Next up in our Holiday Tech Gifts series: the coolest games and tech toys for preschoolers and kindergartners. We always love tech toys that build imagination, educate and inspire–just like any toy. And how great that technology is offering so many fun new options! Here, 10 of our very favorites for 2012.
[Also, don't miss our AMAZING giveaway below!]
A lot of tablets for kids were introduced this year and this Android tablet is easily the best of the bunch. With 8 GB of storage expandable up to 64, cloud storage, and WiFi and Bluetooth compatibility, it’s a fairly powerful little tablet disguised as a rugged, toddler-impervious tech toy. There are 500 curated kids apps to choose from right off the bat, with more to come. Plus streaming video that parents can feel good about. This is definitely the tablet that will grow with your kid and totally worth the price. ($199 at Nabi or at Target plus $2.99/mo for Spinlets+ Kid-Safe Streaming TV)
Griffin + Crayola let kids use the tablet as a canvas in really innovative, creative ways with styluses, stampers and animation. Even glasses so you can get the most out of the 3-D tool. ($19.99 each, or $39.99 for all three, the Griffin Store)
Hooray for every girl’s new favorite animated hero, now come to life in this game for DS. Early graders should find it the right amount challenging…and the right amount scary. ($24.99, Target)
Boogie Board LCD Writing Tablet
This completely fun tablet lets kids draw, write note, scribble or doodle with a stylus–or even a fingernail. Our kids haven’t grown bored of it yet, and on road trips, it sure beats melted crayons on the car upholstery. ($39.95 at Amazon)
Fisher Price Camera
Just like the one Mommy and Daddy had when we were kids. And we’re totally not getting it to borrow it. No, not at all. ($19.99, Fat Brain Toys
Mount it to a bike with the included hardware, or use it underwater up to 9 feet–kids about 5+ will have a blast making heir own films anywhere they go. ($43 on sale, Fab.com; click for invitation link)
This interactive globe not only teaches kids tons of facts about cities, countries and continents when you touch it with the Intellipen, it’s got three educational games to keep things interesting. We really love that a USB connection lets you update more lessons and new content, should say, the former USSR split into even more countries some day. ($129.99, Magic Beans)
Inflatable Remote Control R2D2
Your kindergartener may have a new best friend. One who will spend a whole lot of time with your child, but not eat all of your Pirate’s Booty. That’s a good friend! ($49.99, Think Geek)
Tag US Map Jumbo Puzzle
Ever wonder how some preschoolers already know every state and capital? Here you go. The great thing about this map that it’s fun even when you go analog because the Tag pen is somewhere between the couch cushions. ($19.99, Leapfrog; required Tag pen not included)
Your old iPad 2
If you’d never in a million years hand your brand new iPad over to your kids, consider handing down your old first or second generation iPad. Load it up with age-appropriate apps and just be sure to include a serious case like the Otterbox case for iPad. (iPad 2 $399 or free if you already own it; cases $89, Otterbox)
For more cool holiday gift ideas for younger kids, don’t miss our 2012 Holiday Gift Guide on Cool Mom Picks.
Update: This contest is now closed. Congratulations to our winner, Betsy M!
EXTRA-EXTRA-COOL: WIN IT! We’ve got an amazing Tech Prize Package worth over $600 up for grabs for one lucky winner! WHOO!
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