The Best Kids’ Tech Toys and Gadgets of 2017
Modern technology is incredible, and it’s affecting what we get for our kiddos. Kids’ tech products can make our lives easier, teach valuable skills, or simply provide entertainment.
And of course, they ask for the latest and greatest toys! But with so many options out there, what are the best products to purchase? We’ve researched the top tech toys and gadgets of 2017 so you can check out one easy list to see what might suit your little one.
From educational options such as history apps or a wooden coding robot, to daily aids including a digitally-enhanced water bottle or motion board, to science-y fun via a handheld hologram or building sets, here are our picks for the best tech goodies! And of course, they’re all available online.
LEGO’s popular tech kit combines classic building bricks with modern technology for a fun introduction to robotics and programming.
It’s a great value compared to other sets because there are 5 project options. Follow the instructions on the free app (you will need a tablet) to build a robot named Vernie, Frankie the interactive cat, a rover with tool attachments, a musical guitar, or an automated production line that builds on its own!
The set includes a play mat, a wall poster, over 840 building pieces, a LEGO Move Hub (which uses Bluetooth connectivity), Interactive Motor, and a Color & Distance Sensor. You’ll need to provide 6x AAA 1.5V batteries. Best for ages 7-12.
If you’ve got a higher budget, Puro Sound kids’ headphones are the best. This wireless model comes in four colors and features volume limiting ear protection (85 dba) and up to 18 hours of battery life.
The lightweight aluminum frames are higher quality than plastic, and the soft ear cushions are great at blocking background noise, even on an airplane. Puro offers a 1 year warranty on this model.
These award-winning (2017 Parents Choice Award), headphones are great for even the littlest kids. They vary by 3 decibels (as opposed to the standard 5 decibels) and have a max volume of 85 dB — the recommended max volume for children according to the World Health Organization.
They’re also hypoallergenic and feature a non-tangling cord. Available in 2 and 4-packs as well as singly. Each one comes with 6 stickers to decorate — they thought of everything! For children ages 3-10. Up to 4 BuddyPhones can be shared in the same device thanks to a built-in splitter.
Kids can hold a hologram in their hands with the Merge Cube, an award-winning holographic toy.
Download the app with a tablet or smartphone, and the virtual reality cube comes to life on your screen. This unique product is iPhone and Android compatible and works with most VR/AR goggles. Free apps and games are included. This is a cool and affordable tech toy!
This uber-popular game system from Nintendo was released in March, and since then it’s become the fastest-selling home console in history.
Switch is actually a home system and a handheld unit. There’s a dock that connects to your TV at home, allowing for multi-player gaming. Then you can take the tablet out of the dock and on the go!
You can even share the controller and flip the stand to play with others while out and about. Its best-selling game? The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. Kids will love playing Zelda, Splatoon, and Super Mario on this system (and adults probably will too). Switch is available in various colors, from standard gray to neon pink.
Have a kid who's hard to hydrate? Gululu makes water consumption into a game.
Gululu is an interactive 3D water bottle — yes, you read that right! Kids drink water to grow their virtual pet, encouraging them to keep drinking. As they progress (and hydrate), they can win rewards in the Gululu Universe. It's pricey, but there's a health benefit to this digital game. (Or a digital game benefit to the water bottle, depending on how you look at it.) So it's 2 for 1! Best for ages 3+
This is a real smartwatch for little kids!
It features 128MB internal memory, a card slot for extra memory, USB cable, rechargeable battery, camera & video, alarm, activity tracker, games & apps, Bluetooth technology, emergency contact info, and more. The Kurio Smart Watch is sure to wow the tech-savvy guy in your life.
Instead of running around outside, modern kids are often sedentary, playing around on gadgets. FluidStance’s new motion board for children allows them to work energy out while they’re gaming, snacking, watching — whatever!
When they balance on the sturdy board, they channel their energy and improve focus. Best for kids ages 5 to 8, the weight capacity on Grade is 125 lbs. The motion board is made from over 90% recycled post-consumer materials, including tires and milk jugs, so it’s good for the environment as well as your kids’ health.
Best for ages 5-8, the Circuit Conductor allows kids to create their own circuits. The set comes with 12 different electrical function blocks and special insulated wires.
Once they’re set up, kids can scan their circuits to see actual electrical flow and complete various challenges. A free app provides games, stories, and information about electricity. The Circuit Conductor makes a great gift for a future engineer or scientist!
The Kids Edition tablet by Amazon Fire is the perfect tablet for little ones. While it's not super powerful, the 7" Fire 7 has everything a kid needs, including 16 GB internal storage and up to 8 hours of battery life.
Parental controls are included, as well as a two-year warranty - no-questions-asked product replacement - and one year of Amazon's FreeTime Unlimited service, which allows access to a ton of content (15,000 apps, books, movies, games, and TV shows).
The Kids Edition includes a great, durable foam-like case, available in blue, pink, or yellow. Best for ages 3-12. The Fire HD 8 Kids Edition is available for a bit more money ($129) but we think the 7 is a great value.
New this year from Hasbro, the latest FurReal robotic animal is an adorable baby tiger.
Roarin’ Tyler plays interactively with kids — multiple sensors allow for expressive eyes and 100+ sound and motion combinations. This furry tech toy is posable and responsive; he roars back when kids roar at him! Tyler is also quite sizable, making for satisfying tiger snuggles. 4C batteries are included. Ages 4+
If you have wooden coding play set Cubetto ($225), expand its possibilities with Primo Toys' new Logic Pack.
The kit contains brain-building materials for little ones: 4 new story books, stickers, and 32 illustrated flash cards. Cubetto the robot, Owlay Longhay, Penguin the cat, and Lulo the fox lead kids on new, logic-oriented adventures — no screen needed! Ages 3+
Manipulate and mold Play-Doh, then watch your creations come to life on screen with this fun set.
Use an iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, or select Android devices to scan the critters you make with the stamper, then see them in the app’s virtual world! Add more characters and features to the world as you go.
The set includes the studio, 5 character stampers, 5 action stampers, 4 tools, 15 cutters, 7 cans of Play-Doh, and instructions. Ages 3+; app content is for ages 4+
Osmo Coding Jam is the latest add-on created for the award-winning learning game system Osmo ($79.99). Coding Jam uses musical creativity to teach coding, aligning with the Arts in the STEAM initiative (aiming to teach kids Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math).
Each physical block in the set creates an on-screen sound. Kids can snap the blocks together to create Jams, then add complexity with chord progressions and layered tracks. Best for ages 5-12. Note: You'll need an iPhone or iPad to use Osmo.
Little Star Wars: The Last Jedi fans will love this 16” remote-controlled BB-8 droid from Spin Master. Use an Android or iOS device to direct this little guy, or use the Follow Me mode and BB-8 will roll after you.
The corresponding app contains activities, plus official Star Wars sound effects. Best for ages 6+, the droid needs 1 400 mAH and 1 Ni-MH 1800 mAH battery (included), and 3 AAA batteries (not included).
Do you have a kid who loves to sing? Check out the Singing Machine! Available in black or white, it features fun LED disco lights (with dimmer settings), and it will play tunes from pretty much anywhere.
It features a CD player, Bluetooth audio streaming, and 2 microphone jacks (one microphone included).
The unit will connect to your TV, displaying lyrics while a powerful built-in speaker projects the songs. The Singing Machine connects to the iPad or iPhone — it can even play your Pandora radio! This karaoke unit is so much fun for parties.
Teddy Ruxpin is back, and now he uses modern technology to tell his signature tales. LCD eyes show over 40 expressions and his animatronic mouth syncs to his speech.
The cuddly 14” bear includes 3 stories, and a free Storytime app contains 7 more (you can use him with or without the app). He also features a singalong mode, and kids can control the stories and songs with touch sensors — start and stop by squeezing his paw, or touch Teddy’s vest to fast-forward. Best for ages 3+
Free apps from EON Reality teach history and science using Virtual Reality. The King Tut VR app, created as part of a museum exhibit, presents the Tomb of King Tutankhamun on your iPad, Android, or iPhone.
Kids can check out hieroglyphics and artifacts in a 360 degree virtual environment in their own home. Enter the heart of King Tut’s tomb, where visitors aren’t allowed in real life!
EON also makes an educational app about the human body, and one that tours the Magi Chapel. Available on iOS and Android. Best for ages 9+
Don’t leave the littlest ones out of the tech fun! This simple drone from Little Tikes is designed especially for preschoolers — it even has an ergonomic remote control for tiny hands.
The drone stays suspended in midair using auto-hover technology, making it easy to fly with the simple, one-touch controller. Protective propellers and an auto shut-off feature adds safety to the flying experience. LED lights and sound add to the excitement. Best for 24 months to 5 years.