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!
For additional gift ideas check out all our Holiday Gift Guides.
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I regularly commute into the city with my “travel tech” and I thought I would share some of my favorite tech accessories that are always in my backpack other than my laptop and iOS devices. Being a mom means that I have to have my travel tech packed and ready to go at a moment’s notice. Some of the products below were provided by companies and if you purchase them our site may earn a small amount. I picked all of these products based on my personal experience and usage of them over time.
LL Bean Quad Pack
I’ve had my LL Bean Quad Pack for several years and it’s stood up very well to the test of time and can hold pretty much anything I need since it includes an integrated laptop sleeve, designated spot for my iPhone, waterbottle and more! There are a ton of pockets and places to store things – and using my clear bags from Mia Tui makes finding things a snap! RRP $79.99 for the Quad Pack from LL Bean.
Griffin Survivor for iPad Mini
I really love the durability that this case provides for my iPad Mini which I frequently slip into my bag to take places with me since it is small and portable. I don’t have to worry about the screen getting scratched since the case features a protective covering. I also loved all the color choices (including my favorite pink!) as well as the nice form factor for the case. My iPad Mini has survived drops, falls, drool and more all while staying protected and no cracks! For me, this is one piece of “insurance” that is totally worth it! You can read my full review of the Griffin Survivor for iPad Mini. Available from Griffin and Amazon for approximately $40 USD.
Mp2301 Performance Mouse by Kensington
My next favorite accessory is my MP2301L Performance Mouse by Kensington. This wireless mouse feels great in my hand, is small and portable and has great battery life. One of the best features about it is the ability to track on almost anything – and that it takes standard batteries which are easy to find if they need replacing. No cables, no cords no fuss! That means I can find a place to sit in the office or at a conference table and still have my mouse no matter where I am! The reciever fits nicely inside the mouse so you don’t lose it when not in use! $39 USD RRP. Available from Kensington or Amazon.
LogiTech Wireless Presenter
I also like to bring my Logitech Wireless Presenter as I have spoken at a few meetings recently and it’s so much easier to use a wireless presenter than having to walk over and click on the slide each time I need to move it forward. One of my favorite things about this presenter is that it has a built in timer which allows me to know if I am spending too little or too much time on a specific slide. It also has great range which means I can walk around the room while speaker rather than being pinned at a podium or in the front of the room. RRP $55 – 80 USD. Available from Logitech or Amazon.
Griffin PowerJolt Dual Charger for the car
Since many of my commutes involve travel time in the car, I also use my Griffin PowerJolt Dual frequently. This charger includes a lightening connection as well as a second port where you can plug in an micro-usb or any other USB accessible cable. That means I can charge my phone and tablet at the same time or two smartphones. RRP $20.00 from Griffin or Amazon.
Mobile Hotspot for Wireless on the Go
A mobile hot spot is another must have, especially when you are not sure how good your internet access will be. I sometimes use my iPhone as a hot spot, but really like this Netgear Verizon hotspot as a better alternative and it has great battery life. I enjoy using my Netgear Hotspot from Verizon since I added it to my wireless plan. Easy to use hot spot that works both inside and outside of the United States, provides great battery life and connectivity for your devices. You can either pay for the device and add the service on the go or put it on contract Check out my review of the Verizon Jetpack by Netgear. RRP without contract is $199 USD and with contract it’s $49.99. Available from Netgear and Verizon.
Cord Storage and Organization
Organizing all of my cords is a snap with my Mia Tui clear plastic bag/PVC bag. These bags have a zipper top and make it easy to see everything inside so I don’t lose any small pieces. They are far more durable than the Ziploc bags I was using, but are not totally waterproof. I like that I can pull the medium size one out of my backpack and have my laptop cord, cables/plugs and chargers all in one spot. RRP is $12.50 USD and they are available from Mia Tui.
Cables! Griffin Premium Braided Lightening Cable
This cable lives in my tech backpack and it has stood up to being plugged, unplugged, used abused and re-used! Griffin’s cable is so much stronger than my traditional lightening cables for my iPhone due to the braiding on the cable which means that you won’t need to treat it as delicately! I love that you don’t need to fuss when plugging it in as it resists kinking and is stable so the connectors don’t break. They offer a wide variety of braided cables for iOS and Android. RRP $35 USD. Available from Griffin and Amazon
Pocket Size Bluetooth Keyboard
If I am attending meetings and I decide not to bring my laptop – this pocket size Bluetooth Keyboard is perfect! It’s a tri-fold and folds up to about the size of my hand meaning I can easily slip it into my bag and use the keyboard to take notes instead of having to bring along my laptop all the time. I have it paired to both my iPad and my iPhone 6 and finding keys on it is so much easier than having to use the on screen keyboard. It lasts a long time too – I’ve used it multiple times and have not had to charge it yet! The keys are a little bit smaller than a traditional keyboard, but honestly after using it for about ten minutes I didn’t notice it at all! RRP $36.99 and it’s available at 1by1 and on Amazon.
Tech Armor Portable Power Bank
With all of these devices, I’d be lost without a portable power bank to ensure that they had power. I’ve recently starting using this power bank from Tech Armor and really like how fast it charges my devices with a small size! I can charge my iPhone (if it dies unexpectedly) or give my iPad a boost so that I can watch a movie on the train. This works with all devices that use USB chargers, and I’ve passed it around a few times to coworkers and friends whose cell has died. Avoid the dreaded “low power mode” that your iPhone goes into just before shutting off! RRP from Tech Armor and Amazon is RRP of $40 USD.
JayBird BlueBuds Headphones
On the train, these headphones are a must since others don’t want to hear my music, my apps or my movies! JayBird BlueBuds X Premium Bluetooth Headphones simply put ROCK! These Bluetooth earbuds pair to a variety of devices without the need for a cord to tether you to your device. They include a filtering system which allows you to hear the music more clearly and feature playtime up to eight hours which means you can use them all week without having to worry about charging them. These earbuds charge using a standard micro-USB connector and for those using Apple devices include a icon on screen telling you how much battery is left so you are not left without your earbuds at the wrong moment. The earbuds fit either in the traditional under-ear which allows you to listen and take calls as well as the over ear which means it doesn’t even feel like you are wearing earbuds. The package includes three pairs of ear tips as well as ear cushions, a micro-USB cable and a carry case to hold your earbuds and the cords. Jaybird has introduced an updated version since my original review, but I still use these a lot and they stand up great! Sold by JayBird and Amazon for RRP of $150 USD.
Apex Fine Point Stylus by Lynktec
When attending meetings, I love to use my Lynktec Apex stylus, as I can use my iPad Mini and the stylus to take notes instead of having to pull out a pen and paper! I can draw and handwrite my notes which is perfect in a meeting, plus everything is stored in one spot so I don’t have to worry about having the right notebook with me. You can use it with or without Bluetooth – without it’s mostly for sketching or note taking within specific apps but if you want to jot down notes it’s best to link it to your device. I loved the fine point and how it learned what I wrote using Notes+. RRP $50 USD available from Lynktec and Amazon.
Wireless Storage – by Seagate Wireless Plus
Do you have memory woe’s on your devices? SeaGate Wireless Plus is there to help! This small drive which is about the size of your hand holds a whopping 1 terabyte of data and works with a variety of devices and smartphones including iOS, Kindle Fire and Android. It includes the ability to pass through Wi-Fi and you only need to connect your devices to the drive rather than having to connect to Wi-Fi which is especially handy if you are out and about or in a conference room at the office and don’t want to connect multiple iPads, iPhones or other devices to the drive. That means you can use your hotspot and not worry about if you are using your laptop, phone or tablet! Read my full review about this “must have” accessory. RRP $140 USD for 1TB (other sizes available) Available from Seagate and Amazon
Leitz Mini Bluetooth Speaker
Have you ever tried to do a presentation in a conference room only to find the tinny speakers on your laptop are not loud enough for others to hear? I stash this small Leitz Mini Bluetooth Speaker in my backpack for those moments! You can connect it to your smartphone, tablet or laptop via Bluetooth and people won’t have to strain their ears to hear sound any longer. It charges using micro USB and will last up to six hours of complete use. You can even use it when you are using your smartphone as a speaker without sounding far away! I like it better for work rather than music! Compact design fits into your bag for on the go use! RRP $35 USD. Available from Amazon.
These are some of my travel “must-haves”, what are yours? I’d love to hear what products you use when you go to work or on the train.
Note: Some of the products included in this article were supplied by the companies for review purposes, no other form of compensation was received. Some of the posts may include affiliate links Their inclusion was the decision of the author, all opinions stated in the article are those of the author and have been offered honestly. This post contains affiliate links, which means I may earn a small amount if you purchase the products.
Kensington Hi-Fi Headphones with Mic are a great kids headphone, 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. Their grown-up styling will be popular with kids who have outgrown cute character headphones.
If you are looking for headphones for your children for school or home use Kensington’s new Hi-Fi Headphones with Mic are a great option and good value for money too.
Over the last few years my childrens’ schools have been incorporating more technology into the curriculum and even their State testing is transitioning to being done on the computer instead of with pencil and paper. Because of this parents need to provide their kids with headphones for use during computer or tablet time at school. My kids also use headphones when using the computer or tablet at home so they can work simultaneously without disturbing each other. With 3 kids needing them for both home and school we get through a lot of headphones !
When looking for headphones for my kids there are a number of features that are important to me: clear sound, comfortable, fit a range of head sizes, sound limited to a safe level and they must be tough and durable.
I recently had the opportunity to test out Kensington’s new Headphones With Mic that they have designed specifically for students in K-12. The first thing I noticed as they don’t look like kids headphones, although they are designed for kids they look very much like an adult headphone. My kids are 8, 8 and 12 and will shun anything they consider “too babyish” and all 3 approved of this design.
They have a wide black headband that is padded at the top and when you expand it shows a silver metal band at the sides. My 8 year-old daughter has a small head for her age and my 12 year-old son’s head is on the large side and the headphones fit both of them comfortably.
The headphones have 40mm drivers and I found the sound quality very good for a sub- $30 headphone – the sound was clear and crisp with a good dynamic range. The maximum sound level is 94db, which gives me peace of mind as they can’t turn the sound to unsafe levels.
The microphone is a nice bonus feature and very useful for using apps with dictation and voice recognition. This is especially important for kids who have difficulty typing. I like the flexible microphone stalk and how it rotates out of the way when not in use.
My kids (especially the younger boy) are tough on headphones but these feel well-made and durable so I am confident they will last him a good while. The cord is 9 foot long, rubberized and flexible and it has a gold-plated jack. The cord comes coiled up and we keep it that way most of the time, but it is nice to have the extra length for times we need it. The one thing I would like to see added is an attached velcro cord tidy for keeping the cord neat instead of the current wire tie.
Overall, I think these are a great kids headphone, 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. Their grown-up styling will be popular with kids who have outgrown cute character headphones. They are popular with my kids and are my 8 year old son’s favorite headphones.
Kensington Hi-Fi Headphones with Mic (SRP $24.99) are available from Kensington.com, Amazon and other retailers.
You may also wish to read Kensington iPad Accessories for the Classroom
NOTE: A product was supplied by the company for review purposes, no other form of compensation was received, all opinions stated in the review are those of the author and have been offered honestly.
What we love…
Engaging app with comic graphics and real life photos, different game structures, customization,
clear voice, multiple chances for correct response.
text is large and easy to read.
What we’d love to see…
Ability to record responses, addition of male voice option, ability to switch games without quitting app
Pronouns Heroes is an amazingly engaging app to teach and reinforce 5 different pronoun types and 19 different pronouns. The graphics are appealing and the games engaging. The app is customizable for different levels of pronoun understanding and usage. There is reporting option and is compatible with the Therapy Reporting Centre.
Pronoun Heroes is an app developed by Smarty Ears, a long time app developer in the area of speech and language. Founded by Speech Language Pathologist Barbara Fernandes, Smarty Ears has over 50 applications geared towards all areas of speech and language development.
Pronoun Heroes is an amazing app to help learn about 5 different types of pronouns. The app addresses personal objective, personal subjective, demonstrative, possessive and reflexive. I didn’t even know many of these when I started to play!
On each page of the game the active user is displayed. The app allows for multiple users and they are displayed on consecutive pages.
The app uses a comic Superheroes theme and has bright, engaging graphics. There are 19 different pronouns included in the 4 different games. There are also two child friendly guides that cover “What are the Pronouns” and “Pronoun Types”. A Superhero avatar guides you through a these explanations of pronouns.
Where is the Pronoun?
You can choose to work on words or phrases in this activity.
In words 4 superheroes hold up cards with words on and you need to pick the one that shows a pronoun.
In phrases a phrase is broken into individual words and you need to choose the word that is a pronoun.
Which One is Not a pronoun?
This is similar to the word activity in Where is the Pronoun only this time the student must choose the superhero carrying a card with a word which is not a pronoun.
Find the Picture
The player is presented with a pronoun and 2 pictures, they need to choose which picture best represents the pronoun. This game can be can be customized for individual students choosing which pronouns to work on.
Use a Pronoun.
For this game you need to choose which pronouns the student will work on, you can use pre-set options or set your own. The child is presented with a picture and a phrase describing the picture with a word missing. The phrase is spoken can be repeated by tapping on the picture. They must fill-in-the blank by dragging and dropping the correct pronoun into the blank space.
There is a cute sounding reward ding and a not so displeasing gong when the wrong answer is chosen. The customizable games allow for teaching and reinforcing one or more pronouns. This allows for easy advancement through different stages.
Like all Smarty Ears apps, this app is compatible with the Therapy Report Center. Users can be imported from and saved to the Center. Data collection is relatively easy and does not interfere with the actual game playing. At the end of the game, the report page is exposed and results easily read.
There is no option to switch between games in a session, you currently have to exit the session and reselect the players to change games, it would be nice to add an option to do so. I would like to see the ability to add photos from a photo library to make the app even more individualized. A male voice, as an option should be considered. As with all apps, I like the ability to record the child’s responses, in their own voice. Perhaps this can be added in a future version of the game.
Overall, I really like this app. I like the comic graphics and the real life photos, it is engaging and keeps students interest. The pronouns taught are more advanced, yet presented in a manner that is appropriate for the younger and older students. The feedback sounds are pleasant, and the “rate” of the game is appealing to the children. The voice that reads the stimulus is clear and well-articulated, and I like the ability to customize which pronouns are worked on.
I highly recommend this app to SLPs and to parents to enhance carryover of pronouns (receptive and expressive). I rate this app a 5 in the true tradition of most Smarty Ears apps.
iTunes Link: Pronoun Heroes – Smarty Ears
by Smarty Ears
Price: $19.99 USD
Pronoun Heroes is an engaging way to teach inspiring superheroes the use of pronouns. Created by certified speech-language pathologists and developed by Smarty Ears Apps, Pronoun Heroes teaches and reinforces.
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