The holiday shopping season is already upon us, when people head out to malls and browse numerous online retailers to find the perfect gifts for their loved ones. It can be difficult to find just the right gift, especially when you’re purchasing something for a child. Technology changes quickly and new gadgets made for children seem to be released every few weeks, quickly making any purchases you make almost obsolete. What, then, could you safely buy a child that will keep them happy for years to come?
Here are four great gifts for children this holiday season:
1. iPod Touch
Everyone these days wants fast access to their music, videos, pictures, social network accounts, games and web browsing no matter where they are. This includes children. While it’s feasible to purchase a smartphone with these capabilities for an adult, it often doesn’t make sense to purchase one for a child. That’s where the iPod Touch comes in. With most of the same specs as the iPhone 4, the latest generation iPod sports 8, 32 or 64 GB of storage and full support for any iOS app that doesn’t require a constant data connection or GPS. With Wi-Fi, iCloud and iMessage, kids can access the Internet, synchronize their media and send/receive text messages from their mp3 player. The included rear- and front-facing cameras let children take pictures and videos to share with friends and family.
2. Nintendo Wii
In the past, video game consoles were one trick ponies. If you wanted to play video games, they were great, but you couldn’t browse the Internet, watch movies, check the weather or play any games that couldn’t physically fit in the system. With the latest generation of consoles, this trend was broken completely. The Wii, Nintendo’s flagship system, incorporates all of the previously-mentioned functions as well as a revolutionary control system that encourages players to get up and move around. Now parents no longer have to worry about their children just sitting and playing video games all day when they can play video games by moving around and being active.
3. Lego MINDSTORMS
Legos have long been a mainstay in the toy-boxes of children interested in building anything they can imagine. The Lego Mindstorms kits kick it up a notch, adding hardware and software that can be used to build and program robots. Suitable for older children interested in computers, technology and programming, these kits can be used to quickly construct simple robots and program them to perform small tasks, like rolling forward, turning around and rolling back. If you’re buying a present for a child interested in robotics, this is the gift for you!
4. Support a Cause
Rather than purchasing a gadget or game for a child, consider donating to a non-profit organization in their name. You could donate to provide clean water to people in Africa, purchase a wheelchair lift for a local non-profit that helps people with disabilities or sponsor a child through an organization like Compassion International or World Vision. Whatever you do, pick a cause the child may be interested in or has a connection with and sit down with them to discuss what that donation will be used for. If you receive a thank you letter or a donation certificate, frame it and give it to the child so they’ll have a tangible reminder of the good work that’s being done in their name.
About Thomas Stone
Thomas Stone is a contributing author at technected.com