Kids & Teens Tech & Electronics

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Back-To-School Tech Guide

From headphones to computers to smartwatches, the amount of technology and electronics available can be a bit overwhelming—but it doesn’t have to be. Tech can be a fun and functional addition to your back to school shopping haul. This guide will help you decipher what tech options are best for your child and what to consider when buying them.

Child With Headphones On

Tablets Based On Age

Tablets for young kids can be a tool for playing educational games, watching their favorite shows, and listening to music. Parental controls can be set to limit the amount of time your child is spending on the tablet and what they can or can’t access. Make sure to get a tablet that is meant for kids, as they are often made with durable materials that can withstand daily wear and tear and offer more parental control options.

Teens in high school or going off to college can use tablets for completing homework on-the-go or staying connected on their social media apps. Tablets are also great for reading electronic books and storing photos. While brands like Apple and Amazon have well-known tablets, other brands offer their own versions as well.

Don’t forget to outfit those tablets with a protective case! For little hands, choose a case that protects the tablet from drops or spills and features grips for easier handling. For teens, think about both function and design. With endless option from brands like Belkin or well-known fashion designers, high protection doesn’t have to mean compromising on style.

Headphones: Splurge or Save?

Headphones are great for watching movies in the car (without the whole family having to listen along) and for jamming out to music after class. Headphones for kids should be purchased with durability and usage time in mind. Little ones don’t need super high sound quality, but they do need a pair that can be easily replaced if it gets dropped and accidently stepped on. Instead of splurging on a high-tech pair, your little one will be just as happy with a fun, colorful pair featuring their favorite TV or book character.

When it comes to your teens, however, headphones may be a great splurge item to surprise them with or to let them use some allowance to contribute to. Higher quality headphones often lead to a higher quality listening experience. Popular brands like Beats by Dre, Bose, or Sennheiser are leading the industry, but there are endless options for high-quality headphones as well. Options like over-ear headphones or wireless and bluetooth headphones are also available to cater the listening experience to your teen’s preferences.

Popular Computer Brands

When it comes to computers, you have a variety of styles and brands to choose from. A desktop for your home, for example, is great for homework and research time and can be used by the whole family. A laptop, on the other hand, is great for older teens who are preparing for college or families constantly on the go as they are easy to pack up and carry along.

When making your decision, different brands will play a major role in what computer you decide. Apple, HP, Lenovo, Acer, Asus, and Dell are among popular choices. Do your research to find the computer that best fits your family's or child’s needs. Size, weight, storage, and operating systems are all factors to take into consideration.

Smartwatch Capabilities

A watch can help keep track of time and stay on track throughout the day, but a smart watch can do so much more than that. Teen and adult versions can link to smartphones and do everything from display texts and emails to track your steps throughout the day. Kids versions are also available with parental controls that can be set for time and usage monitoring.

Key things to keep in mind when shopping for smartwatches are the following: if the watch is waterproof, if the watch is compatible with your cell phone provider and plan, and if your child’s school allows them. Some schools don’t allow them in class as an effort to reduce cheating opportunities.

Activity Trackers For The Whole Family

Activity trackers can encourage physical activity throughout the day. Available in various different styles—from bracelets to necklaces—these trackers monitor activities like walking, running, and even heart rate. To get your whole family involved, try getting versions from the same brand, like FitBit, that offer fun challenges though their app or website like challenging a family member to see who can walk the most steps.