Yay! We’re so happy to be back with our annual Cool Mom Tech Holiday Tech Gift Guide, all fresh and new for 2016. And to kick it off, we’ve got the coolest educational tech toys for kids of all ages.

Whether you’re shopping for a curious preschooler or a teen who loves STEM, we’ve got 12 ideas that will keep your favorite kids busy, happy, and learning.

Of course, it wouldn’t be a Cool Mom Tech guide without a fab giveaway. This year’s fantastic prize: A brand new iPad Air 2 and designer case!

Because with so many awesome tech toys for the kids here, we had to offer something up just for you too, right? Unless you want to share. But that’s totally up to you.

There has been no compensation for inclusion in our guide; all items are selected by our editorial team. This post may contain affiliate links that help support our team at no cost to you so thank you!

Educational Tech Toys for Younger Kids

Cubetto

This clever toy teaches young kids the concepts of coding, even before they know how to read. No screens required, either. Along with this cute little robot, you’ll get maps, stories and more, all of which will keep kids engaged without the glowing light of an LED screen — or your cellular data.

littleBits Rule Your Room Kit

Our own kids adore littleBits kits and so do we, since they give curious kids so many ways to create their own super cool inventions through circuitry. Their new Rule Your Room Kit gives kids the tools they need to make all sorts of gadgets out of stuff they might have sitting in their room. Hmm, we wonder what our tweens could make out of piles of laundry and potato chip bags?

Code-a-pillar

For a fun, hands-on tech toy that’s perfect for preschoolers, the new Fisher-Price Code-a-pillar is a great choice. We featured it when it first launched earlier this year, and since then, so many parents of littles have let us know that it’s been a sound investment. Kids will be exposed to the most basic concepts of coding by rearranging the noise-making sections, then watching how their choices affect the way their caterpillar moves.

 

Educational Tech Toys for Older Kids, Tweens + Teens

Osmo Coding Toys

There’s no shortage of fun things you can do with Osmo, one of our favorite educational tools since its launch, because they keep creating fantastic additions you can use with your existing Osmo. Kids as young as kindergarten all the way through middle school will learn STEM concepts like coding with the hands-on experience of playing with real blocks, taking the learning beyond what they get from typical screen time.

Cubelets

Kids absolutely love building their own robot, airplane, and more with Cubelets, magnetic blocks from Mod Robotics Studio that can be manipulated and controlled via a companion app. If you’ve got LEGO lovers, or kids who love building with their hands and want to take it to the next level, this is a tech toy they’ll adore, whether you start with the set of 6 or splurge on the 12-pack.

Wonder Workshop Robots

If there’s a tech toy our kids keep coming back to over and over again, it’s the adorable Wonder Workshop Robots, Dot and Dash, which grows with them. These little guys teach kids of all ages about coding, engineering, and more. You can buy them either together or separately — though we think you get more out of the pair — then program them for progressively harder, more complex tasks as your kids get older, whether it’s delivering snacks, shooting catapults, knocking down LEGO towers, or bothering siblings. Ha.

Parrot Minidrones

Ttons of kids and adults are obsessed with Parrot’s truly top-notch minidrones. There’s a good selection so you can find the perfect holiday gift for kids, tweens, teens, and even adults who want to try their hand at flying a drone and putting the laws of physics to the test. How much paper can the Mambo Minidrone grasp at once? How high can the Swing Minidrone go in a set number of seconds? All you need are plenty of batteries and the optional Flypad controller or just use your smartphone. From there, it’s super easy to get all of the Parrot Minidrnes unboxed and in the air — and get your kids playing outside. Yes, even when it’s cold out.

Bitsbox Deluxe Box

We were introduced to Bitsbox as a Spawned podcast sponsor, and since then, our kids have been creating their own apps thanks to the cool super cards that come in each subscription box, designed to teach your kids how to code. The Deluxe Box comes with cool activities, stickers, an “Apper Keeper” and more, all packaged for gift giving with the first one shipped right to your lucky recipient in time for the holidays.

Sphero and Sphero SPRK+ Edition

Also a top pick in our splurge gifts for kids, the new evolution of last year’s hot Sphero robot is again arguably the hottest tech toy of the year. That said, if  you want an option that’s evermore educational, check out the Sphero SPRK Edition which is designed to teach coding. Because your kid’s own input is required to get it moving.