The best tech gifts & gadgets for kids 2017
If you need some inspiration for what to buy a child this Christmas, we’ve rounded up a selection of great tech gadgets for kids, from action cams to coding robots – there’s something for everyone.
2017 has been a great year for kids gifts and gadgets, with robots, coding games and other high-tech toys topping Christmas gift lists from a huge variety of retailers. All are exciting and there are plenty of different options for every price range. Here, we’ve picked out the best we’ve seen, to help you find the perfect gift for the children you need to buy for this year.
This is one of the smartest robots we’ve met. It’s tiny, but offers an impressive number of intelligent features including the ability to recognise faces, play games and learn. Cozmo comes with three LED cubes that he can interact with as you play, too.
The most endearing thing about Cozmo is that it really feels like he has a personality. Kids are going to love him. For more awesome robots for kids (and big kids too), visit our round-up of the best robots here.
Sphero Ultimate Lightning McQueen
Sphero offers a range of amazing products for kids.
Prices vary, but you can feel confident that you’re going to get fantastic quality from this robotics company. Star Wars fans will love the app-controlled Sphero R2-D2 and Sphero BB-9E, while Disney fans will enjoy the Sphero Ultimate Lightning McQueen and the Sphero Spider-Man. The Sphero SPRK+ is both fun and educational, designed to inspire kids to learn to code, and the newest addition is the Sphero Mini.
You can buy each of Sphero’s robots from the links below:
Mercedes Electric Ride On Car
If Sphero’s car caught your eye but you were hoping for something a little bigger, what about this Mercedes Electric Ride on Car with remote. It’s designed for ages two to five, and can travel at a top speed of 2mph. There’s a seat belt, and a remote control for a responsible adult that will work up to 20 metres away.
Kano Computer Kit
There are plenty of DIY computer kits out there these days, but not many of them are designed from the beginning to be as fun as LEGO to put together. That’s what drove the Kano kit, which combines a Raspberry Pi with a selection of chunky, attractive (very orange) peripherals – along with a selection of stickers to customise it even further. Once they’ve got the hardware up and running, the open-source Kano OS comes bundled with hundreds of hours worth of games and exercises to teach kids how to code, make art, and build apps and games.
Like plenty of other tech toys, Osmo is all about making learning fun. It uses an iPad as its base (anything from the iPad 2 on, including the Air and Mini), but expands Apple’s device well beyond the touchscreen.
A red ‘reflector’ attaches to the top of the tablet, letting it track movement, allowing Osmo to run a number of different spatial games using physical props such as tangram pieces or letter tiles. The Starter Kit includes four games, you can also get Numbers and Coding as add-on packs, with more games on the way.
Amazon Fire 7
Most cheap tablets – those under around GBP60 – aren’t worth buying. But Amazon’s GBP49 Fire is different.
It has a good-quality screen and although storage is limited, you can add extra via the microSD card slot. The cameras aren’t great, but there are lots of free apps available and a great kids mode. There is a kids version available, but it’s essentially the same tablet at double the price.
You do get a kid-proof case and a two year guarantee, though, and that guarantee means Amazon will replace the tablet for free with no questions asked should your kid break it. You can see more of our favourite kids’ tablets here.
Griffin KaZoo MyPhones
Griffin’s KaZoo headphones for kids are both fun and safe to use. There are several animal designs to choose from including a penguin, monkey or frog, and they’re designed specifically to keep sound pressure levels down to levels recommended as safe for young ears.
Veho Digital Microscope
Great for inquisitive minds, a digital microscope will show detail the naked eye simply can’t see. The VMS-004 has magnification from 20-400x and LEDs to light up the subject. It works with PC and Mac and connects via USB.
LeapFrog Interactive Letter Flash Cards
These flash cards from LeapFrog introduce every letter of the alphabet, with games to help make learning them fun.
It’s designed for kids aged between one and four. If you’ve already got the LeapFrog LeapReader Junior Book Pal, you’ll be able to use these cards right away. If not, you can pick up the Pal with an introductory book for GBP25 from Amazon here.
Anki Overdrive Starter Kit
Anki Overdrive is the 21st Century’s answer to Scalextric: robotic cars that can follow a track, are controlled by your phone, and can drive themselves so you can race against the AI. You can set up the course in just about any layout you want, and the cars will drive themselves round to map it out. From there you control your car using your smartphone, tilting to shift lanes.
There’s even an optional game mode with virtual weaponry – a la Mario Kart – to add an extra wrinkle to the racing.
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- ^ Christmas gifts 2017 (www.techadvisor.co.uk)
- ^ Best robots 2017 (www.techadvisor.co.uk)
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- ^ best DIY computer kits (www.techadvisor.co.uk)
- ^ the best coding games for kids here (www.techadvisor.co.uk)
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- ^ more of our favourite kids’ tablets here (www.techadvisor.co.uk)
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