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