Last-minute tech Christmas gifts for the children in your life

There’s still time to win at present-buying for the pre-teens

VTech Marble Rush Adventure

Technology isn’t just for grown-ups. There are plenty of high-tech gadgets that are aimed at younger ages – and they don’t have to involve passive screentime either. The newest crop of gadgets for kids can be educational, creative or technically focussed.

VTech Marble Rush Adventure


The Marble Rush Adventure set should bring out the budding engineer in your child. It puts a new twist on the traditional marble run, bringing electronic modules that allow tracks to be split or marble runs to be reset, with music and sound effects to help enhance the whole experience. There are 128 pieces that can be built and rebuilt, with 10 marbles to run through the set. Jump, stunts and even a ferris wheel has been included, so you – sorry, your child – can create the marble run of their dreams. Because the set is modular, other sets in the VTech Marble Rush series can be added to expand your run and create a whole new experience.


Osmo Creative Studio


Osmo Creative Starter Kit

Osmo kits combine the real world with the digital, using your tablet’s camera to interact with Osmo pieces in fun yet educational games.

The Creative Kit brings your child’s drawings to life, through three games: Monster, which brings drawings to life; Newton, which pairs physics with your child’s doodles; and Masterpiece, which transforms any image into traceable lines so your child can copy any picture they want to practise their skills.

The reflector and stand are essential, so keep them safe. The reflector directs the camera's field of view; the stand keeps it at the correct angle. That is why there are separate kits for Amazon Fire tablets and the iPad.

Vodafone Neo Smartwatch


Vodafone Neo smartwatch

There are plenty of cheap smartwatches aimed at children, but parents are understandably wary of letting just any device gain access to their child’s life. Given that the GPS devices can track your child’s movements and location, that would be a wise approach to take. So when the brand behind the smartwatch is a trusted one, it gives you a bit of reassurance. The Neo Smartwatch for kids comes with Vodafone’s stamp of approval and is designed to keep children and their parents to stay in touch in a secure way. Only nominated contacts can get in touch by call or text, and all contact is made through the accompanying Smart app.

It also tracks every thing from the child’s current location to their activity levels during the day. It has a camera that allows your child to take photos and share them with you through the Smart app.

Aimed at children aged six to nine years old, it is colourful and cartoon-themed, with a number of Disney- and Marvel-themed characters to choose from to personalise the watch. Each of the characters have custom animations, – Elsa will throw some ice magic around, for example.

Controls are straightforward: two buttons and a touch-sensitive screen so you can scroll through the menus.

Toniebox Starter Set


Toniebox Starter Set

This child-focused audio system will win fans among parents because of its screen-free nature. The Tonie audio system has everything: music, stories, cute characters and an easy to use system that can go anywhere with your child. The Tonies in question are the swappable characters that trigger the music and stories; all your child has to do is place a character on the speaker. The first time you choose a Tonie, the story will download onto the Toniebox and start playing. You can then play it anywhere, any time. Change the Tonie, change your story or music. The speaker is durable and easy to use, and turns off once the story has ended – perfect for bedtime.

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Fitbit Ace 3


Fitbit Ace

This fitness tracker for children tries to keep things fun. Aimed at children aged six and older, it is designed to motivate your child to build healthy habits, monitoring their activity and sleep, and throwing in some fun challenges to help. The battery life lasts around eight days on a single charge, so you won’t be held hostage by a charging regime. It’s also swimproof, so your child doesn’t need to take it off in the pool or shower.