When my kid was 3, she wanted to build a robot. She made an exact spec of what she wanted:
Build a cute little robot that has wheels.
First thing that popped in my mind was Edison. But it turned out it wasn’t “buildable” enough for what she had in mind…
Next, I looked at Lego. But to my surprise, there wasn’t a robot for such small kids.
We were about to give up on our quest when we encountered:
Build a Bot
Build-a-Bot turned out great. It wasn’t too expensive, and it definitely delivered more than I expected.
The spec was: “Build a cute little robot that has wheels”. Build-a-Bot fulfilled “buildable”, “cute”, “little” and “robot” part, although was missing wheels… But, kid liked foxes during this period, so it was acceptable 🦊
Build-a-Bot was great because of the way it is assembled. It is not trivial (fox had ~20 pieces), but it is not too hard also. Kid was able to assemble it with a bit of help and guidance from us.
After assembling it, the fox robot looked great. It was gadgety enough to feel like a robot, and “cute” enough to feel like a toy.
Fox has a bone that it can detect when it get’s close, and a switch hidden in the tail that you can use to make it jump/run.
In the end, kid was very proud that she managed to build it, and that the robot works. She played with the fox for years to come. Even today, it sometimes gets out of the cupboard for a run.