MP3 players, digital cameras, cell phones…what on earth did we do for Christmas gifts before the digital age?! One hot trend identified by the toy expert from Mattel that I interviewed was technology.
Hot this year is D-Rex, the interactive pet dinosaur. Your child can ask it questions (and expect dinosaur-like answers and grunts!). It boasts life-like movements, obeys commands, displays affection and protects its owner. This toy is geared especially to boys aged 7-9. Not only will they love the action of this dinosaur, its burping sound effects will keep them enchanted!
For the youngest set, Fisher Price has introduced the Kid Tough DVD player. It has a colour lcd screen and will withstand whatever a toddler throws at it (or wherever a toddler throws it!) It’s ideal for personal viewing at home or on the go, has volume control and headphone jack. It even plays cds.
Also ideal for your toddler, is Spotlight Storytime Theatre. The projector features three ways to share storytime: Theater Mode; Read-Along Mode; and Bedtime Mode, with a soothing voice reading the story aloud. Story books in bright colors are adjustable when projected on the wall or ceiling. Story refills and books can be bought separately in a variety of themes, and include some of your child’s favourite friends from Disney, Nickleodeon and Marvel.
For your more mature child, consider Girl Tech Password Journal. Password Journal Voice recognition allows your child to verbally password protect her journal so that it will only open for her! The glow light and magic pen work together to give even more privacy. Write things down with the magic pen, and the glow light will reveal them only to you, leaving the page looking blank to the prying eyes of younger siblings!
Always on Christmas lists around my house are games for Nintendo DS. This year there’s something for everyone, with hot games for girls like TinkerBell for Nintendo DS. Players can play minigames, explore the world of Pixie Hollow, and create and customize over 100 unique dresses, outfits and accessories for Tinker Bell.
Older boys will enjoy Spectrobes: Beyond the Portals. Spectrobes is the first original Disney franchise created by Disney Interactive Studios. Last year the first game of the series, Spectrobes, was among the best-selling third party Nintendo DS games in North America.
Finally, stuff some stockings this year with HEXBUG Micro Robotic Creatures. They’re micro-sized robotic creatures that feels their way around sensing objects in their path and avoiding them, using bump sensor feelers.
Also of interest to your tech-minded child will be www.toyexpress.ca, where kids can make a wish list that you can view, there is age grading to help you as you choose gifts, and lots of games and contests.
Speaking of contests, if you’re interested in winning a fantastic prize pack including many of the toys mentioned in this column, get over to the urbanmoms contest page to enter now!