6 of the best... Family-friendly gadgets
If you have children to entertain over upcoming school breaks, these nifty devices could help keep them occupied...
:: BABY I'M NOT BORED
Infantino Sensory Chameleon, £19.99, www.smythtoys.com
From cuddly comforters that mimic womb sounds, to battery-operated bouncers, babies are well catered for in the world of tech. And here on the educational-but-fun side of the coin is Leon the chameleon, a cute toy needing three AAA batteries - included in the pack - who sings for little ones aged 9 months and over. Leon comes with different coloured shapes that babies can insert into his sides and pushing Leon's eyes also makes them whir around. Cute!
:: PLAY WITH FIRE
Fire Kids Edition Tablet, 7" Display, Wi-Fi, 16 GB, Blue Kid-Proof Case, £99.99, www.amazon.co.uk
Long journeys and seemingly endless school holidays can be a drain on finances and energies. So while at £99.99, this child-specific tablet is a big outlay, it could prove a trusty investment in the long run. Designed with 3-12-year-olds in mind, parents can set time limits on the number of cartoons, games and clips watched, while the Fire For Kids browser means youngsters will have controlled and age-appropriate access to websites and videos.
:: SOUND IT OUT
JBL Flip 4, £119.99, uk.jbl.com
Bring the party with you to the beach or great outdoors with this slimline speaker. Fully waterproof, connect it to a smartphone or tablet to blast out your summer playlists. There's an option of adding another device and taking it in turns to stream music too, if you and your kids don't quite agree on what music sounds good.
:: MUG'S GAME
Guess Who? Extra From Hasbro Games, currently £12.99, down from £16.49, Argos
Maria, Bernard and Anita were the stars of the first generation of Guess Who? but nowadays there's a whole new cast of characters around. Though the rules are the same as ever - ask questions to determine the identity of the other player's character - this electronic edition includes six different sets of character cards. Three AAA batteries are needed to commence proceedings and to play on a timer mode. When you're ready to guess who the character is, take the key from the top of the game and unlock the hole on the door with the character you think is there. If you hear the rousing victory tune, the guess is correct and the glory is all yours.
:: CAMERA, ACTION
VTech 170703 KidiZoom Action Cam, currently £29.99, down from £49.99, www.amazon.co.uk
Handing over an expensive action camera to a boisterous child isn't something anyone does lightly, so here's an option for you. Appease any adventurous young directors-in-the-making with this VTech action camera. At £29.99, it's a snip of the price of an adult version, but still delivers on the basics, like taking pictures and videos underwater, as well as capturing footage while strapped to a child's bike or skateboard helmet.
:: FIRE AWAY!
Nerf N-Strike Mega Mastodon Blaster, £59.99, Argos
Definitions of 'fun' differ wildly, and the likelihood is, being pelted with soft darts from an oversized children's gun isn't up there for many. But for kids, the prospect of aiming (friendly) fire at adults with an arsenal of 24 bullets surely is an appealing one. Six D batteries are needed to fire up Nerf's first motorised blaster, while a shoulder strap helps takes the weight off so your whipper-snappers can focus on taking all-important aim.
APP OF THE WEEK
Cozi Family Organizer, free, iTunes
Stay on top of family activities by putting any parties, music lessons, rugby tournaments and appointments in one calendar on your phone. The app can also alert other family members of any events.