GeekDad Holiday Gift Guide #3: Kids’ Gadgets & Video Games

Reading Time: 6 minutes

Need suggestions for your geeklings’ holiday gifts? We’re on it! Check out part three of our list. For more ideas, make sure to check out our other gift guides in the right-hand column.

DrawdioDrawdioDrawdio
The Dradio kit will delight and amaze, while teaching your geekling some cool things about science. It’s an easy build for younger kids, coming with electronic components, PCB, hardware and pencil. You supply a couple tool and a AAA battery. Once assembled, just start drawing, and listen while your words and art create music. Well, sound, really. Simply speaking, Drawdio is a mini-synth that uses feedback from the battery current, passing through the pencil-writing on the paper, to generate tones. By varying what you write or draw, you get different notes, leading to a lot of laughter and experimentation which, as everyone knows, is the best way to learn. Buy it from Adafruit.

LioncubLioncubWowWee Alive Lion Cub Plush Robotic Toy
A stuffed animal with preprogrammed sound and motor effects activated by a myriad of sensors. It has plastic bones that can be felt through the fur and it’s programmed to respond like a real cat would, with touch sensors along its head and spine, triggering purrs when stroked or cradled. There is even a tilt sensor inside, triggering a yowl of protest if it’s handled in a rough manner. The cat’s eyes and mouth also animate, approximating the facial expressions of a real lion cub. Read the review or buy it from Amazon.

DockDockHannah Montana iPod Dock
For the Geek Girl who loves her iPod and can’t get enough of Hannah Montana. Disney’s Hannah Montana iPod Dock lets her share her tunes in style. Multiple inputs also allow an electric guitar and/or microphone to be plugged in and played through the speaker system. There are individual volume controls for the various sources (as well as an echo control for the mic), allowing for all sorts of music mix combinations. If you’re looking for something a little funkier than the usual iPod boom box for your tween, this might fit the bill — don’t expect Harmon Kardon-quality sound, but then again it’s at a significantly lower price point. Buy it from Amazon.

NightvisionNightvisionEyeClops Night Vision Goggles
The manufacturer claims that the EyeClops Night Vision are the only true night vision goggles in toy form and I’m inclined to believe it. There are competing products but typically they’re just a head-mounted green light that looks cool in the dark. With the EyeClops goggles you’re getting the real deal. The secret is that the human eye can’t perceive infrared light, but these goggles can. Great for midnight cookie raids! Read the review or buy them from Amazon.

Wiipinball2Wiipinball2Wii Pinball
GeekDads of a certain age will have a blast with this faithful replica of 10 classic William’s pinball tables. The Wii implementation is extremely well done. You use the trigger on the Wiimote and Nunchuk as flippers, and you shake the controllers to bump the table. Pinbot, Black Knight, Space Shuttle and Funhouse are the house favorites around here. Included with each table is a history of the table and also a detailed walkthrough on each scoring strategy. Four-player multiplayer is supported so the whole family can play at once. Buy it from Amazon.

Nerf_gunNerf_gunNerf N-Strike EBF-25 Vulcan
The ultimate Nerf gun. Packing a 25-dart belt and firing three darts per second, this bad boy will put an end to all those foolish Nerf wars. Either that, or elevate them to a whole new level of suction-cup carnage! Buy it from Amazon.

BlocksBlocks
Young Mad Scientists First Alphabet Blocks
These ABC blocks are a must for the young mad Scientist in your Life.
They look more like something you’d use as a prop for Call of Cthulhu RPG, but these could be a real treat for any sparkling new GeekDad or GeekDad-to-be who wants to teach their child both the importance of literacy and mad science in a Dr. Horrible Freeze Ray sort of way. These solid wooden blocks cover all 26 letters of the alphabet, as well as beautifully carved representations of key mad scientists memes – dirigibles, lazers, nanotechnology – one for each letter of the alphabet. Buy from Xylocopa.com.

DsDsNintendo DS
The hottest handheld game system of the holiday season. Packing two screens, wireless connectivity, a touch screen and great 3D graphics. The games are relatively inexpensive, plus if you have old Game Boy Advance cartridges, the DS can play those as well. Incredibly well rated on Amazon with 85% of reviewers giving it five out of five stars. Buy it on Amazon

Lego_star_warsLego_star_warsLEGO Star Wars: The Complete Saga
LEGO’s licensed Star Wars products have been one of the company’s most notable successes since their release in 1999. So it comes as no surprise that this success translates to a new medum — video games populated by LEGO minifigs. In this game, you can solve puzzles and play through the classic scenes of the six movies of the Star War saga. Buy it from Amazon. (Also available in PS3, Xbox360 and DS.)

Dado_cubesDado_cubesDado Cubes
Toy of the Year by Creative Child Magazine. These cool interlocking blocks help kids explore architectural principles such as balance, structure and proportion. Buy them on Amazon.

BionicamBionicamEyeClops BioniCam
This fun science toy boasts a clever idea — take a digital microscope and make it fun, quick and easy for kids to use. Connect it directly to the TV to view your images, or use the integral LCD screen and flash drive to scan on the go. Read the review or buy it from Amazon.

ZoobZoob
ZoobMover Power Building Set
If you have little kids at home, you may despair of having remote control building sets for them to play with. But with ZOOBMover, they can create their own simple RC vehicles and learn a lot at the same time. With the product combining simple building parts with a two-lever controller, even a toddler can operate a ZOOBMover vehicle.
Read the review or buy it from Amazon.

WandWandVan de Graaff Levitation Wand
You’re used to performing feats of technical magic, but do you have a magic wand? The Fly Stick is a battery powered wand with a tiny Van de Graaff generator inside. It comes with a set of mylar shapes that levitate, dip, and bounce as you wave the wand. Just remember to pronounce "leviosa" correctly, or who knows what might happen. Buy it from ThinkGeek.

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