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Give the Gift of Technology to Kids This Christmas

It’s Christmas time, and that means gift giving. If you’ve run out of ideas or have no clue what to get your child or niece/nephew, don’t worry, we’ve got your back. Technology is a part of our everyday lives, and kids will be the ones to either create or improve it in the future.

Give the gift of learning or encourage learning through the tech gifts we’ve listed below. Also, we’re mentioning key characteristics to look for in a toy broken down by age group. Either way, you can find something for the children in your life.

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Kindergarten Prep (Age 2-5)

In this age group, children have nearly double the synapses in some brain areas, increasing the brain’s capacity for learning and developing relationships.

Find Gifts that encourage:

    • Mastery of ABC’s – From the old wooden blocks to the ABC puzzle mat, there are many different ways to give the alphabet to someone. Just remember for this age group, small pieces aren’t advisable.
      • Reading – Think about the books you loved to listen to as a kid. Dr. Seuss is always a safe bet, but if you want something else, Best Choice Reviews has a list of 100 book recommendations for this age group.

 

  • Problem Solving – Challenge a child with a toy that has the capacity to be played with in many different ways, multiple times. Toys that can be easily constructed or require a shape to be placed in a certain spot are perfect fits for this category.

Our suggestion: Fisher-Price Think & Learn Code-a-Pillar™ – This toy helps to develop skills like sequencing, critical thinking, reasoning, discovery and cause and effect.

 

 

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Grade School Basics (Age 6-10)

During this time, children begin to develop more logical ways of thinking. They can now explore multiple ways to solve a problem.

Find Gifts that encourage:

        • Creativity – Pretending and dress-up are big with this age group. Look at kitchen sets or a grocery store set-up. Building is still a big deal for these kids too, so larger block sets are a great choice. If you’re brave, give them a musical instrument like a drum or xylophone.

 

    • Language development – Learning a language is much easier when you’re young. Choose a book with other languages sprinkled into it or find a subscription box that allows them to learn a new language each month.
  • Child to take on a challenge – Challenges can mean different things to families. One family can say cooking is a challenge while others say hiking. Find out what your gift recipient finds hard or difficult, and try to find a fun solution to help them overcome it.

Our suggestion: Snap Circuits® 300 Experiments – This toy allows the child to learn how to manipulate electronic circuits. It can foster creativity but within a technical challenge.

 

 

Pre-teen growth (Age 10-12)

Pre-teen’s rapid brain growth causes an increase of emotions and improved motor skills. They desire independence and experiment with abstract reasoning.

Find Gifts that encourage:

    • Creativity – Use this age as an opportunity to help a child build a hobby. Give them a beginners kit to learn a trade or task. Let them explore something that interests them.
    • Independence – Pre-teens want to strike out on their own. Gift them something that they can do on their own or maintain without Mom and Dad’s help.
  • Self-expression – The right selfie might express yourself, but give them something more than a selfie stick. Think of what could help them express themselves to friends or family.

Our suggestion: Cozmo – Operated by robotic and AI systems, Cozmo teaches coding skills and problem-solving through Code Lab. It was rated best STEM toy by the Smithsonian.

 

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Teens and higher reasoning (Age 13+)

Teens know a lot about tech and want more of a challenge. They are in touch with their likes and dislikes, so be sure to their parents or pay attention to what your child enjoys before buying a gift.

Find gifts that:

    • Are cutting-edge – We have multiple examples of technology that once seemed outlandish that are now in use every day. Think ahead to what might be new in tech next year. Or research newer tech toys that were introduced within the last half of the year.
    • Explore drones – Drones in the air and water are the future. Allow your teens to test out their hand and eye coordination along with solving problems.
  • Encourage coding – Computers are a big part of our lives. Teens will be part of the future by learning how to code. From websites to tutorials, there are many ways to give teens access to coding.

Our suggestion: Flashforge 3D Printer – This gift encourages creativity rooted in technology. The printer’s design and technical functions appeal to teens with a variety of interests.

 

Finding the perfect gift for kids can be hard, but this year, don’t sweat it. Give them the gift of learning or encourage their education through a gift mentioned above or something that encourages any of the characteristics listed.

 

 

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Amanda Peterson

Contributor to Enlightened Digital and software engineer from the one, the only New York City. When I'm not trying to find the best record store in the city, you can find me curling up to watch some Netflix with my Puggle, Hendrix.

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