Whether you’re adding a few high-tech toys to your own wish list this year or shopping for another tech-lover in your life, you’ll find this year’s must-have items right here. We’ve rounded up 23 super cool gifts that will make techies of all ages swoon.
From a hot new laptop (and tablet in one) and learn-to-code robots and games to a tub-friendly e-reader, check out our guide to the ultimate high-tech holiday gifts.
Designed to inspire curiosity, creativity and invention through connected play and coding, Sphero’s SPRK+ is far more than a robot. Let your little wiz kid use it along with the Lightning Lab app on an iPhone or iPad to easily learn programming, complete hands-on activities and share their creations with the community. Navigate a maze. Program a painting. Mimic the solar system. The only limit is their imagination.
LET ME TAKE ANOTHER SELFIE (says your child). This way at least they can print them out and stop clogging your Instagram feed with them. And yes, you can print yours out too, since you can print wirelessly from your phone, tablet or computer. Selfies have never been so awesome.
Canon Selphy Printer, $90. Available at The Source.ca.
Code-A-Pillar features 9 easy-to-connect segments that preschoolers can arrange and rearrange to “tell” the toy how to move forward, left, right, wiggle, dance or even wait for a couple seconds before moving again. When kids connect the segments—in tons of different ways—to make Code-A-Pillar move left, then right, then forward, or wherever– that’s sequencing!
Fisher-Price Think and Learn Code-a-Pillar, $60. Available at thebay.com.
If you’re worried that your little one is spending too much time swiping a screen, consider leaving Osmo under the tree this year. Osmo is an iPad accessory and game bundle that turns your tablet into a unique educational play experience. Great for kids and adults alike, Osmo challenges players to spell words, solve puzzles and flex their creative muscles. The Genius Kit is new this year and has some great options for education and creativity. Don’t believe us? Read our Family Tested reviews.
Osmo Genius Set, $130. Available at PlayOsmo.com.
Play-Doh TOUCH Shape to Life Studio and the companion TOUCH app let you create a world of hands-on adventures and see your creations come to life on your iPhone and iPad. To start, simply download the Play-Doh TOUCH app, shape a Play-Doh creation, place it on the Shape to Life Studio and scan it with your iOS device. The creation will come to life on screen, ready to explore.
Play-Doh Touch Shape to Life Studio, $40, Apple.ca
If there’s an avid reader on your list but you’re worried about their klutzy nature near bodies of water (tubs, sinks, puddles, pools), now may be the perfect time for one. The waterproof version of the Kobo reader is ideal for bookworms who love to read while not looking where they’re going.
Kobo Aura H20, $200. Available at Indigo.ca.
Keep kids moving on even the coldest winter days with the LeapTV interactive gaming system, designed for players from three to eight years old. Kids can use their body motion, a pointer or a classic controller to play more than 100 age-appropriate games that work on essential skills like math and reading.
LeapFrog LeapTV, $70. Available at BestBuy.ca.
11-inch ultra portable 2-in-1 packed with fun. Colorful, lightweight and impressively versatile with four head-turning modes to travel with them anywhere.
Inspiron 11 3000 2-in-1, starting $330. Available at dell.ca.
A great first video camera for kids that is durable enough to handle drops and tumbles. It can go anywhere and do anything kids can do with two included mounts so they can attach it to their bike, skateboard and more. Want the low-down? Check out our Family Tested reviews.
Kidizoom Action Cam, $70. Available at VTechKids.ca.
Let them go where they’ve never gone before and do what they’ve only ever dreamed of with these Merge VR Goggles. Slide a compatible smartphone into the headset and your littles (and you!) can go skydiving, travel the world, or play immersive and interactive games that thrust the wearer into the centre of the action.
Merge VR Goggles for Android and iOS, $110, Available at BestBuy.ca.
Along the same lines as Infinity (and Skylanders), the Lego Dimensions game (for Wii U, PS-3, PS-4 and XBox). The starter pack has everything your wee Lego fans need to set out on epic mash-up adventures filled with iconic worlds and unlikely allies as they’ve never seen them before. There’s a whole multiverse of puzzles to solve, and challenges and enemies to face, and when they’re ready for more, they can collect level, team & fun packs to expand their collection. Use whatever minifigure with whichever vehicle or gadget—they are the Specials…the Masterbuilders.
Lego Dimensions Starter Pack, $90. Available at WalMart.ca.
You may recall this particular item from last year’s gift list for techie kids. This year we’re featuring it again—partly because it really is awesome—because it’s now available at Indigo. If your kids can’t get enough of your computer, put their skills to the test by letting them build an actual computer. This Kano kit gives step by step instructions and kids get to learn what actually goes into making a computer.
The DJI OSMO Mobile Gimbal for iPhone lets you capture and share memorable moments more easily and cinematically. Used with the DJI GO app, OSMO Mobile turns your iPhone into a smart motion camera, making everything you shoot look smooth, professional and ready to share. It automatically tracks your subject, captures stunning motion time lapses or even streams a moment live around the globe.
Gimbal Mobile, $400. Available at Apple.ca.
Perfect for your little Tetris addict (which might be you, who’s kidding who?) the Tetris Constructible Light is an interlocking light with 7 interlocking pieces. The neon magic-cube design is sure to bring fun and style to your desktop. The 7 interlocking tetromino pieces can be stacked in any combination. The light turns on when the pieces are stacked together, and it turns off when dissembled.
Tetris Constructible Light, $49. Available at Amazon.ca.
An even smarter watch for kids with more fun games and activities. Perfect for young photographers, this durable smartwatch has more memory so kids can take tons of pictures and videos.
VTech Kidizoom Smartwatch, $70. Available at Indigo.ca.
Get those wee ballers on the court, and get them game while you’re at it. This basketball measures and diagnoses players’ skills as they practice, helping to build confidence, versatility and success in the game.
94Fifity Smart Sensor Basketball, $250. Available at SportChek.ca.
What makes Ozobot unique is that it uses a colour-based programming language. Your wee techies draw lines on paper and Ozobot follows them. Different colors trigger different Ozobot behaviors. Therefore, while experimenting, children are learning basic concepts in coding, or algorithmic thinking.
Ozobot Interactive Robot Dual Set, $120. Available at RobotShop.com.
The Meccano Meccanoid G15 KS Personal Robot comes with over one thousand phrases and voice recognition to make their personal robot more like their BFF. Kids can build, program and play with this fully-operational, 4-foot-tall robot, with life-like articulated limbs powered by 10 motors for realistic movement.
Meccano MeccaNoid Robot Kit, $430. Available at Toys R Us.
Stopmotion is an incredibly fun, hands-on way to make amazing films, using simple software, inexpensive equipment, and stuff thats already lying around your house. This animation kit gives you everything needed to make your own films, right out of the box! The second edition of the Stopmotion Explosion book contains 290+ pages of example projects, hundreds of illustrations, and detailed step-by-step instructions for screenwriting, video editing, animating, audio recording and video processing software.
Stopmotion Explosion Kit, $185. Available at Amazon.ca.
To encourage interest in S.T.E.A.M. (Science, Math, Engineering, Art and Math) activities, MGA Entertainment launched dolls to focus on each aspect of the field: science, technology, engineering, arts and math. Each doll in the line comes with an experiment kit to inspire kids to play and learn. Experiments include creating a light-up bracelet, making a robot, “inventing” perfume and even learning about electrical circuits.
Project MC2 Dolls, $20-$60 each. Available at Amazon.ca.
Deluxe Snap Circuits Light and Sound Combo is the ultimate Snap Circuits Kit, with instructions to build more than 350 exciting projects. Packed into a durable, reusable storage case are over 65 parts and a full colour, easy-to-follow instruction manual.
Electronic Circuits Light and Sound Combo, $136. Available at Mastermind.ca.
Getting started with electronics has never been easier. The Base Kit is perfect for kids and younger makers to begin inventing with electronics in seconds. Bits snap together with magnets, so it’s impossible to make a mistake. Your kids [and you!] can learn the basics of electronics, explore STEAM/STEM principles, form the foundations of critical thinking, or just have fun with blinking, buzzing creations. No soldering, wiring or programming required.
Little Bits Base Kit, $130. Available at CanadaRobotix.com.
Last but certainly not least on our list of gifts for wee tech lovers is the Star Wars the app-enabled Droid, now with the Force Band that lets you control the droid with a wave of your hand. Based on your interactions, this toy shows many expressions in reaction to voice commands.