It is tricky trying to find coding gifts for kids because the toys and games you often see online are pretty bad. They are often gimmicky, they are often overpriced, and they are usually abandoned by the creators within two years, which means “Good Luck Chuck” if you have a problem with the product. Nevertheless, to aid you in your quest for a better gift, here are some nice coding-related toys and items for kids.
Enrollment in a Coding Course
Okay, for starters, try to get a free trial before you go spending money. Just like buying your kid a series of karate lessons, there is a chance your kid won’t like it and you have wasted your money. Get a free trial for the service, and if your kid likes it, then commit to buying. The reason a course is a good coding gift for kids is simply that it offers your kid a gateway into the world of coding. Perhaps your child will not like it, but if he or she does, then this is a great starting point that offers a strong foundation for future learning.
Roblox Studio and a Suitable Tutorial Series
The game-development platform known as Roblox has their Roblox Studio that is free to use by anybody who signs up. It allows you to create your own games or in-game assets for their platform. You can introduce your child to this tool, along with a step-by-step tutorial on how it works. There are several tutorials out there that start very slowly and work their way up to help your child learn true competence. The reason why you should do the research and find a good tutorial is that around 95% of the free online tutorials are not very good. They start with the basics and then quickly degenerate into messy knowledge spouting that benefits nobody.
Lego Build, Code and Play Toy
Try something like the Lego BOOST Creative Toolbox for your tween or teenage kid. Mostly all of the coding toys you see online (especially on Amazon) are simply awful. They are bad for the reasons mentioned in the introduction, and because they are mostly incompatible with the realities of modern coding. At least the Lego build, code and play toys are created by a large, branded company. They are not as quick to abandon their products, so you can still find support via their website and online tutorials on YouTube and Rumble.
Mario Maker 2 and a Nintendo 3DS or Above
If your kid has a Nintendo 3DS or above, and is still pretty young, you could try getting them Mario Maker 2. It will teach your kid nothing about real-life coding and is more about being entertaining than it is educational. However, if your child becomes very enamored with the game, and plays it until there is little left to do, then this may leave your child wanting more. There is a chance that after playing the game over and over, your kid will want to try some real coding and real game development. He or she may be more willing to undergo the slog of early-coding learning because he or she is motivated to become a game developer.
An Introduction to Wibit.Net
There is a free website called Wibit.Net that is full of courses on how to learn all of the major programming languages. It is truly a work of epic proportions, but it has a small flaw. The flaw is that it is aimed more at older teens rather than kids. Each of the lessons starts out very basic so that anybody can understand them, but the people who created the courses go very deep into the subjects. A child may have a harder time following through on the lessons because of how comprehensively the material is covered. Failing that, you could always get your kid a light-up mechanical keyboard. They are pretty cool too.