The FamilyTech Holiday Gift Guide

The holidays are here, and when it comes to gifts for your kids, we think technology should be at the top of your shopping list. Tech gifts can help your kids learn, become independent thinkers, and have some incredibly cool ways to have fun. Here are some of our favorite tech items for 2016.

NES Classic – It turns out that one of the best video game systems of all-time was one of the first many of us had growing up. And now, the Nintendo Entertainment System is back, but in a compact form with pre-loaded games like Super Mario Bros., Donkey Kong, The Legend of Zelda, PAC-MAN, Dr. Mario, Mega Man, Final Fantasy, and dozens more. A great gift for the gamer in your house that will likely lead to lots of gaming time with Mom or Dad too.


VTech Kidizoom Smartwatch DX – Kid’s have a smartwatch of their own now too. And while it might not rival the ones adults wear, there are plenty of great features that make this a great gift. Each watch features 3 fun activities, 5 games, 3 action challenges, and a motion sensor. It’s also great for taking pictures, setting alarms, and even has a calendar and a calculator feature! Kids can choose from 50 plus clock face designs, and it’s also splash proof and durable enough to stand up to a kid’s everyday wear and tear.


View-Master Virtual Reality Starter Pack – VR is the future. And this starter pack from Mattel that is packaged like the famous View-Master toys of our youth is a great introduction for your kids. Kids can download the View-Master VR app and put their device into the viewer. Then they choose from A 3-D augmented reality menu and dive headfirst into the world of virtual reality.


Fisher-Price Think & Learn Code-A-Pillar Toy – It’s now easier than ever to get your kids into the world of coding. The Code-A-Pillar has 9 segments that are easy to connect and rearrange. This allows pre-schoolers to tell the toy how to move forward, left, right, and more. These things give your kids their first lessons in sequencing and programming. And oh yeah, it’s lots of fun too.


Simon Air – You probably remember Simon from your own childhood, and now, Simon Air is ready to become one of your kid’s favorites as well. For the first time ever, Simon features touch-free technology and recognizes when a player follows the color sequence by sensing their motions. Family members can play solo or two-player.


Sphero Star Wars BB-8 App Controlled Robot with Star Wars Force Band – The Force Awakens may have been the hit of last year’s holiday season, but interest isn’t dying down for 2016. This gift gives you the ability to control BB-8 using a Force Band that you wear on your wrist. Just pair your Force Band with Special Edition Battle-Worn BB-8 and let him explore or create and view holographic recordings. This one is certain to be a big hit for Christmas.


Crayola Star Wars, Color Alive Virtual Design Pro – Another Star Wars choice, and this one gives kids an introduction into the world of design. Just download the free IOS/Android app and bring designs to life. Personalize designs, choose your adventure and bring your spaceships to life. It comes with a 20 page design book, 12 short colored pencils and 12 Pip-Squeak markers. Great for the creative kid in your home.


littleBits Rule Your Room Kit – If you aren’t familar with littlebits, they are a great toy company that helps kids explore their inventive side. This Rule Your Room Kit is a perfect way for your kids to flesh out their engineering and problem-solving skills. Kids can build customizeable inventions for games, pranks, or practical uses. The Rule Your Room Kit comes with instructions for 8 inventions such as a Burglar Buzzer, Domain Defender, Top Secret Safe, and more.


WowWee CHiP Robot Toy Dog – Since robots are taking over anyway, we might as well get families ready. 😉
This robot toy dog is a fun and trainable. It responds using touch, the included SmartBand, and the CHiP app. Play fetch, teach Chip tricks, and when he’s tired and low on batteries, he returns himself to this charger, which also doubles as his bed. It’s a new family pet minus the mess.


ThingMaker 3D Printer – With 3D printing on the rise, this 3D printer from Mattel is a great introduction into the world of printing things. Family members can custom create, print, and play with figures using this amazing machine. Choose from a variety of templates including figures, dolls, and jewelry or build your own from scratch. Yet another great tech option that can help expand the creativity in every member of your family.

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Joe Long