WiFi HiFi Holiday Gift Guide 2019: Gifts for Kids

Christine Persaud

Published: 11/01/2019 09:30:02 AM EST in Sound

WiFi HiFi Holiday Gift Guide 2019: Gifts for Kids

We're back with the WiFi HiFi holiday gift guides! Each week, we'll release new themed gift guides, chocked-full of great tech gift ideas for different people on your list. This week, we're looking at great gifts for kids.

Kano Build-Your-Own Windows PC

This is a great gift for a child who has shown an interest in STEM fields, or who you want to introduce to STEM activities. Built in partnership with Microsoft, this computer is an 11.6" touch-enabled, Intel Atom powered tablet/laptop that comes with a suite of creative and coding tools and loaded with Windows 10 in S mode. Out of the box, follow a step-by-step storybook to connect the parts, and watch LEDs on the printed circuit board light up as you explore the labeled components with a magnifying glass before attaching the transparent case back, and a full-sized keyboard cover. Learn how the computer works through an app that uses binary code, play coding-related games, and connect to the free online community. With 4GB memory, 64GB storage (upgradeable via microSD slot), and two USB ports, it has dual-band Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, one HDMI port, 3.5mm headphone jack, 3.5mm speaker level jack, and microphone input, keyboard, and cover. $399 Kano.me

Apple AR iPod Touch

If your tween/teen wants a smartphone but you aren't quite ready to go that route, consider the new AR iPod Touch, which can connect to the Internet when on Wi-Fi so they can still surf the web, access social media, and play app games, but it does not include cellular connectivity. It boasts an A10 Fusion chip, immersive augmented reality (AR) experiences, and Group FaceTime. It comes with up to 256GB of storage space for offline listening through sources like Apple Music and iTunes. With the latest iOS that provides three times faster graphics, games on the new iPod touch run smoothly, says Apple. With an Apple Arcade game subscription, kids can also access more than 100 games with no ads or additional purchases, and download for offline play. AR features can be used while gaming, for educational purposes, or when web browsing. New capabilities include shared AR, persistent AR, which is tied to a specific location, and image detection. Space grey, white, gold, blue, pink, and PRODUCT(RED); $249 (32GB); $369 (128GB), $489 (256GB), Apple.ca

Nintendo Switch Lite

Lots of kids will be excited to receive one of these personal gaming consoles under the tree this holiday season. As a pared down version of the popular Switch, it's designed solely for handheld game play. Light and compact, it is smaller than the Switch, without a kickstand, support for video output to a TV, a dock, HDMI cable. It can play Nintendo Switch games that support handheld mode, although some may have restrictions. Compatible game modes will be listed on the back of game packaging and in Nintendo eShop. For games that support tabletop mode, players can wirelessly connect Joy-Con controllers (sold separately) to Nintendo Switch Lite. You will, however, need a device to recharge Joy-Con controllers, such as the Joy-Con Charging Grip. Enjoy compatible multiplayer titles like Super Mario Maker 2, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, Splatoon 2 and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate via Nintendo Switch Online (requires a subscription) or local wireless multiplayer. Yellow, gray, or turquoise, MSRP US$200. Nintendo.com

Play Shifu Plugo Mat

This clever mat, designed for school-aged kids, works with various accessories to help kids learn about patterns, math, and other STEM topics. For example, use the physical building blocks in the Construction Kit to re-build a broken virtual water pipe on an iPad screen effectively so that water runs once again. Levels get more difficult each time, so kids of many ages and levels of understanding can play. US$50 per kit, or a pack of two for US$75. Separate accessory kits, like the Construction Kit, Hands-On Math Kit, Adventure Game Kit, Navigation Play Kit, and Music Learning Kit, are US$35 ea. Playshifu.com

Samsung Galaxy Tab A 10.1 Tablet

This tablet is designed for families and for kids to safely use it thanks to not only its durable and easy to hold design, but also a dedicated section that contains child-safe content. It has a 10.1" narrow bezel display, dual speakers with Dolby Atmos 3D surround sound, and long battery life. Samsung Kids features a large and curated library of branded content, including learning-based games, books, movies, and TV shows. When in this mode, there are no ads, no in-app purchases, and no access to the Internet or app store. Starts at $300. Samsung.ca

Kano Star Wars The Force Coding Kit

Another entry from Kano, this kit is designed specifically for a child who loves Star Wars. It's a build-it-yourself Bluetooth connected motion sensor and creative coding kit thatt lets kids code, create, play, and share Star Wars adventures. Using sensors and light, it features various Star Wars-themed adventures, characters, creatures, starships, and sounds, all activated by waving your hand. The Kit comes with a step-by-step storybook, exclusive Kano Star Wars stickers, printed circuit board (PCB) with sensors and LEDs, a case that includes a light ring, top + bottom case, and power button, interchangeable icons (Rebel Alliance + Galactic Empire), and two AA batteries. Download the free Star Wars The Force Coding Kit app via iTunes, Windows Store, and Kindle Store. A compatible Windows 10 PC, Mac, iPad, or Kindle Fire 10HD with Bluetooth LE is required. $100. Kano.me

Particular GoCube

For the older child who loves puzzles like the Rubik's Cube, this is a new, high-tech version reinvention that allows players to compete against others from around the world. It teaches you to solve a classic puzzle and sharpen your skills, with sensors to track and measure activity (even when disconnected) and an inertial measurement unit to track the cube's position. It consumes low power via its rechargeable battery and connects through Bluetooth 5.0 to the GoCube app. The app provides a real-time display of the cube, analyzes movement, and enables fun interactive tutorials so anyone can learn and enjoy cubing. Pre-packaged games and options are available to play with friends in person and online. It comes with a charging stand, charging cable, and pouch. US$99. Particula-tech.com

Sphero Mini Soccer Robotic Ball

This cute toy is controlled by a mobile device, and teaches STEM while you play. Housed in a custom black and white shell resembling an actual soccer ball, it also has eight cones to inspire creative challenges. Sync it with the Sphero Play app to activate a scrimmage with Kick Drive, program your robot with precision around the cones using the new Block Drive horizontal coding feature, or make the transition to learn more challenging functions through block-based programming in the Sphero Edu app. Mini Soccer has colour-changing LEDs, an accelerometer, gyroscope, a 10-metre range Bluetooth connection, and a rechargeable battery with 45 minutes of playtime. It can be used with the new Block Drive feature, which provides an introduction to basic coding. US$50 Sphero.com

Amazon Fire Kids Edition Tablet

Designed specifically for kids, this tablet comes in three sizes - 7" and 16GB, 8" and 32GB, and 10.1" and 32GB, along with one year of Amazon FreeTime Unlimited, a content subscription service with access to age-appropriate books, educational apps, videos, and games. Each model can accept an optional microSD memory card for additional storage and boast battery life from seven to 12 hours, with the 7" and 8" including quad-core processors and the 10.1" model an octa-core processor. There are parental controls that allow parents to do things like hide all entertainment content until educational goals are met, and a Bedtime mode that, when activated, turns FreeTime off at night until a specified wake-up time. The Parent Dashboard, accessible via any web browser, lets parents view daily activity reports and remotely set usage limits. They start at $130 and each one comes with a blue or pink kid-proof case and a two-year guarantee. After the first year, Amazon FreeTime is $4/mo. for Prime members and $6/mo. for others. Amazon.ca

Kano Disney Frozen 2 Coding Kit

Yes, Kano has three entries on this list given its stellar new line-up of cool themed STEM-based toys for kids. This third one, developed in partnership with Disney, is a coding kit centred on the popular Frozen movie franchise. It's a build-it-yourself Bluetooth motion sensor and creative coding experience whereby kids can code, create, play, and share Disney Frozen adventures. Open the box and follow the step-by-step storybook, learning about the board, button, and bits that make up the motion sensor, before connecting it to your compatible device, and bringing it to life with a wave of your hand. Take on step-by-step coding challenges to discover new powers, connect code blocks, see the Javascript behind them, learn about loops, logic, and variables. Then make snowflakes, control blizzards, and conjure your own ice palace with a wave of your hand. Make and play with Anna, Elsa, Kristoff, Sven, and Olaf. Discover costumes and companions for your avatar as well. Creations can be shared with the Disney Frozen Kano World community. Inside the box is the step-by-step storybook, exclusive Kano Disney Frozen 2 stickers, printed circuit board (PCB) with sensors and LEDs, case (light plate, top + bottom case, power button), and two AA batteries. To play, download the free Disney Frozen 2 Coding Kit app, available from Kano.me, iTunes, Windows Store, and Amazon Kindle Fire App Store. A compatible Windows 10 PC, Mac, iPad, or Kindle Fire 10HD with Bluetooth LE is required. $100 Kano.me

Puro Sound Labs PuroCalm

The PuroCalm sound-isolating earmuffs are perfect for those kids who need to be shielded from the loud sounds of a concert (kid-appropriate, of course), sporting event, fireworks, or other sounds that might be too loud for their sensitive eardrums. They provide 27dB of safe and comfortable broad-spectrum noise reduction. Specially designed and sized for children ages 3 to 16 years old, they feature heavily padded, rotatable and foldable ear pads. They feature two super soft and lightweight ear pads that are cushioned with foam and can rest around little ears gently. With a smooth, sliding arm and swiveling ear cups, the adjustable design ensures a perfect fit over a child's head, creating less tension. The earmuffs fold into a compact, easy-to-carry size. The noise reduction can also come in handy for older kids trying to avoid distraction while studying, sleeping on planes, or simply trying to find relief from sensory overload. US$30, pink or green. For each pair sold, Puro will donate a percentage of the sale to KultureCity, an organization that provides sensory-inclusive spaces and universal accessibility for children with disabilities.

3Doodler Create+ Essentials Pen Set

Ideal for crafty teenagers 13 and older (or creative adults, too), this pen, the fifth-generation model, features a dual-drive gear system that creates a jam-free experience. It can doodle in PLA, ABS, or FLEXY, and the kit comes with more than 600 feet of plastic filament in 15 colours. US$80 3Doodler.com

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WiFi HiFi Holiday Gift Guide 2019: Gifts for Kids

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