Many kids now have access to an iPad tablet. Increasingly we are seeing app toys and other appcessory add-ons that work with an iPad and can make good gifts for children. There are quite a few new ones this year for toddlers through to tweens and teens.
A lot of grandparents prefer to give a physical gift to a child. They want to choose a toy that can be wrapped up rather than a digital gift card for iTunes. But many kids spend a lot of time using tablets. An app toy that works with a tablet can be a good choice that keeps everyone happy.
App toys can be good value because the brains of the toy is provided by the iPad rather than having to be included in each electronic toy. Note that in some cases the app that goes with the toy is free, in others it is paid or has some paid content. Also check device version compatibility.
Perler Beads I-Pegboard Tablet Accessory Starter Kit
My kids like ironing beads and they are great for developing fine motor control and hand-eye coordination - some of the skills that kids can be lacking in if they spend too much time using a tablet and not engaging in traditional play.
This set allows you to work on Perler bead designs over an iPad which shows the design you are working on. There's a free app that comes with various designs and allows you to buy additional ones. There's also a cool feature that allows you to create a design by taking a photograph.
This is a good gift for boys or girls from around age 6 (though my 5 year old loves these beads with a bit of help from a parent.)
Angry Birds Star Wars Telepods Battle on Geonosis Playset
Angry Birds Star Wars II Telepods toys will be very popular this holiday season. They're new for fall 2013 and accompany a new app (it's a paid app so you might need to buy that too.)
There are various sets and they include physical toys that can be played with and a telepod that is placed over the camera on a tablet to transport the toy characters into the game.
The Angry Birds Telepods sets are great for kids aged 5+. My younger son and his friends love Angry Birds Star Wars.
ArtSee Studio by WowWee
For the littlest iPad owners (or borrowers) there's the new ArtSee Studio by WowWee. This is a case for the iPad that includes and stores a range of physical drawing tools that kids can use on the tablet.
There's an ArtSee Studio app that goes with the case and allows kids to create lots of different effects.
You can then print or digitally share kids artwork. A good way to save on paper and mess and encourage kids to draw.
(My younger son was always reluctant to pick up a crayon as a kid and much more interested in creating digital art.)
For kids who are just learning to write their letters you can also consider the LeapFrog Mr Pencil stylus and app.
Fisher-Price Imaginext Apptivity Troll Figure
The Fisher-Price Imaginext Apptivity Fortress toy and figures are new for this year.
You can buy individual figures and use them with the Apptivity Fortress app and you can also buy a castle toy which the iPad fits into to play various games.
This is a good choice for kids, particularly boys, from age 3.
Barbie Digital Makeover Mirror
One for the girls here. Though actually I'm pretty sure my boys would have fun turning themselves into monsters or wild animals!
The Barbie Digital Makeover Mirror allows young girls to experiment with makeup without making a mess or using up their Mom's best cosmetics.
You pop an iPad into the Mirror case and it tracks facial movements as a child applies make-up. The Barbie Digital Makeover app is currently free but does offer in-app purchases.
The new Furby BOOM electronic pet is now has a lot more interactive content and can be considered an appcessory or app toy.
Nerf N-Sports Cyber Hoop Set
If you know a child who like basketball or needs encouraging off the couch to get moving them the Nerf Cyber Hoop set might be the right app toy for them.
It's a physical basketball hoop and ball set that has an app that goes with it to add graphics, sound effects and commentary to the game play.
Kids can play together or friends can sync up for remote game play (requires a GameCenter or Facebook account.)
The Nerf Cyber Hoop set is aimed at kids and tweens from 8 up.
ION Audio IDJ2GO DJ System for iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch
Do you know a musical teen who fancies trying their
hand at being a DJ? Real DJ equipment is expensive and heavy, but they
can get started with this neat little system from ION.
Note that you'll need the IDJ 2 GO app to go with it.