Here are some of the best kid-friendly gadgets to buy this year.
LeapFrog LeapBand Activity Tracker
Fitness bands may be all the rage amongst adults, but there’s no reason that kids need to be excluded from the fun, especially if they are keen to emulate the trends adopted by their parents. This wearable watch-style gadget does just that, but rather than merely keeping track of the number of steps kids take each day, it also doubles up as a mini gaming device, with 10 different titles to experience, via the medium of its Tamagochi-like virtual pet mascot. Its robust, chunky design should also help it to survive the wear and tear to which it will inevitably be subjected by youngsters.
The base model Amazon Fire is an ideal investment for anyone who wants to let their child experience the benefits of tablet ownership, without giving them an iPad worth hundreds of pounds. This model has everything you would want from a modern device of this kind, including a high resolution screen, modestly powerful hardware and access to hundreds of apps and games, many of which are free to download and use. With integrated cameras and web capabilities, it is a great tool for entertainment, education and communication.
Kano Computer Kit
A lot of parents are eager to help their kids learn about computers and coding from an early age, to prepare them for the digital life that lays ahead of them. The computer kit offered by Kano is an ideal investment in this respect, as it comes with a Raspberry Pi 3 and a number of add-ons, as well as its own-brand operating system which helps kids entertain themselves, while also learning how to design their own applications. Rounded off with an attractive design and some well built hardware, it is a great gadget to fuel adventurous, growing minds.
VTech Kidizoom Action Cam
Another gadget which aims to emulate the features of an adult-oriented product but package them in a way that is suitable for children, the Kidizoom Action Cam is effectively an affordable equivalent of the GoPro range, which can help budding extreme sports fans and movie directors cut their teeth. The video capturing capabilities may be fairly limited, but it is bundled with a case that protects it from liquids, to prevent damage being done when it is used outdoors, as well as featuring a mounting grip that allows it to be attached to a range of items. Fix it to a bike, pop it on a helmet or strap it to a chest, and your kids will be ready to rock and roll, while being able to review and edit their footage when they get home.