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Kidovation's Gift Guide to the Top Tech Toys

With Christmas chiming in, the Kidovation crew thought it would be useful to create a guide to the gifting season with a review of our coding and tech toys through the eyes of Mum Julia and Joshua aged 6. Being both an educational and engaging win-win; these toys have lots of fans in children and parents alike! Experience the fun for yourself; if you hurry you might catch the Cyber Week Sales...

Here are Julia and Joshua’s thoughts:

1. Dash by Wonder Workshop from £147

Recommended Ages 6+

Dash seems to have garnered his own fan following; regularly seen zipping around and chattering away at our hackathons! Kids are amazed at his magical ability to talk as well as the gripping storytelling element of the iPad games. As well as this, you can change Dash’s lights and make him move!

Although the toy label says it is suitable for ages 6-8, kids as young as 5 and as old as 10 have thoroughly enjoyed interacting with the interface. Dash can adapt to any age and skill level; the variety of free apps as your child grows up ensures new challenging coding exercises and games. These games range from blockly puzzles to straight forward remote control games and everything in between. A firm favourite in our house, with everyone but the cat! It can be charged easily with a USB, which is useful as it runs out of battery quickly.

Buy it here!

2. Code-a-pillar by Fisher Price from £30

Recommended Ages 3 - 6

CP is pretty much indestructible; though you might need to set up mazes and puzzles to engage the kids and substitute for its lack of accessories. Still, if you asked kids they would say she is “really cool because you can pull her apart and stick her back together!” She also has a fun personality- she gets grumpy when you leave her and plays a song for you to dance. As well as this, she is easy to use. You can arrange segments of her body depending on the programme you want her to follow; a great introduction into logical thinking and problem solving for children. Through trial and error, it is fun to see how children navigate their way to get her from point A to B. CP is battery operated but it lasts quite a while.

Buy it here!

3. Ozobot from Ozobot from £70

Recommended Ages 6+ (but smaller kids will also enjoy them)

Everyone enjoys these charming little creatures. They operate on a couple of different levels presenting unique challenges for everyone. At its simplest level, the robot follows the line you draw and changes colour to match. There are so many different colour coded programmes to uncover, unleashing different features like making it go faster or making it whizz around! There is a whole community to connect with providing ideas to do more advanced programmes which will hold their interest for even longer. USB charges quickly.

Buy it here!

4. Botley from Learning Resources from £59

Recommended Ages 5-8 (but fine for smaller kids)

Another robust coding robot for littler ones. Who could resist that cute face? Botley comes with a lot of accessories to do all sorts of things like football and dominoes. It’s worth buying the extra accessory packs for fun. It’s another robot that teaches the basics of logical thinking with a simple remote control to programme actions (no apps or devices required). Alternatively, you can get them to follow a line on the play cards. Battery operated but lasts forever.

Buy it here!

5. Artie from Learning Resources from £69

Recommended Ages 7-11

Artie is a huge hit with our more creative kids. If you have a budding designer then this is the coding pal for them. True to her name she produces beautiful drawings for you as a reward for your programming! Although you have to be very precise with the paper you put it on and the positioning, once set in motion Artie teaches you good problem solving and coding skills -you can use pre-built programmes with great designs and adapt them or build your own drawings. It is battery operated but lasts for a long time.

Buy it here!

6. Boxer from Spin Master from £30 - £70

Recommended Ages 6+

Rather complicated and few instructions, this one requires a time commitment to really understand and a lot of parental help. This is more a tech toy than a coding robot; but kids enjoy features like playing cards and football. The feature cards provided give you access to different games but set aside time to work it all out!

Buy it here!

7. Oculus Go Virtual Reality headsets by Oculus from £150 - £200

Recommended Ages 13+ but this is guidance only

A fully immersive surround sound and image experience in one headset! These things are amazing. They require linking to wifi but once connected they give you access to a whole range of online content with everything from travelling around the body as a blood cell, to tours of Anne Frank’s house, and being chased by dinosaurs. Obviously epic roller coasters is everyone's favourite but we also loved the range of educational content and YouTube 3D. Hours of fun for the whole family, just make sure you're sitting down. USB charged, powers down very quickly.

Buy it here!

Please leave a comment if you enjoyed this guide or if you bought any toys from this guide! All recommendations are independent and not promotional.

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