Holiday gift guide: what to buy for the kids

Little ones typically want toys, but what if you want to give them something a little more tech friendly that the whole family can get into?

Logitech PowerShell Controller

Price: $129

If your gaming obsessed kids already have an iPod Touch or iPhone, it might be time to turn their portable iDevice into a portable console. Logitech can help

Think of a gaming controller and cut out the insides, leaving it open for your children to throw in their iPod Touch or iPhone. That’s what Logitech has made in the PowerShell Controller, a casing that packs in a battery to keep everything charged, a directional pad, play buttons, and a couple of bumper buttons to let you turn that device straight into game console inside a game controller.

At just a hair under $130, it’s a cheap way to make a sproglet’s Christmas a little bit happier. It might even mean they’ll bother you less on the long drive to Grandma’s.

Check out the Logitech PowerShell…


Price: $179

A delightfully unique product, the Sphero is a remote control ball that your kids can use with an Android, iOS or Windows Phone.

The concept is that of a remote controlled car, but applied to a perfect sphere,  Kids can direct the ball left and right, make it do tricks, race other Spheros, and even turn it into an augmented reality object that can be spoken to through a phone. There are even some starter programming applications, so your kids can start learning to program with the Sphero.

Check out our hands-on with the Sphero…

Nokia Lumia 520

Price: $179

One of few sub-$200 smartphones, the Lumia 520 is Nokia’s first Windows Phone budget entry, packing Microsoft’s colourful and easy-to-use operating system inside a design with that sports equally colourful livery.

The Lumia 520 is eye catching to be sure, and will even link up with the Xbox Live account your kids are always playing, meaning the more connected games they play, the more their GamerScore improves.

If that doesn’t mean much to you, consider the Lumia 520 because it’s been designed to be easy to use, and for your kids, that’s probably a good thing.

Check out our review…

Kensington EVAP Pouch

Price: $20

For when the inevitable happens, the EVAP Pouch by Kensington can be a lifesaver for your electronics.

These small silver packs are lined with tiny silica beads, and when you seal a gadget inside for a couple of days — one that has had an unfortunate meeting with a pool or the beach — the EVAP promises a shot at bringing that gadget back to life.

It’s one of those things every tech-connected family should have. Just stick it in the “in case of emergency” cupboard.

Check out our hands-on with the EVAP Pouch…

Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 Kids

Price: $299

Your kids play with your tablet, and all the while you fear it being dropped, broken, or drenched with cordial. It’s time to get them a tablet to call their own.

Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 3 Kids is 7 inch tablet, finished in yellow and wrapped in a Kid Grip Cover that makes it easy for little fingers to hold, and offers some protection against knocks and drops.

It also comes with a child-friendly Android overlay that makes Google’s mobile operating system simpler to operate. A camera, video player, and drawing apps are built-in, and at $299 the Tab 3 Kids is also a wee bit cheaper than the iPad

Check out the Galaxy Tab 3 Kids…