Okay, so we all know children get far too many presents these days, but hey, it’s Christmas, so here’s a few ideas for gadgets for kids of all ages.
Hello Kitty fans will love the Samsung Tic Toc MP3 player, which comes in a special edition Hello Kitty version.
At less than 4cm long, this tiny player can fit in a little pocket, or be clipped to clothes, and you can give it a shake to change tracks or alter volume – a nifty gimmick that younger music fans will love.
If they’re not into Hello Kitty, the Tic Toc also comes in pink, blue and black and retails at £39.99, although we’ve found it at Amazon for a fiver less.
Ben 10 is hugely popular with four to six year olds, so if you have a fan of this cartoon character in the house, you can score some brownie points by slipping the Omnitrix Walkie Talkies under the tree. For anyone who doesn’t know, the Omnitrix allows Ben to change into a number of alien creatures, and I would think any Ben 10 fan would love being able to play with these, and talking to his pal on the other waklie talkie. £13.99 from Boots and other retailers.
Another stocking filler priced gadget that looks like it will be a lot of fun are Hexbugs. These micro robotic creatures – choose from crabs, inchworms, bugs and ants – each have their own characteristics. Crabs head for a shady area until chased out by loud sounds or light, while ants race forward until they hit something, and then race backwards. Loads of fun for Christmas day and beyond. Prices start at £10.99 from www.hexbug.com.
For a touch of nostalgia, how about BigTrak? If you remember this programmable vehicle from your own childhood, you can now share your memories with your own child, or niece of nephew (or just get one for yourself!). The six-wheel tank is chunky and there are two versions. The BigTrak can be programmed to execute 16 steps, Big Trak Junior 32 steps – and there’s the option to buy a connectable webcam. The price might decide for you – we’ve seen Big Trak as low as a nudge under £35 and Big Trak Junior for £25.
If Harry Potter fever has hit your house thanks to the launch of the Deathly Hallows movie, give your young wizards a touch of magic with the Wand Remote Control. Out of the box, it will take a bit of practise, but waving the wand in a clockwise or anticlockwise direction will adjust volume up and down on the TV, flicking up and down will change the channel. But if you don’t fancy letting the kids loose on the TV, it can also be programmed to replace most standard remote controls – we watched it being used on a remote control helicopter, which really did look like magic!
Not cheap at £49.90, but very cool. From www.find-me-a-gift.co.uk
We know that Christmas is a pricey time, so we found a gadget that costs just £2.99. Firefly’s flashing toothbrushes are the bestselling make in the US and they’ve made it across the Atlantic in time for Christmas. Anyone who has bedtime fights when it comes to getting kids to brush teeth, might find that Spiderman, Hello Kitty or Spongebob Squarepants can encourage them. We got our hands on a Spiderman model – it has to be the coolest toothbrush we’ve ever seen!
From Lloyds pharmacy and Argos at £1.49 to £2.49. http://www.facebook.com/fireflytoothbrush
Another product aimed at avoiding bathroom battles is Cuddledry’s colour-changing bath mat, which changes colour when warm little wet feet touch the mat – a great incentive for getting kids out of the bath. (We think grown-ups might like it too!) £14.99 from www.cuddledry.com