“I’m bored.” Those are words you never want to hear from your kids. You can head this off at the pass by being prepared with a variety of entertaining and educational tech toys that will keep your kids engaged, occupied and learning during school breaks. So the next time you hear “I’m bored,” you can answer, “No, you’re not. You can code your own video game, build a robot, or capture aerial photos with your drone. Go have fun!”
Check out these seven tech toys that will tide your children over during school holidays, breaks, and weekends:
1. Electric Dough Kit
Electro-dough? What’s that? The Electric Dough Kit is a mind-sparking set of tools that lets your children craft objects out of dough and then use them to learn about how electricity works. The kit is a hands-on project that’s great for families to work on together. It includes a recipe for making your own conductive dough (use food coloring for fabulous, fun hues) and instructions for safely using the kit’s contents to send electricity through your sculptures. It comes with LED lights, crocodile clips, a switch, battery housing, wiring and a buzzer. This is Playdough for the modern age and it’s suitable for kids 4 years old and up.
2. Star Wars Droid Inventor Kit
Star Wars has been sparking children's imaginations since 1977 and the toys have only gotten cooler over the years. The Star Wars Droid Inventor Kit puts kids at the helm of their very own R2-D2-style droid. They can customize their creation, harness “The Force,” drive the droid around, and tackle a variety of fun missions. The droid kit requires the use of an iOS or Android device, so make sure you will have one available for your kid to use.
3. Build Your Own Gaming Console
Many kids love to spend their free time gaming, but they might not know what goes into making games work. The Build Your Own Game Console kit acts as an introduction to the basics of coding. It’s best for ages 10 and up and includes a step-by-step guide for assembling a handheld gaming console (there is some soldering involved) and coding more than 20 different classic games.
An online manual walks your kid through the process step-by-step. Once your child has mastered the games, she can move on to developing her own original works to display and play on the console.
4. Amazon Fire HD 8 Kids Edition Tablet
Set your children free to enjoy videos, read ebooks, play games, and experiment with kid-friendly apps using Amazon’s Fire HD 8 Kids Edition Tablet. The affordable gadget comes protected with a kid-proof case with rounded edges and parental controls that let you keep a handle on how the tablet is used. The tablet is suitable for ages 3 and up and includes a two-year replacement guarantee if your kid manages to break it accidentally.
5. Sphero Mini
The Sphero Mini is a cute version of its bigger cousin. Sphero calls it “the world’s smallest app-enabled robotic ball.” It’s about as big as a ping pong ball and you control it using a smartphone app. There’s a whole lot of technology hidden inside, including an accelerometer, a gyroscope, and LED lights. One feature that will really entertain kids is “Face Drive,” which uses facial recognition to control the Mini with a smile or a tilt of the head. The robo-ball is recommended for children 8 and up.
6. Teddy Bear Speakers
There are many portable speakers on the market, but very few that qualify as adorable as well as functional. The Teddy Bear Speaker is a cute plush bear with speakers built right into its feet. It uses two AA batteries and connects up to a smartphone, tablet, or other music device using an AUX cord. The bear is suitable for kids ages 4 and up and can be a cuddly companion while they listen to music or stories.
7. RC Quadcopter Drone
Drones are all the rage for a good reason. They’re just plain fun. This RC Quadcopter Drone is a mini flying machine that’s a good fit for beginners. It’s small enough to fly indoors but can really stretch out in the great outdoors. The controls can be set to be friendly for new users or more complex for experts, so kids can try different flight modes as their skills improve. The drone runs on AA batteries and includes a 2-megapixel camera. If you’re looking for a more advanced drone, then check out this RC Quadcopter Drone with HD Camera.
Don't let smart toys spy on your kids
Toys with cameras, recording devices, and internet connections can be a security nightmare for families.