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High-tech gifts with a retro feel

Kristine Sorensen
December14/ 2017

We’re in the thick of the holiday season, and if you’re still having trouble thinking of what to get a child on your list, Kidsburgh.org has some ideas. Kidsburgh partner Common Sense Media put out its “2017 Holiday Gift Guide,” which this year features nostalgia gifts for digital kids.   Here are four highlights from the list of ten.

1 – Remember “Viewmaster”?  You slide in the wheel, pull the trigger and see 3D images.  The new “Viewmaster” goes high tech with VR, or virtual reality, instead of still images.  Jennifer Ehehalt, Common Sense’s Pittsburgh manager, says, “When we grew up, you literally stood and clicked through it. Now you can look up and down side to side and really be immersed in these different environments.”

She explains that you use a phone and an app for this new version. Kids can experience all kinds of new worlds through virtual reality, like national geographic locations and outer space. The cost is $29.99.

2 – The “3Doodler Start Kit” allows kids to draw in thin air, using liquid plastic that comes out of the pen in all different colors. “As you’re drawing, the liquid coming out of it and freezes instantly, allowing your child to make a 3D image,” Ehehalt says. Budding artists can create anything they want, limited only by their imagination. 

3 – Remember “Capture the Flag”?  It’s gone high tech with a glow-in-the-dark ball instead of a flag and glowing team bands for playing day or night. “This is a great way to add some technology to it and also get out and play,” Ehehalt says, for parents who want to encourage some physical activity.  The kit also includes additional games kids can play with the glowing equipment.

4 –  What’s old is new with the Polaroid camera. This high tech version still prints photos instantly but also lets you post the photos instantly to social media. “We take hundreds of pictures all the time but always on our phone or computer, and this is a way for kids to have something tangible… for kids to share like we shared before,” Ehehalt explains, “seems like we take more photos.. but have fewer actual photos to show for it. This just might change that.”

You can see the full list and links to these exact gifts by clicking here. For more gift ideas for kids and all kinds of activities to do with your kids for the holidays, go to Kidsburgh.org.

Kristine Sorensen

I am proud to work at KDKA-TV -- anchoring the news, hosting Pittsburgh Today Live and doing special reports. I am married to KDKA reporter Marty Griffin and we have 3 children. I first moved to Pittsburgh in 1999 but I’ve lived in Dallas, Johnson City, Tenn., Chicago, Williamsburg, Va., Milwaukee and Winter Park, Fla. Pittsburgh is now the place I call home.

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