Product Review: Cubelets Discovery Set by Modular Robotics



Cubelets Discovery Set by Modular Robotics is a great way to integrate fun, learning, STEAM, STEM learning along with coding and more! As a parent, when getting my kids things I try to think of not only the educational value of the item but I also like to think about usability. I tested Cubelets Discovery Set with my boys – and took a step back after opening the box to see what they would create. One of the best parts of Cubelets Discovery Set is that they are modular making putting them together even for the smaller of hands (preschool) easy using cause and effect. If I place the blocks this way they will work. One of my favorite new enhancements is the Bluetooth Hat which means we can customize our creation, without having to worry about where to place the Bluetooth block. Cubelets are designed for builders ages 4+. Read our original review.

What we love…

Cubelets Discovery Set is a fun, affordable modular robot which teaches cause and effect, coding, STEM and STEAM

What we’d love to see…

option for an extra Bluetooth hat (I was most afraid of losing this one)!

Summary

ubelets do more which makes them a tool that grows with your child!

Our Rating

recommended-by-the-imums

Using the Cubelets Discovery Set, both my boys were able to build their first robot in less than five minutes after installing the Cubelets app on our iPad. Using the app, you can remotely control the robot and look at different robot building options using a fun new feature called Personality Swap which changes the behavior of a Cubelet with the touch of a button. As a mom, personality swap was great especially for my preschooler who built his creation and didn’t want to have to change it after building it. Cubelets snap together using magnets, which means no tough connectors. The blocks work collaboratively to do different actions and really encouraged my kids to explore and build a variety of different creations. My preschooler actually asked if we could make robots longer than the 25 minutes I allotted because he was having so much fun! That is a huge win in my book!

We loved the Cubelets Discovery Set overall, especially compared to the original set that we tried. My kids also made some Lego creations which we snapped on the Lego adapter and then brought power to! With my older son, I sat back and watched him create. He made a few fun creations and when they didn’t do exactly what he originally wanted them to, we tried moving around the blocks to show how each block had a cause and effect.

Cubelets Discovery Set can be used with or without a screen. Users learn programming and troubleshooting just by figuring out how to put the Cubelets together. Once they have made a creation you can open the app and start having more fun! The app uses Blockly or C with Cubelets within the app – which means that they are practicing a great skill that ties in STEM and STEAM. Last year, we tested Cubelets and did a robotics requirement with our local Cub Scout pack, seeing the engagement from the Cub Scouts was so fun especially when they were learning. Having your robot move, turn on it’s headlight and drive was so much fun and really satisfying.

In terms of enhancements, I wish that there were two Bluetooth “hats” included. When I played with Cubelets with both my boys – I was careful to make sure we didn’t misplace it. We loved Cubelets and it’s a gift I’m going to give over the holidays!

Overall, Cubelets Discovery Set is a fun addition to our technology tool suite. Seeing my kids engage with the robots and learn real world skills like coding, cause and effect and most of all fun was a great way to engage and spend time with them. Cubelets Discovery Set is a great addition for kids from age 4 and up – plus as they get bigger Cubelets do more which makes them a tool that grows with your child! It makes coding for kids and learning fun!

Available at Amazon and Modular Robotics for $139 USD

Cubelets Blockly
Cubelets Blockly
by Modular Robotics

Category: Education, Entertainment
Requirements: Compatible with iPad2Wifi-iPad2Wifi, iPad23G-iPad23G, iPadThirdGen-iPadThirdGen, iPadThirdGen4G-iPadThirdGen4G, iPadFourthGen-iPadFourthGen, iPadFourthGen4G-iPadFourthGen4G, iPadMini-iPadMini, iPadMini4G-iPadMini4G, iPadAir-iPadAir, iPadAirCellular-iPadAirCellular, iPadMiniRetina-iPadMiniRetina, iPadMiniRetinaCellular-iPadMiniRetinaCellular, iPadAir2-iPadAir2, iPadAir2Cellular-iPadAir2Cellular, iPadMini3-iPadMini3, iPadMini3Cellular-iPadMini3Cellular, iPadMini4-iPadMini4, iPadMini4Cellular-iPadMini4Cellular, iPadPro-iPadPro, iPadProCellular-iPadProCellular, iPadPro97-iPadPro97, iPadPro97Cellular-iPadPro97Cellular, iPad611-iPad611, iPad612-iPad612, iPad71-iPad71, iPad72-iPad72, iPad73-iPad73, iPad74-iPad74, iPad75-iPad75, iPad76-iPad76, iPad812-iPad812, iPad834-iPad834, iPad856-iPad856, iPad878-iPad878
Size: 36.33 MB

$FREE

Screenshots for iPad
(Click to enlarge)

Cubelets Discovery
Cubelets Discovery
by Modular Robotics

Category: Education, Entertainment
Requirements: Compatible with iPad2Wifi-iPad2Wifi, iPad23G-iPad23G, iPhone4S-iPhone4S, iPadThirdGen-iPadThirdGen, iPadThirdGen4G-iPadThirdGen4G, iPhone5-iPhone5, iPodTouchFifthGen-iPodTouchFifthGen, iPadFourthGen-iPadFourthGen, iPadFourthGen4G-iPadFourthGen4G, iPadMini-iPadMini, iPadMini4G-iPadMini4G, iPhone5c-iPhone5c, iPhone5s-iPhone5s, iPadAir-iPadAir, iPadAirCellular-iPadAirCellular, iPadMiniRetina-iPadMiniRetina, iPadMiniRetinaCellular-iPadMiniRetinaCellular, iPhone6-iPhone6, iPhone6Plus-iPhone6Plus, iPadAir2-iPadAir2, iPadAir2Cellular-iPadAir2Cellular, iPadMini3-iPadMini3, iPadMini3Cellular-iPadMini3Cellular, iPodTouchSixthGen-iPodTouchSixthGen, iPhone6s-iPhone6s, iPhone6sPlus-iPhone6sPlus, iPadMini4-iPadMini4, iPadMini4Cellular-iPadMini4Cellular, iPadPro-iPadPro, iPadProCellular-iPadProCellular, iPadPro97-iPadPro97, iPadPro97Cellular-iPadPro97Cellular, iPhoneSE-iPhoneSE, iPhone7-iPhone7, iPhone7Plus-iPhone7Plus, iPad611-iPad611, iPad612-iPad612, iPad71-iPad71, iPad72-iPad72, iPad73-iPad73, iPad74-iPad74, iPhone8-iPhone8, iPhone8Plus-iPhone8Plus, iPhoneX-iPhoneX, iPad75-iPad75, iPad76-iPad76, iPhoneXS-iPhoneXS, iPhoneXSMax-iPhoneXSMax, iPhoneXR-iPhoneXR, iPad812-iPad812, iPad834-iPad834, iPad856-iPad856, iPad878-iPad878
Size: 32.86 MB

$FREE

Screenshots
(Click to enlarge)
Screenshots for iPad
(Click to enlarge)

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.The links in this post may contain affiliate links where The iMums will receive a small commission if you make a purchase after clicking on our link, this helps to support the costs of running this site and we appreciate your support.

Product Review: Mabot Starter Kit by Bell Robotics #STEM #STEAM #Robot

Mabot by BellRobot is a modular robot designed to teach coding and uses artificial intelligence. For purposes of the review I tested the Mabot in the starter configuration. Inside the box were a control ball, two drive balls, a battery ball which uses a lithium polymer battery, a color sensing ball and a six port connection ball. It also contained various connectors including a Lego Adapter, USB cable for charging, a disassembly tool, and quick start guide. There is a QR code to scan to install a companion app.

My kids love all things robots – after all we are a tech family and get to test out some fun products.

What we love…

Mabot modular robot was easy to put together and make various creations using plug and play. Used #STEM and #STEAM while encouraging creativity. I also liked the compatibility with Lego Techno.

What we’d love to see…

more straightforward instructions that were easier to find, a way to label each of the various balls with what they do either via colored dots or another method.

Summary

Overall, this is a fun modular robot designed for kids and adults which encourages creativity, #STEM learning and exploration.

Our Rating

recommended-by-the-imums

As a mom, I liked the fact that the Mabot robot was modular and easy to build. Mabot is recommended for kids six and up – my ten year old enjoyed building one of three suggested Mabot robots using the companion app. We did take a Sharpie marker and labeled each using the first letter of what it did. That made it easier for us to assemble the configuration and test it for review purposes. We put together the Mabot starter robot (which drove!) and then started experimenting with other configurations.

One of the great things was that my son was experimenting with putting different pieces in different ways to see what would happen – the ultimate STEM exploration. Mabot also includes a tool to take apart the modules – we used it both to separate the modules as well as remove the connectors – I suppose we could have pulled apart the modules but wanted to be careful of the pin configuration used within the connectors. Using the two companion apps, Mabot Go and Mabot IDE we were able to experiment with additional coding.

As a mom, I love all toys that encourage my kids’ curiosity. Bonus points if it teaches them something. It was simple to use once I figured out each module and what they did. When we played with it, we used it at the kitchen table so that the pieces didn’t get put somewhere else. Once we identified each of the pieces, building with the companion app was fun and easy. After building the Mabot starter robot we then started experimenting – and loved the various colors that lit up and things that we could see when we used the Bluetooth ball and tried the various levers to program and make it move. It also allows for hot plug and play which allowed us to start, stop, plug and unplug while experimenting without having to power off the Mabot.

In addition, it would be great to have a set of instructions labeling each of the modules included either inside the box or right inside the app. Amazon has an encyclopedia in the user guide listing, although I searched I was unable to find it on Bellrobot’s website. When I used the app, it got stuck because it couldn’t connect to the Bluetooth module – because I put the robot together wrong. Once I figured out my mistake, pulled off the connector pieces and put it together again it worked. This was a bit frustrating for my son, but once we figured it out we made many different robots.

Overall, the Mabot and companion apps are great educational tools that will encourage kids to learn, experiment, be creative and test new concepts. I loved that screentime was not just screentime but because educational learning time.

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.The links in this post may contain affiliate links where The iMums will receive a small commission if you make a purchase after clicking on our link, this helps to support the costs of running this site and we appreciate your support.

11 Tech Toys for Kids of All Ages

11 Tech Toys for Kids of All Ages

Pixl Play Camera

The Pixlplay Camera from Pixl Toys is a  case and app that turns your (old) smartphone into a fun camera for kids.

JBuddies Studio Headphones

JBuddies Studio Headphones from JLab are great headphones for from 6- teen.

Smartphone Detector From My First Lab

The Smartphone Detector aka Smartphone Microscope Science Kit from My First Lab is a miniature microscope and LED light you attach to a Smartphone.

Garmin Vivofit Junior 2 Activity Tracker

The Garmin Vivofit Junior 2 is a great way to encourage kids to get up and active.

My First Lab Wow Scope

The World of Wonder (WOW) Scope from My First Lab is a great STEM gift to get kids interested in exploring science and nature.

Dr. Panda Plus: Home Designer

Dr. Panda Plus: Home Designer is a physical toy which includes cards as well as the ability to take a photograph of them and display them on your device.

Bluebee Pals

Bluebee Pals are a cuddly companion which integrates with your smartphone or tablet and gives your child a voice., reads them a story and provides narration for your device

ProLOCK Mini from Rug-Ed case

Protect your kids devices using the ProLOCK Mini: iPad Mini 4 is a case designed by Rug-Ed which includes a tempered-glass screen protector, removable stand and locking fasteners with a tool which ensures that your iPad is not removed from it’s case accidentally.

KidiZoom Smartwatch by VTech

The VTech Kidizoom Smartwatch DX is a durable smartwatch that lets kids take pictures, videos, play games and more

Jimu Robot - Astrobot Kit

Jimu Robot Astrobot Kit from UBTECH is a great STEM gift. It is a robotic building system that allows a child to build one of 3 included robot designs

Cubelets® Robot Blocks by Modular Robots

The Cubelets TWELVE introduces kids to robotics, coding and design all in one toy.  Cubelets are a expandable system of robot blocks which can be paired with Bluetooth® for more fun.

 

 

 

 

Holiday gift shopping for kids can be so hard!  Tech is changing rapidly and kids always want to have the latest and greatest toys.  Below are some of our top picks for top kids tech that will have kids learning as well as being active. If you are looking for the latest, must have kid tech for gifts any time of year this guide contains some great ideas for the best tech gifts for kids.

 

For more great ideas check out our previous gift guides including our #STEM guide.  Be sure to also check out our other great gift guides.

 

 

 

Gifts Under $30

 

 

 

Pixl Play Camera

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Pixlplay Camera from Pixl Toys is a  case and app that turns your (old) smartphone into a fun camera for kids. It is designed to look like an old 35mm camera but chunky enough for little hands to hold it securely. The tough plastic case has a screen protector and provides protection against drops and dirt. The pixlplay connects to your smartphone via the headphone jack, allowing kids to use a shutter button to take their pictures. It comes with a free companion app that encourages your child to explore and take pictures whilst learning about colors, numbers and shapes. Compatible with  iPHONE 4, 5, 6,  and similar sized Android phones, can be used with iPhone 7, 8 with lightning  adapter (as no headphone jack.)

Available from Amazon for  US$29.99 Recommended for Ages 3-9

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

JBuddies Studio Headphones

 

 

 

 

JBuddies Studio Headphones from JLab are great headphones for from 6- teen. They are volume limited (to 85db) to prevent hearing damage and are adjustable to fit different head sizes from age 6-16. Older kids will appreciate the fact they ae styled to look like adult headphones and come in a range of color options. They have in-line controls, a built-in microphone and tangle-free braided cable. The headband and ear cushions are padded and comfortable for extended wear.The JBuddies Studio Headphones fold when not in use for easier storage and transportation.

 

Available from Amazon and Target  for US$19.99 . Recommended for Ages 6-16

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Smartphone Detector From My First Lab

 

 

 

The Smartphone Detector aka Smartphone Microscope Science Kit from My First Lab is a miniature microscope and LED light you attach to a Smartphone. It has a strong plastic spring clip which is used to hold the microscope in place over the smartphone camera lens.To use simply switch on the smartphone camera and place the Smartphone Detector over the item you wish to magnify. If extra illumination is required the small but bright LED lamp can be switched on simply by turning its top. The light is powered by 3 watch batteries which can be easily replaced if required. It is a fun way for kids to examine small objects such as coins and stamps and can also be used for close ups of shells, leaves and other items. The Smartphone Inspector features 60X magnification, giving you great clarity on the items you inspect and it’s easy to take pictures too using your smartphone camera.

 Available from Amazon for US$12.99 . Recommended for Ages 12+ (but can easily be used by younger kids with supervision)

 

 

 

 

Gifts Under $100

 

 

Garmin Vívofit Junior 2 Activity Tracker

 

 

 

The Garmin Vivofit Junior 2 is a great way to encourage kids to get up and active. It is available with bands featuring characters from Star Wars, Marvel and Disney. The Vivofit Junior 2 has a color screen that can be customized with different character step icons. It not only tracks steps, sleep and active minutes but also tells the time, reminds kids to do chores and has built-in timers. Each character band has a corresponding app where by logging 60 active minutes a day the child can unlock new levels encouraging kids to keep active. Each character theme has 2 band options- a stretchy band designed for smaller wrists, and an adjustable band for older kids. The vivofit Jr. 2 is waterproof, has a 1 year battery life and can be worn 24/7. To encourage friendly competition kids can compete in a leaderboard with other family members with Garmin devices and can compete in Toe-to-ToeTM step challenges with friends with also have a vívofit jr. 2 device.

Available from Garmin.com Best Buy, Amazon and other retailers for US$99. Recommended for Ages 4+

CYBER WEEK SALE only $79.99 at Garmin.com !!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My First Lab Wow Scope

 

 

 

 

The World of Wonder (WOW) Scope from My First Lab is a great STEM gift to get kids interested in exploring science and nature. It is a binocular microscope with interchangeable 10X and 25X eyepieces, giving a total magnification of 20X and 50X. The WOW scope can be used with traditional glass microscope slides but also allows viewing of 3-D objects such as feathers, rocks and leaves. This lets kids view objects they find when out exploring in nature, without needing to do any slide preparation. My First Lab is a division of C & A Scientific who make scientific and educational microscopes so they use good quality glass optics for clearer viewing.  Read our full review.

Available from myfirstlab.com for US$69.99 Recommended for Ages 7+

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dr. Panda Plus: Home Designer

 

 

 

Dr. Panda Plus: Home Designer is a physical toy which includes cards as well as the ability to take a photograph of them and display them on your device. Inside the box are 51 flashcards, 12 non-toxic erasable markers and a QR code which activates the app. Cards inside the box include everything you would find in a home ranging from bathroom items (sink, tub, toilet, towel rack); bedroom (crib, loft bed, bunk beds, lights, flooring, characters, clothing for the characters,rocking chair, bookshelf, ); kitchen (table, counters, plant, laundry basket, stove, cabinets and living room (couch, stereo system, chair.) Note these are not all of the items – they are selected ones that I picked out. Read our full review.

Available from Amazon and Apple for US$39.99  Recommended for Ages 4+

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bluebee Pals

 

 

 

Sammy the Bear pro -Talking Educational Learning Tool

Bluebee Pals are a cuddly companion which integrates with your smartphone or tablet and gives your child a voice.  My son loves Sammy the Bear which we pair with our iPad Mini.  He enjoys having Sammy read him stories, helping him interact with apps and even speaking with his Grandmother.  My son also listens to Pandora while we drive or sometimes I will stream video’s without giving him a tablet so he can listen to the storyline without having #screentime..

 Available from Bluebee Pals or Amazon for US$64.99 Recommended for ages 2+  and special needs families.

 

 

 

 

 

 

ProLOCK Mini from Rug-Ed case

 

 

 

Protect your kids devices using the ProLOCK Mini: iPad Mini 4 is a case designed by Rug-Ed which includes a tempered-glass screen protector, removable stand and locking fasteners with a tool which ensures that your iPad is not removed from it’s case accidentally.  The case features a handle at the top which allows for easy carrying; is thin and lightweight but protective of your device.  It also includes corner bumpers for drop protection.  The case can be used in a portrait or landscape mode on your device.  The case is tamper-proof and requires the use of a tool (which reminded me of an allen wrench) to lock in your tablet so that kids can not remove it.  Rug-Ed was started in 2012 and originally started by designing iPad cases for the educational environment.  They recently started offering the ProLOCK case for individual consumers to purchase. Rug-Ed plans to offer an iPhone case in the future as well.

Read our full review. RRP $39 USD and the case is available from Rug-Ed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

KidiZoom Smartwatch by V Tech

 

 

 

Do your kids always ask what time it is?  Do they want to track activity but you are afraid to give them a more expensive device?  Enter the VTech® Kidizoom® Smartwatch DX, this durable smartwatch lets kids take pictures, videos, play games and more.  The watch also includes a calendar and calculator, eight games using the touch screen and a motion sensor for action.

 Available from Amazon for US$58.00 Recommended for ages 4+

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gifts Under $200

 

 

Jimu Robot – Astrobot Kit

 

Jimu Robot Astrobot Kit from UBTECH is a great STEM gift. It is a robotic building system that allows a child to build one of 3 included robot designs -Astrobot, Rover or Astron or they can create their own. The kit is designed for ages 8+ and includes  371 snap together parts that are similar in style to Lego Technics, 5 robotoc servo motors, a speaker, 2 16 color LED light, an infrared sensor, ciontrol biox, rechareable battery and the JIMU robot app. When they are ready to build the app has step by step 3D 360°animated building instructions. Once they have finishing building the robot the STEM fun and learning continues as the child learns to program it using Blocky drag and drop programming. They can also use their imagination to program new moves with pose, record, playback system. The Jimu Robot Astrobot Kit is a really great STEM gift as it allow the child to both build and program a robot. The 3D building app is a great way to make the building part easier and Blocky programming is a great way to allow novice programmers to quickly feel comfortable coding.

The Jimu Robot Astrobot Kit from UBTECH is available from Amazon, Apple Stores for US$199.99. Other kits available from $99.99.  Recommended for Ages 8+

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gifts Under $300

 

Cubelets® Robot Blocks  by Modular Robots

 

 

 

The Cubelets TWELVE introduces kids to robotics, coding and design all in one toy.  Cubelets are a expandable system of robot blocks which can be paired with Bluetooth® for more fun.  Kids of all ages will love putting the blocks together using magnets, and making them move.  My older son and his friends also built a creation using Lego® which they used in conjunction with their Cublet creation.  Cublets are expandable as well and you can buy additional blocks as needed including the adapter for Lego.  Cubelets TWELVE includes 12 robot blocks and two Brick Adapters.  They also have apps for iOS and Android which allow you to code, control

Note: if you purchase directly from Modular Robotics and enter promo code “iMumFreebie” you get free Brick Adapters.  You must add the item to the cart prior to checkout.

Available from Amazon and Modular Robotics for US$269 Recommended for Ages 4+

 

For additional gift ideas check out all our previous gift guides and  Christmas 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.

 

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

motionpen_kids_product-640x640

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

bb8
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

KensingtonHeadphoneswith 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 – Stylus for Children

motionpen_kids_product-640x640

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

adventure_kit
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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