Junior finds 10 of the best gadget gifts for kids & teens.
Gadgets and Tech gifts that they'll love
From the classic Lego build, to the remote control car, tech toys and gadgets are always on birthday lists. Technology is everywhere and that means some really fun toys exist to enhance children's learning, development and free time.
We've found some of the most unusual and also included some fun toys, too. There's the cool (and safe) walkie talkie style Gator watch; there's a 3D doodle pen for kids; the Furby Connect brings the cuddly to tech and the robot dog is a perfect pet. We've found 10 fun accessories and gadgets for all children (or big kids) to enjoy.
Build Your Own Remote Control Car
Children love a remote control car - it's almost a rite of passion in childhood! Instead of buying a ready-made car, get them to build their own. With this pack from SAM Labs, children can create their very own car using the programmable SAM blocks, the app, the Lego-compatible models and their own imaginations.
The Curious Cars kit also comes with an integrated app that teaches kids how to build the cars and their circuits as part of the storyline of the game, mixing the digital with the physical in a fun and easy to learn way.
SAM Labs Curious Cars (£149 from Sam Labs, John Lewis, Science Museum Shop). Most suitable for ages 7+.
Furbies are now almost 20 years old and kids still love them. The latest addition to the range is Furby Connect; a toy full of action, boasting more than 150 animations. The Furby Connect reacts to all of your interactions including petting, tickling and shaking. As with several tech toys, Furby connects (as the name suggests) to a special App, which not only makes the antenna light up, but has a host of music and videos to amuse both furry friend and human child alike.
Furby Connect, £129, at various stores, including Harrods.
Gadget Tracker Watch
If you want the children to have a phone, but think they're just too young, the Gator watch is a brilliant option. It is a bright, functioning watch with a SIM card and phone technology. Your little ones can call you (from friend's houses, clubs or parties etc), yet it's not a smartphone watch - so they'll never be able to get onto the internet. The phone allows them to call only two designated numbers, or they can receive calls from pre-designated numbers. You can also track them, using GPS and Wi-Fi (which works inside and outside), for peace of mind if you're out and about.
Gator watch, £99 (plus £11/month service plan), TechSixtyFour, or selected Fenwicks stores.
Kano Complete Computer & Kit Bundle
Coding and programming is the latest craze for kids and this kit is all they need to get on their way to becoming a coding pro. The set includes a screen kit, a camera and speaker that you build from scratch; a wide range of apps, and over 150 tutorials to teach you how to code and make other cool things, like visual art.
Kano Complete (Computer + Kit Bundle, £284.99, Kano.
Lego Technic Truck
This large truck is more than just a great Lego build. It also includes a Lego Power Functions motor and advanced pneumatic system for an array of motorised features, including extendable outriggers, automated crane arm and grabber, and a working tipper body. A great toy, with great bonding opportunities for children, parents and grandparents everywhere.
Mercedes-Benz Arocs 3245, £169.99, Lego.
A Modern Magic Set
Combining traditional magic secrets with the latest technology, Marvin's iMagic Box Set is a clever twist on traditional tricks for children. The box of props and tricks works with Marvin's iMagic App (available for both Apple and Android devices) to unveil augmented reality magic, mind reading and more. For an additional £20 they can enjoy an annual subscription to join Marvin's magic club for online tutorials, videos and more. Ideal for children who love magic and devices. That's most of them, then!
Marvin's iMagic Interactive Box Set, £24.99, Marvin's Magic online (plus other major toy retailers).
If your children aren't into on-ear headphones, or you want something smaller and more portable, these wrap around Wraps are a fun option. They're just like normal in-ear headphones, but instead of getting twisted (or getting lost - again) they can wear them around their wrists like the cool kids that they are. These are an ideal gift for that tricky pre-teen age group and they come in enough colours to keep everyone happy, too.
Wraps Wristband In-Ear Headphones, from £14.99, Amazon and other online stores.
Self Build Drone Kit
Drones are still very much in demand, since they began to fly onto wishlists over the last couple of years. We like this 'quadcopter' drone because it is a self-build kit. They'll have to work with a parent or guardian to build it, which means quality time and valuable learning all bundled into one. This is the entry level kit, which takes a couple of hours to build, but you'll still need a soldering iron and a wrench set to build it. Other than that, everything else is included, bar the batteries.
Learner’s Quadcopter Kit, £184.98, Radio C online.
If you really can't face the build, we recommend the Ragg-E Rugged Racing Drone from Radio C. It is a super-robust, easy to fly drone and arrives pre-made (takes about a week, so don't leave it too late), £259.99.
Robot Voice Recognition Puppy
Truly the perfect pet for children (and busy parents!). This pooch from Teksta is the latest version of their puppy and responds to your voice, gestures and touch. Built with hi-tech artificial intelligence, it has an array of emotions including barking, crying and whimpering - the latter of which is uncannily lifelike. You can also sync him with a tablet or iPad to teach the puppy (or the children!) more tricks through the free App.
Teksta Voice Recognition Puppy, £69.95 at Harrods.
3D Doodle Pen
This is a 3D printing pen that's designed to be totally safe for children, with no glues, inks or harmful chemicals involved. It's the first set in the range of 3Doodler doodling pens and makes a fun and unusual gift for children. Like many tech gifts, it helps build their creative side, as well as helping them learn about engineering and construction in a new way. We also love this set as there's no mess to clear up, either.
3Doodler Mega Start Set, £99 from 3Doodler online, other stockists are listed). Most suitable for ages 8+ (or younger if you're going to help them).