An Introduction to Coding Robot Toys in Early Childhood Education

The early education classroom is the perfect place to provide an introduction to coding robot toys. Integrating robotics and coding into early childhood education is easy with the right developmentally appropriate tools, the right curriculum, the right PD, and the right mindset!

Coding robot toys give children the tools to create and participate in a culture, society, and working world increasingly structured by computers. We don’t teach children to write because we want them all to be novelists or journalists; we teach them to write so they can express themselves. In the same way, teaching children to code and introducing them to computer science gives them fluency in a new set of tools for self-expression.

Superhero KIBO Image - Kids getting an introduction to coding robot toys

And starting early is key. Research shows the greatest return on investment in educational intervention comes when those interventions are made with the youngest learners. Intervening as early as possible helps guide children toward an interest in STEM careers, especially for girls as well as minority students. Many states have already adopted computer science standards in K-5, with many more planning to do so in coming years. States and districts know that starting STEM education early is critical to ensuring access and success for all students. Keep reading to learn about the importance of an introduction to coding robot toys in early childhood education.

Knowing the importance, here are 4 ways to provide an introduction to coding robot toys for elementary students:

[# 1] Tools: Provide developmentally appropriate robots

Research. Research. Research. Search for coding robot toys that are rooted in years of research identifying the most effective and proven ways to introduce coding in early childhood education. Robots should encourage children’s exploration of technology that is age-appropriate, safe, and creative.

Research studies of the effectiveness of the KIBO coding robot toy demonstrate that children benefit from connecting programming concepts to concrete, physical objects, reinforcing learning in an age-appropriate (and screen-free!) way.

[# 2] Curriculum: Select Vetted and Tested Curriculum

Once you have selected the right coding robot toy for your elementary learners, find curriculum that incorporates STEM learning, coding, and robotics into your teaching. Be sure you are provided with a comprehensive, standards-aligned, easy-to-follow curriculum. It’s not just about coding: it’s social-emotional learning through small-group collaboration, it’s developing persistence through the engineering process, and it’s connecting to student’s passions through cross-curricular lessons.

It is also important to ensure that you are meeting your school’s or district’s goals in computer science and STEM education, so look for curriculum that is aligned with key standards at the national level from CSTA and ISTE as well as your state standards.

KIBO’s curriculum offers explicit scripting for teachers without an instructional technology background and a clear sequence from grade to grade to assist in fitting KIBO into a comprehensive computer science pathway from PreK to 2nd grade. The curriculum is aligned with both ISTE and CSTA standards as well as state standards. KIBO’s curriculum and professional development has been certified as a Quality PD Program by The Computer Science Teachers’ Association (CSTA).

[# 3] Maximize the impact of your investment with effective and proven PD and training!

Teaching coding, engineering, and STEM to elementary aged students requires age-appropriate tools as well as quality professional development. Ensuring teacher’s skills and comfort in teaching STEM and computer science is an important part of any PD as elementary teachers may not have coding education backgrounds. Ensure your PD provides:

  • Standards-aligned PD that’s adheres to your district’s standards and needs.
  • Resources, post-training, to discuss any questions or issues that have arisen through practice and provide online and self-paced options for follow-up.
  • Custom activity examples for you to integrate STEAM skills to existing classroom subjects you are already comfortable teaching, such as literacy or math.  
  • Lesson plans to encourage teachers to learn alongside their students within a framework such as the engineering design process.

KIBO’s Professional Development provides training customized for educator’s individual needs and paced to allow educators time to explore and experiment as well as develop STEM skills. These hands-on experiences with KIBO help teachers feel comfortable with the technology so they can maximize their investment in KIBO. We also discuss pedagogical approaches to creative technology education in early childhood, including promoting student collaboration, SEL, and design thinking through STEAM. KIBO’s curriculum and professional development has been certified as a Quality PD Program by The Computer Science Teachers’ Association (CSTA).

[# 4] Mindset: Get ready for fun in the classroom with the introduction to coding robot toys

The best technology experiences for children are technology playgrounds, filled with creativity, exploration, social engagement, and interactive fun. Allow for a space for children to follow their own creative interests within a technological space that has been carefully designed to support their developmental needs. Where they can work together, discover, and share as they create.

See the active, playful fun educators and their students are having with the introduction to coding robot toys. Watch KIBO in action through real activities in the classroom.

About KIBO Coding Robot Kit

KIBO offers an inviting, engaging platform for children to start their journey into creating with code. KIBO’s block-based coding language gives children control over the robot’s movements, sounds, and sensors, allowing them to express their imaginations with code. Our curriculum encourages children to tell stories, create characters, and explore their world. Learn more about how you can get started with an introduction to coding robot toys in your elementary school classroom.

Recent Posts

Download Our FREE "Case for KIBO" Whitepaper

Learn about bringing STEAM robotics and coding programs to your young learners.


KIBO Little Red Riding Hood Image

How to Use Robots to Teach Coding

Robotics offers a unique way to teach coding to children, even the youngest of learners. Early childhood is a wonderful time to spark kids’ interest in coding, robotics, and engineering.

Hour of Code Event AI Projects for Beginners

These one-hour robotics and coding lessons aim to help young students express their creativity through AI-inspired activities We are excited to announce our participation in the worldwide Hour of Code™

Horizons for Homeless Children with KIBO Image

Bringing Playful STEAM Learning to Homeless Children

This KIBO use study comes from Horizons for Homeless Children located in Roxbury, Massachusetts. Horizons for Homeless Children is the Commonwealth’s leading organization devoted to serving homeless children, focusing on

Boy putting a Sensor into KIBO Image

AI Teaching Tips Using A Robot Coding Kit

In recent blog posts we’ve explored why young children should learn how AI works and what they should know about AI. So having explored the “why” and the “what”, let’s

The Role of Arts in STEAM Education

This blog is brought to you from a guest contributor, Romina Jordan. There is a missing component in STEM education. As more and more schools choose to highlight the STEM

Screen-free Coding and Makerspaces in School

When you hear about Makerspaces in elementary schools, what immediately comes to mind? Creativity? Ingenuity? Hands-on engineering? Makerspaces in schools are popping up everywhere but what are they and how

Exploring Floor Maps with KIBO Robotics

One of the most wonderful aspects of working with KIBO is the ability to incorporate art, crafts, and building. Through a combination of imagination and art, students can transform KIBO

Views from the Classroom: STREAM Education

KIBO has found a home in every kind of school and informal educational setting we can think of, including many schools where religious education is a core mission. Within religious

Arts and Engineering with #KIBOCostume

Halloween is coming, and KIBO loves to dress up! With a costume, KIBO can become a character in any story. Share your KIBO Costumes with hashtag #KIBOCostume. Decorating KIBO engages

School’s out for the summer: Keep ‘em coding

It’s summertime and the living is easy. But if you’re like us, you want to make sure your children have fun, are occupied and never stop learning! Whether you’ve enrolled them in

Congresswoman Clark codes with KIBO

As you may have heard, we were excited to welcome Congresswoman Katherine Clark to the KinderLab Robotics headquarters last month. As an avid supporter of early education, Congresswoman Clark was keen to see KIBO in

Educators Getting Hands-on with KIBO

Earlier this year we announced our various professional development programs, following the move into our new manufacturing and office headquarters in Waltham, MA. Since then, educators and program coordinators from near and far have come

KIBO takes on the Cambridge Science Festival

Being based in Massachusetts has loads of benefits. Certainly not the least of which is all of the great tech events surrounding us. Last week, KIBO ‘took curiosity to the

The rising need for STEM skills

KinderLab Robotics is committed to making 15 years of research into child learning available to every young child. As hundreds of educators, teachers and parents have found out, KIBO does

Getting funding for technology in the classroom

Technology and innovation is increasingly important in education. Our world is increasingly immersed in, and controlled by technology, and children need to understand what it is and how it works

Join KIBO next week at Imajine That Academy!

Parents, teachers and children, get ready tocelebrate – it’s almost April vacation week! New England-based parents, if you’re looking for fun activities for your kids, check out Imajine That, which will feature KIBO

Brown Bear, Brown Bear: What Can You Code?

It’s National Robotics Week and to get everybody in the spirit, we thought we’d share a fun video about how our own robot kit – KIBO – has been used in the Kennedy-Longfellow Elementary School in

Fun with robots at the Women Veterans’ Spring Fling

Earlier this month, the Massachusetts Department of Veterans’ Services teamed up with the Military and Veteran Psychology Program  to host the second annual Women Veterans’ Spring Fling event at the Massachusetts School of Professional Psychology (MSPP). This important

A case for continuous Kinder-innovation

Studies have shown that consistent investment in the education of younger children is beneficial to overall human capital. One study, by Nobel Prize winner James Heckman, referenced on the National

Local feedback: KIBO’s big Massachussetts move

KIBO was born and raised in Massachusetts. From the research labs of the DevTech Research Group at Tufts University, to the basements of our Arlington homes and now toour first KinderLab Robotics’ manufacturing headquarters

Why Should Preschoolers Learn to Program?

Coding is a new literacy. We teach children to read and write because it opens new doors for them, gives them new ways to think about the world and offers

A few facts you may not know about Route 128

Not familiar with Route 128? It’s an iconic area outside Boston that is steeped in technology history as the home to some of the world’s most innovative and influential technology

KIBO heads to the big retail show in New York City

As we speak, KIBO is working the floor at retail’s big show. Held by The National Retail Federation, the largest retail federation in the world, the show is the 104th annual ‘Retail’s BIG Show’.

Sharing a KIBO – and sharing our mission

If you don’t follow us on social media yet (you can sign up to talk with us on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn) then you’ve missed a chance to win a free KIBO. Our lucky winner

KIBO: Not just child-friendly but adult-friendly too

We recently conducted an in-person survey of parents, teachers and family members gauging their attitudes toward young children and coding. We found that almost two thirds, 65%, of those we spoke to considered it

KIBO: Good Old-Fashioned Play Meets Cute Robot

I don’t just have a personal fascination with robots, I’ve made a career of them. My technical career started at Honeywell Systems working on night vision applications in the late 1970s

KinderLab gets down to business – with robots

Being based in Boston, one of the world’s largest tech hubs, certainly has its perks. Last week, the KinderLab Robotics team grabbed KIBO and ventured out to the RoboBusiness conference, being held at the

Support for KIBO

Here at KinderLab Robotics, it’s been an amazing trip. From our successful Kickstarter launch, setting up the manufacturing of KIBO in Massachusetts, launching our online store, and attending events –