9 Best Robot Toys for Preschoolers
Robot toys are an easy way to take playtime to the next level. They’re big on science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) learning without feeling like school—and they’re just plain cool!
There are a lot of toy robots on the market, and not all are suitable for the five-and-under crowd, making it tough to know at first glance what is and isn’t appropriate. Whether you’re shopping for your own preschool-aged child or a gift for a friend’s kiddo, you’re sure to find the right robot toy with our picks.
Children can take away a lot from playing with a robot toy. For preschoolers, toy robots can help with fine motor development and problem-solving skills, says Daniel Ganjian, MD, a pediatrician at Providence Saint John’s Health Center in Santa Monica, California. “Robot toys help children see how things work—and it’s nice to get kids to have some understanding of how they have control of the way things function.” Ganjian says parents can even use robot toys to help children with emotional regulation. “It’s a great lesson to teach kids: You can control your robot, and you can also control yourself,” he says.
Of course, safety is always an important consideration with toys. As you shop, look for the following:
- Larger pieces. Robot toys with small pieces can become choking hazards for younger children, as well as little siblings, Ganjian says. Make sure to pick out robot toys with larger pieces to avoid any accidents.
- Simplicity. “You don’t necessarily want one with all the bells and whistles,” says Ganjian. “Sometimes the simpler, the better. Kids may have too much stimulation.”
- Ease of use. Robot toys should be relatively easy to maneuver and not have creases that can pinch little fingers, notes Ganjian. You also want something children can learn to use fairly quickly—otherwise, they may get frustrated.
- Interactivity. Some robot toys require a child’s imagination; others have unique movements and skills. Certain robot toys even encourage children to build and redesign them. Ganjian says that all styles are great—just keep your child’s interests and individual skill sets in mind.
Ready to start shopping? Keep reading to check out our top picks for the best robot toys out there today.
This Fisher-Price robot offers kids three ways to play, minimizing the risk they’ll easily get bored. It features coding, learning challenges and even “secret codes” kids can enter to dictate where their wheeled robot will go. The Kinderbot comes with four accessories to add to the robot, along with a code booklet. Not only does the toy offer actions little ones can control, it also features lights and phrases about colors, shapes and more to enhance learning during playtime. What more could you ask for in a toy robot?
Age recommendation: 3 to 6 years | Dimensions: 5" (L) x 5" (W) x 5" (H) | Requires batteries?: Yes (included)
- Introduces kids to coding and helps them unlock more learning opportunities
- Buttons are also built into the robot’s head, making them easy to reach while eliminating the risk of losing a controller
- Cute design
- Extra parts can get lost
- Slightly expensive
The Top Race Robot Dog is a good option for pet-loving preschoolers (particularly if you want to see how they’ll do with a “dog,” ya know?) Catch this robot pup on wheels, with a wide range of movements built in, including sitting, walking, dancing and bowing. The toy can mimic the sound of 10 different animals and obeys 12 voice directions. It also comes with a remote with large buttons and a tapered design that little fingers can easily grip and operate.
Age recommendation: 3+ years | Dimensions: 10.9" (L) x 7.5" (W) x 13.5" (H) | Requires batteries?: Yes (included); remote batteries are not included
- Remote is easy to operate
- Choose from blue or pink accents to suit your kiddo’s tastes
- Remote could get misplaced
- Requires some learning to get up to speed
The SGILE RC robot offers a lot of features to create an interactive friend. This robot allows little ones to give gesture commands to move forward, backward, left and right, along with up to 50 programmable motion commands delivered via remote. The toy walks, sings and dances, and even has a “patrol” function where it can move around obstacles. And when it comes to battery life, you’ll have about an hour before it needs a recharge with the included USB cable. After about two hours, it’s ready to play again!
Age recommendation: 3+ years | Dimensions: 6.3" (L) x 3.1" (W) x 10.4" (H) | Requires batteries?: Yes
- Large range of movements
- Music and dance aspect will engage children even more
- Available in two different colors
- Remote may be misplaced
- Not large enough for some
Rescue Bots from Playskool teach kids about public safety—and this Heatwave toy doubles as a fire truck and a robot. Kids can convert the action figure from a fire truck to a robot with a few simple movements, minimizing the risk of frustration while playing with it. Playskool also offers other Rescue Bots, including classic characters like Bumblebee and Optimus Prime, allowing preschoolers to start their own collection. How fun!
Age recommendation: 3+ years | Dimensions: 4.9" (L) x 2.6" (W) x 8.1" (H) | Requires batteries?: No
- Multiple configurations
- Inspires adventurous imaginative play
- Doubles as a toy car
- Doesn’t respond to commands
Robots aren’t known for being the most cuddly toys around, but the Bedtime Originals Robbie Robot is a plush version that little ones can snuggle with. This toy is covered in soft velour with embroidered details, so you don’t have to worry about your little one getting scratched by a hard piece in the night. It also doesn’t have detachable buttons or other elements that can fall off and create a choking hazard. At 16 inches tall, the plush robot is large enough to wow preschoolers without being so large that it’s intimidating.
Age recommendation: All ages | Dimensions: 10.2" (L) x 3.9" (W) x 16" (H) | Requires batteries?: No
- Sweet design
- Easy to carry
- No detachable pieces
- May not be exciting enough for some
- Must be spot cleaned
Preschoolers will have a blast building (and rebuilding) robots with this Learning Resources kit. It features 18 pieces that can be assembled in a variety of ways to create moveable robot friends. The pieces are small enough for little hands to easily hold and maneuver without presenting a choking hazard. They also work with other 1-2-3 Build It! sets, so you can mix and match pieces to make even more creations.
Age recommendation: 2+ years | Dimensions: 10" (L) x 9" (W) x 4.2" (H) | Requires batteries?: No
- Variety of parts allows kids to use their imagination
- Wide assembly options
- Storage container not included
- Can only make one robot at a time
The Matatalab TaleBot Pro is an adorable way to get young kids into coding. The robot—which doesn’t require a screen to operate it—responds to commands that teach it to walk, sing, dance, speak and draw. The toy even records your kiddo’s voice on demand. It can learn up to 256 commands, including sequences and loops. TaleBot’s buttons are located on the robot’s head, so there’s no need to stress about losing important pieces.
Age recommendation: 3+ years | Dimensions: 8" (L) x 8" (W) x 2.9" (H) | Requires batteries?: Yes
- Wide range of functions keeps little ones engaged and entertained
- Combat size
- Compatible with Lego blocks, allowing for customizatio
- Takes time to learn all the functions
Robots are naturally interactive, and this learning robot toy helps kids with their ABCs while encouraging play. The Joyin Alphabet toys are each shaped like a different letter, but morph into robots with a few twists and turns. The letters are petite, but not so small that they create a choking hazard. We especially love that the letter robots can be combined to make three larger toys, giving kids even more options for play.
Age recommendation: 3+ years | Dimensions (each robot): 2" (L) x 2" (W) x 0.8" (H) | Requires batteries?: No
- Offers active learning
- Made from BPA-free plastic
- Letters and pieces can be used separately or together
- Lots of parts and pieces, and no storage container included
- Some letters are harder to transform than others
At under $13, this drillable robot is a steal. Your kiddo can construct, deconstruct, and rebuild the robot with the help of included oversized screws and a kid-friendly screwdriver. The robot encourages hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills through drilling, and allows little ones to mix and match screw colors to design the look of their robot as they see fit.
Age recommendation: 3+ years | Dimensions: 6.3" (L) x 3.8" (W) x 10" (H) | Requires batteries?: No
- Includes stickers so little ones can get creative and make the robot their own
- Available in green and pink colorways
- Pieces can get lost
- Stickers may not line up perfectly
To choose the best robot toys, we first consulted with a pediatrician for recommendations on safety features to be mindful of in these toys. We also looked at the most popular robot toys on the market and narrowed the field based on elements like interactive features, size of pieces, and, of course, fun. Reviews from parents were considered as well to ensure we had the best view of how these toys perform across a range of households, and we never considered anything less than an average four-star rating.
Interested in learning more about our editorial process? Read about how our team develops and reviews all articles here.
Daniel Ganjian, MD, is a pediatrician at Providence Saint John’s Health Center in Santa Monica, California. He received a Bachelor's degree with highest honors from the University of California, Los Angeles, and a medical degree from the University of California, Irvine.