11 Tech Toys for Kids of All Ages

11 Tech Toys for Kids of All Ages

Pixl Play Camera

The Pixlplay Camera from Pixl Toys is a  case and app that turns your (old) smartphone into a fun camera for kids.

JBuddies Studio Headphones

JBuddies Studio Headphones from JLab are great headphones for from 6- teen.

Smartphone Detector From My First Lab

The Smartphone Detector aka Smartphone Microscope Science Kit from My First Lab is a miniature microscope and LED light you attach to a Smartphone.

Garmin Vivofit Junior 2 Activity Tracker

The Garmin Vivofit Junior 2 is a great way to encourage kids to get up and active.

My First Lab Wow Scope

The World of Wonder (WOW) Scope from My First Lab is a great STEM gift to get kids interested in exploring science and nature.

Dr. Panda Plus: Home Designer

Dr. Panda Plus: Home Designer is a physical toy which includes cards as well as the ability to take a photograph of them and display them on your device.

Bluebee Pals

Bluebee Pals are a cuddly companion which integrates with your smartphone or tablet and gives your child a voice., reads them a story and provides narration for your device

ProLOCK Mini from Rug-Ed case

Protect your kids devices using the ProLOCK Mini: iPad Mini 4 is a case designed by Rug-Ed which includes a tempered-glass screen protector, removable stand and locking fasteners with a tool which ensures that your iPad is not removed from it’s case accidentally.

KidiZoom Smartwatch by VTech

The VTech Kidizoom Smartwatch DX is a durable smartwatch that lets kids take pictures, videos, play games and more

Jimu Robot - Astrobot Kit

Jimu Robot Astrobot Kit from UBTECH is a great STEM gift. It is a robotic building system that allows a child to build one of 3 included robot designs

Cubelets® Robot Blocks by Modular Robots

The Cubelets TWELVE introduces kids to robotics, coding and design all in one toy.  Cubelets are a expandable system of robot blocks which can be paired with Bluetooth® for more fun.

 

 

 

 

Holiday gift shopping for kids can be so hard!  Tech is changing rapidly and kids always want to have the latest and greatest toys.  Below are some of our top picks for top kids tech that will have kids learning as well as being active. If you are looking for the latest, must have kid tech for gifts any time of year this guide contains some great ideas for the best tech gifts for kids.

 

For more great ideas check out our previous gift guides including our #STEM guide.  Be sure to also check out our other great gift guides.

 

 

 

Gifts Under $30

 

 

 

Pixl Play Camera

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Pixlplay Camera from Pixl Toys is a  case and app that turns your (old) smartphone into a fun camera for kids. It is designed to look like an old 35mm camera but chunky enough for little hands to hold it securely. The tough plastic case has a screen protector and provides protection against drops and dirt. The pixlplay connects to your smartphone via the headphone jack, allowing kids to use a shutter button to take their pictures. It comes with a free companion app that encourages your child to explore and take pictures whilst learning about colors, numbers and shapes. Compatible with  iPHONE 4, 5, 6,  and similar sized Android phones, can be used with iPhone 7, 8 with lightning  adapter (as no headphone jack.)

Available from Amazon for  US$29.99 Recommended for Ages 3-9

 

 

 

JBuddies Studio Headphones

 

 

 

 

JBuddies Studio Headphones from JLab are great headphones for from 6- teen. They are volume limited (to 85db) to prevent hearing damage and are adjustable to fit different head sizes from age 6-16. Older kids will appreciate the fact they ae styled to look like adult headphones and come in a range of color options. They have in-line controls, a built-in microphone and tangle-free braided cable. The headband and ear cushions are padded and comfortable for extended wear.The JBuddies Studio Headphones fold when not in use for easier storage and transportation. 

Available from Amazon and Target  for US$19.99 . Recommended for Ages 6-16

 

 

 

 

Smartphone Detector From My First Lab

 

 

 

The Smartphone Detector aka Smartphone Microscope Science Kit from My First Lab is a miniature microscope and LED light you attach to a Smartphone. It has a strong plastic spring clip which is used to hold the microscope in place over the smartphone camera lens.To use simply switch on the smartphone camera and place the Smartphone Detector over the item you wish to magnify. If extra illumination is required the small but bright LED lamp can be switched on simply by turning its top. The light is powered by 3 watch batteries which can be easily replaced if required. It is a fun way for kids to examine small objects such as coins and stamps and can also be used for close ups of shells, leaves and other items. The Smartphone Inspector features 60X magnification, giving you great clarity on the items you inspect and it’s easy to take pictures too using your smartphone camera.

 Available from Amazon for US$12.99 . Recommended for Ages 12+ (but can easily be used by younger kids with supervision)

 

 

 

 

Gifts Under $100

 

 

Garmin Vívofit Junior 2 Activity Tracker

 

 

 

The Garmin Vivofit Junior 2 is a great way to encourage kids to get up and active. It is available with bands featuring characters from Star Wars, Marvel and Disney. The Vivofit Junior 2 has a color screen that can be customized with different character step icons. It not only tracks steps, sleep and active minutes but also tells the time, reminds kids to do chores and has built-in timers. Each character band has a corresponding app where by logging 60 active minutes a day the child can unlock new levels encouraging kids to keep active. Each character theme has 2 band options- a stretchy band designed for smaller wrists, and an adjustable band for older kids. The vivofit Jr. 2 is waterproof, has a 1 year battery life and can be worn 24/7. To encourage friendly competition kids can compete in a leaderboard with other family members with Garmin devices and can compete in Toe-to-ToeTM step challenges with friends with also have a vívofit jr. 2 device. 

Available from Garmin.com Best Buy, Amazon and other retailers for US$99. Recommended for Ages 4+

 

 

 

 

 

My First Lab Wow Scope

 

 

 

 

The World of Wonder (WOW) Scope from My First Lab is a great STEM gift to get kids interested in exploring science and nature. It is a binocular microscope with interchangeable 10X and 25X eyepieces, giving a total magnification of 20X and 50X. The WOW scope can be used with traditional glass microscope slides but also allows viewing of 3-D objects such as feathers, rocks and leaves. This lets kids view objects they find when out exploring in nature, without needing to do any slide preparation. My First Lab is a division of C & A Scientific who make scientific and educational microscopes so they use good quality glass optics for clearer viewing.  Read our full review.

Available from myfirstlab.com for US$69.99 Recommended for Ages 7+

 

 

 

 

Dr. Panda Plus: Home Designer

 

 

 

Dr. Panda Plus: Home Designer is a physical toy which includes cards as well as the ability to take a photograph of them and display them on your device. Inside the box are 51 flashcards, 12 non-toxic erasable markers and a QR code which activates the app. Cards inside the box include everything you would find in a home ranging from bathroom items (sink, tub, toilet, towel rack); bedroom (crib, loft bed, bunk beds, lights, flooring, characters, clothing for the characters,rocking chair, bookshelf, ); kitchen (table, counters, plant, laundry basket, stove, cabinets and living room (couch, stereo system, chair.) Note these are not all of the items – they are selected ones that I picked out. Read our full review

Available from Amazon and Apple for US$39.99  Recommended for Ages 4+

 

 

 

 

Bluebee Pals

 

 

 

Sammy the Bear pro -Talking Educational Learning Tool

Bluebee Pals are a cuddly companion which integrates with your smartphone or tablet and gives your child a voice.  My son loves Sammy the Bear which we pair with our iPad Mini.  He enjoys having Sammy read him stories, helping him interact with apps and even speaking with his Grandmother.  My son also listens to Pandora while we drive or sometimes I will stream video’s without giving him a tablet so he can listen to the storyline without having #screentime..  

 Available from Bluebee Pals or Amazon for US$64.99 Recommended for ages 2+  and special needs families.

 

 

 

 

 

 

ProLOCK Mini from Rug-Ed case

 

 

 

Protect your kids devices using the ProLOCK Mini: iPad Mini 4 is a case designed by Rug-Ed which includes a tempered-glass screen protector, removable stand and locking fasteners with a tool which ensures that your iPad is not removed from it’s case accidentally.  The case features a handle at the top which allows for easy carrying; is thin and lightweight but protective of your device.  It also includes corner bumpers for drop protection.  The case can be used in a portrait or landscape mode on your device.  The case is tamper-proof and requires the use of a tool (which reminded me of an allen wrench) to lock in your tablet so that kids can not remove it.  Rug-Ed was started in 2012 and originally started by designing iPad cases for the educational environment.  They recently started offering the ProLOCK case for individual consumers to purchase. Rug-Ed plans to offer an iPhone case in the future as well.   

Read our full review. RRP $39 USD and the case is available from Rug-Ed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

KidiZoom Smartwatch by V Tech

 

 

 

 Do your kids always ask what time it is?  Do they want to track activity but you are afraid to give them a more expensive device?  Enter the VTech® Kidizoom® Smartwatch DX, this durable smartwatch lets kids take pictures, videos, play games and more.  The watch also includes a calendar and calculator, eight games using the touch screen and a motion sensor for action.

 Available from Amazon for US$58.00 Recommended for ages 4+

 

 

Gifts Under $200

 

 

Jimu Robot – Astrobot Kit

 

Jimu Robot Astrobot Kit from UBTECH is a great STEM gift. It is a robotic building system that allows a child to build one of 3 included robot designs -Astrobot, Rover or Astron or they can create their own. The kit is designed for ages 8+ and includes  371 snap together parts that are similar in style to Lego Technics, 5 robotoc servo motors, a speaker, 2 16 color LED light, an infrared sensor, ciontrol biox, rechareable battery and the JIMU robot app. When they are ready to build the app has step by step 3D 360°animated building instructions. Once they have finishing building the robot the STEM fun and learning continues as the child learns to program it using Blocky drag and drop programming. They can also use their imagination to program new moves with pose, record, playback system. The Jimu Robot Astrobot Kit is a really great STEM gift as it allow the child to both build and program a robot. The 3D building app is a great way to make the building part easier and Blocky programming is a great way to allow novice programmers to quickly feel comfortable coding.

The Jimu Robot Astrobot Kit from UBTECH is available from Amazon, Apple Stores for US$199.99. Other kits available from $99.99.  Recommended for Ages 8+

 

 

 

Gifts Under $300

 

Cubelets® Robot Blocks  by Modular Robots

 

 

 

The Cubelets TWELVE introduces kids to robotics, coding and design all in one toy.  Cubelets are a expandable system of robot blocks which can be paired with Bluetooth® for more fun.  Kids of all ages will love putting the blocks together using magnets, and making them move.  My older son and his friends also built a creation using Lego® which they used in conjunction with their Cublet creation.  Cublets are expandable as well and you can buy additional blocks as needed including the adapter for Lego.  Cubelets TWELVE includes 12 robot blocks and two Brick Adapters.  They also have apps for iOS and Android which allow you to code, control

 Note: if you purchase directly from Modular Robotics and enter promo code “iMumFreebie” you get free Brick Adapters.  You must add the item to the cart prior to checkout.

 Available from Amazon and Modular Robotics for US$269 Recommended for Ages 4+

 

For additional gift ideas check out all our previous gift guides and  Christmas Gift Guides . 

 

This post contains affiliate links, if you click on these The iMums may receive a small commission which helps to pay to run this site. Thank you for supporting us by using these links. Some items on this list have been received free of charge for review purposes.

 

Alison, the American iMum is from Massachusetts. She lives there with her two sons and husband. In their spare time, they enjoy playing outside, enjoying nature and of course testing apps and fantastic products on their devices. My older son loves technology and loves testing out the “latest and newest” apps and tech. I love sharing information about apps and products with others to help them make decisions without feeling overwhelmed with all of the choices.

ProLock Mini by Rug-Ed – Review

 

 

What we love…

easy to install protective case for your device which includes great drop protection.

What we’d love to see…

easier way to clean your device while in the case – particularly the screen

Summary

very protective lightweight case which protected my iPad mini from drops

Our Rating

recommended-by-the-imums

The ProLOCK Mini: iPad Mini 4 is a case designed by Rug-Ed which includes a tempered-glass screen protector, removable stand and locking fasteners with a tool which ensures that your iPad is not removed from it’s case accidentally.  The case features a handle at the top which allows for easy carrying; is thin and lightweight but protective of your device.  It also includes corner bumpers for drop protection.  The case can be used in a portrait or landscape mode on your device.  The case is tamper-proof and requires the use of a tool (which reminded me of an allen wrench) to lock in your tablet so that kids can not remove it.  Rug-Ed was started in 2012 and originally started by designing iPad cases for the educational environment.  They recently started offering the ProLOCK case for individual consumers to purchase.

As a mom, I do let my kids use my device.  Although I typically don’t worry about my younger child trying to remove the case – I have seen my older son pull the screen off of our Griffin Survivor to try to clean it.  With this case, he can’t remove the iPad without the tool – nor do I want him to.  The case is lightweight – it doesn’t add a lot of bulk or weight to my iPad Mini which generally lives in my bag for on the go usage.  The case itself was easy to install – as was the included screen protector.  You simply laid the case on the table, inserted your device tightened a few screws and within moments it was ready to use.  The screen protector took me a bit more time because I wanted to ensure it was lined up and I didn’t get bubbles in it.  I also liked that the stand was integrated rather than removable as sometimes when they are removed the stand can get lost.  The case provided great drop protection – we dropped it from a height of about four feet – my son lost his grip on it and was holding the side instead of the handle when he went to get into the car.  It fell face down on a tar surface.  There were no bumps or scratches to the iPad and I was able to wipe the dust off the case easily.  The case is easy to hold and is ergonomic for usage especially with the integrated plastic  stand.  There is also a soft cloth cover that can be used as well.  Ports are easy to access both for headphones and the charging cord.  You can also easily access the camera without having to remove anything from the case or anything to uncover.

In terms of improvements – I do like to wipe down my cases for devices on occasion because of germs and multiple kids using them.  I felt comfortable enough taking the outer case off to wipe that down and let it dry, but wiping down the screen was a challenge.  I settled for using a dry cloth to wipe it off.  In addition, I understand why the case does not include a holder for the tool – but I did misplace mine once.  I settled for putting it in a drawer the kids could not access so that I would not lose it in the future since it’s the only way to remove the case.

The case is available for iPad Mini 4 as well as iPad Air, Air 2 or the iPad Pro 9.7.    It is priced from $45 USD (iPad Mini) to $49 USD (iPad Air, Air 2, iPad Pro) and can be purchased directly from RugEd. Overall this is a great protective case which ensures that your iPad investment is safe and kid friendly.  I love that kids can’t remove this case easily on their own!

NOTE: A product was supplied by the company for review purposes, no other form of compensation was received, all opinions stated in the review are those of the author and have been offered honestly.The links in this post may contain affiliate links where The iMums will receive a small commission if you make a purchase after clicking on our link, this helps to support the costs of running this site and we appreciate your support.

 

Alison, the American iMum is from Massachusetts. She lives there with her two sons and husband. In their spare time, they enjoy playing outside, enjoying nature and of course testing apps and fantastic products on their devices. My older son loves technology and loves testing out the “latest and newest” apps and tech. I love sharing information about apps and products with others to help them make decisions without feeling overwhelmed with all of the choices.

Custom iPad Case From DODOcase – Review

Custom Made iPad or iPhone case from Dodo Cases

Custom Made iPad or iPhone case from Dodo Cases

 

Summary

DODOcase is a San Francisco-based company that uses traditional book binding techniques to create iPad and iPhone cases. Their custom iPad cases are a great way to keep book binding skills alive whilst creating a unique product- the cases look good, work well and can be customized to create a one of a kind case.

Our Rating

 

recommended-by-the-imums

I love my iPad Air 2, especially how slim and light it is compared to older iPad models. I think every tablet or smartphone deserves a case to protect it, but at the same time using a heavy or bulky case removes some of the features I love about the Air 2.  I recently had the opportunity to test out the custom iPad case service from DODOcase – which proved to be just what I was looking for in a case- slim, light and personalized to suit my tastes!

DODOcase is a San Francisco-based company that uses traditional book binding techniques to create iPad and iPhone cases. They make cases for  iPad 2,3 & 4; iPad Air & Air 2; iPad Mini 1, 2, 3 & 4; iPad Pro 9.7 and a variety of iPhones from the iPhone 5 on. You can choose from a variety of standard case designs, or use their custom case making service to design your own. I chose to create my own, I wanted a classic look on the outside with a fun interior.

The designing process is really quick and easy. First you select your iPad model, then you are taken through the design process step-by-step.

Exterior

You can choose a single or two-tone exterior.  There are 17 different solid colored fabrics, 13 patterned fabrics and 4 colors of leather to choose from. I chose to make the exterior like a classically bound book and picked the red leather with black fabric spine.

Screen Shot 2017-01-30 at 10.24.27 AM

 

Interior

There are even more fabric choices available for the interior – 18 solid colors, and 18 patterns plus 12 map prints. The map prints are from Stamen Design and are available in or watercolor or toner (black and white). There are 6 different cities to choose from: San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York, London, Paris or Tokyo. I really liked the idea of using a map interior as I could chose a map that really had a personal meaning to me, though I was torn between the city of my birth or my current home. I eventually decided on the watercolor version of the London map.

Dodocase 2

Finishing Touches

The case is held shut when not in use by an elastic strap and you can choose from 14 different colors of elastic to co-ordinate with the interior or exterior of your case. For the ultimate personalization you can even have a name or message embossed on the front on gold or black letters.

DODOcase1

 

In Use

When case arrived I was surprised just how much it looks like a quality leather bound book, it even has a bookplate inside for you to write your name on. The case has a polycarbonate tray to hold the iPad, which is attached to the half of the back cover of the “book.” The back cover bends in the center acting as a stand, providing a stable support in landscape mode for movie watching  or playing games. Although obviously designed more for landscape viewing the iPad case is also stable in portrait mode.  If you want to use the iPad completely flat just open the cover like a book or a gentle slope for typing can be created by folding the book cover on top of itself with the liner out.

I really like this case for everyday use, it looks professional on the outside, but makes me smile whenever I open it and see the map inside reminding me of home. The case protects my iPad Air 2 when it is in my bag but is slim and light enough that it complements the Air’s design. The case is cleverly designed to work as it’s own built-in stand and which is stable and secure.

I love that DODOcase is keeping traditional book binding skills alive whilst creating products for the 21st century and with all the options available you can create a truly personalized case for yourself or as a truly one-of-a-kind gift.

DODOcase is a San Francisco-based company that uses traditional book binding techniques to create iPad and iPhone cases. Their custom iPad cases are a great way to keep book binding skills alive whilst creating a unique product- the cases look good, work well and can be customized to create a one of a kind case.

Ordering

Available from DODOcases.com custom iPad cases from $79.95, with additional fees for leather, 2-tone binding and embossing.

NOTE: A product was supplied by the company for review purposes, no other form of compensation was received, all opinions stated in the review are those of the author and have been offered honestly.The links in this post may contain affiliate links where The iMums will receive a small commission if you make a purchase after clicking on our link, this helps to support the costs of running this site and we appreciate your support.

 

Mary is originally from England but now lives in California with her husband, dog, cat and three children. Mary and her family love Apple products and own an iPad2, iPad3, iPad Mini, iTouch, iPhone5 and several MacBook Pros. They also love cub scouts, skiing, camping and hiking. The family iPads are also used for therapy for their daughters Apraxia (speech disorder).

iPhone 6/6s Resurgence Power Case by Otterbox – Review

resurgence

What we love…

semi-protective case which charges your iPhone and makes sure you do not have the dreaded low battery or worse dead iPhone

What we’d love to see…

protective screen cover and some sort of rubberized edges to protect it as well as the ability to use a lightening cable instead of micro USB

Summary

Semi protective case that ensures you never have the dreaded “dead battery” or “low battery”

Our Rating

recommended-by-the-imums

The iPhone 6/6s Resurgence Power Case by Otterbox is a semi-protective case that protects from the dreaded dead iPhone.  As my iPhone gets older, the battery life is decreasing a bit.  As much as I try to close apps in the background and conserve battery life, this isn’t always possible for me.  The Resurgence Power Case will give you the “boost” you need to ensure that your phone has a charge for those moments you need it most and don’t have access to power.  You simply slide your iPhone into the cover and make sure to line up the lightening port and you are ready to start using it straight out of the box.  To charge it, you simply tap a button on the back which lights up showing that your device is charging – the LED will show the charge level as you turn it on to charge your device.

I liked the sturdy feeling of the case for the back of my iPhone as well as the ability to charge my phone and prevent the dreaded dead iPhone. I also liked that it would stop charging as my phone got charged even if the battery had extra power left.  I found I could get multiple charges from the case in between my regular charges and it charged quickly.  It also featured an “auto stop” which allowed you to save the charge for later.

In terms of enhancements, I’d like to see a protective screen cover – the case itself is protective for the back of your iPhone but on the front if it drops “wrong” then you could crack your screen. I’d like to perhaps also see a rubberized gasket on the front of your iPhone to help protect it from falls and drops – having two kids who do use my device I made sure to keep my phone in my hands or hand it over a soft surface to help protect it.  I’d also like to see a lightening cable be used to charge the case – right now you have to carry both a lightening and a micro USB cord if you are using the case.

Overall, this case is functional and useful.  I really liked that I could charge my phone on the go without having to carry cables or a alternative power source.  Semi protective case that ensures you never have the dreaded “dead battery” or “low battery” and ensures your phone will work when you need it.

Available from Otterbox and Amazon with prices ranging from $35-$60.


 

NOTE: A product was supplied by the company for review purposes, no other form of compensation was received, all opinions stated in the review are those of the author and have been offered honestly.

Alison, the American iMum is from Massachusetts. She lives there with her two sons and husband. In their spare time, they enjoy playing outside, enjoying nature and of course testing apps and fantastic products on their devices. My older son loves technology and loves testing out the “latest and newest” apps and tech. I love sharing information about apps and products with others to help them make decisions without feeling overwhelmed with all of the choices.

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