Parents and relatives might break into a sweat, when it comes to selecting the perfect present for little ones. Throughout the year, your children, nieces or nephews could've pointed out a hundred items that caught their eye - be it the latest gizmo, a scooter or a game console - and moved on to the next shiny thing. Since there are very few objects that'll have them hooked till the next holiday season, the pressure is on to sustain their glee.
We understand, which is why we've curated our best picks for children this year, with gadgets and toys that are currently trending. Whether your kiddo is a toddler or a teen, a budding artist or a tech wiz, there's a gift for everyone here. Make sure you're all set with presents for him and her, too, and stay tuned for more ideas in our ongoing holiday gift guide series.
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1. Best Phone for Teens: Apple iPhone SE (256 GB), Red
- Budget-friendly latest model
- Family Sharing makes it easier to monitor more than one child
- Limit and review screen time from your device
- 5G cellular network
- Charging adapter is sold separately
- Family Sharing only works if the parent has an iPhone, too
Has your teen been hinting at a phone upgrade? According to our experts, the latest generation of iPhone SE (2022) is a solid choice for both kids and parents. Apple's comprehensive parental controls make sure the family is on the same page, when it comes to screen time, in-app purchases and downloads. Mums and dads will have an easier time keeping tabs on their children's whereabouts via the Family Sharing group. The smartphone is also a simpler rendition of high-performing iPhone models, being lighter and smaller. Yet, it still sports the A15 Bionic chip for speed, 5G connectivity and longer battery life at 15 hours of video playback. The camera is excellent, bringing 12MP to the table that's typical of most Apple handsets, though the front camera is limited to 7MP. For a budget iPhone launched this year, it's the perfect phone for your teenager. Throw in a pair of AirPods and a charging adapter to complete the gift package.
2. Best Tablet: SAMSUNG Galaxy Tab S6 Lite 2022 Edition, 64GB (Grey)
- Samsung Kids mode
- Parental controls with Google Family Link app
- Ideal for school and play
- Arrives with S Pen
- Does not come with a cover
A tablet will never not feature on a kid's wish list - shop for a reliable device to see them through play and school. The Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Lite (2022) has just the right screen size at 10.4 inches, and weight, and comes equipped with a special Kids mode. This a safe environment for children to access educational games, accompanied by cute Samsung mascots on the screen. Parental controls can be quickly set up through Google's Family Link app, as advised by Samsung for their devices. Besides play, the tablet arrives with an S Pen for note-taking in school. The Tab S6 Lite made it to our best tablet for kids list in 2022. Add a protective cover to help your child hold on to the gadget comfortably during bumpy rides.
Bonus: Buy with 0% instalments and pay Dh90.83 for 12 months with select banks.
3. Best Handheld Gaming Console: Nintendo Switch Lite (Yellow) - International Version
- Compact, portable and light
- Plays classic Nintendo titles that are compatible in handheld mode
- Allows for parental controls
- Fun colours to choose from
- Doesn't connect to TV
Make dreams come true with the Nintendo Switch Lite - it's light, small and far more portable than the standard Switch with detachable Joy-Cons. The console is designed for handheld gameplay, so the kids can always access their favourite titles on the go - in the car, out shopping and in-flight. No worries - mums and dads will be able to keep an eye on screen time, age-appropriate games and online connectivity via Nintendo's own parental controls app. As personalised as this console is, you can still link more than one Lite or Switch console to game together as a family. This single unit does away with the HDMI cable, docking station and kickstand complications, since it does not connect to the TV. Plus, it's about 122 grams lighter than the traditional version and comes in fun bright colours. Here are some classic Nintendo franchises you can add on for out-of-the-box play: Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, Animal Crossing New Horizon and Super Smash Bros.
Bonus: Buy with 0% instalments and pay Dh52.08 for 12 months with select banks.
4. Best Headphones: JBL Ultra Portable Kids On-Ear Headphones, Red
- Safe volume limit of 85 decibels
- Long battery life
- Built-in mic
- Bluetooth connection of up to 15 metres
- On-ear form factor can make it uncomfortable for prolonged use
- Wired headphones
Whether it’s for their school year or for watching their favourite toons, these soft, comfortable headphones will do the job. Designed for kids, it has a built-in mic for chatting and working, and a volume limit below 85 decibels to ensure they are safe for children to use. These headphones are featherlight and cup the ears with soft padded cushions. If you have a long flight or car ride ahead, charge these with a USB-C cable and get a battery life of 30 hours. Although this version is wired, some reviewers prefer the wireless model because it allows kids the freedom of movement, without cables snaking around their limbs. The headset even comes with stickers so your child can customise it to make it their own! Find more headphones for kids here.
Warranty: Amazon offers a one-year extended warranty for Dh12 and two years for Dh19.
5. Best Preschool Outdoor Toy: Berg Pedal Car Buzzy Nitro Go Kart, 2-5 Years
The weather is perfect for outdoor activities, so give your little one the gift of riding into the wind. Eyeing a tricycle? Toss that option for an even more engaging ride - give them their very own go-kart. Built for children of preschool age, between two to five, this premium pedal car by BERG is sturdy, safe and easy to ride. It moves on four stable wheels that can be pedalled backwards and forwards. Speaking of wheels, these are made of high-tech EVA foam found in shoe soles and yoga mats, so you don't have to be concerned about them going flat. As your child grows, you can adjust the steering wheel and saddle to suit their height. Happy parents in the reviews report back on thrilled young riders, who've scaled grass plains and the occasional puddles with no incident.
Bonus: Buy with 0% instalments and pay Dh64.24 for 12 months with select banks.
6. Best Coding Toy: LEGO Boost Creative Toolbox Robotics Kit
If you've got a budding coder in the family, gift them this Robotics kit by Lego, for an engaging winter break. Designed for kids between the ages of seven to 12, the Boost Creative Toolbox has five robot models for building. All of the coding blocks can be controlled on the tablet via an app, so your tech genius can watch their creations come to life. They can assign behaviours to models and complete over 60 fun activities, too. It's the best way to introduce children to essential coding skills, say reviewers, who added that the kit is easy to navigate and makes for a versatile gift. Browse more electronic toys here.
Bonus: Buy with 0% instalments and pay Dh51.15 for 12 months with select banks.
7. Best Doll: CoComelon Musical Bedtime JJ Doll
Surprise your toddler with a bedtime doll from the hit YouTube children's series, CoComelon. The ever-popular character JJ gets his own plush toy and plays seven sounds and phrases, when it's time for some bedtime cuddling. Their new best friend is dressed in glow-in-the-dark onesies, all set to help your little one fall asleep quickly. Press the belly for nursery rhymes. Parents note with delight that their toddlers instantly recognised the doll, and took to it immediately, but do point out the absence of volume control.
8. Best Electric Scooter: Razor Electric Scooter Powertec S85, Blue
- Top speeds of 16km/h only
- Simple controls, with thumb throttle and a handbrake
- Suitable for riders up to 54kgs
- Full charge gives 35 minutes of riding time
- Manual rear fender brake
- Front tyre is pneumatic
Cool electric scooters are on every child’s wish list this year. Get them a model that's just right for their height and weight, with fairly simple controls. This Razor Power Core S85 e-scooter runs at safe top speeds of 16km per hour, and can support children eight years old and above (up to 54kg). Once it's charged, your preteen or teen can cruise on the scooter for 35 minutes, controlling their speed via a thumb-activated throttle. It has a handbrake and a rear fender brake for a manual dual-braking system. Since the front tyre is filled with air, it might require occasional maintenance. For younger riders, check out this manual kick scooter with three wheels that light up.
Bonus: Buy with 0% instalments and pay Dh58.25 for 12 months with select banks.
9. Best Art Supply Kit: Crayola Inspiration Art Case Coloring Set, 140 Art Supplies
Your tiny artist is going to vibrate with excitement, when they unwrap this 140-piece art case by Crayola. The art and crafts kit will keep them well occupied for the holidays, with 64 crayons, 20 short coloured pencils, 40 washable markers and 15 sheets of paper. All supplies come in a professional wooden art case, and this organiser will help them tidy up quickly, too. It's been frequently picked up as a present for kids, touted as a long-lasting, practical gift for years to come.
Our recommendations are independently chosen by Gulf News editors. If you decide to shop through links on our website, we may earn an affiliate commission, as we are part of Amazon Services LLC Associates Program.