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Top 10 Tech Christmas Gift Ideas for Kids 2017

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It’s Black Friday!  So many stores, so many deals, so little time!  Whether you’re an avid shopper in the stores or online, it helps to have a good understanding of what gift ideas are trusted and true before just purchasing a gift just because it’s a great deal or it’s the last one and everyone is grabbing for it!

We have spent the past couple of months evaluating gift ideas and products for kids, moms, and dads.  Our guides for moms and dads will come out in December, but we figured as parents, you’re probably most concerned with gifts for the kids at this point.

Here is our list of the top 10 Tech Christmas Gift Ideas for Kids in 2017.  We enjoy finding toys that are unique and won’t likely hit the Target ad and ncluded a number of them below that are sure to stand out with your kids.  We also included some known games and gadgets your kids and teens will also enjoy.

 

Top 10 Tech Christmas Gift Ideas for Kids 2017

 

1.  Pixplay Camera

 

Like most families, I’ll bet you have a phone or two lying around the house unused.  We all have them.  We hate to throw them out because they are still useful.  Perhaps you let your younger children use them or perhaps they’re sitting in a drawer.  One day you were going to sell it on eBay, but that day hasn’t come yet.

Pixplay allows you to breathe new life into your old smartphone by turning it into a safe non-breakable camera for your kids.  Recycle your old phone into a classic 35mm looking camera, complete with real working shutter, using Pixplay.

Simply place your phone in the kid-proof Pixplay case and hook up the included headphone jack to your phone.  This allows the camera to make an audible working shutter and click when the picture button is pressed.  Pixplay offers drop, screen, and dirt protection built-in.  It also has a touchscreen sensitive screen that allows you to work through the screens of your phone.

With its free Apple or Android app, kids will have a blast taking pictures, clowning around with its included dress-up disguises, and personalizing their camera with included colorful stickers.

 

The Pixplay Camera is great for kids 3+ and available on Amazon for $29.95 plus shipping.

 

2.  CozyPhones

 

CozyPhones are a perfect music listening solution for kids.  Adult headphones can be too heavy and earbuds can get uncomfortable overtime or are too big to stay in little ears for long.  CozyPhones are fun, comfortable headbands shaped with colorful cute and playful characters that have stereo discs sewn right into them so kids can hear their music and watch their videos in comfort.

And CozyPhones are sturdy and smug so they won’t fall off your children’s’ heads.  Kids love them.  And, as the name states, they are very cozy.  Perfect for relaxing and enjoying music.  Think of the possibilities – long road trips, airplane trips, even winter weather.  CozpyPhones provide long-lasting comfort.

CozyPhones are also kid-proof.  They can be tossed, scrunched in a backpack, and jostled around with little harm since the outside is made of a soft fleece.  Earbuds and headphones need to be handled more carefully.  CozyPhones feature a durable 36-inch long braided cord and sturdy 3.5 mm stereo plug – plenty long for flexibility.  Kids can keep their mp3 player, tablet, or phone in a backpack protected while plugged into CozyPhones.  We’ve tried CozyPhones, they are super comfortable. 

The CozyPhones headband is machine washable.  There is a slot inside the headband where you can take out the stereo discs before washing.

 

Cozyphones have a 100% money back guarantee and are available through CozyPhones for $19.97 with free shipping.

 

 

3.  Kindle Paperwhite

We are fans of the Kindle.  As you can imagine, my household has tons of tablets and gadgets around.  We even have the Kindle Fire HD.  However, each of my kids has a Kindle Paperwhite for their main reader.  Why?  Because it’s lightweight, can be read without an overhead light, and I am secure knowing that they are focusing on reading…not reading while they play their games, like on a normal tablet with a Kindle Reader app.

Yes, we have tablets with Kindle Reader apps too, but they are not permitted upstairs past 9 pm, but my kids’ Kindle Paperwhites are.  Here’s what else  I love about the Paperwhite.  I love how it works great with Overdrive.  If you’re not familiar with Overdrive, it’s an app that works with most of our nation’s libraries.

Sign up free with Overdrive and add your library card and pin number.  Next, add your library and some surrounding libraries.  Then you can search for digital books and have them delivered to your Kindle.  My son will tell me goodnight, request a book (like  Magnus Chase), and by the time he brushes his teeth and gets in bed, I can deliver the book to his Kindle (assuming it’s available at the library!)  This is such an AWESOME convenience, see more about borrowing digital books in our article, 9 Free eBook Library Resources for Your Family.

I deliver books the same way to my daughter’s Kindle Paperwhite and to my iPad 2 I keep upstairs next to my bed.  You can even get digital books for younger kids.  My son and I love to read The Kissing Hand every time I go out of town.  We couldn’t find his physical book in his room, so I borrowed one from Overdrive literally in minutes and we read it together the night before I left.

 

During the Christmas season, Amazon usually has specials on their Kindle product line.  Keep an eye out for them.  The normal price for the Kindle Paperwhite at Amazon is $119.99 plus free shipping.

 

 

4.  Kano Pixel Kit

 

The Kano Pixel Kit is a quick and interactive way to start your child’s journey into coding on a colorful screen. Through many guided projects, your child can easily show off his/her achievements and creativity. Setting it up is easy for everyone. Just simply snap the Pixel Brain into its sturdy case. It comes with a charged battery so you can get right into the tour that shows what you soon will be able to create. To get started with coding, the kit provides a Kano app that works on any Windows, Mac, Linux, or on the Kano Computer Kit (featured in last year’s guide).

The kit has 128 bright pixels so it is easy to understand what your child’s coding does without making things too complicated. The coding is presented in an attractive and simple way so your child doesn’t get lost in the challenging world coding can be. Everything is set up and organized in a great way on the app so your kid can see what things are plugged into the Pixel Kit and what it will look like once s/he runs his newly created code.

The Kano Pixel Kit comes with the Pixel Brain, case, and a USB cable to charge it up. To put it together, follow the amazing storybook that teaches your child all s/he needs to know. The Pixel Board has some games like Breakout and Snake if you just want to play around. The battery lasts up to 3 hours. 

Kids can code amazing things like a virtual fireplace, weather station, and clocks. At the beginning, the app will hold their hand and explain everything to your child so s/he knows exactly what is going on. As your child continues, the computer will let him/her do more of the work, giving a greater sense of accomplishment. Kids can also make their very own animations. As a great add-on, the Motion Sensor Kit can be added to make projects more interactive. Using it, your kids can make a virtual guitar, a map of the world that they can zoom around, and much more.

Music Visualizer introduces your child to the microphone by reacting to sound. Particle flow teaches them how tilt censoring works by allowing them to see how an object drifts toward the direction your child tilts the screen.

The Kano Pixel Kit is a great way to introduce your children to the world of coding in a fun and interactive way. The 40 creative projects open the doors for them to explore on their own. Your child will create some pretty great things while following challenges or while going off on their own and starting from scratch. You never know where their creativity will take them!

The Kano Pixel Kit is available on Amazon for $99.59. The Motion Sensor Kit is available for $25.70 on Amazon.

 

5.  PowerUp 3.0 Smartphone Controlled Paper Airplane Conversion Kit

 

Ever since my son was 5, he has been fascinated with paper airplanes.  Each year his homemade airplanes get better and fly longer.  He’s always trying to build the better airplane.  With the PowerUp 3.0, he can take his paper airplane to longer flight by converting his air driven plane to a lightweight engine powered plane.

This is such a cool concept for kids.  And the PowerUp 3.0 is even cooler because not only can my son keep his plane in the air for up to 10 minutes, but he can control it too with the Android or iOS app.  In fact, the extended range to fly the airplane is up to 180 feet at a speed of 5 mph.  Boys will love this…and so will their dads!

PowerUp 3.0 is crash-proof and d comes with 4 printed paper templates and instructions for 2 airplane designs, although multiple designs are possible.  The plane engine connects to your phone or tablet app via Bluetooth.  The paper is colored red for easy tracking while flying in the air.  Just tilt your smartphone to steer the plane right or left as well increase to decrease the throttle to ascend or descend the plane.

The PowerUp 3.0 plane is lightweight, coming in at just half an ounce and takes roughly 25-30 minutes to charge.

 

The PowerUp 3.0 is available for $49.99 including free shipping from Amazon.

 

 

6.  Parrot Mambo Mission Drone

If you’re looking for more of a drone experience, the Parrot Mambo Misson Drone will not disappoint.  This 2.2 oz. versatile drone can be equipped with its included Cannon or Grabber to make flying ventures more adventurous.  Load the cannon and shoot miniature cannonballs up to 6 feet away from its target. 

Change out the cannon for the grabber to catch and carry cargo, up to 4 grams.  It can carry handwritten notes to family members, flags, marshmallows, tiny stuffed animals, and of course, the included green cannonballs!

Your kids will have fun doing acrobatics like cool take-offs from their hands, flips and barrel rolls and you’ll appreciate the Mambo Drone’s bumpers to protect your walls as well as the drone.  Use the free Parrot app to control the Mambo Drone up to 20 meters away.

Kids can set up a pyramid of cups or other lightweight targets and practice knocking them down with the Mambo Drone cannon.  The drone can carry up to 6 cannonballs at a time, although 50 balls are included.  Just press a button on the app and a ball shoots.

The Parrot Mambo Mission Drone is available from BestBuy for $113.99 including free shipping.
 

 

7.  Just Dance 2018

Just Dance

 

Just Dance 2018 is really for all ages – it’s such a fun game.  My family is still dancing to Just Dance 2018, nearly every night since we received a copy of the game.  We laugh, we cry (when one of the kids doesn’t win), but we dance dance dance!

New this year is a Kids Mode, which caters to young kids.  Kids Mode encourages kids with positive feedback, more rewards, and easier scoring.  It also includes friendly characters and fun colorful visuals that tell a story.  It’s a lot easier for them than the regular version.  Kids Mode specifically has 8 songs that cater to kids ages 3-6.

There are lots of new songs, including “24K Magic,” by Bruno Mars, “Side to Side,” by Ariana Grande, and other fun ones like the Carmen Overture (think Bad News Bears theme song), Disney Moana’s “How Fari I’ll Go” and  “Polka Dot Bikini.”

And much to my surprise, my 11-year-old son found a bunch of our old favorite songs from other Just Dance games contained right within the game!  He discovered it when he was putting together some favorite family playlists.  So there are a TON of songs to choose from.

There is a Fitness area where the focus is less on your score and more on the calories you’re burning.  You can add your own playlist and burn calories while dancing to your fave songs.

Great for young kids, teens and adults, Just Dance 2018 will be a hit in your household.

 

Just Dance 2018 is available on the Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, PS3, Xbox 360, Wii U, and Wii on Amazon, ranging from $39 to $59, dependent upon the gaming platform.

 

 

8.  Monster Hunter Stories (Nintendo 3DS, ESRB E10+)

If you are a fan of the Monster Hunter series by Capcom, you will want to check out their new addition for Nintendo 3DS, Monster Hunter Stories. If you are not familiar with the series, Stories is a great introduction to the Monster Hunter World.

Monster Hunter Stories takes you on an exciting adventure where you have a huge world to explore while riding on your monsters (monsties) which look a lot like dragons. Find your future monsties by searching for eggs in Monster Dens and then take them home to hatch. Each monstie has a different gift that will help when you are in battle with other monsters throughout the game. You can even alter your monsties’ genes and give them skills like fire resistance or the ability to put foes to sleep. You just need to find the ingredients throughout the land to accomplish the task.

This is a RPG (role-playing game) experience like none other. You are immediately sucked into the storyline where you are a part of the action. While you are out and about exploring, you will get to hunt, gather resources, battle other monsters and go on special quests. You are in control and can choose which quests you want to take as well as control where you go throughout the land and how you battle the monsters. Monster Hunter Stories is a very narrative-driven game. A monster infected by the Black Blight attacks your village. You must become a rider and bond with your monsties on your adventure of conquering the magical plague that is turning monsters evil.

The rock-paper-scissors combat system makes it easier for a newcomer to navigate the game. You get to choose from power, speed or technical attacks to fight the monsters. The more you get into the game you will find that you can add a lot of strategy to the battles when you team up with your monstie and you figure out your enemies’ attack patterns as well as their strengths and weaknesses.

The graphics are great with many colorful characters coming to life. We were especially a fan of Navirou, the little Felyne mascot that keeps you company throughout the game. All the scenes are full of detail and movement to make things feel alive. Add the 3D effect and you even see small details like grass moving as you walk.

Rated ESRB Everyone 10+, it does have a bit of crude humor and fantasy violence. In addition, all the talking is done with subtitles so you need to be able to read well in order to keep up with the story.

Want to play with someone else? You can also battle other players online, locally, or via the StreetPass feature.

 

 

Monster Hunter Stories is available for Nintendo 3DS from Amazon for $39.88. You can also download it via digital code for about the same price.

* Product provided by Nintendo for my honest review. All opinions are my own.

 

 

9.  Nintendo Switch

Nintendo’s latest console, the Nintendo Switch, is the perfect blend between their Nintendo DS and their Wii U.  Kids can play a full-scale game at home and take the game with them on the road…only now multiple players can play, as the Switch comes with two Joy Con controllers that attach and can be detached from the Switch screen.

In fact, friends with a Nintendo Switch can even join up and the players can expand so everyone can share one game.  It’s truly the most innovative game console available, especially suited for portability and expansion of players.

At home, dock the Nintendo Switch for HD gaming on your TV.  Undock it to take on the road or airplane.  The Switch even includes a built-in stand to share the screen tabletop with others.

With the Joy-Con controllers built-in IR motion camera, it can detect the shape, movement, and distance of objects captured by the camera.  This feature brings about new gameplay fun, never possible before in portable gaming.

The portable battery of the Switch can last more than six hours, dependent upon the game.  And the Switch is easily expandable with a slot for a microSDHC slot.

As parents, we know how important it is to set limits on gaming.  Nintendo knows this too, so they created a Nintendo Switch Parents Controls app so you can remotely view what games have been played, what games they are allowed to play, and set limits on how long your child can play.  You can even restrict some games based on their ESRB ratings and more.

 

The Nintendo Switch is available through Best Buy for $299.99, including free shipping.  It’s sure to be a hot Christmas present, so don’t wait too long before purchasing.

 

 

10.  STEEP Winter Games Edition Video Game (ESRB Rating: Teen)

 

 

The StEEP Base Game came out last December.  It is an immersive experience game with awesome visuals and the opportunity to create your own path through Alaska and the Alps as you glide down the mountains.  This is the part that I liked most is that you are not limited to set paths designed by the game, but free to choose your own way and explore as if there was fresh powder everywhere.

But StEEP isn’t just about skiing.  Other cool winter sports include paragliders, snowboards, and my favorite, wingsuits!  With a big screen TV, you really feel on top of the world.  Your teen can ski/fly solo or drop-in side-by-side with other players.  S/he can record and share his/her insane stunts, challenge others to try out his/her own custom lines and likewise try other’s paths.

The new Winter Games Edition is an expansion on top of the StEEP game.  It takes you on a journey to the Olympic Winter games PyeongChang 2018 in South Korea.  Players can carve out new paths on new mountain tops, including iconic Japanese mountains and challenging mountains in Korea, where they will train to take part in qualifiers for the Olympics.

The Road to the Olympics will bring out the best of your teen’s playing skills as s/he ups his/her performance to go for the gold. Competitions include Big Air, Downhill, Ski & Snowboarding, Super-G alpine sledding, Slalom, Halfpipe, and more.

 

You can either digitally download the expansion for the PC, PS4, or XBox one for $29.99. or pre-order the StEEP and StEEP Winter Edition expansion physical game for $59.99 plus applicable taxes and shipping.  Rated ESRB Teen.

 

 

 

We hope you enjoyed our top 10 Tech Christmas Gift Ideas for Kids!  Want more ideas?  Our Christmas Tech Gift Ideas for Kids last year were pretty popular, check them out too.

Feel free to leave your own suggestions in the comments section below.  Happy shopping!

 

 

 

 

* We were given and evaluated each of these Christmas gift ideas for kids (except the Switch) to ensure they were worthy of our Top 10 Christmas Gift Ideas for Kids list.  All opinions are our own.

 



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