The festive season is fast approaching so we’ve pulled together a list of potential pressies for various ages, physical sizes (under a tree or in a stocking) as well-fitting a range of wallet sizes! Depending on your youngster’s technical knowledge (and resilience), some of the activities may require adult facilitation. To avoid any Xmas day disappointment, don’t forget to check whether the kits include/need batteries or prior charging (in the case of drones). We’ve all been there!
1. KITRONIK INVENTOR’S KIT MICRO:BIT PHYSICAL COMPUTING, AGES 9+, £32.99
The Inventor’s Kit includes the BBC micro:bit, cables and batteries. If your loved one already has a micro:bit, Kitronik also provide a project-based equivalent. The kit is great for programming and hardware interaction and includes ten superb experiments using LEDs (Light Emitting Diodes), motors, LDRs (Light Dependent Resistors) and capacitors. It’s fully supported with a tutorial book and online videos.
2. SYMA X21 DRONE, AGES 11+, £18.99
The market for drones is saturated which makes decision making harder. Our advice? Unless you have a young budding operator on your hands, the crashability of drones means it’s best to keep early investment to a minimum. This drone marries an impressive combination of acrobatics and filming.
Please note, new regulation out this month requires young droners to pass an online theory test before flying as well as show their registration ID on the drone itself. Children under 13 can only register with a parent or guardian present.
3. CREATIVE CLOUD SOFTWARE, AGES 11+, £16.34 per month (student rate)
For youngsters who dream of being a creative at Apple or a designer at Google, gift them Adobe’s Creative Cloud package of 20 plus creative desktop and mobile applications so they can design posters, edit photos and create follow-worthy videos. The full creative and professional software palette includes Photoshop’s image editing, Illustrator for graphics, Premiere Pro’s video editing, Adobe XD for the web and cloud storage.
4. RASPBERRY PI & KIT PARENT DETECTOR, AGES 10+, £62 (total)
This kit will detect parents and siblings this year and Father Christmas next year! Raspberry Pis are brilliant for creating endless physical computing projects. If your youngster does not already have access to a Pi, why not purchase the latest Raspberry Pi 4 Model B – £34. Don’t forget, you’ll need other standard peripherals such as cable to a monitor or TV, keyboard and mouse. And also a Pi Cam – £24.00, Motion Sensor £2 and Jumper wires – £2. Everything listed above can be purchased together from Pi Hut.
5. HOLOTATS AR TATTOOS, AGES 3+, £20.55 (Set of 10)
HoloTats Pet Party have created Augmented Reality (AR) temporary tattoos. See how they work by following the link to the video. A great present for stocking fillers and for little people.
6. ULTIMAKER 3D PRINTER 13+, £499
The Ultimaker Original is rated the most accurate and fastest 3D printer. It comes as an attractive DIY kit so will need to build built. Picture the joys of IKEA flat pack meshed with technology! It’s a great way to experience shared creation during the holiday period. Don’t forget to purchase filament – eco plastic and dissolvable versions are available.
7. E-TEXTILES TOY KIT, AGES 9+, £18.99,
This stuffed cat sewing kit is a very engaging first foray into simple electronic circuitry using conductive thread and an effective way to broaden engagement in technology.
8. BEATS HEADPHONES, AGES 9+, £269.95
Beats wireless bluetooth headphone saw Will.i.am from the Black Eyed Peas as a founding shareholder! The headphones include a mic – superb for gaming, music and film editing as well as ‘just sit back’ listening. Oh, and with a range of colours, they look cool as well.
9. OCULUS QUEST VR GAMING HEADSET, AGES 10+, £399
Really easy to use, this is the first VR headset successfully designed for mass consumption. Built-in sensors translate movement into VR and provide room scale tracking. Your hands and gestures appear in VR with intuitive, realistic precision.
10. ONE LAPTOP PER CHILD, AGES 0+, £DONATIONS
One Laptop Per Child is the technology equivalent to a kid sponsoring a goat (see what we did there?!) or gifting a sheep or tree to someone less fortunate than themselves. We’ve included it here as a sobering reminder that technology can create a gulf between regions of the world.
One Laptop Per Child aims to give every child in the world access to quality, innovative education, providing each child with a rugged, connected, low-cost computer as well as educational support. The initiative has seen over 2.5 million computers in the hands of school children in 60 countries around the world.