4 Ways To Tech
Your Child

Keeping your kids — even the young ones — connected in a high-tech world means giving them the tools they need. Find out what you need to tech your child.

Tabeo 7-inch Tablet

“A tablet is 100 gifts wrapped up in one,” says Nicole Fonovich, co-author of the Luca Lashes educational apps. "Just like television had brought the family together in the 50's, or even radio prior to that, family tablet time can be a wonderful bonding and learning opportunity for families," says .

The Tabeo (Toys "R" Us, $150) is the tablet for kids. Featuring a 7-inch screen and Wi-Fi connection, it's pre-loaded with dozens of kid-friendly apps.

The Tabeo is big on protection. A soft bumper prevents damage from accidental drops and Internet safety controls enable parents to filter out the bad stuff. Now maybe your child will let you have yours back...

10 More tablets for kids >>

Nintendo Wii U GamePad

Nintendo Wii U GamePad (Best Buy, $299) is a new way to Wii. A 6.2” LCD touch screen brings the game right to your fingertips. The GamePad is a controller, monitor, camera, sound system and Web navigator in one — and you can play not just those in the same room but friends around the world in the new Miiverse gaming community. You can even use the GamePad to control your TV and DVR and surf the Web on your home TV screen.

The basic package includes an 8GB Wii U system, GamePad controller with stylus, sensor bar, console AC adapter, GamePad AC adapter and HDMI cable in a trendy compact design.

10 Great educational kids' games for Nintendo DS and Wii >>

Keeping up with the Joneses

“Kids don’t even see the difference between digital and non digital gifts. It’s all one big world to them, but the best digital gifts are the ones that allow them to create and explore," says Robin Raskin, founder of Living in Digital Times.

Each year, the must-have gifts get more complicated and more expensive. How can parents avoid going broke while trying to keep the kids up-to-date with ever-changing technology?

“The best way to prevent having to continually replace your children’s gadgets is to purchase quality, durable items,” says Andrew Schrage, co-owner of Money Crashers Personal Finance. As examples, Schrage recommends investing in more expensive but longer-lasting features, such as laptops with spill-resistant keyboards or shock-resistant cell phones.

Tech gifts for teens >>

Vtech Kidizoom Twist Camera

The Vtech Kidizoom Twist Camera (Amazon, $60) is the perfect starter camera for kids as young as 3 years old. Vtech improved on its already popular camera series with fantastic upgrades: Twist the camera lens for self-portraits, set the timer for group photos, shoot videos with audio and edit photos and send them to your printer and to friends.

This is a real camera that's made for kids. It features 2.0 megapixels, 4x digital zoom, 256 MB internal memory and SD card slot, PC/Mac compatibility and preloaded games.

Why you should give a kid a camera >>

Firefly GlowPhone

The Firefly GlowPhone (Firefly Mobile, $50) is geared for ages 8 to 12. In addition to being able to call Mom and Dad, children can dial from the 50-entry phone book, choose from preloaded MIDI ringtones and JPEG wallpapers, read text messages and play basic games.

Since there’s no keypad, your child can call only those numbers that are programmed. The GlowPhone features one-way text messaging: Your child can receive but not send texts. Available in pink and black, this kid-friendly phone even has a flashlight.

5 Reasons why your kids should have cell phones >>

Quality matters

Oftentimes, our kids know more about the devices they want than we do, so it’s important to do our homework before investing in a new gadget. “Unfortunately, when shopping for tech gifts for kids, price cannot be the only determining factor,” cautions Schrage. “Consider paying a little extra for a high-quality, durable item – it may be worth the extra investment.”

Schrage encourages parents to shop eBay and Amazon to find deals at reasonable prices. (They’re great places to sell the items you’re replacing, too!). “Also, consider signing up for email updates from the website FatWallet, which advertises both online and in retail stores the best deals for tech gadgets.”

More on parenting in a technological world

Technology helps disabled children
Kids and technology: Age-appropriate guide
Mom vs. Dad: Technology and your kids


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Comments on "Must-have gadgets for high-tech kids"

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Try it out and then reassessI suggest getting the space set up before school starts. but made no formal announcement about the conference. closed gathering with the attendees and special guests. March 29 2012A number of readers have asked about this claim by the president wondering if it was correct Well yes but its kind of meaningless and its missing some important contextObama clearly made this claim in order to rebut suggestions that the administration is opposed to building pipelines principally the Keystone XL pipeline We have explored some of the made about that pipeline project before But is the president straining too hard with this claim Lets exploreThe FactsThe circumference of the Earth at the equator is 2409155 miles so we will use that as our guidepostAn administration official said that the president is making this claim based on two years of of the (2011 is not yet available) The data show that from 2008 to 2010 total oil and gas pipelines have increased by 27899 miles So thats circling the globe "and then some"Case closed As readers of this column well know we are also interested in context and whether facts are meaningful This is where the president ends up on shaky groundFirst of all the total number of pipelines in 2008 was about 238 million miles So that means that Obamas gain over two years amounts to a little over 1 percent of that total That sounds much less impressive than "circle the Earth" In fact compared to George W Bush Obamas overall total is not that impressive PHMSA only shows data for gas lines (not crude oil pipelines) going back to 2001-2002 the first two years of Bushs administration But even that limited data set shows the number of pipeline miles increased by 122000 miles in that two-year period Thats five times around the globeIn the first two years of Bushs second term for which we also have data on crude oil and petroleum pipelines Bushs overall mileage increased 60000 twice around the globe If you focus just on oil and petroleum pipelines Obama actually has a somewhat better case: The total went up almost 7000 miles for a gain of 6 percent in 2009 and 2010 whereas it was basically flat in the first two years of Bushs second term But a large chunk of that increase more than 2000 miles came from the start of the original Keystone pipeline that Obama however can claim credit for the 1000-mile-long Alberta Clipper pipeline that the and which Nevertheless the bulk of Obamas gain 19500 came from gas transmission lines essentially natural gas piped into homes and buildings By and large these pipelines require approvals from states and municipalities and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission an independent agency Petroleum-related pipelines meanwhile require state approvals or federal environmental or Army Corps of Engineer approvals unless they cross international lines at which point presidential approval is required In the speech Thursday Obama suggested that all of these new pipelines were an administration achievementThe Pinocchio TestClearly the White House thought this was a clever way to make a point But this is a good example of a fact that sounds much grander than the reality Rather than admit that the administration boosted the mileage of pipelines by just 1 percent the White House opted to spin it into "circle the Earth" Moreover Obama also was claiming credit for some pipelines that required little or no administration input One Pinocchio ()Check out our candidate Follow The Fact Checker on and friend us on Track each presidential candidate'sRosh Hashanah. Weiner reflected on the exchange,000-job statistic,S. Browns campaign manager, according to exit polls.that??s the official count from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.But could the official count be missing somethingIn a two economists point out that nowadays there are lots of companies in the United States that aren??t counted as manufacturing by the government but are still heavily involved in the manufacturing of goodsThe prevalence of these ??factory-less goods producers???? Apple Inc is a prime example?? suggests that the country might have more manufacturing capabilities than official statistics suggestThe authors Andrew Bernard and Teresa Fort of Dartmouth??s Tuck School of Business define a ??factory-less goods producer?? as a company that designs and coordinates the manufacturing of various goods It just doesn??t have an actual factory or assembly plant; that part is usually contracted out Apple for instance does just about everything else in the United States except stitching its iPhones and iPads together That??s outsourced to ChinaRight now the Census Bureau these US companies as ??wholesale?? firms instead of ??manufacturers?? But that??s certainly an arguable point After all many of the engineers and designers at these firms would count as manufacturing workers if their company happened to have a factory in-house even though they??d be doing the exact same jobAnd this could really make a difference in the statistics Bernard and Fort estimate that if allfactory-less goods producers had been reclassified as manufacturers that would have added from 431000 to 1934000 workers to the US manufacturing sector in 2007 (The United States officially had about 14 million manufacturing jobs that year)There are a few caveats however In an interview the authors stressed that they weren??t able to tell how these numbers have changed over time?? in part because the historical data on factory-less goods producers is inconsistent So it??s hard to tell how much of the manufacturing job loss since 2000 say is attributable to a shift toward factory-less goods production Researchers would like to explore that aspect in the futureBernard also noted that the rise of factory-less goods producers can??t account for the entiredecline in US manufacturing jobs which have fallen from 17 million in the 1990s to 119 million today:??We can safely say that the decline of manufacturing jobs is a true decline?? he says ??But that declinemay be mitigated by the fact that some of those jobs and capabilities have still stayed within the country??The upshot he says is that ??we may have to rethink our knowledge of what manufacturing firms do??Further reading:?C Here??s a from the Census Bureau exploring the question of whether producers of factory-less goods should be counted in the manufacturing sector?C Is US manufacturing set for a comeback?Cor The United States"But in the 2012 presidential campaign, incest and when its necessary to protect a womans life. I had owned and run companies in San Jose in the past.

Tina December 05, 2012 | 12:07 PM

Geez there are SO many gadgets out there nowadays for kids. I agree with Liz - I don't necessarily agree with introducing technology to kids at such a young age. I like the learning games though.

Liz December 04, 2012 | 6:54 AM

I have mixed feelings about introducing my kids to tech stuff at such a young age, but it helps to read Luca Lashes' comments... Puts it into perspective.

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