12 Great Christmas Gifts for Kids from Tots to Teens- The iMums Christmas Gift Guide 2015 Part 1

iMums_kids

As the holidays draw near it is time to start thinking of Christmas Shopping. Santa is busy checking his list to see who’s naughty or nice, but what is on your shopping list this year? The iMums have 12 great gift ideas for the children on your list from tots to teens. We have included educational toys and games that get children thinking, creating, reading and moving. For the older kids we have included products to teach them about electronics, robotics, STEM, as well as affordable cellphones and gifts for the Minecraft fan and music lover.

 

Bluebee Pals Interactive Bluetooth Enabled Soft Toys

BBPALS2BlueBee Pals are big, cuddly, totally adorable stuffed animals that connect to your iPad, iPhone or other device via Bluetooth. They act as a speaker for the music or app playing on your device and can also be used as a speakerphone. The animal’s mouth moves in time to what is being said/ sung to give the illusion that the animal is actually talking! They are a great way to get children engaged with educational apps and stories. Available from the BlueBee Pals website ,  Toys R Us, Walmart and other retailers. Price: $64.99. Read our full review and ENTER TO WIN!!

Lil’ Monkey Climbing Dome

lilMonkey3Lil’ Monkey Climbing Dome is a climbing dome with a difference- not only is it a lightweight, flexible climbing frame, it also comes with it’s own augmented reality app! It is easy to assemble, lightweight & flexible yet strong and well-made. It can be used outside or indoors- where It also makes a great base for a fort when used indoors! The target age range of 3-6 is a good guide, but slightly older kids will enjoy it also. Available from Amazon Price: $139.99. Read our full review.

Tiggly Shapes by Tiggly

tigglyTiggly Shapes is a physical toy which is used with your iPad or Android device. It is designed to help 18 – 36 month olds learn basic shapes in a tactile format as well as on the iPad. It comes with three different fun apps: Tiggly Safari, Tiggly Stamp and Tiggly Draw. Toddlers can touch the shapes physically and feel the “bumps” which make the shape, as well interact with the iPad apps by pressing the shapes on the screen and the app will identify if it is the correct shape or not. Read our full review . Available from Amazon or Tiggly.com Price: $20-30

Smart Toy by Fisher Price

mrmThe Smart Toy – or as my kids call him Mr. M has brought delight to both my 18 month old and 7 year old. He helps us practice our clean-up skills when we are done playing, reads stories and adventures that are developmentally appropriate depending on your kids age and more. One of my favorite features is that Mr. M will listen to what my kids tell him and then remember it. Each time he “wakes up” which is done by turning the power on, he states the date, the weather and says hello to his “friend”.Read our full reviewAvailable from Toys R Us Price: $99.99

Dash™ Robot by Wonder Workshop

Dash draws 2Dash is a really fun educational Robot. He comes with 5 different free apps allowing children to operate him with a simple remote control on a tablet, or learn to program him to do complex tasks using Blockly or Wonder. He is very maneuverable and has proximity sensors, lights, microphone and speakers. New challenges are constantly being added to keep children engaged and learning. Brick connectors let you add your own accessories using Lego, a variety of accessories are also available. designed for ages 5-12+. Read our full review. Available from Wonder Workshop and Amazon Price: $149.99

 

Flash & Thunder by INVICTA Challenge

PDFforReferenceFlash & Thunder is set during WW2 and tells the story of Turner Turnbull, a Native American paratrooper, and his incredible leadership during D-Day. The set includes a graphic novel, a mission packet with 15 cards, maps, a 6″ action figure and online interactive video game (which will be available in app form soon.) The player reads the mission cards and studies the maps to learn the historical background before reading the novel. As they read the story they need to make decisions that decide the fate of Turner and his men, and affect the course of history. Will the mission succeed or fail? That depends on how well they have studied the operations packet. Read our full review and ENTER TO WIN! Available from Barnes & Noble Price: $34.99

 

Pet Portrait Studio by Build and Imagine

Build-Imagine_Pet_portrait_bath_closeup_WEBWith the Pet Portrait Studio from Build & Imagine right brain meets left brain with a combination of a magnetic building set and creative storytelling inspiration. The set includes 10 dual-sided magnetic panels, 2 dress up dolls, 4 wooden pets and 40+ magnetic accessories. The child can build their pet studio in any configuration they like using the panels, and then use the people, pets and accessories to act out stories.  Read our Full Review.  Available from Build & Imagine, Amazon& other retailers. Price: $49.99

 Ozobot Bit 2.0

ozobotOzobot Bit 2.0 is a tiny, fun, interactive must have science and learning toy which will teach your kids the fundamentals of Blocky programming while they are having fun and grooving to the music! Read our full review. Available from Amazon Price: $59.99

 

Gameband + Minecraft Wearable

GAMEBAND-BIG_1For Minecraft fans the GameBand+ is both a fashion statement and a way to take your Minecraft worlds on the go. It is a digital watch, a cool wearable, and a secure way to back up and carry your Minecraft worlds, allowing you to use them on any computer. As well as the physical backup on the Gameband there is also a backup via the cloud to the Gameband servers so if you ever lose or damage your Gameband you can still recover your worlds. Read our full review. Available from  AmazonTarget, GameStop, Best Buy &  Microsoft Stores. Price: $79.99

TEXTNOW Affordable No Contract Smartphones

If your Tween or Teen wants a Cellphone for Xmas TEXTNOW is an affordable way of  providing them with their own no-contract smartphone. The handsets are very affordable, there is no commitment and no overage fees. Plans start at $18.99/ month including unlimited texts, US calls and 2g data, plus varying amounts of 3G/ 4G data. Phone prices include:  LG Realm and LG Tribute are free;  Moto G is just $4.99, and the Galaxy S4 for just $149.99. On Black Friday they have even better deals! Read our full reviewAvailable from  the TEXTNOW website.

 

iBT29 Bluetooth Color Changing Dual Alarm Clock FM Radio from iHome

iBT29_DC2_48cH9MV.jpg.450x400_q85Do you have a teen who has a hard time getting up in the morning? The iBT29 could be the perfect gift for them. It has dual alarms, an FM radio and allows them to play music from their Smartphone or tablet via Bluetooth or aux-in jack. It also has a USB charging port and fun color changing light display.Available from iHome, Amazon, Bed,Bath & Beyond and other retailers. Price: $59.99

DIY GAMER KIT from Technology Will Save Us

DIYGAMER The DIY Gamer Kit includes an Arduino microprocessor and all the components needed to build a hand held gaming unit with 8 x 8 LED matrix display. As they build it the teen learns about electronics and soldering. Once it is built they can learn to code classic games on it and then design their own games. For ages 12+ Available from Technology Will Save Us. Price: $98 (free shipping)

You may also wish to check out our Christmas Gift Guide 2015- Part 2- 22 Terrific Tech Gifts.

GIVEAWAYS

Enter to win an adorable Sammy Bear from Bluebee Pals ($64.99 VALUE)

Enter to win a complete Flash & Thunder set from Invicta Challenge including Interactive Graphic novel, Mission Cards, Map, Video game and Figure ($34.99 VALUE)

Enter to win a Bevy Photo Storage Device ($299Value)



Ozobot Bit 2.0 by Ozobot – Review



Ozobot Bit 2.0 (Titanium Black)

What we love…

super easy to use out of the box, encourages learning both on and off of a device as well as teaches kids basic programming skills and following directions

What we’d love to see…

a bit more information about what paper to use when drawing your Ozobot a design on physical paper as well as a link to all of the STEM learning sites

Summary

Fun, interactive must have science and learning toy which will teach your kids the fundamentals of Blocky programming while they are having fun and grooving to the music!

Our Rating

 

recommended-by-the-imums

Ozobot Bit 2.0 (Titanium Black)Ozobot Bit 2.0 is a small robot, about the size of your hand.  Don’t let the small size fool you, this handheld robot brought hours of fun to my seven year old.  My son loved having dance parties, STEM and science inspired learning, computer programming, cooperative play and more.  The Ozobot Bit was ready to play with as soon as you opened the box.  The Ozobot uses twin motors to drive quietly and precisely while using a sensor at the bottom of the robot which allows it to scan the path.  Ozobot Bit can see color, follow lines (both on your device as well as drawn on a piece of paper) and detect intersections.  My son drew intricate patterns using a Sharpie marker as well as using the included app.  The Ozobot Bit runs for about an hour on a single charge, and charged in about two hours.  I loved that it included STEM lesson plans which helped me tailor learning to him both on and off of the device.

Ozobot Bit is just over an inch tall and one inch wide.  Ozobot can be played with either using your iDevice (iPad) or by drawing lines on paper which it will trace.  You can also use OzoBlocky which lets you use your desktop or laptop computer, and create your own movement schedules such as how fast or slow you want your Ozobot to move, what light pattern you want it to flash, if you want it to go forward or back and how many times you want it to complete a particular movement pattern.

iPad Screenshot 2

When we opened Ozobot Bit there were several small cards which had pre-designed pattern templates designed to help you calibrate your Ozobot.  We drew out some designs while we waited for the Ozobot to get a full charge and be ready to go.  We also downloaded a few of the Apps including my sons favorite, the Ozobot Groove which had some pre-designed dance moves and then he could make up his own patterns.  I loved that my son was programming – without even realizing it as he worked step by step to create the dance moves he wanted his Ozobot to complete.  When we sat down at the computer, I explained that the moves we made on the screen would be brought to life using the Ozobot.  We used the Ozobot Bit to complete some science homework one night – which required him to write a simple program which I filmed using my iPhone to share with his teacher.  It was a win win because my son loved the activity and it brought science to life.  Some of the patterns he made were crazy – with lots of blinking lights while others were more choreographed and easier to follow along.

In terms of enhancements, I would suggest a bit better instructions when using a marker and paper.  We had to experiment a bit with the thickness of the paper as well as which marker to use.  Both Sharpies and Crayola markers worked well on plan white printer paper, while heavier weight art based paper with colored markers was a bit more of a miss.  I’m not sure why, but suspect it was because the thickness of the paper made it harder due to the lack of smoothness for the Ozobot Bit to follow along.

Ozobot Bit would be a great item to add to your kids holiday shopping list.  It’s fun, portable, easy to use and has provided many hours of fun to my seven year old.    It will provide skills such as early programming using Blocky, setting patterns and routines using the included iPad or iPhone app as well as off device fun.  The versatility, portability and fun of a robot that can work on many different surfaces from a tablet, to paper to a program run on your computer will have your child entertained for hours!  STEM learning at it’s best! My son asks if we can adapt his weekly science homework to somehow include the Ozobot Bit. I call that a win for sure!

The Ozobot Bit can be purchased for approximately $59.99 and is available from many retailers including Amazon and New Egg

New Egg (one pack)

New Egg (two pack)

 

Ozobot
Ozobot
by Evollve, Inc.

Category: Games, Family, 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: 459.58 MB

$FREE

Screenshots for iPad
(Click to enlarge)

OzoGroove
OzoGroove
by Evollve, Inc.

Category: Entertainment, Education
Requirements: Compatible with iPhone4-iPhone4, 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: 341.21 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.

 


Review of the Dash™ Robot by Wonder Workshop- Fun and Creative STEM Learning and Play



        
app_path_wdash (1)app_path_wdash

Summary

Dash is a really fun educational Robot. He is simple enough for a kindergartener to operate but has enough versatility that older children even adults can enjoy programming him! He can be operated by a simple remote control on a tablet or programmed to do complex tasks. He is very maneuverable and has proximity sensors, lights, microphone, speakers. Brick connectors let you add your own accessories using Lego Bricks and Lego Technics.  The Wonder Workshop website regularly comes up with new ideas and challenges for using Dash helping to keep kids inspired and creating,

Our Rating

recommended-by-the-imums

We recently had a new robot friend join our household – Dash from Wonder Workshop.  Not only is he an easy to use remote controlled robot but he can also teach children how to code and has a variety of accessories available. He is simple enough to use that Kindergarteners can operate him, but has enough capabilities that my 5th grader enjoys programming him too. I tested him with my 11 year-old son and 8 year-old son and daughter, and they all love him. We tested Dash using an iPad, but he is also compatible with a variety of Android devices.

Dash has 2 main drive wheels and a smaller turning wheel making him surprisingly maneuverable. His head moves independently and he has lights on his front, back, both sides of his head and around his eye. The light colors and brightness can be independently controlled. He has proximity sensors, a microphone and speakers. He runs off a re-chargeable battery which gives about 5 hours of play between charges and is charged via an included USB/ mini-USB cable.

Dash comes with with 4 free apps- Go, Path, Blockly and Xylo (you need the Xylophone accessory to use Xylo so I did not test this app). .

Go

Go is the simplest to use, the best place to start for everyone and the app best suited to young users. Go has an easy to use remote control for moving Dash, you can control his speed and direction just by moving your finger on the control panel. You can also move his  head up, down and side to side and customize his light display both for his eye and body lights. He has built-in sound effects and motions you can use with a touch of a picture icon and you can record up to 5 custom voice recordings. Go also contains a video of Dash’s story and a link to the Wonder website page with ideas and challenges to do with Dash.

IMG_0211.PNG

Go for Dash & Dot robots – for iPad – WONDER WORKSHOP, INC.

Go for Dash & Dot Robots Go for Dash & Dot Robots by WONDER WORKSHOP, INC.

Price: $FREE

PLEASE NOTE: This app requires a Wonder Workshop robot - Dash or Dot - and a supported Bluetooth Smart/4/LE-enabled device to play. To find out more, please visit our website: https://http://www.makewonder..

Path

In Path you learn to navigate Dash around 3 different scenes- a racetrack, a farm and city. In each scene there are a variety of challenges and as you succeed  in completing them you unlock tools to use in free play mode. When playing in Path it is good to have a large open area to navigate Dash through. He will follow the path your draw on the screen so you need to make sure there are no real life obstacles in his way. Using your unlocked tools you can have Dash perform a variety of sound effects and actions n different places on his path. As you get more skilled at creating paths you can add real life obstacles and draw his path in a way that he will avoid them.

IMG_0214.PNG

Path for Dash robot – WONDER WORKSHOP, INC.

Path for Dash robot Path for Dash robot by WONDER WORKSHOP, INC.

Price: $FREE

PLEASE NOTE: This app requires the Wonder Workshop robot, Dash, and a supported Bluetooth Smart/4/LE-enabled device to play. To find out more, please visit our website: https://http://www.makewonder.com or .

Blockly

Blocky allows the user to move on from using pre-created tools with Dash to programming him themselves. Blockly is a drag and drop programming language created by Google and is simple enough that kids from around 8 years old can use it. The app has a variety of different command codes organized into 4 categories: look, light, sound and control. Within the commands many can be customized e.g. turn right 15 degrees or move forward 20 cm at slow speed, and the 2 drive wheels can be programmed individually.

IMG_0212.PNG

You can start out very simply e.g. When you push Dash’s button #2 he will  move forward 50 cm fast, and progress to complex multi-step directions. Using Dash’s sensors you can have fun programing him to react to different stimuli. My son programmed him so that anytime you pick him up he squeals , moves his head, flashes his lights and says “put me down.”
Blockly for Dash & Dot robots – WONDER WORKSHOP, INC.

Blockly for Dash & Dot robots Blockly for Dash & Dot robots by WONDER WORKSHOP, INC.

Price: $FREE

PLEASE NOTE: This app requires a Wonder Workshop robot - Dash or Dot - and a Bluetooth Smart/4/LE-enabled device to play. To find out more, please visit our website: https://http://www.makewonder.com or an .

Dash has 6 different attachment points on his head and body where you can attach his accessories. He comes with 2 Building Brick Connectors and variety of optional accessories are available including more building brick connectors, a smartphone mount, a xylophone, tow hook and bulldozer mount. Wonder workshop also make another robot, Dot, who can be used with Dash. We did not test Dot or any of the accessories except the brick connectors.

I loved the extra creativity the building brick connectors gives to playing with Dash. They are compatible with Lego and similar bricks and allow attachment of not only standard bricks but also Lego Technic rods. It’s really fun to see what extra “costumes” or accessories the kids will build for Dash. The Wonder Workshop website has lots of creative ideas on ways to use Dash, puts out a free digital magazine and sets regular challenges, which helps to keep kids creating and finding new ways to program and play with Dash.

For a recent challenge on Mothers Day my older son built a Lego box for Dash to carry, placed inside it an origami flower he had made made, and had Dash deliver it to me and say “Happy Mother’s Day.” A current programming challenge involves creating a drawing machine for Dash from Lego Technics (all the directions are provided) and programming him to write and draw – I’m planning to get my boy working on that as soon as school ends this week!

Dash draws 2

All 3 of my kids and I just love Dash! He can be enjoyed by a huge age range – from age 5 right up to adults. He is easy to use right out of the box, but you can also use him to teach the child to program using Blockly. Once the child understands the basics of programming they can use their imagination to program him to do all kinds of things. I love that the folks at Wonder Workshop keep updating their challenges and ideas on how to play as it inspires my kids to find ever more creative ways to play with Dash. The Brick connectors are a brilliant idea – my kids love Lego and have a huge number of different kinds of bricks at home and with Dash they can build Lego creations that move, talk and react to their surroundings!

Dash is one toy that I will be encouraging my kids to play with this summer break- not only is he a lot of fun and teaches them STEM concepts, but he also encourages them to think, learn and create. My only problem is with 3 kids they all want to play with him at once!

Dash is available from WonderWorkshop.com, Amazon and RRP $169

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 iMums Christmas Gift Guide 2014 – With Great Giveaways Too!

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Looking for the perfect holiday gift for your loved ones? 2014 is drawing to a close and it is time to start shopping for Christmas Gifts. The iMums have been searching far and wide for gifts that will be a hit with family members of all ages. Which ones are on your wish list this Holiday Season ?

We have picked out some of our favorite products from the past year to share with you including products for the home,and office,  for the young and young at heart, gifts for use on the go, photography picks, and some brand new cases for the iPhone!

 

Gifts for The Young and Young at Heart

In this section we highlight some cool products that kids and teens will enjoy, but they aren’t just for kids – adults will have just as much fun racing a rally car, enjoying a light and sound show or feeling the soothing effects of playing with sand.

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For the Home and Office

We have a great selection of gift ideas for the home and office. Whether you are looking for the perfect gift for a pet lover, a home baker,

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Gifts for On-The-Go

We have a great range of on-the-go gift ideas including mobile storage solutions, portable speakers and bags and cases for the avid traveller and those who like to stay closer to home.

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For the Photographer

Whether you prefer to take pictures with your DSLR or iPhone we have some great gift ideas.

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Stocking Stuffers

These are a few of our favorite gift ideas for $30 or less.

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Giveaways

Giveaway for the Perfect Bake
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Enter to win a ReadyNAS RN102
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Enter to win a Minnie Amelie bag from Mia Tui
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Enter to win an Ozobot Smart Robot – Congrats to our Winner Helen W – your prize is on the way!!

Sales and offer codes

Yantouch Diamond+ 

From November 18 until December 31, 2014, the Diamond+ is $50 off, priced at only $99 (normally $149) from Amazon Yantouch IceDiamond+  when using coupon code YT50DOFF

Ozobot

To celebrate the launch of #OzoGroove, we’re offering 20% off Ozobot Dual Packs when you use the promo code: GROOVY20 Visit www.ozobot.com to purchase!

Mia Tui

15% off your entire order using the code imums at MiaTuiUSA