Top 10 Awesome Gifts For Kids
We are excited or sorry to tell you this (depending on your preference), but the holiday season is quickly approaching. Soon, the gentle strains of carols will invade literally every retail outlet you set foot in, reminding you daily that you need to shop harder if you’re to complete your list without the last minute crunch. Perhaps this handy list will help- a wide variety of online options we’ve put together to help you delight the most difficult (and smallest) people to shop for.
Note: the items on this list are recommended by Amazon for ages 8-13.
Who doesn’t love Jenga? Only the very jumpiest among us, as the venerable party game continues to sell like hotcakes each year. We can think of only one way to improve such a fun, inclusive game- make it bigger. WAY bigger.
Jenga Giant features blocks 8 times larger than the standard version, and the stack can grow- depending on the skill level of the players, of course- to over five feet high. Just make sure to get out of the way quick if you’re the one to send the blocks tumbling down.
9Cozmo by Anki
Available for pre-order to ship on October 16, Cozmo is billed as a “supercomputer on treads”- a learning, thinking robot companion with personality to spare. It can express emotions, map out its surroundings, and challenge you to games- and the more you play, the more it can learn.
The creators aimed to create a product only seen before in movies, a truly interactive partner with a robust artificial intelligence (its R2-D2-like sound palette certainly helps complete this impression). Cozmo comes ready to power up out of the box- only an iOs or Android compatible device is required.
Another app-enabled gadget, Sphero may not have the personality of the previous entry- but it makes up for it in versatility and maneuverability. It’s a waterproof, pet-proof ball that can be controlled with a high degree of precision by its accompanying app, but that’s just part of the fun.
Sphero can be used as a controller for accompanying games, or roll around smashing virtual enemies in a real world environment using augmented reality apps. Users can run obstacle courses, or enjoy multiplayer action with friends or family- there are over 30 apps available for different types of gameplay. Those of us who have cats will probably soon be wondering how we ever got along without one of these.
7Star Wars Remote Control Millennium Falcon Quad
While this is certainly not the only quad-rotor drone for kids available, it IS the only one to cleverly house its rotors inside the body of a detailed replica of Han Solo’s famous freighter, the Millennium Falcon. It features movie-realistic sounds, LED lights and is chargeable with a standard USB cable.
For indoor and outdoor use, the drone has a range of over 200 feet and only requires 6 AA batteries for its included remote. Manufacturer assumes no responsibility if it is unable to complete the Kessel run in under 12 parsecs.
6Capture the Flag REDUX
This tech-infused variation on the classic Capture the Flag game is a perfect way to entice kids into actual outdoor play. It is designed for low-light play, so a safe space to run- the backyard, park or campground- is the only thing required.
Using an LED lighting kit and glowing orbs in lieu of flags, players must sneak past red checkpoints to capture their opponents’ orb and return it to base without being caught. 12 different games are included, accommodating up to 16 players.
5Razor Crazy Cart
The Razor Crazy Cart is not for every child, and while it is easily the priciest item on this list, there’s no denying its awesomeness. If you have the means and a child in your life who is never hurting for the latest toys, allow us to help you utterly nail your gift this year.
The cart has sensible safety features, including anti-tip casters and a lap/shoulder harness combo. It also corners on a dime, has a “drift bar” for controlled drifting and reaches speeds of up to 12 miles per hour. You may wish you could jump into one yourself- and if you’ve got considerably more funds to shell out, you can with the full-size version for adults.
4OVERDRIVE Starter Kit
OVERDRIVE looks like nothing less than the far future of Hot Wheels. Futuristic cars race around a sleek, futuristic track, controlled- since this is the future- by an iOs or Android app. Players can even race against AI controlled vehicles as well as friends, or forgo the racing and try to take out opponents in Battle Mode.
While the starter kit offers plenty of action, there are plenty of expansion options including upgrades for additional speed, corners and even a “collision kit”. Of course, a variety of upgraded vehicles are also available.
$59.60 to $99.97
Of course, there are always those families who prefer to forgo the fun and games and just jump right into actual combat. For them, the ever-reliable Nerf has this wide variety of battery-powered blasters, with different configurations and features- truly, an embarrassment of destruction-delivery options.
Aside from the standard Elite model, choose from the tommy gun-style Mega Mega Mastodon, sniper rifle-like Longshot or the double barreled Rhino Fire. The Nerf Cam ECS model even has a built-in camera, able to hold 2000 photos or 100 minutes of video.
2Marvel Legends Captain America Shield
Now, if you’re unsure of the level of tech-savviness of the child you’re shopping for, whether they prefer indoor or outdoor play, or are otherwise torn between options, it is tough to go wrong with this. Given the character’s insane popularity, most boys and girls alike would be thrilled to be gifted with the shield of the Star-Spangled Avenger.
The full-scale (24 inch) shield weighs about eight pounds and has adjustable straps. It’s perfectly suitable even for adult cosplay, but there’s no way you’ll be able to keep from checking out the many more expensive options available if you’re into that kind of thing. Like the costly Captain America Anniversary version, the crazily expensive Aluminum shield, and the even more expensive fiberglass replica shield.
1Star Wars Science Force Trainer II Brain-Sensing Hologram Electronic Game
And now for something truly unique. The Force Trainer II comes with a Bluetooth-enabled headset that uses EEG technology to actually sense the brain’s electrical signals- and allow the user to control a tablet-projected hologram, using only their thoughts.
Following instructions from Yoda, users are made to fight droids, levitate X-Wing fighters (which apparently, all Jedi must learn to do) and the like through over 25 levels of “training”. While an iOs or Android tablet is required, the Force Trainer II offers a unique interactive experience that will pique the interest of practically any child on Earth.