9 Stocking Stuffers for Kids
Fortunately, you don't need to bust your budget to fill your kids' stockings with cool tech gifts. Here are nine of our favorite, small gift items that can be found for under $50.
JBL JR POP Portable Bluetooth Speaker
If you have a kid who loves to listen to music, whether in the car or on the beach, pop the JBL JR POP Bluetooth speaker into their stocking.
These come in fun, bright colors like rose pink, froggy green, and even purple. The speaker itself is durable with a rubberized grip and has easy-to-use controls. It’s designed for smaller hands and comes with a strap so you can hang it off a backpack or a bike handle. There are also fun stickers included so kids can customize their own style.
The speaker lights up to the beat of the music. But don’t worry, you can turn this feature off. Also, you don’t have to worry about getting it wet; the JR POP is IPX7 waterproof so it can go for a swim.
Fingerlings Baby Shark
Tired of Baby Shark yet? You may be, but kids love it. Fingerlings, makers of those adorable monkeys that were a huge hit a few years ago, has the license for Baby Shark, and they’re the perfect size for a stocking. Like the other Fingerlings, Baby Shark responds to sounds and motion and sings that song when you wave him around. He also gives kisses when you press his face to your cheek.
Amazon reviewers say it’s a bit difficult for kids as young as 2 and 3 to manipulate the shark well enough to make it sing. So keep in mind when buying, the company recommends this for kids ages 5 and up.
Remember Pictionary, the word-guessing game where you draw pictures for your team on paper? Mattel has made it high tech with a new version called Pictionary Air. Instead of pen and paper, you use a digital pen to "draw" in the air, and your creations appear on your smartphone or tablet.
For an added challenge, your team has to wait until you're finished with your drawing before guessing. Your movements are captured as you draw, so your team watches your drawing come together. For larger groups, you can use a TV equipped with Chromecast or AirPlay. And since the whole thing is digital, the images are easy to share on social media.
If you have an artist on your list, they'll love Flycatcher's smART Pixelator. The light board lets kids create bead masterpieces based on any work of art, drawing, or photograph. The board lights up with the pattern, and your child fills in the matching colors.
When they're done, you can save the work of art by covering the beads with the included ironing paper and heating the beads until they stick together. The Pixelator comes with 1,300 beads, enough to create the six featured projects, which include an octopus, cate, robot and guitar.
The Sphero Mini packs a lot of tech into a tiny, ping-pong-sized ball. Inside you'll find a gyroscope, accelerometer, and LED lights. Your child can drive the ball on their phone using facial expressions, a virtual joystick, or your phone's built-in tilt sensor. Or, they can pull together blocks of code to make the ball move according to their wishes. Three traffic cones and six bowling pins come in the box.
Digits Touchscreen Gloves
Keep the teen or tween your list's fingers toasty with Moshi's Digits Touchscreen Gloves. These stylish gloves fit snugly for more precision, and all ten fingertips have conductive fibers, so pinching and other onscreen gestures are no problem. A rubberized grip across the palm keeps phones from slipping.
Digits are constructed with two layers -- a soft microfleece inner liner covered by a knit upper. Choose from light or dark gray..
Echo Dot with Smart Light Starter Kit
Amazon's Echo Dot has a lot of functionality built-in that's incredibly helpful for kids. You can set alarms that will wake them to the voice of their favorite character, they can get help with spelling, math, and other subjects, they can listen to their favorite music, and they can play games. And with Amazon FreeTime, you can set parental controls to ensure they're only consuming the content you think is appropriate.
Right now, you can get a deal on an Echo Dot plus two Philips Hue smart bulbs (they can connect via Bluetooth to the Echo Dot, so no hub required) for $35 (as of 12/10/2019). So now, they can turn on and off the lights in their room without having to get out of bed.
Price: On sale for $34.99 (usually $79.98) on Amazon
Heyday 6' Lightning to USB-A Thread Wrapped Cable
In a household with multiple Apple devices, your child will appreciate a Lightning cable that's easily identifiable as their own. This thread-wrapped Lightning cord gets the job done with plenty of style. And, at six feet in length, they will have more flexibility in where they recharge.
Kids drop phones and tablets. But a grip, like PockSockets PopGrip, makes it easier for kids to hold onto their device. The PopGrip attaches to the back of a smartphone or tablet with a reusable adhesive and can be removed or repositioned as needed. The PopGrip also serves as a stand to prop the phone up on any flat surface. When not in use, the PopSocket collapses, leaving only a slim round disc.
But PopGrip Lips serve one more purpose. They hold a lip balm inside the grip. Each PopGrip Lips comes with a lip balm and you can buy replacements and swap them out for just $3. Flavors include Cotton Candy, So Vanilla, Strawberry Feels, Watermellionaire, Cherry Cherry, and Blue Radberry. The lip balm is made with beeswax and Vitamin E.
Before making a buying decision, though, check out the basic colors as well as the wide range of patterns to pick the perfect one.
Additional reporting by Andrea Smith
[Image credit: stockings hung on a mantle via Shutterstock, Amazon, Moshi, Sphero, Flycatcher, Mattel, WowWee, JBL, PopSockets, Target]