The future is now. And many children are exploring their high-tech aptitude at early ages. For some, this means finding toys that smartly — and covertly — blend fun, technology and education.

This movement is outlined in a new piece by The Associated Press, “There’s a New Crop of Coding Toys for Techie Tykes.” The story profiles entrepreneurs and tech visionaries who believe introducing children to education-based technology at a younger age will help shape their opinions and interests before they have the context of “what’s cool.”

This undertaking spans different types of toys, games, puzzles and media. One of the most popular types this holiday, programmable toy robots help children understand the basics of machinery, encourage curiosity and push imagination.

“Immediately, they get to see the return, because the robots move,” Armor Director of Cyber Threat Research & Innovation Dr. Chase Cunningham told The Associated Press. “Kids need that immediate reward.”

Other offerings encourage trial-and-error thinking, coding and programming, geometry and even algebra. Most proponents agree that it’s a healthy approach to helping children broaden their perspectives past the typical video games and tablet entertainment. But it’s important to not push too hard or too early, as the opposite effect is possible.

The feature, coupled with Cunningham’s commentary, was syndicated by the Huffington Post, ABC News, SFGate and New York Times.