Children’s Christmas Gifts: How Technology Has Changed Toys

Photo credit: Davidd on Flickr.

With the modern era becoming ever-more saturated by, and dependent upon, tech, together with Christmas being but a day away, we look at how the world of children’s toys has changed.

  1. The doll
    Where once children were satisfied with a standard china or plastic doll, 2014 sees the release of My Friend Cayla – a doll with a difference. Thanks to clever speech-to-text software, Cayla can answer most questions with a quick google search. And, for cautious parents, she comes with SafeSearch technology..


  1. The watch
    From a watch to a smart watch, the Kiddizoom Smartwatch combines a camera and games with a touch screen… And still manages to tell the time. Not the most groundbreaking toy of the year, but with the Apple iWatch launch, it’s still an indicator of on-trend tech.
  1. The notepad
    In the modern era, the notepad has been replaced with…a notepad, although a digital version with far more capabilities. For some kids, tablets – like a kidified version of the Amazon Kindle, or an iPad – are high on the wishlist. Younger children, though, are probably more interested in Leapfrog variants (LeapTV combines games with internet and a camera), although the latter arguably has a more educational angle, with programs designed to help with subjects like maths and the social sciences. A far cry from days of yore.


  1. The paper aeroplane
    While origami used to be enough to entertain schoolkids, Generation Y prefers a technological gadget they can control through their phone – just by using a simple app. Enter the PowerUp 3.0, the brainchild of an Israeli former pilot.


  1. The robot
    The odd one out on our list, with no ‘olde worlde’ equivalent, the robot was once the stuff of fiction, and now makes for a suitable Christmas present. Aquabots robotic toys – which range from sharks to insects – ‘swim’ underwater, cutting off after 5 minutes to save on battery, and re-activating with a tap. We’re not sure what the ‘olde worlde’ equivalent is – a spinning top?