Cool gifts for the young ones on your shopping list
These days, even the littlest of kids aren't intimidated by technology – they're drawn to it. Here are some gifts they're bound to love.
Walking Robot Set by Magformers | $150
How could Magformers get any better? The colourful magnetic tiles, which lock and unlock easily to let kids create unique structures, are among the most frequently used items in many kids’ toy boxes. But the company has upped its game this year with its new 45-piece Walking Robot Set. Attach the tiles to the included robot body, flick the switch and watch your creation walk slowly across the floor. The instructions offer ideas for many different types of robots to build. If your kids get bored of the robot element, they can use the tiles to build whatever structure they want or add the tiles to their existing collection.
Cuddlebots ($11 each) & Nano Junior ($9 each) by Hexbug
If your newly mobile little one won’t stop chasing the family pet, she’d probably love one of the options from Hexbug’s new line of toddler toys. Made of durable material that will survive the roughest of drops and tumbles, these little robotic “bugs” scurry around at just the right speed with the flick of a switch (batteries included). The Cuddlebots are about the size and shape of a large egg (but far less fragile, obviously!). They are available in a bumblebee or firefly, while the Nano Junior features 12 centipede-like legs and a rubberized body available in pink, blue or green. Both are suitable for toddlers aged 18 to 36 months and, thanks to their small size and affordable price, they make perfect stocking stuffers.
CHiP Robotic Dog by WowWee | $250
Your kids won’t believe their eyes when they see all the things this lifelike robotic dog can do! Strap on the included smartband (it looks a bit like a watch) and CHiP will follow you around or come when he’s called. Play a game of fetch with the included smartball – CHiP will find it, grab it in his paws and bring it back to you. CHiP’s advanced sensors respond to voice commands – tell him to sit, lie down, dance or do yoga, for example, and he’ll show you his moves. He’s so lifelike it’s almost creepy! When he needs a charge, CHiP will bring himself to the charging station and get himself ready for the next time you want to play.
Hatchimals by Spin Master | $60
Set to be one of the most coveted toys of the season, Hatchimals are reminiscent of Tamagotchi virtual pets that were a huge trend in the 1990s – but way cuter and with tons more technology packed inside. Each magical creature comes fully enclosed in a large egg, about the size of small football. It takes about half an hour of interaction with the egg – tapping, holding and rubbing – for it to eventually hatch. When it does, peel away the egg pieces to find your furry little Hatchimal, which you’ll now have to take care of and play with as it evolves from newborn to toddler to kid.
Mini Cooper Kids Ride-On Car | Holiday price $299
Why wait ‘til they’re 16 to get their first set of wheels? Your preschooler will go bonkers for this rechargeable ride-on car that’s a crazy-close replica of the popular and super-stylish Mini Cooper. It goes forward (at two speeds, 5 or 2.5 mph) and reverses (at 2.5 mph) and also includes parental remote control – just in case. With working front lights, authentic-sounding horn and engine sounds, a surprisingly realistic interior and even a connector and speaker to play MP3s, the Mini Cooper Kids Ride-On Car will quickly become your kid’s go-to outdoor activity. Tip: instead of sweating over wrapping this large toy, drape a cute patterned flat sheet over it, tuck the sides underneath and slap a bow on top. Done!