The four-year old mind needs constant stimulation, and what better way to meet those cognitive needs than through play-based learning. At four years old, children are becoming more independent, creative, and curious. They can play with their toys for longer stretches of time, allowing them to learn more about themselves and the world around them.
Robotic technology has grown exponentially in the last decade. Our children have access to cutting edge AI powered toys and personalities, unlike we have ever seen before. Still, in the parenting community, there concerns that too much interaction with these types of toys could endanger developmental growth. But, we need to be realistic. It’s unlikely that artificial intelligence is going away anytime soon. If we take the last ten years as a point of reference, AI will only grow more sophisticated. So, if we, as parents, are going to introduce these to our children, we need to educate ourselves with the best information out there. We know these toys are not a substitute for real human interaction. But, we can use this technology to help to close that divide between learning and play.
For Future Coders and Engineers:
Movi is a preschooler’s best friend. It has 360-degree mobility, so it can keep up with your active little one and inspire their creative side. While on the move, Movi has three different play modes and six games that encourage mind and body connection. Movi also helps to promote those ever important listening and critical thinking skills, while getting those sillies out. Check out a detailed feature review here
These little interactive pups make the perfect companion for those not ready for the real thing. Interactive toys like Chippie are great for teaching the responsibilities that come along with having a pet. Four year olds love to feel needed, so this could be a no brainer when it comes to “starter” robot toys. Check out Chippies here
This cute little guy is a powerful family companion. Powered by remote control, Cady Wile is easy for little fingers to manipulate. He is also touch and voice controlled, can sing and dance, and has a built-in coin bank – teaching wee ones the value of saving money. He makes a great introduction to robotics, and can provide many hours of fun that can get the whole family involved. Check out a full tutorial and review on Cady Wile here
Seriously cool technology. A gesture controlled robot that can interact with kids with a variety of movements and songs. Preschoolers will love the power it gives them as their robot mimics their actions and sounds. Yoego is great for those learning body awareness, and engaging the very important proprioceptive senses. Check out how it works here
Technically a Bluetooth speaker, Dancebot can cut some serious dance moves. Your kids will be mesmerized by its smooth movements and will have a hard time resisting busting out some rocking moves of their own. Dancebot also doubles as a stress reliever; as your kids dance and groove with their little friend, they will get those feel-good neurotransmitters pumping. Check out a tutorial of the cutest dance party companion here
While not a robotic toy, this robot head board game exercises your child’s cognitive and visual perception skills. With all players playing at the same time, players must scan the board for the correct facial features to beat their opponents. 120 different robot heads, and robot randomizer, this game is wonderful for the pre-reader, with the whole family getting in on the fun! Check out the wildly entertaining game here
Putting together a robot applies real world concepts with engineering and science disciplines, making this robot interactive and fun for your little one. While working on their fine motor skills, kids will gain confidence in their ability to complete their robots while supporting STEM learning. Check it out here
Another STEM supported toy, this kit is great for the budding maker! What’s cool is that you child follows along with the storybook included in the kit, and they construct 10 different robots along with the story. The story combines robot engineering and sci-fi adventure. Your child will benefit from the hand and eye coordination, and learn the basics of gears and machines. Check out this awesome storybook and kit here
Photon is what you think of when it comes to cutting edge AI technology. This is the first robot that grows with children. When first received, he is a blank slate and kids must teach him everything – from its movement, to how it interacts with its environment. While readily available on the Europe and the UAE market, the only way to get Photon is through one retailer in the US, at the moment. But, we see big things coming Photon in the future. Check out this seriously awesome robot here
Earlier this year Anki, the manufacturer of Cosmo, shut its doors and ceased making products. You can still purchase the Cosmo on Amazon, but once the stock is finished, you won’t be able to buy. Which is a shame because this little guy is like a robot is something out the movies. It’s so technologically advanced, yet easy to use and supports STEM education. It’s beyond anything you have seen before!