This year hasn’t gone as planned for many parents, and the run-up into the holiday season doesn’t feel as festive as years gone by. Shopping for your little ones is difficult enough at normal times, but now you have to deal with online shopping that’s turned into the free-for-all that Black Friday doorbusters used to be like.
Yep, it’s hard to find anything you want to buy this year, with everything from gaming consoles to PC hardware, to the latest sneakers all in short supply.
Thankfully, you’re gifting to parents or little kids who still need help wiping their noses. That makes it slightly easier to find gifts, but how do you know exactly what to get? What’s the perfect, thoughtful, put-you-into-the-favorite-person category tech gifts this year?
We’ve scoured the internet for some of the best picks this year, from toys that sneakily teach some science or English, to toys to burn off some excess holiday cheer, or to let mom and dad have a few minutes of peace, blessed peace. Here are BabyTechie’s picks for holiday gifting in 2020.
Here are BabyTechie’s picks for holiday gifting this year
Whether you’re staying put and need entertainment for your little darlings, or have to travel, we’ve got you covered this holiday.
Joolz Aer ($400)
Traveling with a little one, especially at the holidays, is a never-ending number of bags and other accessories that need to be nearby at all times. Lighten that load with the Joolz Aer, one of the lightest fold-down strollers on the market. It’s even small enough to fit in the overhead bins of airplanes, once it’s safe to travel on them again. You’ll love the one-hand fold, and how easy it is to maneuver, and the included carry bag makes for easy stowing.
Circuit Explorer (Varies)
Learning about electricity and circuits is fun, getting zapped with electricity is not. Get all the educational fun without the risk of zaps with Circuit Explorer’s snap-together building pieces. Learn about electronics, lights, space, and more, with quirky characters and 3D models that give them an instant connection to the circuit being built.
VTech KidiZoom Creator Cam ($80)
The rise of the creator means everyone is the star of their own show, so get those creative juices flowing this holiday with the KidiZoom creator cam, which comes with a tripod for hands-free creating. It’s got a flip-up lens so your little YouTube star can be on either side of the camera, and they can use the included green screen to put themselves in front of over 20 virtual backgrounds, from outer space to T-Rex chases.
Cinemood 360 and Cinemood TV
With staying home being the safe option, it’s time to relax those screen time limits. The Cinemood range of portable projectors come packed with content created for tiny hands and inquisitive minds, from trusted brands such as Disney. Both the 360 and the TV also have a cool trick – 360-degree videos, so your kids can actually interact with the content, or watch streaming videos from your iOS devices. Oh, and they’ve got 32GB of storage and a battery that lasts for hours, so you can still watch them if the power goes out, or if you’re away from a plug socket. Nifty.
iPlay hopping shark
Sometimes you want something that’ll tire your rugrats out, and this shark hopper is perfect. What better way to spend the holidays with your tiny terror bouncing off the floor, the walls, and everything else, while Baby Shark plays in the background… Hey, at least it’ll tire them out for bedtime, and get them their daily exercise at the same time.
Arggh! Mini stress balls
This year has been especially stressful on all counts, whether it’s navigating home learning or just trying to figure out if it’s a weekday or not. Get your kids something constructive to quell their stress responses, with this three-pack of color-changing stress balls. As a bonus, there’s nothing saying you can’t ‘borrow’ one or three, and squeeze away your stress.
Upgrade your kid’s imaginary friend to this robotic buddy from ROYBI. While ROYBI might just look like a lovable pal, it’s really a sophisticated, AI-powered learning system, designed to give your child the same sort of learning experience as one-to-one instruction. See, ROYBI can see and hear your child, and even detect their emotions. It’s full of learning experiences in the form of stories, songs, games, and other interactive content, in over 70 subject areas. Oh, and you can create lesson plans and also track improvement, just in case you thought ROYBI is just for fun.
Botley 2.0 Activity kit ($77)
Teaching our kids STEM skills is increasingly important, but all the best learning comes during play. Botley 2.0 lets kids as young as five learn coding concepts in a screen-free way. It’s got night vision, object detection, and a face that any cartoon robot fan will love. Program in some sequences using the remote controller, draw mazes on paper and have Botley follow the lines, or more – the limits are your own imagination.
Miku smart baby monitor ($400)
One of the most worrying times for any new parent is naptime. I mean, you’re used to your little bundle of joy squawking, crying, and generally making lots of noise. How do you keep an eye (and ear) on them while they’re down for a nap, so you know they’re sleeping peacefully and safely? Enter the new crop of smart baby monitors, and the Miku is one of the best. It’s got a clear video feed, two-way audio, and the best part is that it can monitor your little one’s breathing, without needing additional sensors or wearables. This is more a gift to your own peace of mind, and that’s priceless.
Nanit Complete ($304)
Another gift with plenty of peace of mind is the Nanit Plus system. This uses a high-resolution camera and a clever pattern either on a swaddle, a band, or a wearable blanket to figure out how well your little bundle is breathing. It’s also got two-way audio, background audio monitoring so you can use other apps on your device, and you can see the video feed from anywhere with an internet connection. The app also cleverly takes snapshots of your baby, so you’ll always have those cute baby snaps of them being quietly asleep, without having to actually go in the room.
intelino J-1 Smart Train Starter Set ($100)
Is there a kid on the planet that doesn’t love trains? This set from intelino updates those wooden tracks you grew up with, with a smart engine that teaches coding practices and other STEM skills. You can start by using the no-code tiles to control movement, and build up your skills to adding custom commands in the mobile app and even coding in Scratch. Oh, and it’s compatible with the wooden tracks from IKEA, BRIO, and others, so you don’t have to say out with the old, to get in with the new.
Whatever this holiday period throws at you, you can relax knowing that gift-giving is handled.