I wannit, I wannit, I wannit. Kids wearables can track children who have the tendency to go MIA or simply monitor their activity. But connected toys and wearables for kids can – and should – be fun too.
Here are the crazy fun wearable tech gadgets and app controlled toys that your kids will actually want to wear and own and play with.
Read this: A parent and child group test of kids wearables
We’ve picked out tech toys for a range of ages and for a variety of prices below, let us know what we’ve missed in the comments below.
BB-8 Sphero and Force Band
Ah, the BB-8 Sphero. This one is a little pricey, what with the Star Wars tie-in but this little Bluetooth droid will become your household’s favourite pet and with none of the usual upkeep. Drive BB-8 around with an in-app joystick, record AR ‘holographic’ messages which appear on your phone or let the app controlled toy just roam around the place. Plus with a couple of voice commands (via your phone), you can put it to sleep, alert it to danger or just get BB-8 to beep (again, via the phone).
Read this: The best kids trackers for child safety
The Force Band wearable is also available, letting you steer the Sphero with your hand gestures – turning its head, raising your hand to stop it or pushing your hand to send it (him? her?) off. Some users have even, somewhat hopefully, asked if BB-8 might be able to follow us around when wearing the Bluetooth Force Band. Perfectly acceptable for adults to own, too.
$129.99, sphero.com | Amazon
The Mover Kit combines everything you need to keep a kid occupied – building, imagining and moving. It’s designed to be made and coded by the children themselves and the fun, light up wearable – which snaps on to the wrist – can be modified to do whatever they like.
Read this: Tech Will Save Us CEO Bethany Koby on creating the Mover Kit
That means treasure hunts, bike lights, tech costumes and connected obstacle courses. So long as they move.
‘I’m gonna wipe you out!’ Grush the gaming toothbrush is a pretty fun addition to the connected bathroom. We’ve seen similar products before but Intel just awarded Grush $1 million it the America’s Greatest Makers reality TV show so it must be onto something.
The affordable motion sensing toothbrush, which uses Intel’s Curie platform, makes brushing less of a chore for kids via games within the smartphone app. Parents can also track their child’s progress to make sure they are brushing properly.
$59.99, grushgamer.com | Amazon
Moff Band is an awesome motion sensing wearable toy for kids. The light, brightly coloured Bluetooth slap-on band acts as a controller so for instance, you can swing your arms to move Pac-Man around in the classic arcade game on the iPad app. Trust us, you look/feel like a fool but you also really don’t care so a ten year-old will love it.
Plus there’s a bunch of other guitar, ninja and laser club based games within the Moff Band app (for Android and iOS) which make sound effects depending on the kids’ gestures. This is ‘play’ in the truest sense of the word because it requires an imagination and for that we salute it. For ages 3 – 12 and up.
$$54.49, moff.mobi | Amazon
Disney Playmation is cool. Another imagination-friendly connected toy, the set up consists of tiny action figures, basestations and Repulsor gloves and, kicking off with Marvel’s Avengers, has a lot of tie-ins planned. Or, well, they were planned. Frozen and Star Wars were supposed to be coming, but we haven’t heard about them in a while.
It’s a toys to life crossover that relies on a smartphone/tablet app to guide the missions and infrared and motion sensors to let the kids act like Iron Man to hit the Activator targets. Disney has stopped selling these in the store, but you can pick them up on Amazon for a very affordable price.
$19.99, playmation.com | Amazon
Mattel View-Master DLX VR
If you’re into virtual reality but you don’t necessarily want to strap your kid into a Gear VR, the latest
View-Master DLX VR is a nice entry point. Stick your smartphone into this kid-friendly Google Cardboard viewer and blow your children’s tiny minds with “reels” (cardboard discs/downloadable updates) like the National Geographic’s 360 degree Wildlife videos and an animation of a space shuttle.
If you’re not in the mood for the DLX VR, which has better lenses, a focus wheel and headphone support, you can also pick up the original, simpler View-Master VR.
$28.99, view-master.com | Amazon
Gameband for Minecraft
More an accessory for teen Minecraft fans than a toy, the Gameband is nonetheless a pretty interesting wearable. Not affiliated with Mojang in any way, the band houses 8GB of storage so that Minecraft players can carry around their in-game creations to show them off round their friends’ house.
There’s a customisable 140 LED display atop the band plus it’s splashproof i.e more accident prone teen friendly than you’d expect. Note: the price doesn’t include the Minecraft game. Note: The company has moved on to make smartwatches, but you can still pick up the band in stores for now.
$26.99, gameband.com | Amazon
The GreenDino is a smart plastic toy dinosaur that little kids can chat to which is fairly standard these days. Kids can learn to count and spell with it by pushing its belly and asking its questions or even just enjoying knock knock jokes. The difference is that GreenDino is powered by IBM’s Watson supercomputer so it’s smarter than most. Like AI smart.
Originally crowdfunded on Kickstarter by a company called Elemental Path, the idea is that GreenDino monitors your child’s progress and ramps up the difficulty of the questions and answers. It’s available in green, pink and blue and is aimed at kids aged 5 to 9. Clever but cute.
VTech Kidizoom DX
This updated smartwatch for kids wants to get them more active but it also looks like a brightly coloured, chunky way-more-fun Apple Watch. With motion sensors and a pedometer, there’s eight pre-installed apps and games including activity based challenges and a digital owl for maths challenges.
There’s also a camera built into the Kidizoom DX and a bunch of photo effects, frames and filters as well as 3D watch faces to choose from. It’s due out in autumn 2016 and comes in green, pink and blue.
$45.99, vtechkids.com | Amazon
Sphero’s latest connected toy is Spider-Man, but this isn’t like any other action figure you’ve ever played with. It updates regularly over Wi-Fi and has speech recognition, so it can tell you jokes and stories. Sound kind of familiar? Because it’s kind of like a kid-version of an Amazon Echo.
You can also play imagination based “missions” where you take on classic Spider-Man villains like Doc Ock. No, you can’t control your smart home yet, but imagine how cool it would be to tell Spider-Man to turn off your lights.
$149.99, sphero.com | Amazon
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