to build so many more. The finished robot is an enjoyable pull-back toy with light-up eyes.  It’s really a great gift for a 6 or 7-year-old kid, but a 5-year-old could enjoy this as well with a little parental supervision in the mix.

Ages: 6+

Best for: Simple, battery optional, younger children

10. Smithsonian Science Activities Robo Spider Kit

Smithsonian Science Activities Robo Spider

Easy-to-follow instructions and a reasonable price make the Smithsonian Science Activities Robo-Spider Kit an excellent robotics build for beginners. The final product is a cool toy, and it includes a color poster for kids to display on their walls.

For children: 8+ years old

Best for: Simple, insect lovers, low cost

11. Thames & Kosmos Remote Control Machines

Thames & Kosmos Remote Control Machines

Another program for building remote-controlled creations, the Thames & Kosmos Remote Control Machines, has everything needed to build ten machines. A creative maker will be able to use the pieces to build many more. The included infrared remote control allows the user to control three different motors at the same time for lots of fun after the building is finished.

Ages: 8+

Best for: Intermediate, creatives, mechanics

12. 4M Doodling Robot

4M Doodling Toy

The 4M Doodling robot is a cool and unique little gadget. This inexpensive design is a relatively easy build and kids will enjoy watching it make its own works of art. The finished robot can be taken apart and rebuilt in different configurations, making the “spider” draw different patterns. It’s a fun lesson in building, mechanics, and basic robotics.

Ages: 8+

Best for: Simple, artists, low cost

13. Kuman Project Complete Starter Set for Arduino UNO

Kuman Project Complete Starter Kit with Tutorial for Arduino UNO R3

The Kuman Complete Starter Set for Arduino UNO is the perfect launching pad for kids and teens to take their making and programming to the next level.  Arduinos are microcontrollers that one can program to do tons of projects.  You can read sensor inputs and send commands to digital and analog outputs.  That means they are perfect for putting together more advanced robots from scratch. You can find many ideas to get you started at Project Hub.

With 44 components and a tutorial CD full of projects and source code, the kit contains everything your child needs to start creating amazing things. From simple and fun projects to masterpieces of electronic engineering, this is the kit for kids with limitless imagination and ideas.  You’ll have the parts to make a basic robot, but you can always buy the motors and other items necessary to build your individualized robot project.

Ages: 10+

Best for: Intermediate/Advanced, coding, limitless possibilities

14. 11 in 1 Programmable Robot Kit

11 in 1 Programmable Project

The 11 in 1 Programmable Robot Kit is a jack of all trades… Well, 11 trades at least. Powered by the hugely popular Arduino platform, this little guy can transform into a line-following , rubber band gun shooting, edge-detection or interactive game robot – along with many others.  Great for hours of fun and reusability.

Ages: 9+

Best for: Arduino programming, Mechanics

All of these hands-on experiences offer a fun and educational building experience. If you are looking for more science projects you can get your hands dirty with, check out our STEM subscription box reviews.

Feature image adapted from image courtesy of Flickr, Brad Montgomery.


  1. Just to throw it out there.. another option is our Tinkering Labs Electric Motors Catalyst. Check it out at tinkeringlabs.com and let me know if you have any questions. Thank you for this excellent post.

  2. These educational kit really helpful for kids. I have used it for my kids. I have seen a lot of changes. It will create fun learning environment. Thanks

  3. Nice list! As a teacher I have been working with some of them, I even made curricular programs for LEGO MINDSTORMS Sets and Botley and those are exceptional tools to teach!
    Besides the good options you mention here, I feel there is mising one! In case you don’t know it let me introduce you to Otto DIY!
    That cute biped robot is simply amazing for engage kids with STEM/STEAM projects and to learn robotic in general in any level!
    I met the projects just right before pandemic and since then it is my favorite Do It Yourself robot kit because the diversity, flexibility and modularity. You can make easy projects with kids from 6 years old just using the Otto head for example (to keep it simply to build and code for a young kid) or even expand it to use new components and even artificial intelligent. Strongly recommended!

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