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

Sphero BB-8 (£105)

This app-enabled gyroscopic mini-droid is something straight out of your sci-fi dreams. No, not the one with Princess Leia. The other one.

Like a master of the Force, you can control the BB-8 remotely via smartphone, or it can be left to autonomously explore the living room in all its gliding glory, as you record virtual holographic recordings to Obi-Wan, or, you know, your Mum.

Want to be a true Jedi Master? Pick up the new Force Band and control BB-8 with your wrist.

Buy Sphero BB8 here

Ubooly (£24.95)

Ubooly is here to save lonesome children from inventing an imaginary friend. This cuddly gonk has room to accommodate an iPhone, iPad or Android device, which then becomes the face and mind of the fluffy critter. Via the free app it'll answer questions, read stories, chat to your child and suggest creative games to play.

Of course, Ubooly doesn't really know your little one, so you can customise the app to suit your child's interests and abilities. Once it's all set up, you can head off down the pub while it does the parenting for you - because that's 21st-century parenting done right.

Buy Ubooly here

Gator Watch (£99 plus from £9/month)

One of the problems with kids is that they don't stay put. You can be happily doing your shopping, holding your kid's hand to make sure they're with you, then look round and discover that a) they're gone and b) you're just holding an empty glove.

Well help is at hand - or rather wrist - courtesy of the Gator Watch. It's basically a tracking device in the form of a smartwatch: you install the app on your phone and can track where the watch is.

But there's a lot more to it than that. The watch can also hold 3 phone numbers (a new version, out on 1 Dec, will be able to call 10), which the child can easily call, should they find themselves lost, by pressing one of the watch's three buttons. They can then speak to you, Dick Tracy-style, through the Gator's built-in mic.

It's not cheap, because as well as the £99 upfront fee you'll need to pay £9/month for the data contract, which will give you an hour of talk-time. But what price peace of mind, eh?   

Buy the Gator Watch here

Anki Overdrive (£150)

If there’s one thing better than wrapping paper strewn everywhere on the Christmas Day, it’s having little Lewis Hamiltons building bonkers circuits round your feet.

Scalextric for the smartphone generation, Anki is a modular track of straights and right-angles, which robotic supercars learn and race.

Compatible with both iOS and Android, players control the speed and lane choice, while the cars handle the corners - and each has unique attributes to be used in Battle mode, melding virtual with reality right on your living room floor.

Buy the Anki Overdrive here

Bobski (from £49)

Depending on your latitude and altitude buying a sledge before Christmas can be a gamble, but, assuming it snows like it does in the movies, the Bobski will go down a storm.

In fact, it'll go down even the slightest of icy inclines at a fearsome rate – and that's pretty handy if you don't live on the side of a mountain.

Buy Bobski here