As the holidays approach, it’s time to start brainstorming gift ideas for the kids in your life. Classics like building toys and dolls are great for little ones, while books are a great choice for any age. Toys and video games are simple pleasures for children, but also may not be as intellectually stimulating as you’d prefer.
If you are ready to level up your children’s gift haul this year, think about the tech-based activities they enjoy the most. Check out these hot tech gifts sure to put a smile on your child’s face during the holidays.
1. Child-Friendly Cell Phones
At a certain point, your children will begin hanging out alone with their friends outside of school. You want to keep in touch, but you also don’t want them attached to a screen instead of socializing.
This is the benefit of a child-friendly cell phone over a regular smartphone — there is little possibility of distraction. These phones can restrict gaming, internet access, and social media, or even disable them altogether. Through these restrictions, the dangers of the internet are also out of reach when kids aren’t home.
With a safe phone for kids, you won’t have to worry about anything they might see online while unsupervised. You can also take comfort in the fact that they are always a text away. Once your phone restrictions are established, you can give them a bit more freedom when they are home and safe.
2. Education-Focused Tablets
Tablets are a good idea because they have many of the same capabilities as phones but are easier to regulate. With the parental settings available, you can allocate usage time, restrict unsafe activity, and introduce healthy habits through suitable applications. You’ll be able to find diverse educational games and apps for drawing, reading, and watching academic videos, among others. All of these things can be set to require permission if you so choose.
If the parental settings on a standard tablet aren’t exactly what you need, you can find a kid-friendly tablet instead. Along with the content, these products often feature rubber padding that is built-in or available as an add-on case to prevent damage. Also parental controls are either automatically set up or made conveniently accessible (often both), and the user interface is geared toward children. The younger your child is, the more advantageous this kind of tablet will be for them and you.
3. Accurate Star Projectors
The wonders of space are a frequent obsession for children learning about the world around them. The idea of space exploration is exciting for children, and this presents the perfect opportunity to foster scientific passion.
Even if space isn’t of particular interest, an accurate star projector places the mysterious universe at arm’s length. Over time, and with explanation and discussion, your child can gain a deeper context of the movements of the planets. This can turn into a greater understanding of months, seasons, years, and broader planetary activity.
Imagine looking up at the stars and knowing exactly what each one is — and then you might understand the excitement. Of course, there are many projectors with differing accuracies than others, as well as those with different designs altogether. For an educational experience, however, the more accurate the star map, the more your child will learn from it.
4. Buildable and Programmable Robotics
The field of robotics has always been advancing. What was once only common for enthusiasts is now freely available to even the most inexperienced programmer. With the gift of a programmable robotics kit, anyone can enjoy building and coding a device with accessible instructions.
There are products aimed specifically at children that you can build together to promote their technological skills. Several even have multiple forms which can be programmed freely rather than according to instructions.
Like LEGO sets (which of course, also includes robotic products), these kits help train handiness skills in children. While most have predetermined final designs, many can be used to build and program anything you want. With your child you can build a remote-controlled car, a robotic animal, or even a functional camera.
5. Multi-Sound Electronic Instruments
Children teem with imagination and creative impulses that can come out in any way, shape, or form. Without support and inspiration, however, that imagination can fade away early. For the musical-minded child, an electronic instrument (like a keyboard) is the best way to keep their rhythm flowing. Even just sitting at the piano and tapping away at the keys is a vital part of creative development.
If your child is not interested in the piano, electric keyboards can usually change the sound they produce. The keys can be made to sound like a trumpet or guitar, for example, and even miscellaneous sounds.
A keyboard with simple recording and repetition functionality also allows multiple instrument sounds to be crafted into a tune. Happily, electronic keyboards have developed much further than this and many even provide lessons and other educational functions.
3D Craft Supplies
Arts and crafts activities can very quickly become unintentionally large messes — particularly when it comes to sculpting and painting. It can also be very hard to make exactly what you want if you aren’t particular about it. Drawing with crayon and marker, furthermore, can be quite limiting if repeated over and over.
Instead of sticking with two-dimensional art media, consider introducing 3D art technology like 3D pens and printers. A 3D pen is precisely what it sounds like — you can create objects by drawing them in 3D space. A 3D printer is a bit more technologically involved because the design needs to be created on a computer.
Like the aforementioned robotics kits, working with 3D printing introduces your child to particular technological skills, but on a broader scale. By learning how to design 3D objects, your child can then print anything they can design — for any reason.
These days, technology permeates all aspects of our lives. While we may not have had as much when we were young, this generation of young people is tech savvy. A lot of tech is now integral to children’s education and can provide benefit from early exposure. With these kid-friendly tech products, you won’t have to go far to find a gift that encourages both fun and stimulation.