Holiday time is a great opportunity to give a gift that “keeps on giving”. While toys may be fun for a short time, these tech items both fill a need and entertain. Why not have both?
1. Read with eReaders:
Give the gift of unlimited eBooks with an eReader. Some kids prefer to read traditional books, but others will enjoy the variety and convenience of access to e-books through an e-reader. A fun gift for younger kids is the Vtech V.Reader. Tweens and older can benefit from using a traditional e-Reader such as the Amazon Kindle, Barnes and Noble Nook or Sony Reader.
2. Compute With A Netbook or Laptop:
Why give kids a toy computer when they can have real computing power that will grow with their interests? Netbook with kid friendly interfaces and features include the Toshiba Satellite L635, Disney Netpal, Classmate PC, and Dell Inspiron Mini 10v Nickelodeon Edition. The PeeWee Pivot Tablet Laptop is a Classmate PC with a rotating touch screen that converts to a touch tablet. ToysRUs even carries netbooks and laptops. The Intel AppUp site has educational apps that can be downloaded to their kids’ netbooks.
While many tweens like the small size of a netbook, their more demanding homework is better satisfied by a laptop. Many of the computer manufactures have light laptops that will be thin enough to carry in a backpack if needed. Acer, Asus, Dell, HP, Lenovo, Sony and Toshiba laptop battery all offer budget friendly 13-15 inch compact laptops for under $1,000. Apple also offers 13″ or 15″ inch MACBook models, but the price points are above $1,000.
3. Video Games:
Video games are traditionally one of the hottest holiday gifts for kids. Common Sense Media offers resources for those looking for websites, movies and video games reviews for different age ranges and categories. The Common Sense Media Kids Games Pick Ideas is a good place to start when looking for holiday gifts.
4. Go Mobile with Gaming:
Portable Gaming is also a popular gift for the holidays. Some of the options for younger kids are learning systems such as the MobiGo. Older kids enjoy the Nintendo DSi, Sony PSP, iPad and the iPod Touch.
5. Listen to Music:
For kids who like to listen to music, MP3 players make great holiday gifts. Lower priced (under $100) options for younger kids start with the Apple iPod Shuffle or the SanDisk Sansa Clip. Themed MP3 players, such as the Lego player, make fun gifts for young (and old) legomaniacs. Older Tweens longing for the full MP3 experience enjoy the Apple iPod, iPod Touch, Zune HD, SanDisk Sansa Fuse or Sony X Series Walkman. MP3 accessories such as cases and earphones also make great holiday gifts.
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6. Listen to Books:
Kids who enjoy audio books can be given a gift certificate to batterylicious.com. Kids can listen to their audio books on their MP3 players, computers or with MP3 car attachments in the car.
7. Create Music:
Gifts that enable kids to make their own music is also a great holiday item. Some electronic musical gift ideas are electric guitars or a new amp, toy microphones and electric keyboard. There are also many computer software options and accessories that turn a computer into a musical instrument or editing studio. But there are also new unique toys that allow kids to make music. One which captivated my kids when I showed it to them online was the Beamz Player Model C4 which makes music when hands interact with beams of light.
8. Capture Family Memories With Digital Cameras:
Holidays are great time to start kids on the path of creating their own digital photo memories by giving them a digital camera. For younger kids, there are themed digital cameras. My kid’s favorite is the Lego Digital Camera. Older kids and tweens are ready for their own point and shoot camera. The Sony Cybershot, Nikon Coolpix, Kodak EasyShare and Canon Powershot models are easy enough for little ones to feel like big photographers. Some media players, such as the iPod Touch, have built in cameras that kids especially enjoy using.
9. Play With A Robot:
Robot kits, my husband’s favorite, provide the opportunity to both build the robot and experiment with the result. Lego offers the Mindstorms collections and Elenco has a wide selection of non-soldering robotic kids appropriate for older kids. The K’Nex Collect and Build Micro-Bots Series is a great option for 7-12 year olds. Kids who want to play with a robot without the construction exercise will enjoy talking Buzz Light Year, Penbo the Penguin and Alphie The Learning Toy Robot.
10. Back to Basics:
With all the fun tech toy options available, it is also good to include Back to the Basics gifts as well.
What kind of technology do your kids want as holiday gifts?