Best gifts for kids and teens this Christmas

The world of gifts for kids and teenagers can be a minefield, but whether you're shopping for future scientists, budding photographers or soon-to-be-pro gamers, we've got you covered

Best gifts for kids and teens this Christmas
(Image credit: Future)

Does it seem like the world of kids and teenagers gets more complicated every year, making them increasingly difficult to buy for? We feel you. There are literally thousands of toys on the market, and the constant pressure that all they really want to do is play Fortnite and be TikTok-famous.

Here at T3 we love all things tech, and think there’s no better Christmas gift than a gadget specifically designed for a younger user. From smartwatches to tablets, and drones to bluetooth speakers, we’ve rounded up the best tech gifts for kids and teenagers this Christmas.

But don’t despair if your child, or the child you’re buying a gift for, isn’t a gadget-lover. We’ve also included gifts that encourage kids to get more out of the world around them, whether that’s through exploring on a scooter, documenting their favourite memories with their first camera, or simply by being more curious. 

Best gifts for kids: Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit

(Image credit: Nintendo)

1. Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit

It’s Mario Kart, controlled with a Nintendo Switch, but real. Need we say more?

Reasons to buy
+Controlled by Nintendo Switch+Up to four players at once+Race as Mario or Luigi
Reasons to avoid
-Gets expensive with multiple players

A brilliant use of wireless cameras, the Nintendo Switch and remote controlled cars, Mario Kart Live is exactly what it looks like – real-world toy karts controlled from within a video game. Familiar Mario Kart graphics fill the screen of the Nintendo Switch, while you use the controllers to drive around a real-world course.

The cameras are perfectly positioned to make it look just like the karts do in the game, but instead of Rainbow Road, it’s your kitchen floor whizzing by. The screen even fills with augmented-reality barriers and item boxes full of virtual bananas to throw at the competition.

We think this will be a sure-fire hit with any kids (and adults) who already have a Nintendo Switch and love Mario Kart. But, at £100 per set, which includes a single kart, hosting a family race is going to get expensive.

Best gifts for kids: Vodafone V-Kids Watch in blue

2. Vodafone V-Kids Watch

Set your little adventurers free with the best smart watch designed for kids

Reasons to buy
+GPS tracking for parental peace of mind+Water resistant 

We first featured the Vodafone V-kids watch in our best gifts for kids roundup last year, and it has made the cut again. With children and teenagers becoming more tech-savvy and parents ever more conscious of safety and security, this smartwatch is a winner for all generations. 

Built in games and voice messaging will entertain kids and let them stay in touch with their friends, whilst GPS tracking means parents can always know where their kids are, without having to always be holding their hand, or don camo gear and binoculars.

The safety features of the V-watch really excel thanks to the SOS button that allows kids to send alerts directly to their parent's smartphone should they need help, and it'll even give directions to each other's location using Google or Apple Maps. 

Parents can also set 'Safe Zones' so they’ll be notified if their child leaves a certain area. Release your kids to enjoy all the adventure the outdoors has to offer, knowing they are safe while they do. 

But let’s not forget this is a present for your child, not you. The V-kids watch resembles a grown-up smart watch, but the bright blue or pink colours are a kid-friendly addition.

Best gifts for kids: Razor Power Core E90

(Image credit: Razor)

3. Razor Power Core E90 Electric Scooter

A powerful electronic scooter for daring kids

Reasons to buy
+Top speed of 10MPH+Ride time of up to 80 minutes 

Scooters have been a Christmas gift list staple for years, but the Razor Power Core E90 electric scooter offers a 2019 upgrade for the child or teenager who has outgrown their manual scooter. 

On par with other good electric scooters for speed, reaching up to 10MPH, this scooter is not recommend for children under eight, but is a gift that'll make you incredibly popular with your older child or teenager. Who knows, they might even let you have a go! 

Where the Razor Power excels is its battery life: the owner of this scooter can keep riding for up to 80 minutes. 

The rider is in full control thanks to a hand-operated front brake, and the airless (and therefore puncture-proof) tires absorb impact from bumps or knocks. If you’re looking for a modern upgrade of a traditional gift that’s guaranteed to get your child outside more, this gift is a win for you.

Best gifts for kids: Amazon Fire 10 Kids Tablet

4. Amazon Fire 10 Kids Tablet

Unlock a world of fun and learning with this kids' tablet

Reasons to buy
+Up to 10 hours of battery life +Full HD display

There are many toy mobile phones and tablets out there for younger kids, but if you're buying for a child who's old enough for a real tablet, we think the Amazon Fire 10 is one of the best gifts for kids out there. 

Playing games, reading books and watching video are all easy and fun on the Amazon Fire 10 thanks to a brilliant 10.1" 1080p Full HD display, stereo speakers playing Dolby Audio, and 10 hours of battery life.

There's also 32 GB of internal storage and the option to add up to 256 GB extra with a microSD card, meaning kids can be kept entertained on long car journeys to visit relatives or travelling to your summer holiday destination. 

What's more, every tablet comes with a free year of Fire for Kids Unlimited, which gives kids access to over 5,000 apps, games, books and educational content from the likes of Disney and Nickelodeon. We think this service is well worth the £1.99 it costs after that first year, but do remember to cancel the subscription if you don't want to keep it. 

Lastly, you're guaranteed a worry-free gift-giving experience with the Amazon Fire 10 thanks to its 2 year warranty. 

Best gifts for kids: JoyGeek Mini Drone With Camera

(Image credit: JoyGeek)

5. JoyGeek Mini Drone With Camera

Great value for a drone with a point-of-view HD camera

Reasons to buy
+Compact folding design+Front-facing HD camera+Integrated smartphone control
Reasons to avoid
-Fairly short battery life-Will likely struggle on windy days

Looking like a miniature version of the drone market-leader, this quadcopter has a front-facing 720p HD camera that sends a live video feed to your smartphone, which attaches to the dual-stick controller.

Up to 15 minutes of flight time is possible thanks to the 1,800mAh battery, while the controller takes three AA batteries, and there’s a smartphone app to set up the HD video stream. The drone folds up neatly into its included carry case.

Features normally reserved for more expensive drones include an ability to hover accurately in one place, one-button takeoff and landing, and the option to draw a flight route on the app for the drone to follow.

A set of rotor protectors means the drone is safe to fly indoors, but don't blame us if an inexperienced pilot crash-lands it into the Christmas tree two minutes after takeoff.

Best gifts for teens: Ultimate Ears Wonderboom

6. Ultimate Ears Wonderboom

A portable Bluetooth speaker with 360 sound and kid-proof durability

Reasons to buy
+Unbelievable value+Waterproof

Despite the fact it costs less than £60, the Ultimate Ears Wonderboom tops out list of the best portable Bluetooth speakers you can buy today. The sound quality is the best of any we've tried, so it's sure to please even the fussiest teenager. 

Designed to be used outdoors, whether that's a park or your back garden, this is the perfect gift for the teenager who is getting into music and wants to impress their friends.

360° audio means that everyone will be able to hear it without the need for blasting the neighbours (or you for that matter) senseless.

It's completely young-person proof: throw it at a wall or drop it in a swimming pool and it'll continue blasting out tunes in defiance. It's almost like it was built for teens. 

Best gifts for kids: Kriogor Digital Camera

(Image credit: Kriogor)

7. Kriogor Digital Camera

The perfect gift for budding photographers this Christmas

Reasons to buy
+High-quality, 8-megapixel camera+Durable+Comes with waterproof case
Reasons to avoid
-A bit too toy-like for older kids

Photography is a great way to encourage your child to explore the outdoors creatively, whilst letting them enjoy technology. For this reason, we think the Kriogor Waterproof Kids Camera is one of the best gifts for kids this year. 

The camera takes 8.0-megapixel photos and can shoot Full HD 1920 x 1080p video, so although this is a camera for kids, it’s of a quality fit for grown ups too. Rest assured, the resolution means photos taken by your kids will still look great when transferred to the family iPad.

What’s more, the camera will prove itself hardy on any adventure thanks to a waterproof case and silicone sleeve that keeps the camera weather and shockproof, an essential trait in a kid's gift, we think!

The battery is claimed to take between four and five hours to charge, and afterwards is good for between five and seven hours of use. So charge it up beforehand, and it should last right through Christmas Day.

Best gifts for kids: Natural History Museum NHM1005 Pocket Microscope

8. Natural History Museum NHM1005 Pocket Microscope

Help them see more of the world with this pocket microscope

Reasons to buy
+Pocket sized+Up to 40x magnification 
Reasons to avoid
-They might be ready to upgrade quickly 

If you're buying for a budding scientist this Christmas, then this pocket-sized microscope from the Natural History Museum is the perfect stocking filler.

As with any full-size microscope there's an adjustable focus wheel, as well as zoom magnification of up to 40x plus an ultra-bright LED light, all of which means your little genius can inspect flakes of skin and the like in incredible detail. 

The microscope comes with slides, cover slips and a lens cloth so they can get started straight away.

Best gifts for teens: Roccat Kain 120 AIMO gaming mouse

(Image credit: Roccat Kain)

9. Roccat Kain 120 AIMO gaming mouse

The perfect budget gift for a gaming-mad teen

Reasons to buy
+Looks sleek and frankly, cool+Titan Click buttons
Reasons to avoid
-Wired

If you're buying a Christmas gift for a gaming-mad teen but you don’t want to fork out for a new gaming laptop, then help them upgrade their existing rig with the best gaming mouse: the Roccat Kain 120 AIMO. 

Our gaming experts love how this mouse looks and feels, especially its lightweight and ergonomic design which easily allows for different grips. It’s super light, which also makes it incredibly fast and so it is ideal for fast-paced, quick-moving games. If your teen knows what’s what when it comes to gaming, they will appreciate the responsive feel of the Titan Click buttons featured on this mouse. 

As well as being perfectly placed for speedy clicking, the tech itself improves gameplay as the Kain’s firmware allows the click to be registered 16ms faster than its rivals.

The best gift for kids: How It Works magazine

10. How It Works magazine subscription

Full of fun and education

Reasons to buy
+Direct to their door every month+Builds interest in the world

A subscription to How It Works (from the same company that publishes T3.com) is an out-of-this-world gift for kids of all ages with pressing questions they need answers to. 

Throughout the year they’ll receive 13 fact-filled issues, all loaded with engaging articles that young inquisitive minds will love. Do they wonder about the science behind the Doctor Who TV series? Or think about why salt flats so flat? How about how jellyfish are able to live without a brain? 

How It Works answers these questions and hundreds more in a year, covering everything from the human body to colliding galaxies, weird and wonderful plants and animals to futuristic super gadgets.