Thinking of picking up a bit of tech for the little ones? You don’t have to settle on a toy, and might be able to grab something a little more engaging.
Even though it can be all too easy to grab an action figure, a doll, or something to drive or fly, there are other options that can add a little bit of tech to your children’s lives, whether it’s their very own phone, tablet, headphones, or even a wearable kinda like the one mum and dad have, too.
For this gift guide, we’ve focused on things for the little ones, even including something that might be good ahead of the new school year next year, because sometimes it’s good to think of that, as well.
A surprisingly capable pair of headphones made for kids launched this year, as JBL’s “Jr” range not only learned a thing or two from its headphones for parents, but adopted some cool colours complete with stickers.
In short, JBL’s JR310BT headphones are a decent pair of wireless headphones offering surprisingly solid sound without the cords, though there’s also no way to plug them in. But if your kids have a recent phone or tablet, they shouldn’t need to, anyway.
Fitbit Ace 3
If your kids are constantly bugging you for an Apple Watch or a Fitbit like mum and dad have, you might want to consider something actually made for purpose.
Fitbit’s Ace 3 range is essentially a kid-focused style of wearable, offering a good week’s worth of battery life and clock faces built for kids.
What’s more, if mum or dad (or both) use their own Fitbit, you should be able to compete against each other in the Fitbit app and network.
Osmo iPad edutainment packs
If you have a child and an iPad already, but you tire of the same old iPad games and educational apps, Osmo’s apps could easily be worth a look, in part because they’re both app and physical accessory.
Bringing together a mirror and a mat, not to mention physical bits that come to life when you put them on the mat, Osmo’s style of edutainment is a great way to get kids to learn something while engaging their imagination at the same time.
Pebble Gear Disney Tablet
If your kids don’t have a tablet of their own and they like Disney (because what kid doesn’t), you might want to check out the rather curious tablets Laser brought to Australia’s shores this week.
Pebble Gear’s tablets come in a variety of styles, from Toy Story to Frozen and so on — we reviewed the Frozen model — and they’re all basically the same, offering a budget Android tablet that doesn’t look like your regular style of Android.
In fact, Pebble Gear’s flavour of Android is so different, there’s no Play Store and little risk. Rather, you’ll find free games for kids, many of which take a page from Disney, with this whole tablet largely being about Disney in and of itself.
Weirdly, there’s no Disney+ or other streaming services, but that’s one of the few odd misses, because for under $200, it should get your kids away from your tablet and to their own.
We’re not sure if kids need a big phone, but they certainly don’t need a big spend applied to their mobiles, and if you’re looking for something large that looks impressive without the impressive spend, Oppo might have you covered.
One of its last budget phones of the year, the A16s takes a 6.52 inch HD+ screen and plonks it on top of a 5000mAh battery, with a hint of water resistance and a few cameras, too.
It may not be the big expensive iPhone the kids have wanted, but it’s big and inexpensive, and that may be more ideal for the parents.
There’s still a bit of time until the school year begins, but that means a laptop focused on the back-to-school season could be more than ideal as a present.
We don’t see a whole heap of student laptops very often, but the Dynabook E10 revives the style, bringing an 11.6 inch screen, USB C, and just enough power and storage for school with an Intel Celeron, 4GB RAM, and 128GB storage, plus the ability to withstand drops.