Let’s get two things straight. First, Christmas and Hanukkah are still mostly about the kids. Second, kids are growing up in the greatest period of technology innovation the world has ever known, and they embrace everything from phones and drones to 3D printers and gaming consoles. Kids love tech gadgets and there’s no shortage of cool and innovative gifts available for all ages this holiday season.
I’ve curated an impressive roundup of the best tech gifts for children and teens. Remember, not all tech gifts need to be about gaming. There are some wonderful educational gift ideas on this list too. Remember, check online for the latest bargains and don’t forget that when the little ones go to sleep you can use their new tech toys!
Roland GO:PIANO – When a child is exposed to music at a young age, it stimulates brain development. As we all know, however, piano lessons can be quite costly. Thankfully, modern technology has lowered the price of entry. For right around $300, the GO:PIANO from Roland will save you money on piano lessons and you won’t need to invest in that expensive baby grand piano. Boasting 61 full size piano keys, the GO:PIANO connects via Bluetooth to a mobile app loaded with lessons. This is perfect for a musical novice of any age. https://www.roland.com/us/products/gopiano_go-61p/
ARRMA 4×4 RC Truck –This RC truck, which comes in either Granite or Senton, is exactly what every parent wished they had when they were kids. It’s rugged, unstoppable and waterproof. My kids have used it in the rain with no problem and it’s easy to clean after driving through muddy terrain. I’ll admit that I grabbed the controller from my son at one point and felt nostalgic about racing RC cars in my youth. Nothing ever went this fast though. Comes right out of the box and is ready to go 30 MPH. A great deal for $239. https://www.arrma-rc.com/
Garmin Disney Vivofit Jr. 2 – There’s no denying the power of Disney when it comes to kids. The Vivofit uses that influence to get children active. These wearable bands feature popular Disney characters and unlock new adventures when your kid hits 60 minutes of daily exercise. There’s something in it for you, too. You can integrate their daily chores via the mobile app. https://explore.garmin.com/en-US/vivo-fitness/#kids
Fisher Price Think & Learn – Buy your toddler a tablet and you’ll be able to use yours in peace. The Think & Learn combines Fisher Price’s excellent reputation for educational material with a durable, tablet. It features 35 apps running on Android software and a kid-friendly marketplace. This is a great way to teach kids numbers and phonics, but be sure to limit their screen time. https://www.toysrus.com/product?productId=105716926
Piper Computer Kit – If I told you that your 8-14 year old could build a computer, you’d be skeptical. Piper, however, makes this idea a reality with a kit that will foster your kid’s creativity and ingenuity. Once assembled, the Minecraft game will further develop those all important STEM skills. https://www.buildpiper.com/pages/piper-computer-kit
Lumos Bicycle Helmet – With winter upon us dusk arrives earlier, and you may worry about your kid (or teen) riding a bike. The Lumos is a smart helmet that lights up with front lights, back lights and turning signals. Make sure the rider in your family can be seen by cars at all times. I demand that my kids wear the Lumos helmet no matter how far they plan to ride their bicycles. https://lumoshelmet.co
3Doodler Star Trek Create & Project Kit – My kids have enjoyed 3Doodler’s products for years. These pens allow them to create three-dimensional objects, without being subjected to many of the toxic chemicals of other 3D instruments. For the Trekkie on your list, give them a chance to make everything from their own Spock Ears to a model Enterprise. http://www.the3Doodler.com
Pai Technology Augie Augmented Reality Robot – AR is the next big thing in tech, combining virtual reality with real world applications. Pai Technology’s “Augie” teaches kids how to code, something that many schools are starting to make mandatory. When the world of the app pairs with reality and the robot moves exactly as they programmed, the sense of pride and accomplishment your kids will feel is immeasurable. https://www.pai.technology/
Dromida Kodo FPV Drone– FPV stands for “first person viewer.” This drone’s unique selling point is the VR Goggles you can pair with a smartphone to see the world through the eyes of your drone in real-time. Also, at less than $100, this is a very reasonably priced entry point into the drone market for kids (even though adults will love it too). https://www.dromida.com
Polar A370 Smartwatch – We are battling a juvenile obesity epidemic in this country and kids are also getting less sleep than they should. Polar’s A370 monitors activity, heart rate, sleep and more on a 24/7 basis. It’s also waterproof and can help teach kids the importance of healthy habits. While Polar’s smartwatches are meant for both adults and kids, I’ve found that this durable wearable is ideal for kids because it will last long despite the wear and tear. https://www.polar.com
Kodak Printomatic Instant Print Camera – I love this camera because of its simplicity. It combines the convenience of a digital camera with the ability to have instant prints. There’s no computer or Wi-Fi connection necessary and no ink needed. With a 10 MP camera, this is the perfect gift for the kid who’s getting into photography and wants to hold end result in the palm of his or her hand. When my teenage son went to Washington on a school trip recently, this made the perfect camera to take along. It’s durable, takes great photos and is so easy to use (with instant gratification). http://www.kodak.com/go/printomatic
Oral-B Genius Pro 8000 – While most people brush their teeth the recommended two times daily, many of us fall short with the way in which we brush. Dentists recommend two full minutes of brushing and offer tips on angle and pressure. Oral-B offers you real-time feedback with this smart toothbrush’s Bluetooth connected mobile app. Good oral hygiene leads to better overall health, making this extremely useful for kids and grown-ups alike. I find this is the ideal electric toothbrush for young people who tend to cheat on the 2 minute minimum (or don’t have the concept of 2 minutes). Parents will also gain the peace of mind that their little ones are actually brushing all of their teeth. https://oralb.com
Bionik Power Plate Duo for Nintendo Switch – My kids love their Nintendo Switch and this charger is wonderful because it charges the Switch AND up to 4 Joy-Con controllers. Game enthusiasts will love this and so will parents who won’t “have to turn this car around” on long road trips over the holidays. https://www.bionikgaming.com/
Flitt Flying Selfie Camera – Worlds collide with this model, as it’s the first flying selfie camera that fits comfortably in your pocket. Smaller than a king sized candy bar, its propellers fold up for easy storage. Fly it into the sky for a great group shot, then instantly share to social networks from the device. Be sure to gift this at the beginning of your large family gathering so you don’t miss an opportunity for a great picture. http://flittcamera.com/