A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of attending an event at Amazon, looking at the array of products that they had on offer. One thing struck me above everything else, that toys had rather moved on from when I was a wee nipper, and was sitting playing Top Trumps with my brother, or madly trying to buy a hotel to build on Mayfair.
There is most definitely still a place for card games, and the communal board game; when your mum always seems to let you win….
However, what is clear that kids these days love tech toys, and geeky gadgets as much as their Doctor Who mad dad or mum. So here were my picks of the toys that I spotted that I think will do well to keep those geeks happy, and may just give geek mum and dad time to check out latest Doctor Who episode in peace ;-)
Top five tech toys
Innotab 3 (£49.99)
We have written about tablets for kids on the blog before, and we are a fan of using this type of techology with kids; it should be seen as an aid, and as long as you manage screen time effectively, tools like the Innotab can be great learning aids. The advantage of the Innotab is that it is now able to access WiFi directly, as well as having its own set of apps designed specifically for the right age group. We think that the sweetspot for an Innotab is 3-7. Anything older and there is a danger that they will be trying to grab your Kindle Fire instead! I am sure my eight-year-old would ;-)
We were lucky enough to receive one of these are the event; they are small square animals that due to QR Codes, and tablet magic, can be help up against your tablet (once registered) an be transported into their virtual home. You can care for your pet, play games with him, and even tickle him to make him happy. There are 12 cupets to collect, and each one you buy can be unlocked using the codes on their packaging. My kids loved looking after him on the iPad.
Another addition to the tablet accessories world, is the APPen learning aid. This is plugged into your iOS or Android device, and allows you to interact with the various APPen apps that are available. You can use it to colour, write, and interact with the games/learning apps. A nice touch is that the harder you push on the pen, the thicker the lin is that you draw – just like any “real” pen. The pen doesn’t need batteries either, so you can just plug an go. Applications to use with it are free, an including those to help with kids learning to write, number fun, an painting and drawing. My kids are a bit old for this now, but I imagine that 2+ years would love to give this a go. Could be idea on long-haul flights too :-D
Tamagotchi Friends (£22.99)
We all remember the Tamgotchi craze in the 90s – right? Well they are back, and this time they are friendlier! If you bump your friends Tamagotchi’s then they can pass gifts and messages on to you..perhaps even a birthday cake if you re lucky enough to be invited to a Tamagotchi party ;-) They are eggs, and come in a few designs, from Dalmation to Pink; an as they are an egg they could even be an ideal alternative Easter gift for that tech kid in your life. There are a few different character to choose from and five games on them too. But you need to look after your little friend, or they won’t make it. Remember too, that the screen isn’t meant to be comparable with a tablet, it is designed to be simple, easy and cost-effective. Don’t expect HD graphics, just a bit of fun.
This isn’t available on Amazon yet, but it will be, so watch this space. An ingenious tool that reads picture books to your child, using your voice, once you have programmed the book into the Spark Up Magic Reading system. It works with ANY book, in ANY language, and is designed to encourage independent reading as the child follows along with the book while the story is read aloud to them. This seems to me to be a great solution for those parents who are struggling with reading with on child, while trying to feed another, or put another to bed. It shouldn’t replace that precious reading time, but could buy a parent valuable time during the bedtime routine – to change a nappy perhaps?!?!
So here are our thoughts for great tech toys for kids – what are yours, do you have one that you think I should have included? Do you like these ones? We would love to hear your comments.
Picture Source: Amazon, and this post also contains affiliate links.