Tech Gadgets + Apps that are Beneficial for Your Child

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Serious elementary learner using touchpad

The jury is still out on whether parents should push kids to play with tech as toys. In fact, no major study has found conclusive results in support of either the luddite or gadget fanatic views. But the fact remains that we live in a high-tech world, and raising tech-savvy children just makes sense. Technology is a vital part of our kids’ world, for better or for worse, but the good news is that mom and dad are still in the driver’s seat. Many of best gadgets for children make it simple to manage tasks, user permissions, and easy communication between parent and child. Remarkable graphics and the best mobile processors are essential, of course, but safety should be taken into consideration as well. You can help make technology a tool, as well as a toy, by choosing gadgets that empower learning, skill building, and boost creativity. Here are just a few of the tech toys that fit the bill:

Coding Experience for Kiddos

As computers and tech devices continue to be so essential in our lives, it’s important for children to have an understanding of what it takes to instruct a computer to do complex tasks. Younger kids (intended for ages 6-8) can hone their coding chops with The Foos Coding 5+ by codeSpark! Visually appealing cartoon creatures give little ones challenges that can only be solved by coding, and those challenges get harder with each challenge met, inspiring younger children to push themselves.

An Indestructible Tablet

For children and teenagers alike these days, it seems tablets and “phablets” may actually be preferable to smartphones. The powerful, usable, and very affordable (it’s under $100!)  Amazon Fire HD 6 is perfect for your son or daughter. This tablet has a strong quad-core processor and can handle any task you throw its way. For tots, opt for the Amazon Fire Kids edition – a full-featured Fire tablet that comes pre-protected in a kid-proof case, and ready to go with a year of curated kid-friendly content from Amazon FreeTime. Better yet, the price tag includes a two-year guarantee against damage caused by everything from accidental drops to spilled juice. 

Something to Make

Circuit Stickers by Chibitronics lets kids explore the why and how of DIY circuits without all the hassle of soldering. These make-your-own circuit kits come with innovative peel-and-stick electrical elements that make experimenting with LEDs and batteries a great after-school or snow day activity.

A Unique Introduction To Robotics

Forget remote control! Dash by Make Wonder uses a simple graphical user interface to get kids mapping out the chains of commands that make these adorable robots chat, dance, scoot and more. Dash is an adorable robot who responds to voice, navigates objects, and has a collection of apps for every age group, learning level and play style. To start, download the four wonderfully designed free iPad or Android apps, and have your child work through basic problem solving skills through simple, visual-based tablet controls. No thick programming books or science camp required!

And the Gift of Creativity

App and toy combos are common, but Stikbot by Zing is different. The set comes with an adjustable tripod, as well as two Stikbots. After downloading the Stikbot Studio app (compatible with both Android and iOS devices), your child get started on their own stop motion animation video masterpiece! On top of that, Stikbot is just complicated enough to make it a perfect way to get the whole family involved in a shared project.

As you can see, technology for kids has become increasingly more than simple screen time. However, if you’re still worried that technology is turning this generation of kids into screen zombies, consider this—most experts seem to agree that in moderation, technological toys can spark imagination and inspire exploration. Furthermore, it gives a new breed of digital natives the tools they need to succeed in our tech-centric world.

Samantha Rivers is a freelance writer who lives in Chicago (Go Cubs!) and loves writing anything in the lifestyle, beauty, travel, and career realm both online and print. When she’s not running the Upward Onward blog, she enjoys reading, finding new restaurants, being active outside, and indulging in a glass of wine or two.

Comments

  1. says

    I agree that it’s cool to get kids learn while using gadgets. Kds have more opportunities now than we had in our childhood and we, parents, need to teach them how to use these opportunities, Thank you for sharing the idea of how to make their pastime useful. :-)

  2. Lashawn Wiltz says

    This is really cool. Kids are really into technology and why not make it so that they are learning while using it?

  3. says

    There are many great games on my nephew tablets that teach him all kind of stuff like places, animals, states, etc. And its great because at that age i didnt even know the numbers! So now they are like more prepare for school and live in general.

  4. Ron Leyba says

    An Indestructible Tablet – I think I need four of this! This is the feature I wanted right now for my kids.

  5. Rebecca Swenor says

    These are all great apps and tech gadgets for children. I love how these apps are fun but yet educational for the kids. I will have to share this with my sister and my niece for there children. Now days the kids really have to use more technical devices in school than we ever did and apps like this can really help them learn.

  6. says

    Like it or not, we are raising our kids in a technological world and to deprive them of tech time may put them at a disadvantage. I love some of these suggestions for apps and gadgets.

  7. says

    My 3 almost 4 year old has a Kindle fire and plays tons of learning games. My almost 2 year old has become very interested so we just ordered him one. It was around 50 bucks. My older son knows his colors, shapes, numbers to 50 and his abcs because of these learning games.

  8. says

    Great read on how to use tech to help children develop. I used to work at a daycamp that used a lot of this stuff as a hook and it was amazing just watching the kids get so techy.

  9. says

    It really is crazy how many gadgets are you there for kids!! I love to see my kids master a new skill in technology it will play such a role in their future a they grow up.

  10. says

    I firmly believe that technology is something we should embrace and not hide from our kids. The Chicago writer should know that there are extremely awesome kids’ coding classes going on at Power Up Tech Academy to look into. My boys had a great experience there.

  11. Pam says

    A good tablet has so many uses for childhood education. There are so many great apps and it beats carrying a bunch of books on vacation like my daughter used to do. I still totally advocate print books, but there are times a good tablet will be more useful.

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