My 7 year old wants to be an engineer. She loves robots and programming. Just the other day, she asked how she "could be an engineer because I don't know everything". So for Christmas I gave her one of these:
This was just perfect. It displaced one doll on her bed. It can be driven around with an IR remote control, but it can also record your button presses (i.e. be programmed) and then play them back. This sort of programming is just her speed.
Here is a picture of Veronica studying her new programming book with the robot looking on.
Those of us with kids are always looking for fun ways to introduce them to the world of embedded systems.
In addition to VEX IQ and VRC competitions, my kids have enjoyed the code bug and scratch.
I will place a number of products I have used with the kids as separate replies.