Hanukkah is here and Christmas is right around the corner. If you check the list of almost any teen or tween, you will find tech toys listed. But before you shell out money, consider a few things:
1. Find out if the household is Mac, PC, or both. There is nothing more disappointing than unwrapping a gift that your computer system doesn’t support.
2. If you are buying for a niece, nephew, grandchild or friend, check with the parents before buying a tech gift. Maybe they don’t want their child to have a laptop, or a KindleKindle. And if you want to buy an iPhone, for a kid, make sure the family has AT&T.
3. Check the return policy before buying any tech items. Some store or websites might charge a restocking fee, or refuse to accept returns of any tech items. Others require a gift receipt, which you can include in the card. And if you are sending a gift from a store, not a website, make sure that the recipient can return it if need be to a store where he lives.
4. Many people think their kid is advanced, and can handle a game or toy designed for a much older child. But age recommendations should be carefully considered. A young child may not be able to manipulate small buttons, or understand the complexities of a video game designed for an older child.
5. When buying video games, pay attention to the ratings. If your nephew requested a violent video game, check with his parents before buying it.
6. If you are buying a tech toy at a store, try it out before buying to see if you like it. Try to put yourself in your grand daughter’s shoes – is this appropriate and fun for her? If you are buying online, read reviews from a neutral site like Dr. Toy.
Finally, see if you can find a non-tech accompaniment to the tech toy, to further the fun. If you are buying a drawing game for a computer, include a sketch pad and craypas. If you are buying a Wii football game, give a real football as well.
I wrote this blog post while participating in the TwitterMoms and Staples blogging program, making me eligible for a $50 gift card. For more information on how you can participate click here.