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From interactive robots to smartwatches specifically designed for little ones, there's no shortage of electronics for kids. But today's kids, who have grown up around tools like Alexa, GPS, and the iPhone, are also a discriminating bunch. To help you find the best option for your needs, we researched the hottest electronic gift options to keep kids entertained, engaged, and even physically active.
When purchasing an electronic gadget for kids, make sure to consider the recommended age for the product, price, and durability. Fortunately, most of the options below have parental controls to keep all materials age appropriate. In terms of price, some electronic toys tend to be costly, but investing in high-quality electronics with durable (aka kid-proof) materials is wise if you want to ensure your kids can use them for a long time.
Here, the best electronics for kids that make great gifts for toddlers to teens.
Best Overall: Amazon Fire 7 Kids Edition Tablet
Dimensions: 8.7 x 6.3 x 1.0 inches | Charge: Micro USB | Recommended age: 3 years and up
Purchase includes year-long subscription
Tough durable case
Battery drains quickly
If you buy only one electronic device for your child, make it this popular, affordable tablet. It comes in a tough, rubberized case (in a choice of pink, purple, or blue) that might just withstand toddler (or tween) tantrums. The interface is extremely kid-friendly, though admittedly not as slick as some of its competitors, but it does include a web browser and can even run apps like Zoom if your kid needs to jump on a class meeting for virtual learning.
Each purchase also includes a yearlong subscription to Amazon's FreeTime Unlimited service, which comes with more than 20,000 apps, games, books, videos, audiobooks, and content from sites like PBS Kids, Nickelodeon, and Disney. Once the year is up, you'll have to pay monthly for the service, but you can cancel at any time. If you want to go beyond FreeTime, the Fire 7 Kids tablet has 16 gigabytes (GB) of storage, and you can opt to add even more with a microSD card.
Best for Toddlers: Fisher-Price Linkimals Play Together Panda
Dimensions: 3.54 x 7.48 x 11.02 inches | Charge: AA Batteries | Recommended age: 9 months and up
Easy to clean
Interactive music and lights
Off switch can be difficult to get to
With this plush, chatty bear, Fisher-Price proves that electronic toys for toddlers can be both cuddly and high-tech. This panda has a light-up belly with a huge button that makes it easy for little ones to operate on their own. With just a press, they'll hear about numbers, shapes, and even tips for good manners, as well as plenty of songs and giggles.
Because messes happen daily for young kids, parents will be happy to know that they can remove the electronic components to machine-wash the soft outer layer. The Linkimals creatures are designed to work together, so if a friend has another toy from the series, they can be set up to interact with one another.
Best for Preschoolers: Leapfrog My Own Leaptop
Dimensions: 1.45 x 9 x 7 inches | Charge: AA Batteries | Recommended age: 2 years and up
Four learning modes
Interactive songs and phrases
Screen does not light up
Toddlers and preschoolers love to imitate their parents and caregivers—it's one of the ways they learn more about the world around them—and this colorful, rugged laptop toy lets them do that in a big way. There are four different learning modes: alphabet, messages, games, and music. In alphabet mode, kids will learn a specific letter, its sound, and words that start with it. Other fun features include animal trivia games, email messages from Scout (LeapFrog's main character), and 16 different songs and melodies.
Best Tablet: PBS Kids Educational Playtime Tablet
Dimensions: 2.79 x 10.43 x 5.59 inches | Charge: USB | Recommended age: Not listed
Suitable for various ages
Parents can customize what kids can watch and do
Sturdy silicone case
Battery can deplete quickly
This affordable, PBS-produced device comes preloaded with the channel's games, videos, and songs, as well as apps for teaching reading, math, and more.
It has a 7-inch touchscreen, front and back cameras, 16GB of storage, and an Android operating system that's easy for even little fingers to navigate. As the parent, you can completely customize the experience before handing it over, and it's also linked up with Google Play for you to add other apps that your kids love. The sturdy aqua blue silicone case will help protect it from the bumps and blows that are sure to come.
Best STEM: LEGO Boost Creative Toolbox
Dimensions: 21.26 x 11.1 x 3.58 inches | Charge: AAA Batteries | Recommended age: 7 years and up
Teaches STEM concepts
Pairs with app
Five different builds
Can be difficult for younger kids
If you keep hearing the words "LEGO Robotics" but aren't quite sure what the fuss is about, this toy is a great introduction to the concept. The kit aimed to introduce kids to coding and other STEM concepts can be used to create five different machines, from a classic-looking robot that talks and dances to a guitar with sound effects.
To use it, you'll need to download the company's free app, which has an easy-to-grasp coding interface that teaches kids about concepts such as loops and variables. The app is regularly updated, so even after your child has built all the possible combinations, they'll be able to find new challenges and even interact with friends who are also using it.
Best for Gaming: Nintendo Switch
Dimensions: 14 x 8 x 3.5 inches | Charge: USB-C | Recommended age: 6 years and up
Multiple ways to play
Suitable for remote play
There's a reason why this hybrid gaming system—which can be either attached to a television or used handheld—is so popular it often sells out. Kids and adults can choose from more than 5,000 different games, including family favorites like Mario Kart, Just Dance, and the ever-addictive Animal Crossing. Parents can easily keep an eye on their kids' gaming habits with the intuitive settings that allow them to set time limits and block them from downloading content that isn't age-appropriate.
The Switch can also be set up for remote play, so if your kids are missing their cousins who live several states away, a multiplayer Super Smash Bros. tournament can be set up with just a few clicks.
Best Educational: LeapFrog Magic Adventures Globe
Dimensions: 11.06 x 10.24 x 14.09 inches | Charge: AA Batteries | Recommended age: 5 years and up
Teaching culture and geography
More footage available for purchase
Doubles as room decor
Stylus can be faulty
LeapFrog has given the classic bookshelf globe a fun 21st-century update. Children will love playing with this interactive toy, featuring a digital stylus and a three-inch screen that shows BBC videos about different destinations. But the three-dimensional globe shape helps them understand the planet's geography more concretely than simply looking at flat or even 3D maps online.
They'll learn and experience different languages, cultures, animals, and habitats while playing three interactive games. Although the globe comes with more than five hours of BBC videos, parents can also purchase additional adventure packs from LeapFrog, including subjects like ancient civilizations and dinosaurs, to keep the learning going.
Best Wearable: Fitbit Ace 2
Dimensions: 1.18 x 3.94 x 8.94 inches | Charge: Fitbit USB cable | Recommended age: 6 years and up
Helps kids stay active
Band can rip easily
If you're hoping to help your children understand the connection between staying active and feeling good, the Fitbit Ace 2 is designed to do exactly that. This swimproof (up to 50 meters), kid-friendly version of the popular adult tracker comes in bright colors, and kids can customize their animated clock face and avatar.
The dashboard includes two views: "Kid" view shows only their step stats and badges earned, while "Parent" view shows specific activity details and also enables them to approve or reject any Fitbit friend requests. Like the adult Fitbit, this one also comes with optional hourly reminders to move and sleep tracking, which might encourage your child to turn in early for better numbers.
Best Camera: FujiFilm FinePix XP140 Digital Camera
Dimensions: 5.2 x 5.2 x 2 inches | Charge: HDMI cable | Recommended age: 6 years and up
Long battery life
Some users were disappointed with the picture quality
Assuming you trust them to take good care of it, rather than buy your children a specific "kids' camera," it makes more sense to invest in a rugged, high-quality option like the FujiFilm FinePix XP140 that they'll be able to use for several years. This one is dustproof, waterproof up to 82 feet, shockproof to almost 6 feet, and even freezeproof to 14 degrees (for those kids who want to take it skiing or sledding). It features a 5x optical zoom lens, video recording capability, and WiFi, making downloading images foolproof.
And if your kiddo is absent-minded when it comes to charging, they'll appreciate the fairly long battery life, which will allow them to shoot up to 240 images before needing more juice. For color options, kids can choose between two eye-popping shades: Sky blue or bright yellow.
What to Look for in Electronics for Kids
Electronics can be addictive for kids. Take care to select high-quality electronics that are as educational as they are fun. Look for electronics that come from brands known for educational play (like LeapFrog), encourage building skills, teach a new hobby, or promote physical play.
Ease of Use
Kids' electronics should be simple and intuitive to use. Look for clear graphics, simple instructions, and easy-to-operate mechanics. Be sure that the electronics you select are age-appropriate according to both your kids’ age and personal stage of development, which can be more or less advanced than their peers at any given time.
Kids' electronic toys are typically designed with safe and durable materials, but it's always a good idea to double check. Look for items that include a kid-proof case or rubber or plastic coverings that can withstand drops and that are easy to clean. It's important to select well-made electronics from reputable manufacturers that will stand the test of time and can be passed down to younger children as your kids outgrow them.
How do you teach kids how to use electronics?
Electronics aren’t a substitute for humans, but they are built to be intuitive and encourage self-directed learning through play. There are electronics tailor-made for kids as young as toddlers that look like toys but teach them rudimentary skills like learning what happens when they push a button. As the child grows, there are electronics made to grow with them and even help them learn new skills.
How much time should kids spend on electronics?
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) reports that kids spend an average of seven hours per day in front of screens. After a failed campaign to get parents to limit screen time to no more than two hours a day, AAP advises parents to limit screen time for children under 18 months to video chatting. The organization recommends selecting only high-quality programming for kids 18 to 24 months, with parents and guardians watching along to help them understand what they are seeing. AAP also suggests limiting screen time to one hour per day for kids ages 2 to 5, urging parents to limit screen time for kids ages 6 and older.
Why Trust The Spruce
Lexi Dwyer is a parenting and lifestyle writer for The Spruce. Her work has appeared on digital media outlets like Fatherly, What To Expect, and Today.com. Additional research was done by Julia Fields, a lifestyle writer for The Spruce covering all things surrounding toys, gifts, and the holidays since October 2021. Before that, she covered similar topics including toy reviews, product roundups, expert-focused articles, and more.