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The perfect gadgets for kids from Santa

It’s an old cliché that the joy of Christmas is in the giving – but when it comes to children nothing could hold truer.

Seeing a little face light up as they open that gift they’ve been hankering after, or a terrific treat they weren’t expecting, is a special moment for all parents.

Even more so if the present is one that will not only keep the kids entertained, but help them learn and develop too. So here I run down some of the best to help fill Santa’s list.

Xbox 4GB & Kinect Sensor Bundle

Xbox Kinect is the must-have present this Christmas, with experts predicting it will sell out by December 25. Doing away with the traditional control pad, Kinect lets players operate games via the movement of their body and sound of their voice. With most of the launch titles centring on fitness, dance and sport – it’s a great way to use the Xbox to help kids improve their health and co-ordination.

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Nintendo Turquoise DS Brain Training Bundle

If gaming kit like Xbox Kinect and the Nintendo Wii are designed to help keep the body fit, then it’s the DS that leads the way when it comes to expanding the mind. The attraction of DS titles like the Brain Training one included in this deal is that children learn without realising they are learning.

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Nintendo DS Games

If, like most youngsters, your kids already own a DS then don’t worry – there are plenty of new games you can wrap up and place under the tree. Whether it’s learning to spell with Word Academy, improving vision through Sight Training or exercising using Walk With Me – there’s a title to help with all kinds of development.

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Ferguson F1603LVD/2 16″ LCD TV with built-in DVD

Every child, when they reach a certain age, will ask for a TV and DVD player for their bedroom. This HD-ready Ferguson combines the two at an affordable price. Of course, how this helps them learn depends entirely on what they watch. And, no, Neighbours does not count as educational programming.

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Compaq CQ10-400 Black 10.1″ Netbook

The netbook – a smaller version of a laptop and designed for lighter tasks such as word processing and web browsing – really helps get kids into computing. Compaq, Asus and Delium all have models at decent prices – like this one. They come in at around £200 and that’s almost half the price of a standard laptop and much cheaper than buying a desktop PC or Apple Mac.

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Philips AJ3231 Clock Radio

Need help getting them out of bed and off to school? Then this funky mirrored FM/MW clock radio from Philips may be just the ticket. Your little one can even attach their iPod or MP3 player to wake up to their favourite tune.

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Sony NWZB152R.CEW 2GB MP3 Player

The fierce competition in the portable music market has forced down the price of MP3 players from top brands such as Sony, Philips, Archos and Creative. This Sony, which comes with in-ear headphones, is my pick for a sleek modern look mixed with classic Walkman branding. It’s a top of the pops way to your kids into music from an early age… just as long as it’s not heavy metal.

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Philips HX6311/02 Electric Toothbrush

It is almost impossible to make kids think that brushing their teeth is fun. However you may just have a shot with this colourful sonic toothbrush from Philips that plays songs while it cleans. Perfect after they’ve munched through that Christmas selection box.

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