2017 Holiday Tech Gift Ideas for Kids
Forget the reindeer sweaters and stuffed animals and go high-tech for the kiddos instead.
When it comes to the holiday season, kids can't wait to open their gifts. The holiday spirit is in the air and the hopes for the latest and greatest tech gifts are on the minds of today's savviest kids. Forget the reindeer sweaters and plush stuffed animals and go high-tech for the kiddos instead. The innovation is amazing and the fun they'll have will get everyone into the holiday cheer. Holiday tech gift ideas — whether kits that encourage coding or those that let them design their own make-believe are perfect for any kid this season. (And if you're thinking of going a bit more upscale, scroll through our Luxury Tech Gift Ideas for the Holidays, which includes toys, like a fire-breathing dragon drone, that are Fantasyland-worthy.)
Anki Overdrive is taking its racing game to a new level with its $169.99 Anki Overdrive Fast & Furious Edition, out this year. Merging with the popular franchise brings more than just fan favorites to the game — now racers can use firepower, spikes and even grappling hooks to stop their opponent. (Virtual of course.) Players still get to design their own course via the iOS and Android app. But for any kid (of any age) who wants to carry the racing mantle of Dom, Hobbs, Letty or Tej, this is the toy for them. (Available on Amazon for $169.99)
Kids love droids, but they'll love one even more after building, and designing, their very own with electronic blocks. Star Wars Droid Inventor Kit from LittleBits combines the fascination of robots with the popular Star Wars franchise, bringing movies and mechanics together. The connected app comes with over 16 missions to keep kids busy with their droid. Plus, kids will love customizing the droid with lights, stickers, and craft materials and the controllers allow them to make their droid come to life. Bring out the budding inventor in your child this holiday season for $99.95.
Anki Cozmo Collector's Edition is the robot your kids have been waiting for — a $180 toy with coding lessons, text-to-speech skills and facial recognition that brings this device to life. And he hiccups. Anki is updating its Code Lab on December 5 — free for everyone who buys Cozmo — with more math variables and more block codes overall, including vertically-oriented ones called Constructor Mode, which are meant to feel the way text-based code is handled. STEM skills + robot that pounces like a kitten = win.
Merge Cube is a soft foam AR gadget that could give VR devices a run for its money. At just under $15 bucks, you won't have to spend much money either for a holiday tech gift that'll keep the kids busy all season long and beyond. The Merge Cube is like a hologram — transforming into different images, animations and games via apps downloaded on to a smartphone. Consider Merge Cube the Rubik's Cube of this holiday season.
Kids will feel futuristic and fierce with the Star Wars: Jedi Challenges package from Lenovo. With the long smartphone-powered, Bluetooth-connected lightsaber controller, AR headset, and tracking beacon, the experience goes from make-believe to as close to reality as a Jedi-loving kid can get. Gaming just got real as they engage in Jedi duels, and Star Wars is perfect for a holiday starry night. Get this AR gear for your kid this season for $199 on pre-order.
Kids who code are not only learning, but having fun. With the Jimu Robot TankBot Kit, kids build their own kid-friendly robot that moves on treads using infrared sensor aids to keep it steady. Although there are pre-coded moves, intrepid children can create their own through the Jimu system. For parents who are keen on STEM learning, TankBot brings learning and playtime together as one. Get yours for $149.99. (Also available on Amazon.)
We reviewed BB-8 a while back, noting the amazing reactive droid and its many high-tech features. But just in time for the holidays, a special edition is available, as the app-enabled droid is paired with a Force Band™. Kids will have a blast watching Star Wars flicks with their droid and can guide it along with their smartphone or tablet. The addition of the Force Band lets kids explore even deeper into the amazing Star Wars galaxy. For $199.99, your kid will feel the force! (Also available on Amazon.)
A toy endorsed by Steve Wozniak? You're hardly going to get better than that for a tech toy during the holidays. But that's how inventive Piper is — a toy that lets kids build their own tech device from the wiring, up. At $299 the Piper Computer Kit is on the expensive side, but the kit does come with some pre-installed games and worlds. Think of this as a toy they'll likely still play with going deep into the new year — and that's a win.
Lego has been around as long as we can remember, but Lego Boost Creative Toolbox blends this classic toy with coding, letting kids use their tablet app to build, code and construct five different creative models. With over 840 Lego pieces included, the fun is nearly endless. Kids can design and code robots with easy-to-follow instructions for amazing and unique creations. The Lego Boost Creative Toolbox is priced at $159.99.
Whether indoors or outside, Aerix Black Talon 2.0 Drone will have kids soaring with delight. The drone is easy to use and great for beginners who want to embark on a sky-high thrill ride this holiday season. The Altitude Hold feature is brand new and kids will love live streaming flight after flight. This $135 drone can reach a max speed of 15 MPH and flight time lasts up to seven minutes at a stretch. Kids will love the flips and rolls using the 6-axis flight control system.
High-tech kids want a good headset just like anyone else, and BoboVR Z4 Headset is an all-around solid choice which works with Android smartphones. With a 120-degee field of view, kids will be amazed as they feel immersed in the life-like experience. The built-in headphones add another layer of dimension and the easy-to-use control button is perfect for little fingers to press. The headset is comfortable to wear and lightweight. Cost is $49.99 on Amazon.
You may have enjoyed Hot Wheels as a kid yourself, but today's kids get the iconic racing game with the addition of artificial intelligence, making racing more rad than ever. Hot Wheels A.i. uses this technology to guide race cars around its track: driving feels more realistic and fun. The smart sensors read the Smart Track 200x per second, and racing can be set for three skill levels. Kids can play solo or with revved-up competitors with this tech-savvy racer for $54. (Available on Amazon)
For kids who love Nintendo's Mario and have a passion for flying quadcopters, Nintendo Mario Quadcopter will make for the perfect high-tech holiday gift this year. The six-axle gyro system generates excellent flight stability and the copter will remain airborne for a full seven minutes of fun. This toy is great for beginners as well as kids who have some experience with flying copters. The price is about $60.
The Nintendo Switch is Nintendo's latest console, a portable gaming device that can be used at home or on-the-go and comes with a super-cool Joy-Con™, in either neon or gray. Players can compete with one another and who knows — maybe Santa will stick around for a little friendly competition. The Switch costs $299.99. (Also available on Amazon.)
This season, consider giving your budding photographer or videographer a gift that will keep them active while engaging their shutterbug fever: the VTech's Kidizoom Action Cam. Durable and lightweight, this LCD-screen gadget is waterproof, has mounts for attachment, and comes in three cool colors/patterns. The built-in games add for even more camera-ready fun. Kids can connect to their computer to download their pics and even share their images and videos with others. Grab this kid-friendly cam for $35.49.
What kid doesn't love a new pair of kicks, especially when they are on-trend and super-stylish? Shiftwear sneakers are so much more than the average pair – these connect to a smartphone app via Wi-Fi, and full-HD color display designs appear on the sides of the sneakers. Kids can change the look of their sneakers day-by-day and choose from amazing artistic and graphic designs. Not only are these sneakers high-tech, but they are durable enough for playing and are even waterproof. While kids walk and play, Bluetooth gets charged up. Shiftwear sneakers will be available by the end of '17, but you can pre-order by paying $250 now and the balance of $250 when they're ready to ship.
Kids' rooms are their personal spaces, one they want to decorate with their own style. These days, kids can transform their room while learning using STEM skills with the $99.95 LittleBits Rule Your Room Kit. They can take what they've already got and recreate it into a new invention — eyeballs that glow anyone? The kit comes with a 76-page instruction book to get them started. But the best part of this gift is that kids can build anything they can imagine. (Available on Amazon.)