Editors' Picks 2011: Coolest kids' gadgetsEven though our kids somehow get their hands on our own smart phones and tablets, these cool gadgets are made just for them. And guess what? They love them so much they actually leave ours alone.

Coolest kids' gadgets of 2011: LeapPad Explorer kids' tablet

LeapPad Explorer
Liz: First there was Cabbage Patch Kids, then Tickle-me-Elmo, then the LeapPad Explorer tablet, the next “impossible to find” must-have holiday gift for kids. It’s not entirely surprising considering the excellent functionality, LeapPad quality, and affordable price. That is, unless you bought yours scalped off a guy on Craig’s List.

Coolest kids' gadgets: VTech tablet

VTech InnoTab
Kristen: I am impressed with how much kids can actually do with the VTech InnoTab. It really is like a real tablet, just without the hefty pricetag and the credit card link to iTunes. Perfect for kids ready for their first tablet–as in, not yours.

Coolest kids' gadgets: XBox 360 Kinect

XBox 360 with Kinect
Liz: While the Nintendo Wii may still best for the youngest kids (and MarioKart fans), we’ve been wildly impressed with the development of XBox over the last year. The graphics are excellent–especially in HD–the game selection gets better and broader each month and I love that you can’t cheat on the dance games the way you can with the other consoles which only track that one hand and not your whole body. This is truly controller-free game play.

Coolest kids' gadgets: Kids' earbuds with volume control

EtyKIDS earbuds
Kristen: Now that two of my four kids have their own gaming device, you can bet they’ll be getting the EtyKIDS earbuds, which are safe for kids’ ears at full volume for up to four hours. If you’ve got a teen who wants microphone capabilities with earbuds, they’ve got those too.

Coolest kids' gadgets: Belkin headphone splitter

Belkin splitter
Kristen: Even if you don’t have as many kids as I do, the Belkin splitter is just super smart technology, allowing you to turn one single headphone jack into a bunch. No more fights in the car, mamas. This is the true sound of silence.