Happy new year friends! My 2019 got off to a great start as I just returned from a week spent in Las Vegas searching for the best in tech for family and kids at CES 2019. As you could imagine, there was so much to see at CES 2019! I could go on and on about the TV that rises out of a credenza or the wand that “erases” skin blemishes. Not to mention the flying taxi. And what about every new tech product with Alexa built-in. But that’s all for another post. Today I just want to share with you my favorite tech finds for families and kids. These are the techy toys that I’m sure your kids will be asking for once the holidays roll around again. I know it seems so far away but trust me, before you know it we’ll all be wrapping holiday gifts again!
Tech for Family and Kids at CES 2019
As I said, there was so much to see at CES 2019! This being my first time attending, I had no idea that I was in for such a treat. Of course, I was automatically attracted to tech for family and kids — the robots, the toys, the fun kid-friendly gadgets that I knew you would be asking me about when I returned from Las Vegas. I couldn’t possibly share all that I saw in just one post but I did want to roundup some of my favorite tech for family and kids at CES 2019, just for you guys. From fuzzy robots to magic coding wands, these are the tech toys I had most fun playing with and exploring while at CES. I think you’ll love these — and your kids will too! Even threw in one that will make life much easier if you’re a new at this parenting thing (or know someone who is). Read on!
At the top of my list of tech for family and kids at CES 2019 is what has been described as the “smartest and most interactive plush toy” ever created. Immplay and [email protected] (creators of popular toy brands like FlipaZoo and Boxy Girls, just to name a couple) have partnered to bring you Snow Shine, the first companion toy of its kind with the ability to interact and react to multiple inputs like Alexa, YouTube, Spotify, etc. This adorable friend connects and responds to sound. Press his paw and speak to him or just call out a song or video to play on your device and Snow Shine will listen, interact, and sing along. You’ll delight in seeing him engage with your little ones through original songs, stories, and games. He’s adorable and totally lovable!
Snow Shine even helps establish everyday routines, healthy habits and provides pre-school learning experiences. He’ll even support your little one (and you) through potty training with subtle prompts and cute songs to engage and motivate kids to get it done. See the video below to hear his potty song. So cute!
Best part is that Snow’s technology is not screen-based meaning that as parents we can feel comfortable knowing that our kids aren’t spending more time with screens. This also means that he’s also safe — kids can’t be inadvertently connected to the internet or monitored since there’s no data collection and no need for a WiFi connection or even Bluetooth. Talk about piece of mind for parents!
This adorable interactive plush can also be customized with adorable outfits and accessories sold separately. Snow Shine will be available at your local retailers this fall and I predict he’ll be the hottest new toy your kids will be asking for come the holiday season.
Snow & Stella
In the meantime you can download the Snow & Stella app available for iOS and Android and get to know Snow Shine before he hits store shelves this fall. I personally love this app because books and activities are available in multiple languages — English, French, Dutch, Portuguese, Spanish, German, and Italian. Meaning that no matter the language your little ones speak at home, they’re sure to find a new friend in Snow.
BuddyPhones by Onanoff are not only safe for kids ears but also tough and fun to use. All BuddyPhones have a built-in, volume-limiting circuitry that caps the sound at 85 decibels, the level recommended for kids by the World Health Organization. This gives us parents peace of mind by not having to constantly monitor the volume on our kids’ headphones. These kid-friendly headphones are made from durable, robust materials that are less likely to snap if they are sat on, dropped or twisted. They’re also soft and flexible to withstand pulling yet sturdy enough to hold their shape. I love that they’re foldable and connect via Bluetooth, with a long battery life of over 14 hours, depending on the style you choose. What’s also great is that the included optional cable with built-in audio splitter allows upto 4 listeners to plug into one single device so everyone can listen together.
In my opinion, what makes BuddyPhones the best kids headphones is that they feature four distinct listening modes — Toddler Mode, Kids Mode, Travel Mode, and StudyMode — allowing parents to further control the volume and mode depending on the need. BuddyPhones come in a variety of styles (or series) with distinct features for each. For example, BuddyPhones PLAY come with colorful sticker sets that allow kids to personalize their headphones and BuddyPhones WAVE are waterproof. Learn more on the BuddyPhones website.
This baby feeding monitor fits on any baby bottle. Simply slide BlueSmart mia2 onto your existing baby bottle and it instantly becomes an automated baby journaling device. The BlueSmart mia2 ensure that your baby is getting what they need to grow up healthy! It tracts all the essentials of feeding a newborn, keeping parents worry-free and connected. Say goodbye to the tedious task of manually writing down how much your baby eats after every feeding. Also, forget the inaccuracy of testing the milk or formula temperature on your wrist. It’s all taken care of for you!
The companion BlueSmart Baby Tracker App is free and easy to use. It provides a simple way to monitor your baby — feedings, diapers, and more. It also makes it easy to share information with other caregivers. Keeping a running baby journal has never been easier! The Baby Tracker app for iOS and Android works seamlessly with BlueSmart mia2. What’s also nice is that you can record your baby’s feelings, diapers, sleep, milestones, and more with the BlueSmart Skill for Amazon Alexa. So even when your hands are full because you’re changing a diaper or nursing, you can speak to Alexa from across the room and record your baby’s nursings, bottles, diapers, and sleep directly to the BlueSmart Baby Tracker app.
Meet Woobo, the smart companion for curious kids. This fuzzy robot version of an imaginary friend uses cutting-edge AI technology and can answer questions, express feelings, sing songs, and play games with your kids. Recommended for ages 4 and up, invite this delightful fuzzball into your home and give your kids a smart companion who is safe to be curious around.
Woobo knows the answers to millions of questions and responds to curious questions in a kid-friendly way to encourage more exploration. He’s even helpful in establishing healthy habits and routines by encouraging kids to have fun while completing daily routines like brushing their teeth. Parents can stay connected via a companion parent app to access a routine helper and communicate with kids via voice messaging.
Each Woobo comes preloaded with 400 activities, songs and games that kids can play. What’s nice is that these focus on social emotional development, as well as physical games that will get your kids to detach from the screen. Woobo even encourages family activities like Family Trivia Night and Charades. I also like that Woobo users can access Storybots and Pinkfong content for a minimal fee. Woobo provides endless learning possibilities!
How many times has your kid asked for a pet? Soon you’ll be able to say yes to the pet with this adorable AI-powered pet robot from Zoetic AI. Meet Kiki, the pet robot that can recognize you, your touch and your expressions. Equipped with touch, sound and smell sensors, it’s able to interact through delightful movements, facial expressions, and sounds. Driven by its innate curiosity, Kiki explores the world with its conscious mind and shapes its personality as you interact with it over time. Also, I absolutely love that this adorable pet was created by a girl, CEO and Co-Founder Mita Yun. #girlpower
Kiki isn’t available just yet but she will be soon.
Kids learn to code with Artie 3000, the coding robot that loves to draw! Educational Insights has partnered with Mensa For Kids to create a cool robot that’s sure to spark curiosity in coding through creativity. Artie 3000 is secure with a built-in WiFi server. Kids can control Artie 3000 from any device, a tablet, laptop, or desktop, via WiFi, with no internet connection required. Learning to code with Artie is simple! Kids just drag and drop the blocks of code and watch Artie draw the shapes they designed.
What’s nice is that kids can choose from preloaded game codes like Tic-tac-toe or design their own way to play by testing out new code that they create themselves. With the ability to create letters, numbers, shapes and any cool design kids can imagine, Artie is the perfect new friend to help kids design their next masterpiece, line by line!
Transform colors into beautiful music with Sphero Specdrums! Here’s how it works — just tap the simple ring device against any color and the ring will sense the color it touches and play a corresponding musical note. The included accelerometer detects taps and gestures, the built-in light sensor recognizes colors, the LEDs indicate and illuminate tapped surfaces. And I love it because it creates a coding and music type of experience that kids (and grown-ups too) will absolutely go crazy over.
The Sphero Specdrums ring comes with a colorful keyboard-like mat and connects via Bluetooth. Just pair the ring (or two) with the companion Specdrums app and assign any notes, chords, and samples to any color and save the combinations you create. The app comes with a variety of instrument sets that you can activate to make different keyboard sounds. What’s really cool is that you don’t even need to use the included color keyboard. Specdrums works with any color object, meaning you can tap the ring on anything and it will make a sound. Just tap a color to hear a sound. Try fruits, clothing, toys, the possibilities are endless as kids learn music fundamentals through color association!
A Specdrums MIX app is also available and it allows you to assign custom colors, mix and produce songs, record your own samples, and share your jam session with friends.
Get your Sphero Specdrums and start making colorful music. Available on the Sphero website. One ring is $65 and $100 for two rings.
Reading success starts with Square Panda! Designed for kids 2 to 8, this bluetooth enabled playset combines interactive gameplay with multisensory phonics and makes it fun for little kids to learn to read. It brings together smart learning games with physical letters kids can touch, hold, and move around. Emerging readers will enjoy practicing letter identification, phonemic sounds, decoding skills and much more with this easy to use learning playset.
The Square Panda playset works with your iPad or Android tablet to build reading readiness skills through 11 interactive learning games. The playset includes 45 Smart Letters that add a tactile/kinesthetic element to learning to read. Kids interact with a wide variety of learning games that are free to download and use the letters to build the words they see on the screen. Square Panda tracks your kid’s game preferences, challenges, progress, and patterns of play and a parent portal allows you to follow your child’s progress. What’s nice is that you can also save favorite words and upload family pictures through the parent portal so that your child can interact with what he/she loves most.
Harry Potter fans rejoice! Here’s the first-ever Harry Potter STEM product. Build a wand, learn to code, and make magic with this build-it-yourself Harry Potter coding kit from Kano.
You already know we love Kano! Now Harry Potter fans will have a really fun time following the simple steps to building a coding wand that responds to their movements. Play on an iOS or Android tablet, Mac or PC computer. With just a wave and a twirl of the wand kids can see instant effects come alive on the screen. Make objects fly and multiply, paint pictures, compose music and more. Drag and drop blocks make it easy for kids to connect code blocks and program their wands and the included 70+ step-by-step challenges show kids exactly how it’s done.
Little Harry Potter fans will also love that they can earn rewards and unlock secrets as they learn to code — complete challenges, earn medals, unlock costumes, accessories, and creatures.
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