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Holiday Gift Guide 2016 – Preschool Age

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It’s that time of year again! I know, it seems like it was JUST summer! Yet here we are, and I’m ready to let you know about all the tech gifts your friends and family members will LOVE this holiday season! First age group up, is the little ones! (I’m skipping over baby tech, since most of the tech gadgets for babies would actually be a present for the parent, since the baby won’t get a ton of play time out of something that will monitor them while they are sleeping). So, lets talk about the best tech to get your preschool age child!

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Tiggly – $30 – While Tiggly is a very inexpensive tech gift, that is a lot of fun, you will need to use a tablet with it. Tiggly comes with letters or numbers or shapes depending on which set you purchase. It’s a fun interactive way to get kids spelling basic words, learning letters, learning shapes, colors and even basic math! The tablet will display a picture and a word on the screen, and you have to find the letters and place them on the tablet to spell the word. Awesomely, the Tiggly apps are available on both Android and iOS devices!

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Code-a-pillar – $40 – I saw this in action at CES, and thought it was GENIUS! The code-a-pillar has sections of it’s body that are different directions such as go straight, turn left, turn right. As you put the different sections together and then “run the program” it will follow the specific directions. This fun little toy can teach preschoolers all about the basics of coding, even before they are ready to understand what coding is!

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LeapReader Junior – $40 – Much like it’s older sibling the LeapReader, this is a great way to get kids super excited about reading. I used to be a big jerk about these devices, thinking that why don’t you just sit down and read with your child, until I actually used one. It was way more interactive than just us sitting down to read a book, and it was something we could still do together! There are a ton of different board books you can get for this system, and they all have really great interactions that encourage reading and learning from books!

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ToyMail Talkie – $50 – This is a super fun little toy, especially for families with one parent deployed, or just one who travels a lot. You could even make it fun by getting one for your child, and one for their best friend! How it works is you download the app on your phone, and pair it with your child’s device. You can send messages to the Talkie through the app on your phone, and you can be reading stories to your child every night, even when you aren’t there. As I mentioned, you can also chat Talkie to Talkie. Gone are the days of the tin cans strung between houses. Your child and their best friend can coordinate play dates or just say good night! The Talkie is secure, and won’t allow anyone to talk to your child that you have not manually approved.

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Samsung Galaxy Tab E Lite Kids – $130 – This is a perfect beginner tablet for kids. It comes with a bumper case to handle all those drops that kids will almost assuredly have. There is also a safe operating system so the kids can’t get into anything on the tablet that they shouldn’t be viewing. As a parent you can always flip over to the parental section and use the tablet just like a normal android based tablet. It has a TON of native apps that are super educational and fun for your kids.

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Cubetto – $225 – At over $200 this one is not for the faint of heart, but the materials and functionality of this toy definitely justify the high price tag. The box and board are made of wood, and will definitely last for a very long time. This toy is a great way to introduce coding to your children, much like the Code-A-Pillar. Instead of putting the code together directly on the device, you use the board to create your “program”. This definitely makes it feel much more like actually coding a program that, when run, will make the box do the things you have told it to do. Plus that little box is super cute!

Getting any of these gifts for your preschooler is sure to put them WAY ahead of the curve! I love that they are educational, AND SUPER FUN!

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About the author

Sarah Werle Kimmel

Sarah Werle Kimmel is a digital parenting coach and family tech expert. She has spent the last 16 years of her career working in IT Services in Orange County, California, as a Microsoft Certified IT Manager supporting over 100 small businesses. During that time she started Family Tech LLC to help families understand and manage the technology in their home. She has regularly appeared as a family tech expert on KSL News, BYUtv and Studio 5, and has been invited all over the world from tech companies like Lenovo, Verizon, Microsoft, Dell, and Samsung. Find out more on her website SarahKimmel.com

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