9 Great Gifts To Make Parenting Easier

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As Mums we are always looking for the latest tech to make our jobs easier.  The tech gear we highlight below are some of our top picks to help our kids stay healthy, safe and charged while on the go or at home using their devices for homework or leisure.

Thermo Bluetooth Thermometer from Withings

baby-thermo-FThermo from Withings is a temporal artery thermometer that is fast, accurate and easy to use and it’s companion app is a great way to track a child’s temperature, symptoms and response to medication during the course of an illness. Ask any parent of a sick child – the last thing they want to do when a sick child finally falls asleep is to wake them up, but if they are running a fever monitoring their temperature is vital, so finding a way to check their temperature without waking them is important.  A great addition to any family’s medical cabinet.   Read our full review.  Available from Withings.com, Apple Stores for $99.95

InBody Push Stadiometer

pushInBody Push – Handheld Stadiometer from InBody Push is a handheld stadiometer which measures height using ultrasound via the push of a button.  The stadiometer and companion app will register and manage the heights of up to 20 people and plots measurements on a CDC growth chart.  The device is shaped in a triangular shape and is easily held in one hand allowing you to measure your child – or anyone else in a simple easy to manage one hand format.  Read our review Available from Amazon for US$149

Kolibree Intelligent Bluetooth™ Toothbrush

C40U0469 (4) (1)At first glance Kolibree looks like any other good quality electric toothbrush, but it is much more than that- it actually gets your kids wanting to brush!!  It is a sonic toothbrush, its charging base plugs into an electric outlet and the toothbrush charges when sitting on the base. It comes with 2 removable brush heads and additional heads are available to purchase. However, unlike a regular electric toothbrush Kolibree uses 3D motion sensors to monitor how you are brushing and give you feedback.  It has 2 fun apps that encourage kids to brush as well as they can- a pirate game and a Rabbids game.  Read our full review. Available from Kolibree.com and Amazon. Basic pack including Tooth brush, charging base, 2 heads and app is $149

Dyson Pure Hot + Cool Link Air Purifier

If you are concerned about air quality in a child’s room or want to keep it at just the right temperature the Dyson Pure Hot+ Cool Link is just what you are looking for. Dyson is famous for its innovative engineering and the Hot+ Cool Link combines it signature iconic style and functionality. It has 3 functions- it heats, it cools and it purifies. The heating and cooling unit, like the Dyson cool fan, is bladeless so you never need to worry about a child accidentally getting their fingers caught.  It is also designed to automatically switch off if tipped over. Air pollution can be worse inside our homes than out, and young children, the elderly and those with allergies can be most affected by it. The Hot+Cool Link intelligently purifies the air to remove 99.97% of allergens and pollutants as small as 0.3 microns. It measures the air pollution levels inside your home and you can set it to automatically switch on as pollution levels rise. You can control it and receive notifications via a Dyson app on your SmartPhone.  Available from Dyson.com, Amazon and other retailers RRP $599

Road Rockstar 4 USB Port Car Charger

Troad-rockstarhe Road Rockstar from Belkin is definitely one of those products that make you think “why didn’t someone come up with this earlier!!” It is a great family friendly car charger that has not one or two, but four charging ports- two for the front seat and two for the back!. The charger plugs into a cigarette lighter socket in the front of the car and provides 2 USB ports for mum and dad in the front seats to charge their phones. A 6 foot long cable extends from here to a second charging device that is designed to fit in the pocket of a seat in the second row and provides enough power for the kids in the back seats to charge 2 iPads. Genius!! No more running out of power on long road trips! Available from Amazon RRP $39.99 currently $32.99 on Amazon

Starry Station – Touchscreen WiFi Router

 

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As a mom, I struggle with letting my older son have my iPad in his room unsupervised.  Thankfully, I recently discovered the Starry Station – and now I can control what content he can and can’t see as well as being able to turn off access to the internet with the touch of a button on the router or my iPhone.  Starry Station includes ScreenTime parental controls which let you block bad content (which you determine), filter certain sites (like YouTube) and apps as well as disable Wi-Fi access easily. I also like that you can set up routines which disable wi-fi at a specific time, give access to only certain apps/sites (perfect for homework!)  This makes my Friday night #devicefreedinner a snap, I simply touch a button and Friday night is now tech free night.  Setup for the Starry Station was a snap, it has great range in my home and I also like that I can monitor how well my wireless is working on the fly from my iPhone.  Another bonus – I can connect so many devices including multiple smartphones, tablets, Android devices, iPads, DVR, wireless printers, and even my Blu Ray Player without seeing any slowdown.   Available from Amazon for US$299.95

Weather + Bluetooth Temperature and Humidity Sensor

img_0594-2Oregon Scientific’s Weather+ sensor allows you to track temperature, humidity and atmospheric pressure either indoors or outdoors, both in real time and historically via your smartphone, when in Bluetooth range.  Do you have a room or rooms in your house that you need to monitor the temperature and humidity in, or need to keep in a specific temperature or humidity range? Maybe a wine cellar, a nursery or even a greenhouse ? You can keep an eye on it via a home weather station but you need to be in the room to check the readings and you don’t get to see how it changes over time. Oregon Scientific’s new Weather + Advanced Bluetooth temperature and humidity sensor provides a solution that allows you to monitor temperature, humidity and atmospheric pressure via your smartphone.  Read our full review. Available from Oregon Scientific for $29.99

 

ADVANCED SensorSafeTM Embrace DLX Infant Car Seat

ADVANCED SensorSafe™ Embrace DLX Infant Car Seat (Largo)

As a mom of two, I can tell you that when I had my second I was amazed at all the changes made in a few short years to car seats. This is the perfect gift or a Mum or Mum to be, as car seats expire and the technology is constantly changing!  I’ve tried a variety of reminder systems to ensure I never forget my kids in the car – including a shoe in the backseat or putting my purse back there.  Evenflo recently launched this car seat which includes a SensorSafe system designed for infants from 4-35 lbs  which chimes to remind you that your child is buckled into their car seat in your car.  That means, no matter how busy you might be, your child is never left behind inadvertently in a hot or cold car even if you do change your routine.  The car is always a place where my kids fall asleep and this seat would give me peace of mind to know that they were safe — and that I would always remember they were in the car. Available from Amazon and WalMart  for US $149 – $211.10 depending on color.

ETY•Kids® Earphones 

 

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Helping to keep my kids hearing safe while they are using their devices has always been important to me.  These headphones from Etymotic allow you to control earphone sensitivity which means that it’s no longer a battle of the DVD player being turned up too loud!  The sounds heard via the  ETY•Kids earphones are designed not to exceed safe levels, and kids can listen safely for up to four hours daily.  The headphones block background noise, provide high quality sound which means kids can hear the sounds and parents can have a conversation in the front seat without having to compete with a device for long drives. Read our full review, my son’s are four years old and still working great!  Available from Amazon for US $30.

 For additional gift ideas check out all our Holiday Gift Guides.

This post contains affiliate links, if you click on these The iMums may receive a small commission which helps to pay to run this site. Thank you for supporting us by using these links. Some items on this list have been received free of charge for review purposes.

Alison, the American iMum is from Massachusetts. She lives there with her two sons and husband. In their spare time, they enjoy playing outside, enjoying nature and of course testing apps and fantastic products on their devices. My older son loves technology and loves testing out the “latest and newest” apps and tech. I love sharing information about apps and products with others to help them make decisions without feeling overwhelmed with all of the choices.

The iMums Xmas Stocking Stuffers – 12 Great Gifts Under $30

Great Gifts don’t have to cost a lot. It is the thought that counts, and the effort to get the right gift for the right person. The iMums have collected together some of our favorite inexpensive gifts under $30. We have gifts priced from $9.99 to $29.99 including a variety of tech accessories, some cool gadgets and some low tech ideas too. Happy shopping!

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 For additional gift ideas check out all our Holiday Gift Guides.

This post contains affiliate links, if you click on these The iMums may receive a small commission which helps to pay to run this site. Thank you for supporting us by using these links. Some items on this list have been received free of charge for review purposes.

Mary is originally from England but now lives in California with her husband, dog, cat and three children. Mary and her family love Apple products and own an iPad2, iPad3, iPad Mini, iTouch, iPhone5 and several MacBook Pros. They also love cub scouts, skiing, camping and hiking. The family iPads are also used for therapy for their daughters Apraxia (speech disorder).

7 Great Gifts for Health and Wellness

When looking for gifts for loved ones it is always rewarding if the gift is something they enjoy that at the same time improves their overall health and wellness. We have found a variety of great gifts ideas that help the user work on improving their health and wellness. Some are for the more serious athlete, others are for those who want to decrease stress, or increase their overall activity level without wearing a traditional looking fitness tracker. There are also gifts for those who suffer from Blood Pressure problems or nausea from motion sickness, pregnancy or other causes. We hope you and your loved ones have a Happy and Healthy New Year in 2017 and that some of these gifts help with that.

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Muse Brain-Sensing Meditation Headband

muse-sort-nyt-logo-1-4 The Muse Brain-Sensing Meditation Headband is a great gift for anyone who wants to decrease their stress level. It acts as a personal meditation coach and is used in conjunction with the Muse app on your phone plus your own headphones. Muse fits comfortably across your forehead and behind your ears and measures your brain signals. Once Muse is in place it checks for proper fit and takes a baseline reading. The app then guides you through a series of meditation exercises. Whilst you meditate you listen to different soundscapes and the soundscapes respond to your brainwaves. For instance in the beach soundscape when you are calm and focussed you hear gently rolling waves and even birds singing, as your mind wanders the ocean becomes stormy and the waves crash louder. Unlike many other stress reduction devices, you don’t need to look at the screen whilst you are meditating, you can close your eyes and relax. I find the changing soundscape a much less intrusive way of reminding me to refocus than seeing changes on a screen or hearing a voice prompt. The sessions start short at 3 minutes, and you are encouraged to increase your time meditating as it becomes a habit. You can review your meditation settings and set reminders to help meditation become a regular routine.  I have found it a great tool to help me to meditate and I’m always much more relaxed after a Muse session. Available from Target, Amazon and other retailers for US$179.99

Spire- Mindfulness and Activity  Tracker

kubik-160425-spire_0973_side_table_2_final-2-1Spire is a tracker that not only looks and feels different from your standard activity tracker, it also has a different focus. Spire looks and feels like a well worn pebble and it monitors not only your steps but also your breathing.  The battery lasts for up to a week and it charges via a beautiful cork and metal induction charger, that can also acts as a USB charger for your phone. Spire’s focus is on measuring your breathing -your state of mind affects how you breathe, but how you breathe can also change your state of mind.  The Spire app includes focussed mini-meditation sessions. During the day Spire senses when you are becoming stressed and sends real-time notifications to remind you to take a deep breath or suggest ways to calm down. At the end of the day you can see what periods of calm, focus and tension you have had. Spire aims to improve your health by making you mindful of your breathing patterns and encouraging slow, deep breathing. Studies have shown that slow, deep and consistent breathing can lower blood pressure, reduce stress and increase the flow of endorphins in the blood stream. Available from Spire.ioAmazon and Apple Stores for US$99.99

Jabra Sports Pulse Special Edition Bluetooth Headphones with HR Monitoring

pulse_close-up-product-in-ear Music always makes it easier to work out. When you are actively training a good set of wireless Bluetooth headphones that will stay in place however hard you work is a must. The Jabra Sports Pulse special edition headphones  include 4 pairs of ear wings and 6 different pairs of EarGels (3 sizes of foam and 3 of silicon) to find your perfect fit. As well as providing great sound and a secure fit they also help you to fine tune your workout by measuring your Heart Rate. To get the most from the headphones use them with Jabra’s Sport Life™ app. With the app you can set personal goals based on distance, time, or calories burned. You can select a target pace or heart rate zone and even set up interval training. The app will keep you updated with audio coaching. You can also use the headphones and app to do 3 fitness tests: The Rockport Test- designed to measure your VO2 max level, The Orthostatic Heart Rate Test and The Resting Heart Rate Test.
They connect via Bluetooth and charge via USB with up to 5 hours battery life. Available from Jabra.com, Amazon and other retailers RRP  US$159.99

 

ReliefBand

home-reliefband ReliefBand was originally created as a single use device for chemotherapy patients, over time others learned of it and it became popular with boaters and in hospitals for other types of treatments.  I have always had nausea when flying or boating – it’s a fact of life for me.  I recently flew and I’m happy to say that with my ReliefBand I had no nausea and flew very comfortably.  You simply put on some gel similar to ultrasound gel on your wrist, put on the ReliefBand and then activate it so you can feel the pulse.  It begins to take effect in moments.  It is FDA cleared and endorsed by the medical profession for conditions related to nausea and vomiting including morning sickness and chemotherapy.  Read our full review. Available from  Relief Band’s website, West Marine, and Amazon.

 

Withings Wireless BP Monitor

Withings-WirelessBPM-Main-iOS-ENThe Withings Wireless Blood Pressure Monitor  is a device designed to make it easier to measure, record and share blood pressure (BP) readings at home. It is incredibly easy to set up and use, . It charges via an included USB cable, and once charged it is totally wireless. It is used in conjunction with the Withings Health Mate app and gives immediate feedback on whether or not your reading is in the optimal range. The monitior automatically tracks measurements over time, sends reminders to take your BP, and makes it easy to share results with your doctor.  If  loved one has pre-hypertension, hypertension, or risk factors for it, the Withings Wireless Blood Pressure Monitor is a great gift to make home blood pressure monitoring quick, easy and painless. Read our full review. Available from Withings.com, Amazonand other retailers RRP $129.95  (at time of press only $73 on Amazon)

 

Timex IQ+MOVE Women’s Gift Set

 

image004The IQ Move series is new from Timex this year. They are a series of analog watches with built-in activity trackers that are available in womens and mens styles. The Taupe/Turquoise womens gift set includes a taupe leather strap and an interchangeable turquoise silicon strap. It has a 36mm dial with INDIGLO® Night-Light and is water-resistant to 50M. It uses Bluetooth to synch with the Timex Connected app (compatible with iOS and Android). You can check your progress to goal in the app or with a quick glance at the sub-dial on the watch face. It also measures periods of deep and light sleep, as well as time awake, sleep efficiency percentage and average length of sleep. The IQ+ Move uses a traditional watch battery, so no charging is required. Available from BestBuy.com , Best Buy stores and  Timex.com  for US$149

 

Amazfit Ceramic Activity Tracker

silver_infinity_necklaceFor the woman (or man) who wants to track their activity but doesn’t like the look of traditional activity trackers the Amazfit Ceramic Activity Tracker is an elegant alternative. It is a smooth, shiny glazed ceramic disc inspired by the traditional Chinese jade pendant. It comes in white or black and can be worn in a variety of ways. My favorite way to wear it is with the optional Silver Infinity Necklace . I love how smooth the tracker is to the touch. As all the electronics are hidden inside it looks just like a fashion statement rather than an activity tracker. The tracker charges via an included induction charger and you can choose from a variety of fashionable wrist straps for times when you are actively working out and prefer to wear it on your wrist. It works with a smartphone app, it will track steps and also tracks sleep when worn on the wrist.  Available from Amazon and other retailers currently $55.99 for tracker charger and wristband, necklace $16.99

For additional gift ideas check out all our Gift Guides

This post contains affiliate links, if you click on these The iMums may receive a small commission which helps to pay to run this site. Thank you for supporting us by using these links. Some items on this list have been received free of charge for review purposes.

Mary is originally from England but now lives in California with her husband, dog, cat and three children. Mary and her family love Apple products and own an iPad2, iPad3, iPad Mini, iTouch, iPhone5 and several MacBook Pros. They also love cub scouts, skiing, camping and hiking. The family iPads are also used for therapy for their daughters Apraxia (speech disorder).

15 Hot Holiday Gift Ideas for Kids

Circuit Scribe Ultimate Kit

For the budding engineer Circuit Scribe Kits provide a great introduction to electronics. A really neat feature of the Circuit Scribe sets is you can complete the projects and make connections without needing to solder- you just draw the wires with the included conductive silver ink pen. The Ultimate Kit contains over 30 electronic components and instructions for lots of projects. Not only does the kit provide a lot of projects but it also teaches kids about electrical components – so they really understand what components like resistors are and learn to draw circuit diagrams as well as build projects. As the students learn about the components they are encourage to be creative and design their own circuits, the Ultimate kit is even compatible with Arduino and Raspberry Pi. Available from CircuitScribe.com,Amazon and other retailers for US$99.99, other kits are available for a variety of prices including a mini kit at $9.99, Basic Kit at $44.99. A great #STEM gift for ages 8-adult. Read our review and enter to win a Maker Kit

Design Your Own Maze Plus VR Viewer

Design Your Own Maze Plus VR Viewer

maze Design Your Own Maze by Seedling not only lets you create your own wooden marble maze but it lets you use Virtual Reality to step inside it too! The kit also includes a cardboard VR viewer which you can use with your smartphone. Maze is a classic labyrinth game where you use the knobs to tilt the playing field to guide a metal marble from start to finish without falling down any holes. Instead of coming with a pre-made maze it contains bases and 42 wooden wall pieces that you use to create and re-create your own mazes that you can make as simple or as challenging as you like. Once you have created a physical maze you can turn it into a virtual maze by scanning it into the free Maze app. You can customize the maze by adding music, photos, traps, themes and more. If you put your smartphone into the included cardboard Virtual Reality Viewer you can even step inside your maze, turning your head to turn as you weave through its labyrinth. A very cool and creative #STEAM gift that combines both hands on creativity and Virtual Reality. Ages 6+ Available from Seedling.com, Amazonand other retailers for US$59.99

Puzzlets Starter Kit- learn to code

kidsPuzzlets from Digital Dream Labs is a hands-on physical toy that allows children from Kindergarten age upwards to learn coding principles whilst playing. The starter pack includes  a Bluetooth enabled play tray and 22 programming puzzlets plus a Cork the Volcano video game which can be played on an iPhone, iPad, Mac or Android smartphone/ tablet.  The kids place the puzzlet tiles in the play tray to control the characters on screen and thus use them to solve a variety of challenges. Puzzlets combines hands on play with interactive gaming and encourages kids to be creative, as many of the levels can be solved in more than one way. It can be enjoyed by 1 or 2 kids at a time and is suitable for ages 5 and above (under 6’s may need some help from an older child or adult).  #STEAM. Available from Amazon and other retailers  for US$99. More games due to be released in 2017. Read our review and enter to win

Square Panda Phonics Set

Square Panda Phonics Playset by Square Panda which features a bluetooth enabled playset to engage kids in learning a variety of activities from learning letters, spelling, letter sounds, rhymes, learning new vocabulary words and more.  The set consists of 45 Smart Letters, a Playset box which you pair to your iPad and holds your device while in use, access to the Square Panda Playground where you can manage a parent account, see information about your child’s progress and additional learning opportunities as well as 4 AA Batteries.  The Square Panda Playset requires either iPad 3, iPad 4, iPad Mini, iPad Air 2 or iPad Pro in order to run and you must be running iOS 8.x and above.  Read our full review to learn more and enter to win. Available from Square Panda for US$119 USD

Sphero Star Wars BB-8 App Controlled Robot

We are Star Wars Junkies at our house.  Check out this BB-8 app-enabled Droid that includes an adaptive personality as you play including emotions and lets you give voice commands. Connect BB-8™ to the app and watch your Droid™ come to life. Drive BB-8 by sliding your finger on the driving pad, send him on patrol to investigate your surroundings, record and view holographic messages, and more. BB-8 droid is more than a toy – it’s your companion. You can even watch the force awakens with him and see his reactions! This is a “hot” must have toy that we can’t wait to get our hands on!Available from Sphero, Amazon and Target for US$149

Pokemon Go Plus

pokemon-go-plusPokemon Go has been the big mobile app hit of the year with millions of kids (and adults!) up and walking around searching for Pokemon, Poke Balls, Berries, and Pokemon Eggs. I love how it gets my kids out and active but don’t always love how they hog my phone when playing. The much anticipated Pokemon Go Plus is a wearable device that links to your smartphone through Bluetooth. It lets you know when a Pokemon is nearby by the LED flashing and the device mildly vibrates. With it they can collect Poke Balls, Berries, and Pokemon Eggs without having to look at your smart phone and receive notifications when they are near a Pokestop. They still need to have your phone nearby but it can spend most of its time in your pocket and they can look at their surroundings instead of at a screen. This is such a hot item that it is really hard to find but we’d recommend you keep checking Amazon in case more come into stock. Available fromAmazon and other retailers RRP US$39.99

BlueBee Pals Pro

Hudson the Puppy from Bluebee Pals is a talking toy that works with your smartphone or tablet. It is designed for toddler through early elementary school age children, and by pairing it with apps can be educational as well as fun. You don’t need to buy proprietary apps for Hudson to work- he works with the educational apps you already own.  The Bluebee Pal connects to your iOS, Android or Bluetooth enabled device and the mouth of the toy moves while connected to a huge variety of apps including the ability to read a story including from an app on your smartphone, play music, interact with AAC apps, and speech related apps. My two year old loves to hear stories and will sit and have the “read to me mode” activated while he listens to his favorite stories and looks at the pictures on my iPad Mini.  Available from BlueBee Pals and Amazon for US$64.99. Read our review and enter to win

Skylanders Imaginators

Skylanders , the original and immensely popular, toys-to -life action figure and video game is back with a new adventure- Skylanders Imaginators. Kaos is back and with the ancient power of Mind Magic creating an unstoppable army of Doomlanders! But Eon is undeterred and is fighting back with the help of a new series of characters: Skylands’ greatest mystic warriors, the Senseis. As well as the Senseis you can use all your old characters from previous Skylanders games and  use the power of your imagination to create your own Skylanders help to save Skylands. It is available for Wii U, XBox 1, XBox 360, PS3 and PS4. Available from Amazon , Target and many retailers for US$74.99 

Malia’s House

beach_house_2_web_large-800x546Malia’s House from Build & Imagine combines dress up dolls, a building toy and a dolls house all-in-one. The award winning Build & Imagine toys were designed to get girls interested in building by providing them with a more creative, imaginative experience than standard building blocks. The kit has 10 square, 4 triangular and 2 rectangular panels. These are illustrated on both sides and snap together magnetically. The child can use their imagination to decide which scenes to include and what shape to build, every time they play they can rebuild it in a slightly different way. There is a working door and lots of different rooms and scenes illustrated on the panels, including furniture and indoor and outdoor scenes such as a kitchen, bedrooms, beach, garden and pool. The kit also includes 2 magnetic dolls- Malia and her friend Skyler plus lots of magnetic clothes, pets and accessories than can be used with the set. I love how my daughter not only creates different scenes and dollhouses with it, but that she also loves to tell stories about what is happening as she plays. A great #STEAM gift and it can be combined with other Build & Imagine play sets for even more creative possibilities. Read our review and enter to win
 Available from Amazon and toyshops for US$59.99

Zumo Learning System with Android Tablet

Zumo Learning System with Tablet from Zyrobotics is a learning system that makes apps switch accessible so everyone can use them.  In the box is Zumo the Turtle, an Android Tablet in a kid proof case which comes pre-loaded with Zyrobotics apps. You can either buy the turtle switch and use it with your own tablet or buy the entire Zumo Learning System.  Read our full review to learn more about the great apps and how the turtle makes items accessible
Available from Amazon for US$159

RCA PRO12 Android 2-in-1 RCA PRO 12 inch HD 32GB 2-in-1 Android Tablet Hybrid

rct6223w87sk_black_2Many kids and college students are doing a lot of schoolwork now on Chromebooks or tablets. For many Google docs seem to be replacing using Word. A great gift for older kids, teen and college student is a 2-in-1  such as the new RCA Pro12. This allows them to use it like a Chromebook or laptop to work in Google documents and search the web, but also acts as a touchscreen tablet for educational apps. The new RCA Pro12 has a 12.2″ HD screen and 32GB built in storage which you can affordably expand by up to an additional 128GB by adding a Micro-SD card such as the SanDisk Ultra 128GB . It comes with a removable folio keyboard case that attaches easily and securely via a magnetic connector. The PRO12 has a 13.GHZ quad core processor and uses native Android Marshmallow 6.o as it’s operating system. Users can choose from the huge range of apps available from the Google Play Appstore. It can be powered by the included AC adapter or via micro-USB, it has a rechargeable battery that lasts up to 8hrs. This is a great gift for students of all ages that they can use to do homework, listen to music, watch videos, search the web, answer emails and play fun and educational apps. Available from Amazon and other suppliers RRP  US$279.99. Look at for it on Home Shopping Network on December 2nd too!

Kensington Hi-Fi Headphones with Mic


If your kid loves playing games, doing schoolwork, or watching videos on a tablet or computer a must-have to save your sanity is a good pair of headphones. Kensington’s Hi-Fi Headphones with Mic are a great option and good value for money too. They are designed especially for kids head, yet look grown up enough that a teen or tween won’t be embarrassed to use them. They are well made, durable, have good sound quality, will fit a variety of head sizes and are a great choice both for home and school use. Priced at under $25 they are a great value. They even have a microphone which folds away when not in use. Available Kensington.com, Amazon and other retailers.from  for US$24.99. (Currently only $19.99) Read our review.

Motion Pen Kids

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The MotionPen Kids Stylus by Widevantage is a rounded thick stylus designed especially for kids, even younger ones that may not yet have a mature grasp pattern.  The stylus is rounded and has a rubberized tip on each end.  There are native apps made by Widevantage that you can use, which include erasing simply by flipping over the stylus, hovering your stylus over your device and more.  No batteries to replace, no Bluetooth to connect, simply pull out of the box, enter the number of your stylus and you are on your way to drawing fun.  My 8 year old had so much fun with the Motion Crayon app and we even played Pictionary using our iPad Mini. Read our full review and enter to win. Available from Widevantage and Amazon for US$22.25

Galaxy ZEGA Tank Battle Game

In Galaxy ZEGA, the real and virtual worlds collide. The kit comes with 2 remote control tanks (others can be purchased separately) and a magnetic snap together battlefield. Galaxy ZEGA is a tank battle toy,  played with individuals and teams on a real-world battlefield using palm-sized tanks (called ZEGAs). Players shoot their opponents with lights to gain points and eventually earn up to 30 more skills so they can disable other ZEGAs with virtual ‘oil spills,’ freeze opponent’s speed and more to win battles.  I got to play this hands-on recently and it was really fun, the ZEGAS are very fast, responsive and easy to control via your tablet or smartphone. If you want to play quickly they can be used as remote control vehicles without the battlefield, but using it gives places for the tanks to hide and using it adds anther dimension to the play.  Starter Set available from GalaxyZEGA.comand other retailers for US$149.99

Know Yourself Adventure Series

The Know Yourself Adventure Series is a monthly subscription kit which explores a new system of the human body each month.  I tested a kit that included the five senses which included an interactive comic book,  time travel, hands on experiments including the cylinders to capture items related to our senses, historical figures and stories which explained the body or a mystery of the mind.  This is a great monthly gift that keeps on giving.  Be sure to read our full review for a chance to win a 3 month subscription. Available from Know Yourself for US$29/month or $359/year.  As a subscription box this is a gift that keeps on giving throughout the year. Read our review and enter to win a 3 month subscription

These are The iMums Top Picks for gifts for kids this holiday season. We have gifts in a variety of price ranges to suit children from tots to teens. #STEM and #STEAM gifts are hot this year and we have plenty of gifts that are educational and help kids to nurture their love of science, technology and creativity. Let us know which of these gift choices are top of your kid’s wish list.

 

Circuit Scribe Ultimate Kit

circuit-scribe_electroninks_wallpaper-logo-3-1_lrFor the budding engineer Circuit Scribe Kits provide a great introduction to electronics. A really neat feature of the Circuit Scribe sets is you can complete the projects and make connections without needing to solder- you just draw the wires with the included conductive silver ink pen. The Ultimate Kit contains over 30 electronic components and instructions for lots of projects. Not only does the kit provide a lot of projects but it also teaches kids about electrical components – so they really understand what components like resistors are and learn to draw circuit diagrams as well as build projects. As the students learn about the components they are encourage to be creative and design their own circuits, the Ultimate kit is even compatible with Arduino and Raspberry Pi. Available from CircuitScribe.com,Amazon and other retailers for US$99.99, other kits are available for a variety of prices including a mini kit at $9.99, Basic Kit at $44.99. A great #STEM gift for ages 8-adult. Read our review and enter to win a Maker Kit

 

Design Your Own Maze Plus VR Viewer

maze Design Your Own Maze by Seedling not only lets you create your own wooden marble maze but it lets you use Virtual Reality to step inside it too! The kit also includes a cardboard VR viewer which you can use with your smartphone. Maze is a classic labyrinth game where you use the knobs to tilt the playing field to guide a metal marble from start to finish without falling down any holes. Instead of coming with a pre-made maze it contains bases and 42 wooden wall pieces that you use to create and re-create your own mazes that you can make as simple or as challenging as you like. Once you have created a physical maze you can turn it into a virtual maze by scanning it into the free Maze app. You can customize the maze by adding music, photos, traps, themes and more. If you put your smartphone into the included cardboard Virtual Reality Viewer you can even step inside your maze, turning your head to turn as you weave through its labyrinth. A very cool and creative #STEAM gift that combines both hands on creativity and Virtual Reality. Ages 6+ Available from Seedling.com, Amazonand other retailers for US$59.99

 

Puzzlets Starter Kit- learn to code

kidsPuzzlets from Digital Dream Labs is a hands-on physical toy that allows children from Kindergarten age upwards to learn coding principles whilst playing. The starter pack includes  a Bluetooth enabled play tray and 22 programming puzzlets plus a Cork the Volcano video game which can be played on an iPhone, iPad, Mac or Android smartphone/ tablet.  The kids place the puzzlet tiles in the play tray to control the characters on screen and thus use them to solve a variety of challenges. Puzzlets combines hands on play with interactive gaming and encourages kids to be creative, as many of the levels can be solved in more than one way. It can be enjoyed by 1 or 2 kids at a time and is suitable for ages 5 and above (under 6’s may need some help from an older child or adult).  #STEAM. Available from Amazon and other retailers  for US$99. More games due to be released in 2017. Read our review and enter to win

Square Panda Phonics Set

squarepanda-638-edit1080_grandeSquare Panda Phonics Playset by Square Panda which features a bluetooth enabled playset to engage kids in learning a variety of activities from learning letters, spelling, letter sounds, rhymes, learning new vocabulary words and more.  The set consists of 45 Smart Letters, a Playset box which you pair to your iPad and holds your device while in use, access to the Square Panda Playground where you can manage a parent account, see information about your child’s progress and additional learning opportunities as well as 4 AA Batteries.  The Square Panda Playset requires either iPad 3, iPad 4, iPad Mini, iPad Air 2 or iPad Pro in order to run and you must be running iOS 8.x and above.  Read our full review to learn more and enter to win. Available from Square Panda for US$119 USD

Sphero Star Wars BB-8 App Controlled Robot

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We are Star Wars Junkies at our house.  Check out this BB-8 app-enabled Droid that includes an adaptive personality as you play including emotions and lets you give voice commands. Connect BB-8™ to the app and watch your Droid™ come to life. Drive BB-8 by sliding your finger on the driving pad, send him on patrol to investigate your surroundings, record and view holographic messages, and more. BB-8 droid is more than a toy – it’s your companion. You can even watch the force awakens with him and see his reactions! This is a “hot” must have toy that we can’t wait to get our hands on!Available from Sphero, Amazon and Target for US$149

 

Pokemon Go Plus

pokemon-go-plusPokemon Go has been the big mobile app hit of the year with millions of kids (and adults!) up and walking around searching for Pokemon, Poke Balls, Berries, and Pokemon Eggs. I love how it gets my kids out and active but don’t always love how they hog my phone when playing. The much anticipated Pokemon Go Plus is a wearable device that links to your smartphone through Bluetooth. It lets you know when a Pokemon is nearby by the LED flashing and the device mildly vibrates. With it they can collect Poke Balls, Berries, and Pokemon Eggs without having to look at your smart phone and receive notifications when they are near a Pokestop. They still need to have your phone nearby but it can spend most of its time in your pocket and they can look at their surroundings instead of at a screen. This is such a hot item that it is really hard to find but we’d recommend you keep checking Amazon in case more come into stock. Available fromAmazon and other retailers RRP US$39.99

 

BlueBee Pals Pro

Huhudson-the-puppy-pro-510x510dson the Puppy from Bluebee Pals is a talking toy that works with your smartphone or tablet. It is designed for toddler through early elementary school age children, and by pairing it with apps can be educational as well as fun. You don’t need to buy proprietary apps for Hudson to work- he works with the educational apps you already own.  The Bluebee Pal connects to your iOS, Android or Bluetooth enabled device and the mouth of the toy moves while connected to a huge variety of apps including the ability to read a story including from an app on your smartphone, play music, interact with AAC apps, and speech related apps. My two year old loves to hear stories and will sit and have the “read to me mode” activated while he listens to his favorite stories and looks at the pictures on my iPad Mini.  Available from BlueBee Pals and Amazon for US$64.99. Read our review and enter to win

Skylanders Imaginators

skylandersimaginatorsSkylanders , the original and immensely popular, toys-to -life action figure and video game is back with a new adventure- Skylanders Imaginators. Kaos is back and with the ancient power of Mind Magic creating an unstoppable army of Doomlanders! But Eon is undeterred and is fighting back with the help of a new series of characters: Skylands’ greatest mystic warriors, the Senseis. As well as the Senseis you can use all your old characters from previous Skylanders games and  use the power of your imagination to create your own Skylanders help to save Skylands. It is available for Wii U, XBox 1, XBox 360, PS3 and PS4. Available from Amazon , Target and many retailers for US$74.99 

 

Malia’s House

beach_house_2_web_large-800x546Malia’s House from Build & Imagine combines dress up dolls, a building toy and a dolls house all-in-one. The award winning Build & Imagine toys were designed to get girls interested in building by providing them with a more creative, imaginative experience than standard building blocks. The kit has 10 square, 4 triangular and 2 rectangular panels. These are illustrated on both sides and snap together magnetically. The child can use their imagination to decide which scenes to include and what shape to build, every time they play they can rebuild it in a slightly different way. There is a working door and lots of different rooms and scenes illustrated on the panels, including furniture and indoor and outdoor scenes such as a kitchen, bedrooms, beach, garden and pool. The kit also includes 2 magnetic dolls- Malia and her friend Skyler plus lots of magnetic clothes, pets and accessories than can be used with the set. I love how my daughter not only creates different scenes and dollhouses with it, but that she also loves to tell stories about what is happening as she plays. A great #STEAM gift and it can be combined with other Build & Imagine play sets for even more creative possibilities. Read our review and enter to win
 Available from Amazon and toyshops for US$59.99

 

Zumo Learning System with Android Tablet

ZumoLearning_Image3Zumo Learning System with Tablet from Zyrobotics is a learning system that makes apps switch accessible so everyone can use them.  In the box is Zumo the Turtle, an Android Tablet in a kid proof case which comes pre-loaded with Zyrobotics apps. You can either buy the turtle switch and use it with your own tablet or buy the entire Zumo Learning System.  Read our full review to learn more about the great apps and how the turtle makes items accessible
Available from Amazon for US$159

 

RCA PRO12 Android 2-in-1 RCA PRO 12 inch HD 32GB 2-in-1 Android Tablet Hybrid

rct6223w87sk_black_2Many kids and college students are doing a lot of schoolwork now on Chromebooks or tablets. For many Google docs seem to be replacing using Word. A great gift for older kids, teen and college student is a 2-in-1  such as the new RCA Pro12. This allows them to use it like a Chromebook or laptop to work in Google documents and search the web, but also acts as a touchscreen tablet for educational apps. The new RCA Pro12 has a 12.2″ HD screen and 32GB built in storage which you can affordably expand by up to an additional 128GB by adding a Micro-SD card such as the SanDisk Ultra 128GB . It comes with a removable folio keyboard case that attaches easily and securely via a magnetic connector. The PRO12 has a 13.GHZ quad core processor and uses native Android Marshmallow 6.o as it’s operating system. Users can choose from the huge range of apps available from the Google Play Appstore. It can be powered by the included AC adapter or via micro-USB, it has a rechargeable battery that lasts up to 8hrs. This is a great gift for students of all ages that they can use to do homework, listen to music, watch videos, search the web, answer emails and play fun and educational apps. Available from Amazon and other suppliers RRP  US$279.99. Look at for it on Home Shopping Network on December 2nd too!

 

Kensington Hi-Fi Headphones with Mic

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If your kid loves playing games, doing schoolwork, or watching videos on a tablet or computer a must-have to save your sanity is a good pair of headphones. Kensington’s Hi-Fi Headphones with Mic are a great option and good value for money too. They are designed especially for kids head, yet look grown up enough that a teen or tween won’t be embarrassed to use them. They are well made, durable, have good sound quality, will fit a variety of head sizes and are a great choice both for home and school use. Priced at under $25 they are a great value. They even have a microphone which folds away when not in use. Available Kensington.com, Amazon and other retailers.from  for US$24.99. (Currently only $19.99) Read our review.

 Motion Pen Kids – Stylus for Children

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The MotionPen Kids Stylus by Widevantage is a rounded thick stylus designed especially for kids, even younger ones that may not yet have a mature grasp pattern.  The stylus is rounded and has a rubberized tip on each end.  There are native apps made by Widevantage that you can use, which include erasing simply by flipping over the stylus, hovering your stylus over your device and more.  No batteries to replace, no Bluetooth to connect, simply pull out of the box, enter the number of your stylus and you are on your way to drawing fun.  My 8 year old had so much fun with the Motion Crayon app and we even played Pictionary using our iPad Mini. Read our full review and enter to win. Available from Widevantage and Amazon for US$22.25

Galaxy ZEGA Tank Battle Game

galaxyzega2In Galaxy ZEGA, the real and virtual worlds collide. The kit comes with 2 remote control tanks (others can be purchased separately) and a magnetic snap together battlefield. Galaxy ZEGA is a tank battle toy,  played with individuals and teams on a real-world battlefield using palm-sized tanks (called ZEGAs). Players shoot their opponents with lights to gain points and eventually earn up to 30 more skills so they can disable other ZEGAs with virtual ‘oil spills,’ freeze opponent’s speed and more to win battles.  I got to play this hands-on recently and it was really fun, the ZEGAS are very fast, responsive and easy to control via your tablet or smartphone. If you want to play quickly they can be used as remote control vehicles without the battlefield, but using it gives places for the tanks to hide and using it adds anther dimension to the play.  Starter Set available from GalaxyZEGA.com and other retailers for US$149.99

Know Yourself Adventure Series

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The Know Yourself Adventure Series is a monthly subscription kit which explores a new system of the human body each month.  I tested a kit that included the five senses which included an interactive comic book,  time travel, hands on experiments including the cylinders to capture items related to our senses, historical figures and stories which explained the body or a mystery of the mind.  This is a great monthly gift that keeps on giving.  Be sure to read our full review for a chance to win a 3 month subscription. Available from Know Yourself for US$29/month or $359/year.  As a subscription box this is a gift that keeps on giving throughout the year. Read our review and enter to win a 3 month subscription

 

For additional gift ideas check out our other Holiday Gift Guides.
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Mary is originally from England but now lives in California with her husband, dog, cat and three children. Mary and her family love Apple products and own an iPad2, iPad3, iPad Mini, iTouch, iPhone5 and several MacBook Pros. They also love cub scouts, skiing, camping and hiking. The family iPads are also used for therapy for their daughters Apraxia (speech disorder).

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