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The Online Mom provides internet technology advice and information to help parents protect their kids, encourage responsible behavior and safely harness the power of technology in the new digital world. Social networking, photo sharing, video games, IM & texting, internet security, cyberbullying, educational resources, the latest on tech hardware, gadgets and software for kids 3-8, tweens and teens, and more.

Last minute tech gifts for under $100

Your 8-year-old loves games and gadgets but you’re just not ready to fork over $500 for an iPad. However, that doesn’t mean it has to be a tech-free holiday. There are plenty of other affordable tech-toys out there for the pre-tween set.

Here are 7 last-minute gift suggestions for younger techies that won’t break the bank!

Polaroid 300 Instant Camera

Yes, Polaroid is still around and their new 300 Instant Camera is everything you loved about instant photography. Comes with four different lighting settings and auto-flash. Produces instant full-color, business card-size photos – perfect for scrapbooking or for starting that first album. Choice of blue, red or black.

Price: $89.99 at Polaroid.com


iPod Shuffle

Still the perfect starter digital music player for the younger set. With 2GB of storage space and up to 15 hours of battery life, the iPod Shuffle can store and play hundreds of songs. Can also hold multiple playlists, podcasts, and audiobooks. The clip-on polished aluminum body is sleek and durable and there is no screen to crack! Comes in a choice of silver, blue, green, orange, or pink.

Price: $49 at any Apple Store


One for slightly older kids: This fascinating game harnesses brainwave activity to help you move a ball through an obstacle course. The more you concentrate, the more the ball responds! Mindflex comes with a headset, a game console, and four foam balls. You can set up dozens of different challenges, and there are a variety of mind games that can be played solo or with up to four players.

Price: From $71.00 at Amazon.com, Walmart, Target, Best Buy and others.

PlayStation Move

If you already own a PlayStation 3 gaming console, you can open up a whole new world of active gaming for younger kids with the revolutionary new Move controller. The Move lets you become part of the action and creative new game titles make sure everyone in the family can join in. The starter bundle includes a Move motion controller, a PlayStation Eye Camera, and the Sports Champions Blu-ray disc.

Price: $99.99 at Amazon.com

UrbanEars Plattan Headphones

These great looking headphones combine innovative technology with a stylish design that will appeal to kids of all ages. The full-size headphones can be folded down to the size of your fist for maximum portability. They also come with a very cool “zound plug”, which allows a friend to plug in and share the music! A large number of colors are available.

Price: $59.99 from Amazon.com

iXL 6-in-1 Learning System

This sturdy Fisher-Price toy is the closest thing to an iPad for pre-schoolers that you are likely to see. Designed for children aged 3 to 7, the iXL has six different ways for kids to play and learn: a digital reader, game player, notepad, art studio, MP3 player, and photo viewer. When not in use, the iXL folds shut and will easily slip into a purse or bag. Requires a PC or Mac with CD drive and USB port to upload and manage content.

Price: $80 at Fisher-Price.com, Amazon.com, Target. Walmart

LEGO MP3 Player

LEGO has partnered with Digital Blue to develop a whole line of building block-based electronics, including a digital camera, walkie talkies, and these MP3 players. They may look cute but they also pack a serious punch – 2GB of storage space, which can hold up to 1,000 songs. Of course, like true LEGO blocks, they are also stackable top and bottom!

Price: $39.99 at Best Buy, JC Penney, Target, Toys R Us

Comment by Milcah, posted 12/20/2010, 7:30 PM:

What cute and neat ideas!
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