Kids' Gift Guide: Top Electronics for Kids

A List of Cool Electronics for Kids

Gadgets aren't just for grownups. As today's kids get more sophisticated, so does the list of devices made specifically to cater to them. From media players and learning devices to gadgets designed for play, the selection of electronics for children can be quite diverse. Below is a list of cool electronics devices we've scoured in no particular order that is geared toward little ones.

Sphero Star Wars BB-8 Droid

Sphero Star Wars BB8 remote controlled robot. Sphero

Tickle your kid’s Star Wars fancy, and perhaps even kickstart an interest in physics and robotics with the Sphero Star Wars BB-8 Droid. This tiny little wonder looks and moves just like its movie namesake and can be controlled via a smartphone or tablet app. You can also use it to record and view virtual holographic videos and it even interacts to your child’s voice. Add autonomous behavior and the fact that it’s just so darned cute and you’ve got a winner not just for kids but kids at heart for about $150 (or less for Internet-savvy shoppers). Buy from Amazon »

V-Tech Kidizoom

VTech Kidizoom
The VTech Kidizoom kids' camera. VTech

I’m a big believer in encouraging kids’ creativity. One way to do that is giving them a camera. The $30 Kidizoom is one that’s designed for young children who may not be old enough to be able to handle a more sophisticated and expensive device such as a smartphone. One of the nice things about it is that it can take pictures as well as video, making it a more versatile device. It even comes with some interesting effects such as a voice changer plus photo stamps and border tools. Buy from Amazon »

Kindle Fire HD Kids Edition

The Kindle Fire HD Kids Edition comes with a kid-proof case and two year replacement warranty against damage. Image © Amazon

Kids these days are a lot more savvy with technology than young ‘uns from previous generations. Heck, I’ve met parents who say their little kids are more knowledgeable about operating their smartphones and tablets than they are. Older children should be able to handle an iPad or iPad Mini just fine. For younger kids, though, you’ll want something that can take plenty of abuse. Enter the Amazon Kindle Fire HD Kids Edition. This tablet has all the features of a full-fledged slate plus a kid-friendly design that can withstand drops. Add a cheaper $99 price tag and two-year warranty and you’ve got peace of mind to boot. Buy from Amazon »

Apple iPod

Apple's iPod Touch. Apple

Kids love iPods. Lord knows how many Christmas exchange gift celebrations I've been to where some gift-wrapped iteration of Apple's popular music player was met by happy smiles from little ones — and the Cupertino-based company’s bank account. The question, of course, is which iPod would be best for your kid. For older kids or responsible young ones, the Web and app-friendly iPod Touch is a good bet, thanks to its ability to play all sorts of media and apps. It almost functions like a smartphone. Otherwise, stick with something like the cheaper Shuffle or even the Nano for young kids. You don't want your Touch to get dropped and turned into a pricey paperweight after all. For more about iPods, check out our iPod site. Buy from Amazon »

The Nintendo 3DS line

New Nintendo 3DS XL
The New Nintendo 3DS XL. Nintendo

Nintendo's much talked about NX system might be getting lots of attention but their 3DS line continues to boast a large library of games that kids will enjoy. From first-party games such as Mario, Kirby and Super Smash Bros. to a host of third-party titles, the 3DS game lineup is a proverbial gaming oyster. You also get your pick of sizes and price points from the classic 3DS and 3DS XL to the 2DS and new and improved, well, New 3DS and New 3DS XL. Smartphones may be getting a lot of games and apps for sure but there’s still something to be said about a dedicated portable console with buttons. Buy from Amazon »

LeapFrog Tag Junior

Photo by Jason Hidalgo.

As a kid, I spent many a time reading books at my school’s library. If only my young self knew just how neat books would be now. LeapFrog’s reading systems basically take the very thing that makes video games so popular for kids — interactivity — and mixes it up with reading. The result is a pretty interesting take on reading and learning that ideally should engage kids more. Buy from Amazon »

Thinkgeek Minecraft Wall Torch

Thinkgeek Minecraft Wall Torch. Thinkgeek

In the grand scheme of things, this glorified flashlight really serves no rhyme or practical purpose. As someone who remembers getting tons of enjoyment from a broken tree branch as a kid, though, I can only imagine how thrilled a little Minecraft fan will be upon getting his or her hands on this little puppy. I mean, it’s a Minecraft torch. That looks just like a torch from Minecraft. Did I mention that it’s a Minecraft torch? Plus it only costs less than $20 now. Buy from Amazon »

Yo-Kai Watch

Yo-Kai Watch watch
The eponymous watch from Yo-Kai Watch. Jason Hidalgo

Yo-Kai Watch is big in Japan. And by big, I mean ginormous. In addition to the video game and TV show, the ghost-based phenomenon also has an assortment of toys that revolve around its eponymous watch. These include a variety of discs for various Yo-Kai characters that interact with the device. Just keep in mind that this is more for really young kids as opposed to older children. Buy from Amazon »

I-Dog Soft Speaker

The I-Dog Soft Speaker. Photo © Hasbro

This line of robot-looking dogs look pretty adorable but they also serve another function. Hasbro's I-Dog Soft can also be used as a speaker for MP3 and other media players. Some even have pockets for storing kids' music players. Lights on its face match the music you "feed" it and the dog's mood. Buy from Amazon »

LeapFrog Text and Learn

LeapFrog's Text & Learn. Photo by Jason Hidalgo

This PDA-inspired device is a perfect learning tool for younger kids from age 3. The Text & Learn teaches children about the alphabet and its QWERTY interface helps prepare them for using a computer. Mascot Scout is also sure to entertain. 

For our past picks, check out the next page! Buy from Amazon »

Coloud C-22 Retro-Style Marvel Headphones

Photo © Coloud.

Nice sound at a budget price, combined with Marvel-themed designs such as Captain America, Iron Man and X-Men make this a nice gift for superhero-loving boys. Alternative styles also include NHL logos, Star Wars, and SpongeBob. There's even Hello Kitty for the ladies — or, um guys with a unique taste. Buy from Amazon »

Fisher Price Kid Tough Digital Camera

Photo by Jason Hidalgo

A look at the several strategically placed screws all around the device shows that the Kids Tough Camera means business. This thing is built like a bunker, has a nice beefy feel and is quite solid overall. Buy from Amazon »

Speakal iBoo iPod Charging Dock and Speaker

Photo by Jason Hidalgo

The cute iBoo is compatible with iPods both old and new and comes with a remote that lets you control your device when docked. Also comes in other styles, including a plant, soccer ball, and pig. Buy from Amazon »

Prime-8 Robot

The Prime-8 robot. Photo by Jason Hidalgo

This primal robot from Bossa Nova features robotics with an attitude. The Prime-8 interacts with its hosts and can switch from mild-mannered ape to a berserk gorilla that goes bananas. The robot can also "walk" with its huge forearms and even play games. Buy from Amazon »

In Scene Disney Princess Video Camera

In Scene Disney Princess Video Camera. Photo by Jason Hidalgo

The In Scene Disney Princess Video Camera lets kids entertain their directorial fancies by shooting their own movies. The device comes with a computer program so kids can edit their movies on a computer. It even comes with a blue background that children can use to make it easier to change backgrounds to Disney scenes. Buy from Amazon »

The WikiReader

Openmoko's WikiReader. Photo by Jason Hidalgo

This portable encyclopedia puts Wikipedia in the palm of your child's hands, even without an Internet connection. And with more than 3 million Wikipedia entries to browse from, the WikiReader provides plenty of enjoyment for young inquisitive minds. Buy from Amazon »