In an age of digital music, ecommerce, and social media, it’s easy to see that technology is the future. Knowing this, it’s more important than ever before to educate our younger generations on the mechanics and programming of modern computerized electronics. 

Programs that incorporate STEM and STEAM courses into their curriculum open doors to jobs in the tech and science industry. An acronym standing for science, technology, engineering, art and math, STEAM programs introduce children to advanced tools and skills that will be highly valued in years to come. 

Of course, to keep kids learning happily, a healthy balance of work and play needs to occur. Providing tech-related toys and gifts to your little ones gives them the best of both worlds. Incorporating all the fun of traditional play with an educational element. 

With the holidays quickly approaching, it’s a prime time to look at some of the latest and greatest tech toys and games on the market. At iCodeSchool we firmly believe that children are the future, and the future is technology. We provide classes, after-school programs, and summer camps so kids can unlock their hidden potential in STEAM-based industries. To help parents encourage this style of learning, we’ve compiled a list of our favorite toys. Here they are.

Cozmo: The Coding Robot 

Cozmo was developed and released in 2016 and has made quite a splash in the coding games industry. An AI companion, Cozmo provides hours of companionship, games, and coding fun. Cozmo isn’t just a coding toy, he offers plenty of ways to interact and enjoy with more than 100

personality upgrades, 35 mini-games, and a variety of corresponding apps.

 Cozmo’s sandbox coding mode is perfect for beginners, showing children the basics of computer programming as they design actions for Cozmo. Here, your child can make Cozmo sneeze, laugh or sing with code. The constructer feature is an intermediate coding component, allowing kids to create full games to play with Cozmo.

Piper Computer Kit 

For a more advanced look at coding, and the electronics side of computer operation, the Piper Computer Kit is a great choice. The Piper kits come in a variety of themes, including the widely popular Minecraft theme. For ages 8 and up, this STEAM toy introduces children to build, connect, and code. Combining unique problem-solving strategies with circuitry design, hardware manufacturing and more, your child will nurture their tech side and have fun while they learn.

Once the hardware side of the Piper Computer Kit is complete, kids use Google’s Blockly coding language to create their own Minecraft StoryMode games. This gives children a sense of purpose, completion and self-esteem as they maneuver new technology in an exciting way.

Squishy Circuits 

No kid can say no to a jar of fresh modeling clay. Therefore, Squishy Circuits is the perfect blend of science, technology and art. Using conductive yet insulating dough, this children’s learning activity teaches electrical circuitry in a safe and interactive way. Your child can explore the ins and outs of electricity, connectivity and science through a series of inventive creations. With lights, sounds, and squishy dough, it’s a hit for kids 8 and up.

Build Your Own Gotcha Gadgets Book 

A book for the prankster in your house, Build Your Own Gotcha Gadgets is loaded with instructions to build simple yet brilliant tech gadgets. Some of the activities inside include: 

  • How to Wire a Motion Sensor
  • Build Your Own Alarm System
  • Create a Push-Button Device
  • Program a Gadget with Funny Sounds

The book comes with some materials to create tech projects and play fun practical jokes on family and friends. It’s a unique way to help your child form an interest in technology and science while reading and playing.

Enroll in a STEAM Course 

Another wonderful gift idea for children interested in science and technology is enrolling your kiddo in a STEAM course. There are plenty of options for beginners and advanced kids, and many programs highlight on popular brands like Minecraft, Roblox, and more.

STEAM courses provide interactive science and technology learning with support from a mentor. Kids learn together with peers to navigate computer programs, build their own apps, create online games, and much more. 

These are just a few of the popular STEAM gifts to increase your child’s interest in science and technology. To foster these skills early and improve basic understanding of electronics, coding, and special awareness, try some of these gifts together.