Christmas is coming up fast and The iMums have come up with some cool gift ideas that are bound to be popular under the tree this year. We have included accessories for a variety of ages, some pure fun, others more practical, from protective cases through games, headphones and toys. We haven’t personally tested all of these products but they are from reputable companies that we trust and recommend.
Duo Pinball game controller for iPad from Duo Games turns your iPad into an old-fashioned pinball machine. you slip your iPad into the plastic mounting and connect it via Bluetooth. The controller works with Pinball HD and Pinball HD collection apps – 5 different pinball games are included and you can buy more for 99c to $1.99 each. The buttons on the sides control the flippers and there is a spring loaded ball launcher, you can even tilt the table by pressing on the iPad. Playing this definitely brought me back to my mis-spent youth! Available from Amazon.com, Apple.com and Target, RRP US$59.99. You can read our full review [here.]
Kidz Gear Wired Headphones
If you are looking for a pair of on-ear headphones to allow your kids to listen safely to your iPad or iPhone these ones from Kidz Gear are a great choice. They come in a variety of bright cheerful colors, have a simple in-line volume switch, and come with a volume limiting cable attachment to keep the volume within the safe range. The headphones are sized to fit children’s heads, are very adjustable and have child-sized ear pads. The sound quality is amazingly good for the price too. Kidz Gear also sells carrying bags for the headphones and audio spitter cables so that more than one child can listen at once.
Available from Kidz Gear, Amazon.com and many stores RRP US$19.99
appRacer from AppToyz is a 1/24th scale remote control off road buggy that you can control with your iPod Touch, iPhone or a variety of android devices (the full list can be found here.). It comes with a peripheral (the frog) that you attach via the headphone socket and then you can control the car via the free appToyz appRacer app. Both the frog and the car have rechargeable batteries that can be charged from a USB port using the included cable. You can choose to steer by tilting the iPhone or by using the touchscreen D-pad that feels more like a traditional remote control. The racer measures 22.5 × 17 × 18 cm. Available from appToyz.com RRP US$49.99
Griffin Survivor Case for iPod Touch
If you are looking for a tough case for your child’s iPod Touch then the Survivor from Griffin is a great choice. It protects against drops, wind, rain and dust and includes a built-in screen protector. My nine year old son has been using the case for a year now and the iPod Touch and case are still in great condition. You can read our full review [here.] Available from Griffin.com and many retailers RRP US$39.99
Lulu and Pax are not just funky, boutique-style dolls, they are also a portable sound system with built-in speakers that’s designed with an MP3 port tucked away inside their little body. With no small or loose parts, the iDolls are perfect for any age and are simple to use – the ultimate companion to help introduce your child to the world of music. Parents can load up their MP3 player with their or their child’s favourite tunes, plug in the speaker, secure the device inside by fastening the Velcro and then head out with the iDoll attached to the stroller, car seat or nappy bag so the whole family can enjoy music on the go. You can read our full review [here.] Available online and from various retailers throughout the world.
Lifedge Waterproof iPad Case . If you are looking for a really tough iPad case that can withstand rough treatment, is completely waterproof and even floats you ned to check out the Lifedge iPad case. Built by a company with many years experience of protecting delicate electronics at sea this case was originally designed for use on Yachts. It has great drop protection, is dust and dirt proof, waterproof, spill proof, chemical, UV and microbe resistant, and the OptiGuard™ coating on the screen protector means it is tough too. You can read our full review [here.] Available from Lifedge.com RRP US$155
Kawaii iPhone/iPod Touch cases The Kawaii cases by TomoLtd are beautiful, handmade, fun and funky iPhone/iPod Touch cases. Made of a high-quality faux fur with felt features, hard plastic eyes and lined with funky patterned material, your device is kept safe inside by elastic attached to a large button on the back of the case with plenty of room at the top for your earphones. The case measures approximately 120mm (H) x 70mm (W) and also fits other smartphones or MP3 players but you’ll need to check the dimensions of your device first to ensure it’s not too big. They come in a variety of designs – the one pictured here is “Snowy”. Available from Tomo Ltd for AU$19.46 plus postage, will ship anywhere in the world
iPad Mini The iPad Mini is going to be top of may kids wish iss this year, but just how does it stack up to it’s big brother? It is about half the weight (0.68 lb vs 1.33-1.46lb), slimmer (0.28′ vs 0.34- o.37″), and about 2 inches shorter and just over 1 1/2 inches narrower at 7.87″ x5.3 “. What is most noticeable is the weight – it feels so much lighter holding it for extended periods or carrying it around. Although the screen is smaller it really isn’t a problem for most kids apps. I’ve had one for a couple of weeks now and it is a definite hit with my children – they prefer it to the full sized iPad . It really is the kids size iPad. Available from Apple and many other retailers from US$329
ETY•Kids safe-listening earphones
The ETY 3 kids earphones from Etymotic Research are a great option if you are looking for in-ear headphones that protect your child’s hearing. These are Apple compatible with in-line controls and have ACCU•Fit eartips which ensures they fit well into your child’s ear. The clarity of the sounds with these headphones is great, even when listening to classical music we could decipher the individual instruments. The earphones can be used with the AWARENESS!® for Etymotic app which provides noise isolation This allows you to hear the music clearly, but you can still hear other sounds like traffic, announcements on the train or even other outside noise. This is a great safety feature and one that differentiates the ETY 3 from the competition. Available from Amazon .Read our full review [here.]
Thomas & Friends Steam Team Station
Thomas & Friends® Steam Team Station brings the interactivity of Thomas the Train to your iPad via supported interactive play as a partnership between HIT Entertainment and Discovery Bay Games. Rather than just sitting on the couch to play with the game though, this brings interactivity to a new level with three interactive games featuring the steam engine relay, Sodor Spot-It and Seek & Find the Difference. The toy and included app take digital and physical toys and bring them together to create interactive gameplay which includes jumping, skipping and other play activities. This toy is designed for children aged three and older and can be purchased at Amazon, Target and Toys “R” Us for $39.99 and the app is available from iTunes.
For additional gift ideas check out our other Christmas Shopping lists Part 1- Must Have Tech Gifts for Mums, Part 3 – Gifts for Dads and these articles from The iMums: Awesome iPod, iPhone & iPad Accessories for Kids, Gorgeous iPod, iPhone & iPad Accessories for Women, and Cool iPhone & iPad Accessories for Men.