Best tech gifts and gadgets for kids 2017

If you need some inspiration for what to buy a child, we've rounded up a selection of great tech gadgets for kids, from action cams to coding robots - there's something for everyone.

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  • best kids tech lego minecraft the mine Intro
  • best kids tech gifts veho discovery vmx 004 Veho Discovery
  • smart r2 d2 Smart R2-D2
  • sphero sprk box Sphero SPRK
  • best kids tech gifts leapband Leapfrog LeapBand
  • vtech smart watch plus colours Smart Watch Plus
  • best kids tech gifts amazon fire Amazon Fire tablet
  • best kids tech gifts vtech digigo Vtech DigiGo
  • computer kit Kano Computer Kit
  • VTech Action Cam11 Action Cam
  • littlebits base kit littleBits Base Kit
  • osmo starter kit Osmo
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Best tech gifts for kids: Intro

Kids increasingly want – and expect – high-tech presents but few people can afford or want to give their children iPads for birthdays or Christmas. There are many cheaper options when it comes to tech and gadgets for kids, but as well as the gifts we’ve got here, you might want to take a look at our other gadget roundups:

Best Lego gifts

Best Minecraft gifts

Best Star Wars gifts

Best Dr Who gifts

Best James Bond gifts

Also see: Best Christmas Deals

Next »

Next Prev best kids tech lego minecraft the mine

Kids increasingly want – and expect – high-tech presents but few people can afford or want to give their children iPads for birthdays or Christmas. There are many cheaper options when it comes to tech and gadgets for kids, but as well as the gifts we’ve got here, you might want to take a look at our other gadget roundups:

Best Lego gifts

Best Minecraft gifts

Best Star Wars gifts

Best Dr Who gifts

Best James Bond gifts

Also see: Best Christmas Deals

Veho Digital Microscope

  • RRP: £79.99

Great for inquisitive minds, a digital microscope will show detail the naked eye simply can’t see. The VMS-004 has magnification from 20-400x and LEDs to light up the subject. It works with PC and Mac and connects via USB.

Smart R2-D2

  • RRP: £98.99, US$99

Last year's hottest Star Wars toy was the Sphero BB-8, but just as Rogue One is stepping back in the timeline, this year's best toy is heading back to the original trilogy too: the Smart R2-D2. This diminutive droid pairs with an Android and iOS app that works as a remote control, letting kids (or big kids) drive him round, unleash a series of bleeps and bloops, do a little dance, and even set him on 'guard' mode. It's a bit educational too: a series of 'mission' minigames are really an exercise in learning how to programme routes.

Find the other droids you're looking for in our round-up of the best Star Wars toys and gadgets.

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Sphero SPRK Robot

  • RRP: £99.99

Sphero SPRK is a robot ball that helps teach kids (and adults with a sense of fun) how to program, from the basics to complex text-based coding.

Learning to code can be a bit dry, so the makers of the Sphero robot ball built their own coding language (much like Scratch) so kids can learn to program the ball using block-based code. The SPRK app is compatible with both iOS and Androidn smartphones and tablets.

It's a fantastic idea, done brilliantly well. Kids love balls, and this educational yet super-fun robot ball is way better than getting a new football as a gift.

Read our full Sphero SPRK review for more details.

LeapFrog LeapBand Activity Tracker

  • RRP: £29.99

Not all tech gadgets involve staring passively at a screen. The LeapBand is a wearable virtual pet – there’s 10 pre-loaded games – which encourages your child to be active. It’s more than a pedometer, and at this price, it’s a great stocking filler.

Read our full LeapBand review

VTech Smart Watch Plus

  • RRP: £42.99

Less of an activity wristband and more of a fun gadget watch, the VTech Kidizoom Smart Watch Plus costs a little more than the Leapfrog LeapBand but has more functions, such as a camera (still and video) plus a variety of games and apps.

The still and video camera, plus hilarious voice recorder with effects, will liven up any party. There are tons of analogue and digital watch faces, plus a stopwatch and timer. The three built-in games are the weakest part of the package (and don't expect amazing photos from the camera), but the rest of the features make the Kidizoon Smart Watch Plus a fun wristband for kids or irony-friendly hipsters.

Read our full VTech Kidizoom Smart Watch Plus review

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Amazon Fire

  • RRP: £49.99, US$49.99

Most cheap tablets – those under around £60 – aren’t worth buying. But Amazon’s £49 Fire is different. It has a good-quality screen and although storage is limited, you can add extra via the microSD card slot. The cameras aren’t great, but there are lots of free apps available and a great kids mode.

Vtech DigiGo

  • RRP: £79.99

You could buy a cheap smartphone for less than £70, but this 4.3in ‘Smart device’ is designed to let kids send text messages, voice messages, photos and drawings to each other in a completely safe environment. You don’t need to buy multiple DigiGos as the Kid Connect app works on Android and iPhones, and you can create a list of approved devices – including smartphones owned by your child’s friends.

The DigiGo can also run apps and games, and store a music collection, and has a standard headphone jack.

Kano Computer Kit

  • RRP: £149.99, US$149.99

There are plenty of DIY computer kits out there these days, but not many of them are designed from the beginning to be as fun as LEGO to put together. That's what drove the Kano kit, which combines a Raspberry Pi 3 with a selection of chunky, attractive (very orange) peripherals - along with a selection of stickers to customise it even further. 

Once they've got the hardware up and running, the open-source Kano OS comes bundled with hundreds of hours worth of games and exercises to teach kids how to code, make art, and build apps and games.

If you'd like something a bit more grown-up, check out our guide to the best DIY computer kits.

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VTech Kidizoom Action Cam

  • RRP: £49.99, US$59.99

The VTech Kidizoom Action Cam is a great alternative to an expensive GoPro action-video camera (yes, even for adults who don’t mid the kiddie styling), and perfect for children as it is pretty robust, small and lightweight.

It comes with mounts for bike and helmet, plus a waterproof case, so the £49 cost isn’t unreasonable as you shouldn’t need anything else except a bike and sense of adventure.

Video quality is fine, although the standalone still photo resolution (0.3 megapixels) is basic to put it lightly.

Strap it onto a bike, scooter, helmet or skateboard and relive the thrills and spills of your child as they hurtle headlong through hedges and into walls, crash to the ground, and sometimes get round the park without grazing a knee or bumping an elbow.

Read our full VTech Action Cam review here.

littleBits Base Kit

  • RRP: £79.99, US$99.95

A great – if pricey – introduction to how electronics work for young minds. The ten components – including a motor, buzzer, dimmer and light sensor – clip together using magnets to make eight different projects. There are hundreds more available online, and plenty of other littleBits kits and components to expand it even further.

Osmo

  • RRP: From £69.99, From US$79.99

Like plenty of other tech toys, Osmo is all about making learning fun. It uses an iPad as its base (anything from the iPad 2 on, including the Air and Mini), but expands Apple's device well beyond the touchscreen. A red 'reflector' attaches to the top of the tablet, letting it track movement, allowing Osmo to run a number of different spatial games using physical props such as tangram pieces or letter tiles.

The Starter Kit includes four games, but since then they've released Numbers and Coding as add-on packs, with more games on the way.

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