20 Awesome Holiday Gifts for Tech-Loving Kids

Ashley Austrew | Oct 29, 2018 Big Kid

unicorn robot building kit
UBTech/YouTube

The holiday season is upon us, and that means the very coolest in tech toys are starting to hit the shelves. Toys that incorporate technology in creative ways and teach kids the basics of science, engineering, math, and technology (STEM) are all the rage in 2018. Even toys for preschoolers incorporate basic coding and programming skills, and there are dozens of possibilities for finding fun things to play with that also interact with smart gadgets, such as tablets and phones. But with all the techy toys out there on the market, it can be hard to know which ones kids will really love and enjoy playing with. 

Kids have always been into tech, even as far back as the days when we all had Teddy Ruxbin dolls or were begging for Furbies. But technology has come a long, long way in the past 25 years. This year's holiday toy options include surprising and unique finds, such as a programmable unicorn robot, gravity-defying hovercrafts, interactive story books, and even a new spin on the beloved Hatchimals. But the most exciting thing of all is that there is a tech-driven toy out there for every kind of kid. Whether chidren love art, reading, music, robots, cuddly toys, or things that go fast, there's a play thing that will be a fit just for them and help them develop some basic tech skills during playtime.

We've gathered 20 of this holiday season's most exciting technology finds from the virtual toy aisles. From mini robots to giant interactive dinosaurs and everything in between, these are the inventive electronics that keep kids occupied all season long -- and maybe even put them on the path to becoming the next Steve Jobs.

  • BOXER MINI ROBOT

    1

    This little robot comes fully assembled and ready to play with ten activity cards. It can play games like bot bowling, paddle bot and even soccer, and it's the perfect surprise for active tech lovers ages 6 and older.

    Boxer Interactive A.I. Robot Toy ($80, SpinMaster)

  • INTERACTIVE STORYBOOKS

    2

    These storybooks pair with a free app that uses augmented reality technology that brings the illustrations to life in 360-degree animations. Kids can even use special coloring cards to customize their favorite characters.

    Pai Interactive A/R Storybook ($150, PAI Technology)

  • UNICORNBOT

    3

    Sure, building robots is cool, but what about building a unicorn bot? First kids build the 440-piece bot with step-by-step instructions. Then they can play using the app. The unicorn also has a magical horn with programmable LED lights in eight different colors that can signify its "mood."

    Jimu Robot Unicornbot Kit ($119, Target)

  • THE ROCKTOPUS

    4

    Tech isn't just for big kids. Toddlers and preschoolers can use Rocktopus to create their own tunes. It has 15 musical instrument pods and three different play modes to help little ones go wild with creativity.

    Fisher-Price Think & Learn Rocktopus ($60, Target)

  • SUPERNOVA ORB

    5

    This gravity-defying orb needs no remote control or touching. Kids can spin it and propel it through the air using only their hands!

    Air Hogs SuperNova ($40, SpinMaster)

  • JURASSIC REX

    6

    Lovers of Jurassic World will be amazed by this giant T-rex robot that roars, lunges, and has color-changing light-up eyes. 

    Jurassic World Jurassic Rex ($100, Target)

  • HATCHIMALS MYSTERY

    7

    Each Hatchimals Mystery Egg comes with one of four new Hatchimals creatures, but which one will it be? That's where the mystery comes in. And once the Hatchimal makes its appearance, it can learn to say a kid's name and play music and games.

    Hatchimals Mystery ($60 each, SpinMaster)

  • SMART PHONE PHOTO PRINTER

    8

    For those gadget-loving tweens and teens, a handy smart phone photo printer could make Santa a hero. This one is affordable, comes in three colors (black, blue, and pink), and is totally portable.

    KiiPix Smart Phone Photo Printer ($40, Amazon)

  • DASH CODING ROBOT

    9

    Dash is a robot for kids 6 and older that teaches them how to code in a fun and interactive way. Kids can give Dash voice commands and explore loops, events, conditions, and sequences, as well try fun challenges. 

    Wonder Workshop Dash Coding Robot for Kids ($146, Amazon)

  • EXTREME AIR BOARD

    10

    Kids can make this little guy do gravity-defying stunts as a paraglider or on the air board. The compact glider can speed up, turn sharp corners, and do tricks that a typical remote control toy can't.

    Air Hogs Extreme Air Board ($40, SpinMaster)

  • HEDGIES

    11

    These cute interactive pets perform headstands, wiggle, whistle, and blow kisses. If kids pet their heads, they roll up like real hedgehogs. 

    Zoomer Hedgies Whirl ($36, SpinMaster)

  • CRATE CREATURES

    12

    Crate Creatures are interactive monster pets. Kids can pull the creature's tongue, finger, or underwear to hear funny sounds or twist their heads for a total meltdown. It also comes with a walkie talkie kids can use up to 50 feet away to make the creature say anything they want.

    Crate Creature Surprise Big Blowout ($80, Target)

  • ZOOMER PUP

    13

    The Zoomer Playful Pup is the puppy kids always beg for, without the shedding and pee accidents. The pup responds to sound and touch and can perform more than 25 tricks, such as rolling over and shaking a paw.

    Zoomer Playful Pup ($100, SpinMaster)

  • CIRCUIT BUILDER GAME

    14

    This kit comes with five circuit games that kids 8 and older can build from scratch. Using actual kid-safe electrical parts, they can engineer their own robot operation game, quiz show board, and more.

    Klutz Maker Labs: Circuit Game ($25, Scholastic)

  • FINGERLINGS HUGS

    15

    Fingerlings just went from fitting in the palm of a kid's hand to full sized. Kids can cuddle these toys just like stuffed animals, but they also repeat what kids say!

    Fingerlings HUGS Plush Interactive Monkey ($30, Target)

  • BOTLEY CODING ROBOT

    16

    Botley is a kid-friendly robot that teaches kids how to code through interactive games and activities. The cool thing about Botley is that it includes a remote programmer so kids can use it screen-free.

    Botley the Coding Robot Activity Set ($70, Best Buy)

  • KARAOKE MACHINE

    17

    This is not the average karaoke machine. It includes eight songs, different voice effects, and has the ability to use "Music Magic" to turn down the main voice of songs played from MP3 players or tablets and phones so kids can perform the concert of their dreams right from the living room.

    V-Tech Kidi Star Karaoke Machine ($40, Amazon)

  • OSMO CREATIVE KIT

    18

    Elementary age kids can bring drawings to life with this kit that interacts with their art. Whatever they draw appears on the screen. There are also fun games.

    OSMO Creative Kit for iPad ($35, Amazon)

  • HATCHIMALS TROPICAL PARTY PLAY SET

    19

    Hatchimals collectibles lovers can add lights, sounds, and musical effects to their play with the tropical party play set. The play set has light up stages, a spinning dance floor, and secret sounds for kids to unlock!

    Hatchimals Tropical Party Playset ($30, SpinMaster)

  • GALAXY LIGHT HOVERBOARD

    20

    This hoverboard has futuristic LED galaxy lights on the wheels and can go up to seven miles per hour. It's a splurge but sure to be a hit with kids 8 and older.

    Jetson Rogue Hoverboard with LED Headlights ($150, Target)

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