We previously posted a list of low-tech gift ideas, that offer a few inexpensive, traditional options for your holiday list. But kids also love gadgets, so if you want something a little more modern and don’t mind spending just a bit more money this holiday season, here are some fun and flashy, but still family friendly, high-tech gift ideas for your budding techie. (And if you move quickly, you’ll find many of these are on sale!)
Mattel View-Master and Google Cardboard Virtual Reality Viewers
Regularly $9.99 – $29.99
Ages 7–15 years
Remember the old View-Masters, those plastic photo viewers that let you flip through images to see your favorite characters or places? This nostalgic toy has now entered the world of virtual reality. Simply download any one of various app options to your smartphone (travel, history, etc.), insert into the view-master, and your child will be whisked away for a tour of The Louvre, or the pyramids, or even space! We had one of these in our office to fiddle with and, I can tell you, it’s very immersive and interesting—and for someone who has trouble with 3D movies, it was easy on the eyes.
Another great, similar option is Google Cardboard, available from Amazon. This provides the same sort of virtual reality experience of the View-Master in a unique, low-tech looking package. We had kids try out Google Cardboard to offer their own reviews of the product. Watch their reactions in the video below.
Ages 8–15 years
You may remember the MiP Robot that was a hot Christmas gift a couple seasons ago. This prehistoric follow-up looks even more interactive and enjoyable. You can control him with hand movements or an app downloadable to your devices, but he also has a mind of his own and will get excited, annoyed, or playful depending on how you interact with him. You have to feed him and keep him happy, and he comes with a small ball that reacts to him in different ways depending on the mode he’s in—think of a 3D, fully interactive Tamagotchi!
Watch a more detailed demo here, courtesy of Reviews by Dad Does.
PowerUp 3.0 Smartphone Controlled Paper Airplane
This is one of those gadgets that everyone in the family will want a turn with on Christmas morning. Very affordable and simple to use, this one combines the simple crafting of paper airplanes with the updated tech of app-controlled flying mechanics. It’s the perfect gift for your growing aviation enthusiast!
This demo (from Lon Reviews Tech) makes it look very simple to use and, quite honestly, makes me want to get one this holiday season.
Spy Gear – Ultimate Night Vision
Ages 8–13 years
I had to throw some spy gear into the mix, considering as a child all I ever wanted were secret agent gadgets to aid my young espionage efforts. For your budding Bond, this night-vision scope is affordable and the reviews suggest it is good quality for the cost. If your little one enjoys exploring the world after dark, this is a great option for you.
Here’s a brief overview from TimeToPlayMag.com.
VTech Kidizoom Action Cam
Ages 4–9 years
Basically a Go Pro for kids, this is the perfect gift for your on-the-go adventurer. It comes with a wide array of accessories for mounting on helmets, bikes, etc. Plus, it’s waterproof so your fish-out-of-water swimmer will love filming in the pool or at the beach come summertime. This is a hot item this holiday season and already a bestseller on Amazon, and it’s garnered a large collection of rave reviews.
Take a look at this brief walk through from mom reviewer GrowingYourBaby.
Think you might snag one of these gadgets for under your tree this year? Share your thoughts and comments below, and be sure to share photos of you and your children having fun with their new toys on our Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.