It’s a complaint we have all too often- today’s kids seem to be spending more and more time in front of screens instead of exploring the world around them. But, in their defense, modern children are exposed to technology of all varieties, so it makes sense that many are naturally drawn to it. Fortunately, there are a great number of ways to positively enrich and encourage your son’s interest in the field the next time you’re giving him a gift- for his birthday, a great accomplishment, or just because. Take a look at these suggestions to see which one might be right up your son’s alley.
Whether your kid is just a toddler whose interest in technology doesn’t yet expand beyond a love of droids thanks to the Star Wars franchise, or slightly older and starting to get a grasp on the workings of robots, a Sphero BB-8 robot is sure to be a hit. Hidden under its undeniably cute exterior, this round robot is filled with advanced technology, ranging from voice recognition to holographic recording capabilities to a unique adaptive personality that changes over time through interactions. While younger kids might just be excited to talk to BB-8 or control it through a corresponding smartphone app, older children can fully explore all of its advanced capabilities to their fullest extent.
For parents who still want to encourage activity via technology, an X-Doria KidFit is the way to go. This child-optimized fitness tracker has a fun, corresponding app that easily breaks down fitness goals and data into easy-to-understand and motivating challenges and accomplishments, turning fitness and activity into a game instead of a chore. And for dads with extremely active sons, it’s designed with comfort and durability in mind, featuring a slap-band wristband, week-long battery life, and splash-proof design (but not completely waterproof).
Kindle Fire Tablet
While any tablet might seem like an obvious yet simple gift for any kid interested in technology, a Kindle Fire is an especially good choice for a child. For younger children, Amazon’s special Kids Edition Kindle Fire comes with a kid-proof case, a 2 year replacement guarantee should your son almost inevitably drop it at some point, a wide variety of educational and child-friendly apps, and built-in parental controls. If your boy is on the older side and ready to branch out on his own, but still absentminded or accident-prone, a traditional Kindle Fire is cheaper than most other tablets out there today and easy to replace, should the worst happen. Load it up with some apps like Overdrive that will let him access virtual library books so you can encourage that he spends at least some time on there away from all the games.
You might equate drones with remote-controlled helicopters or other similar toys of your childhood, but drones are much more than that. Most can fly to quite a respectable distance and height while still in range of their remote, while others come equipped with cameras to take stunning aerial photos and videos. Drones are a great gateway for any kid with an inkling of interest in aviation, as they’ll be able to explore the skies, at least around the neighborhood, on their own terms. Even though at a glance drones may seem off-putting due to the price, there are tons of cheap drones out there to get him started on that he’ll love. And who knows- you just might have a future pilot or photographer on your hands!
If your boy is on the older side and seems to have an interest in how things are made or how they operate, then a Raspberry Pi is the choice for him. These miniature, cheap computers can be programmed to perform a variety of functions and will give him a great-head start on the basics of programming. Wondering just what exactly this credit-card sized board can do? To start, have him look up tutorials on how to create a retro gaming console through his Xbox or make his own music using nothing more than computer code. You’ll be amazed at what he’ll be rigging up around the house next.