Christmas is over for another year. Phew! But in case, you didn’t get everything your kid dreamed of under the Christmas tree, we have made a “Top Ten” list of the most innovative and exciting tech products that will delight children of all ages.
With 10 preloaded games on the leap band, the accessory functions as a “smart watch” for children. The Leapband is designed for children between the ages of 4 and 12, emphasizing durability to ensure your kids don’t break it. Prices start at $9.99 on Amazon.
2. Vtech DigiGo
Similar to the Leapband, the Vtech DigiGo embraces the ongoing “smart revolution” that has infiltrated modern society. The Vtech DigiGo is essentially a smartphone for kids, allowing text messaging, voice messages, photos, and drawings – only in a safe environment. Prices start at $79.99.
Thrill your child with their first home cinema. CINEMOOD is a “magic” portable mini cinema that lets kids watch cartoons and movies on any flat surface like walls, ceilings, tents…whatever their imaginations come up with. It’s perfect for home movie nights, outdoor “drive in” movies, celebrations, and more. The CINEMOOD mini cinema will keep your kids’ faces out of their phones and bring back family movie time.
Price is $319 on indiegogo.
There’s yet another Star Wars movie coming this holiday, and fans of all ages love the BB-8™ droid! The BB-8 from Sphero is a remote controlled robot, controlled right from your Android or iOS device. This charming droid rolls in any direction, while its head uses magnets to “float” along as it maneuvers. The companion app is packed with official Star Wars sound effects and some fun activities like recording holographic messages. All this technology doesn’t come cheap though: $149.99.
Those classic slot car racetracks that baby boomers and Gen X types grew up with got a new lease on life. The Anki Overdrive system is like those slot car systems amped up with Mario Kart. Cars are controlled by an Android or iOS device, and you race and battle your opponents using your device. Up to four cars can race at one time, and if your friends aren’t at your house it’s no problem – Anki Overdrive has artificial intelligence so it can race against you! The track can be slotted together to create various different layouts, and you can buy extra packs to extend it.
Remember the old View Masters with the circular slides that you click through? Toy maker Mattel worked with the View Master team and brought out this cool virtual reality version. It works with several smartphones, just like the Google Cardboard virtual reality product, and there are plenty of compatible VR apps and games available for Android and iOS. You can buy various $15 reel packs, which cover photography subjects including space and wildlife.
This charming little robot is designed to make coding fun. It hooks up to an Android or iOS device. For basic play, it’s a remote control robot that lights up and makes sounds. The “wonder” is when kids can actually program the robot to complete certain routines using Google’s open-source Blockly drag-and-drop coding app. Dash is also compatible with Lego, and Wonder Workshop offers a companion robot and other extras for expansion. Programmable robots do not come cheaply, however; it’s priced at $279.
Forget Barney — kids will love this talking dinosaur and it comes in three different colors, not just purple. It can tell stories, play games, make jokes, and sing songs. The technology has moved along since the days of talking Barney…this one is programmed using IBM’s vaunted Watson computer for its brainpower. Your child can ask Dino questions, and if it’s connected to the Internet those questions will be answered using Watson technology. There’s also a dirty word filter application that filters out anything inappropriate, even admonishing them if they use curse words. Dino is priced around $99.
9. Kidz Gear
These wireless headphones are ideal for long car rides where you don’t necessarily want to hear the Mickey Mouse Club “Hot Dog Dance” for hours on end. The Kidz Gear Bluetooth headphones produce good quality sound, but importantly they have volume limitation to ensure that your child doesn’t crank up the decibels to harm her hearing. Regular headphones don’t have volume limits, and that safeguard is important for children because their auditory systems are still developing. Kidz Gear are sized for children’s smaller ears, and available in seven different colors. Priced around $49.99
Even the youngest kids can start to learn problem-solving skills and the Code-a-Pillar is designed to get them started. This robotic caterpillar comes with different sections that your child can stick together. Each section causes the caterpillar to do a different action, so your child learns that changing the sequence of sections makes the Code-a-Pillar perform complex actions. Voila – programming! Younger kids might not fully grasp the concept, but the motion and sounds make it fun on any level. About $39.99
So this holiday season, show the world that you’re gadget savvy, and buy a gift for your child that uses technology in a new way. Imagine how his or her face will light up when she unwraps one of the above and gets into some smart, fun technology.