Christmas Gift Guide 2016: 30 gadget gift ideas for tech kids

Find the spot-on gift for the little critters in your life

The happiness, the joy, the masses of shiny plastic: all part of the perfect Christmas day.

Sadly, many a magical moment has been ruined by the insatiable excitement of the up-all-night little ones itching to see Santa. Don't they know you've got presents to unwrap?

Inundate those interrupting youngsters with gifts from this list and they'll be occupied for weeks - leaving you lots of time to enjoy your own wrapped-up wonders (which you definitely didn't buy yourself).

SAM Labs Curious Cars (£149)

SAM Labs' Curious Cars is a fun kit that allows kids to bring their toys and inventions to life, through the magic of coding.

Inventive little tykes can knock together their very own remote control cars using nothing more than a bunch of modular SAM blocks, the app, the models and their own imaginations, all while learning the basics of coding in a new and accessible way.

Fast forward a few years and they'll be hacking into your Jag while rewiring the horn to play la cucaracha. Bless them.

Buy SAM Labs Curious Cars here

Smart R2-D2 (£100)

BB-8? That’s so 2015. Christmas 2016 is all about Rogue One’s top toy tie-in: the Smart R2-D2.

A fully interactive robot that'll respond to your voice and actions, this roving dome-top will move and bleep happily around the house, leaving adults of a certain age on the brink of happy, happy tears.

There's an app, too, which works as a remote control. You can even program your - sorry, your kids' - new droid for 'missions'. There's no C-3PO included - but you can always dress up.

Buy the Smart R2-D2 here

Play-Doh Touch Shape to Life Studio (£40)

If you're the kind of generous/crazy parent who lets their nippers play with the iPad, this is a brilliant way of combining it with some Play-Doh-based creativity.

Use the squidgy stuff to create characters from scratch (or use the included moulds), then scan them using the iPad or an iPhone. They then appear, animated, in the free Play-Doh app. You've got a whole world to explore and customise with yet more Play-Doh creations. It's enough to keep the kids (and, let's be honest, you) occupied for hours.

Buy Play-Doh Touch Shape to Life Studio from Apple

Merge VR (£50)

We don't know about you, but when we were kids, we'd spend most of our time breaking stuff and/or covering them in a combination of mud, peanut butter and occasionally blood. It didn't take long for our parents to stop buying us fancy expensive toys.

Merge's VR headset is forged from squishy comfortable purple foam, designed to withstand the scrapes, bumps and knocks all too often associated with with gadgets belonging to the youth of today.

Compatible with almost all Android and Apple handsets, it offers lens adjustments and two built-in control buttons for easier navigation in Google Cardboard apps. 

Buy the Merge VR headset here

LeapFrog LeapPad Platinum (£65)

Spend £65. Teach your kids. Get your iPad back. Everyone's a winner!

LeapFrog's LeapPad Platinum is a fully functioning 7in tablet, equipped with a software platform designed to be both intuitive and safe for little ones. There's an app store and internet browser, but parents can control access to both - as well as setting time limits on usage.

The bumper-wrapped tab can also be installed with a wealth of educational games available from the Leap Store - more than 1,000 - all cleverly disguised as frivolous fun-fests (though they don't all come cheap).

Buy the LeapFrog Platinum here

Discovery Channel 360 Super HD Microscope (£48)

If you want kids to pay attention to anything these days you’re best off putting it on a mobile phone screen - so trick them into learning about science and nature by buying them this microscope and attaching your phone to its eyepiece.

The Discovery Channel 360 Super HD can magnify by 60, 120 or 200x, using your phone to display and take photos of what’s underneath. Now you just need to tear them away from the phone long enough to find something to look at under it.

Buy the Discovery Channel 360 Super HD Microscope here

To infinity and beyond