Go high-tech with your family gifts this year. Electronics have become a central component of family time. From video games to movies to digital photography, there’s an electronic gift for everyone in the family and more importantly, for the whole family to enjoy together.
Tablets evolve every year and most now offer family-friendly apps. Select from age-appropriate programs like alphabet and color games for preschoolers, free-form drawing programs for artistic kids, and even books that the device can read aloud. Perfect for long car rides, your kids can watch movies, play games and listen to music, while you can use the tablet to check email at rest stops. The only problem? Deciding whose turn it is to play!
Video game console
Think beyond board games for a fun family gift! These days, video games appeal to more than teenaged boys. There are several consoles to choose from, but focus on a gaming system that will encourage interaction. Many offer competitive sports packages, dancing games, puzzles and driving games. Choose an array of games and wrap it all up — console, games and controllers — as a gift for the whole family.
Turn movie night into a full-blown movie theater experience with an HD projector. Your favorite movies become life-size when projected onto a long, light-colored wall. Whip up buttery popcorn and create a movie experience the whole family will enjoy. Plus, in nice weather, you can plug the projector into an extension cord and show a kid-friendly movie on your closed garage door.
Give the gift of fun family memories with a handheld camcorder. Dozens of brands offer hundreds of styles from those small enough to slip into a pocket, to ones durable enough to withstand a beach vacation. Try to find a simple camera with few bells and whistles so everyone can take a turn capturing footage. Also, look for a camcorder that comes with editing software for your computer — and online tech support — so you can create and edit family movies together.
MP3 players come in all shapes, sizes and price points. For a musical family gift, choose one with enough memory that each family member can have their own file for their favorite music, plus a file of songs approved by the whole family. Let family members take turns listening to the player with earbuds or get a set of external speakers and take turns playing DJ around the house.
Plus, a family MP3 player makes road trips more fun. Newer cars are built to accommodate MP3 players, but you can always get an adapter kit for older models so you can bring the MP3 player on road trips in almost any vehicle. Hit random or shuffle so that each person’s favorite tunes will play randomly.
Watch: Top 10 tips for creating better home movies
Ever wanted to capture your best moments on camera and show them off? Look no further, with this video you’ll be making home movies in no time.