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Tiny but mighty: Small electronics with big features for families

Whitney Coy is a freelance writer and editor based in Columbus, OH, where she lives with her husband and two daughters. She writes frequently for SheKnows, as well as several other websites. She writes on topics including parenting, trav...

Electronics for families

Family life is crazy. Your schedules are hectic and you all have different ideas of how to spend your free time. Thankfully, the technology Gods have blessed us with gobs of devices designed to help us coordinate our schedules, stay in touch and stay entertained. These tiny gadgets are our favorites for keeping your family in line without filling up your purse.

family on electronics at home

Smartphones

The phone you get and the plan you select have a lot to do with your personal preferences and your budget, but smartphones are a great tool for families on the go. Pair every adult and teenager in your family with a smartphone and you can sync your calendars, email, text and of course call each other. Each person will delight in his or her own uses for the phone, from organization to games and television. They fit in the palm of your hand or your back pocket and do so much more than you would ever expect from a phone.

Top ten smartphone apps for moms >>

Tablets

Whether you choose a tablet or an e-reader, you’re making a purchase that your entire family can enjoy. You can use it as an e-reader and a mobile computer. Your teens will find tons of apps they love and your younger children can play learning games and watch movies. You don’t have to get one that runs on a cellular network -- just hook it up to your wireless network and you’re good to go at home or anywhere else with free internet. They’re about the size of a notebook and the newer the model, the thinner it’ll likely be.

Great gadgets for teens >>

Digital camera

Every family needs a camera to catch those memorable moments. You can get a camera in just about any size, but the smallest models are the most family friendly. They fit into small hands and are easier to use with fewer buttons, so even the youngest members of your family can enjoy taking photos. If you’re not so thrilled about your youngest tots playing with your camera, consider investing in one of the newer kid-friendly cameras found in the children’s electronics sections at most stores.

Best beginning DSLR cameras for moms >>

Video camera

You never want to forget the way she squealed when she opened her birthday present or how fast he ran at that last track meet. You won’t have to if you capture those moments on video. Invest in a small hand-held video camera to use during those moments you never want to forget. The Sony Handycam is a great example of a small video camera that’s durable and user-friendly enough to stand up to family life, yet has high enough quality to record your most important moments.

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What's the one electronic your family just can't live without? Leave a comment below!

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