Make sure Santa’s presents are a hit this year
Technology is a magnet for little ones. If you’ve got a smartphone, tablet or other piece of electrical kit in the room, their sticky fingers are sure to be on it in a matter of seconds. A good idea, then, to buy them their own. This Christmas gift selection includes gadgets that are suitable from age three and upwards, so you can keep them busy with their own gadgets instead of yours.
My First Headphones
A decent set of child-friendly headphones is an absolute godsend for any long journey. After all, there’s only so much Peppa Pig any man can be reasonably expected to withstand. They do need to be child-specific headphones though – that means they will come with a built-in volume limiter that ensures your youngster won’t damage their hearing by cranking up the sound too high. These cans from Groov-e are smart and affordable – take a look at our round-up of kids headphones for more.
VTech Kidizoom Duo
This sturdy snapper is a great introduction to photography for younger children. Its two-handed grip makes it easy for even little hands to handle, while its pair of lenses can be switched between enabling either normal camera shots or selfies. The 2.4-inch screen on the back can be used to play games or add special effects to photos, as well as viewing and framing shots.
£39.99, Smyths Toys
This seven-inch tablet is designed for kids from three-years-old up to the age of nine, and its USP is that the device’s software and its settings will adapt to suit their age. The same goes for the tablet’s design itself. The green silicone bumper case is ideal for pre-schoolers, but older kids can easily remove it to make their tablet feel a bit more grown up. Parental controls come as standard, of course, while additional apps can be downloaded from either LeapFrog’s store or Amazon’s.
£119.99, Toys R Us
Star Theatre Planetarium
This is a step up from little star lamps and glow-in-the-dark ceiling stickers – it’s basically the coolest nightlight your kids have ever seen. Plug it in and you get the full-blown planetarium experience, a cosmos of 60,000 stars laid out on the bedroom ceiling. There’s even the odd shooting star. It’s hypnotic stuff – and sure to lull even the rowdiest youngster off to sleep.
A games console for kids who are too young for game consoles. This one is designed specifically with the younger audience in mind, and it brings together all the best family friendly features from mainstream gaming machines. There’s a camera for Kinect-style throw-your-body-round-the-room controls. There’s a motion-sensitive controller for Wii Sports-style bowling and the like. And then there’s a whole bunch of simple-to-control games featuring well-known kids TV characters.
£59.99, Smyths Toys