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10 best Christmas gift ideas for kids

Cutting-edge tech is part and parcel of kids' lives, so buy a duff gadget this Christmas and there'll be no escaping the stroppy wrath.

But fear not, for we're here to help you choose a gift that will blow your child's impressionable little mind while also passing on a little of your passion for all things AV and hi-fi.

Amazon Fire HD 8 Kids Edition

Essentially the very good, recently launched Fire HD 8 tablet with a super-protective, rubberised case, a two-year warranty and a year's subscription to Amazon's Fire for Kids service, the Fire HD 8 Kids Edition is the perfect present for even the clumsiest and most demanding of children.

The Fire for Kids service is the real parent-pleaser here, as it gives the whole device a kid-friendly overlay and gives access to only age-appropriate apps and content - which you can manually add to if you wish. The 12-hour battery life guarantees some good stretches of quiet time, too.

Now TV Smart Stick + Kids Pass

Sky gives you access to loads of exclusive content for kids, but you don't want an expensive subscription just for that. Instead, buy the £15 Now TV Smart Stick and add a £3.99 per month Kids Pass.

The Stick plugs directly into the HDMI socket of any TV and is a doddle to use, while the Kids Pass gives access to nearly a dozen channels of children-focused entertainment, including the likes of Morph, My Little Pony, SpongeBob Squarepants, Adventure Time, Sylvester & Tweety Mysteries and much more. That should keep the sprogs occupied right up to the New Year and beyond.

AKG Y50 headphones

You don't want to spend a fortune on a pair of headphones for someone who might not take the best care of them, but you also don't want to fob your loved one off with a pair that you know, hand on heart, is naff.

That's where the AKG Y50s come in. Originally launched at over £100, they're now pretty much permanently available for around £50. They sound so good that we've given them multiple Awards, they're wired so no having to remember to charge the batteries, and they look very cool in all of the available colours. There's really nothing not to like here, and we're sure your kids will agree.

LittleBits Star Wars Droid Inventor Kit

A Star Wars fan but don’t want to choose the obvious cuddly Porg toy? Inspire your child’s inner inventor with this R2-D2 that can be programmed to do loads of different actions by connecting a variety of chips together: make the droid light up, make noises, move around, and even use The Force to control it (sort of).

For ages eight and above, it's a great way to get into coding and engineering. Educational and fun.

Ultimate Ears Wonderboom

Listen to it in the garden, hang it from a hook in a tent, plonk it next to the pool – this Wonderboom can endure all kinds of knocks and splashes.

The funky design and punchy sound make this a fun portable Bluetooth speaker that's tough to destroy (that’s not a challenge).

Hisense H43AE6100UK

Face it; it's about time your kids had a bedroom TV - if for no other reason than to get their gaming out of the lounge so you can prioritise your own entertainment. 

Again, you don't want to go overboard, but you don't want to stitch them up with something tiny or rubbish - they'll just come back to the lounge if you do. That's why you should buy them the Hisense H43AE6100UK, a 43in 4K TV that's £319 at full price and just £279 during Black Friday.

Its HDR performance is weak at best, but in pretty much every other way the AE6100UK vastly outperforms its price and should keep your kids quiet for ages. Act fast, though - this TV is now end of line and we're told that when the stock's gone, it's really gone.

Lenco L-85 turntable

It’s never too soon to get your kids into vinyl, but that doesn’t mean you should let them loose on your precious Rega or Linn deck.

This Fisher Price-style Lenco L-85 is a great first turntable: it sounds decent, the plug-and-play operation makes it easy to use and it’s far kinder on your records than alternatives from the likes of Crosley.

Apple iPod Touch

Too soon to give your kid a fully-fledged smartphone but looking for something to play music, games and videos on? The iPod Touch is a good compromise – it’s slick, works just like an iPhone (it's even got a camera) and, most importantly, can store thousands of songs that your kid can carry around in their pocket.

Ready Player One 4K Blu-ray

Give this to your kids for Christmas and everyone will be a winner. Children will love the sci-fi plot and CGI-heavy action, and you can give your TV and sound system a real run with the Dolby Vision picture and Dolby Atmos audio.

You'll also stealthily educate your offspring on the pop culture references of your formative years, which you can use as a gateway to the likes of Back to the Future, Tron, The Dark Crystal and Gallaga.

SNES Classic Mini

The SNES Classic Mini is another present that you can use to educate your kids on the games you grew up with. A delightfully dinky recreation of Nintendo's 1992 console, the SNES Classic Mini connects to your TV via HDMI and comes with 21 game pre-installed, including such belters as Super Mario World, Star Fox, Secret of Mana and The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past.

Just imagine your offspring gathered around the telly at Christmas playing Super Mario Kart, just as you did 20-odd years ago. Brings a tear to the eye.