We’re so excited to launch our 2013 Holiday Tech Gift Guide with the very coolest tech gifts for kids. Boy, this was a tough year to pare down our very favorites, but pare down we did, leaving you with 16 tech gifts for kids of all ages that we think they’ve be extremely happy to unwrap. (And our own kids have weighed in, and they agree.) Just make sure to have devices charged and batteries ready to go!
Zoomer Robot Dog ($79.99 on sale, Target)
Of all the toys, this might be the one our kids are begging for the most: He “learns” your child’s commands, until he can sit, stand, and roll over for a belly scratch. Compatible with the free iOS or Android app for training tips. Comes potty-trained.
Nintendo 2DS ($129.99 at Target and Gamestop)
Perfectly sized for little hands, and built to withstand big drops, it plays even DS and 3DS games so younger kids can get in on the fun without the 3-D eyestrain.
Toymail Mailmen ($50 pledge for toy at a 10% discount, includes free shipping)
Our entire staff is smitten with this Kickstarter project from two clever moms. The creatures are more than fun toys; they’re WiFi enabled, so they can send and receive audio messages between you and your kids from your own cell phone. Beats getting your second-grader a cell phone and a texting plan.
Nabi 2 Tablet ($129.99 on sale at Best Buy)
One of our hot holiday tech gifts for kids of 2012, the Nabi 2 is still up there as one of our favorite kids’ tablets with a fully functioning Android system, loads of safety features, a speedy processor, and an unbeatable price. It definitely grows with your kids, so it’s perfect for siblings with a few years between them.
Cupcake Earbuds ($16 at Fab)
Your Kawaii-loving tween or teen will love these adorable earbuds from DCI even if they’re not playing any music at all. Oh wait, that’s you. Well, she’ll love it when it’s playing Katy Perry.
Marvel Creativity Studio ($35, Apple Store)
More than 100 pages of activities turns an iPad into an interactive art class for kids that lets them draw, color, and even animate their favorite characters. The stylus works on its own, or creates its own wireless connection right to the app
Critter & Guitari Pocket Piano ($199 at Fab)
Touch the 18 wooden keys and make music on the go. This is a serious (and seriously cool) instrument for players of any level–and truly, any age.
Tiggly Preschool Learning Apps ($29.95, Tiggly + free app downloads)
We love this set of plastic shapes that work in combination with three iPad apps to encourage toddlers to build scenes and tell their own stories.
LEGO Mindstorms EV3 ($349.99 at Amazon)
Put together more than 500 LEGO Technic elements to create a robot. Yes a robot. One with a touch sensor, color sensor, infrared sensor, and the only holiday gift your kid will play with forever (hopefully, considering the price).
Scanimation Lamp ($39.99 at Think Geek)
It started as one of our favorite book series for kids, and now it’s become the coolest lamp ever. As it spins, the dolphin dives, the hummingbird flutters, and 4 other animals animate, making it a mesmerizing night light for younger kids. Or uh, college students of a certain ilk.
Disney Infinty System for Wii, Playstation or Xbox 360 (Starter Pack $59; Figures $12.99 at Target)
This amazing interactive gaming system lets you bring action figures into the virtual action–and back again. Don’t be surprised if your kids are playing with them long after screen time is over. And yes, the Frozen Toy Box Set is already here too.
VTech InnoTab 3S ($69.99 on sale at Target)
For a terrific price, your preschooler or early learner can have a fantastic first tablet filled with educational games, a camera and video cam, and plenty of downloads available to keep things fun.
Glow-in-the-dark Gamer Shirt ($34.50, JCrew)
We thought the retro-Atari vibe of this shirt was cool before we realized that it glows in the dark.
Boogie Board Jot 4.5 LCD writer ($19.73 at Amazon)
We were fans of the original Boogie Board, and the new smaller size is great for passing notes in the back seat, games of hangman and tic tac toe, or just doodling.
Rayman Legends ($24.99, on sale at Amazon)
Whether you have a Wii, Wii U, a Playstation or an Xbox, tweens and teens will adore the newest in the amazing Rayman series that may even be better than the original. It’s one of the best rated game launches of the year, and terrific for family play too–just prepare to lose to your kids.
Simon ($24.99 at Think Geek)
It’s back, it’s as wonderful as ever in its simplicity, and we’re not sure who will play with this retro tech gift more–us or our children.
For more awesome holiday tech gifts, keep checking back for our 2013 Holiday Tech Gift Guide. We’ll have new ones up daily.