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Holiday 2012: Gifts for Kids


Everybody wants something better for their children than they had for themselves. It’s a function of the American dream. It’s also a manufacturer’s dream. The hottest new toy can create a frenzy around the holiday season that can only be duplicated in certain shark-infested waters in the Pacific. But when you’re buying a gift this season, think ahead. We'd like to suggest that you don’t buy your child something they’re screaming to have—buy them something that could make a difference in their lives, something that could steer them toward a career, or interest them in something constructive.

MOMMY! I Want to be a Photographer!

And you will be, my little Margaret Bourke-White or Ansel Adams. You will be. When you get a little older and Mommy doesn’t have to worry about you leaving your camera on the playground, we’ll look into the Olympus VG-160 Digital Camera. This is more than a toy—it’s a big-kid camera with a 14MP CCD imaging sensor that lets you take great pictures and record 720p HD video. A 3.0" LCD screen and 5x wide-angle zoom lens help you take great pictures, and additional features like digital image stabilization, Intelligent Auto + Shadow Adjustment, AF Tracking  and Magic Art Filters will also help your budding interest in photography.

We can also look at the Canon PowerShot A2300 Digital Camera in a variety of colors and kits. These cameras feature 16MP resolution, 1 2/3” CCD image sensors and Digic 4 image processing, which Mommy is told is very good. The 5-25mm (35mm equivalent: 28-140mm) lens and 5x optical/4x digital zoom will help you take grown-up-looking pictures, and you can record HD video at 720p resolution as well.

If you want to come back with Mommy to the B&H SuperStore later, they have a whole department of very nice Sales Professionals who know just about everything camera-related. Then you can ask them all kinds of questions…and…and…

Susie, darling, what are you doing over by the pianos? Oh, I give up. If you want to be a musician, go talk to your father.

DADDY! I Want to be a Pop Star!

Oh really, Susie Q? You couldn’t aspire to be something a little less heartbreaking for Daddy, like a scientist or a world leader? Oh, fine. If you’re going to be a pop star, we’re going to want to start you off with a nice set of headphones, because in order to make music, you have to appreciate music.

Daddy is very concerned about protecting your hearing, so he’s thinking of buying the Etymotic Research ETY-Kids 5 Safe-Listening In-Ear Stereo Headphones. These kids-safe earphones are made for people with sensitive ears, and come with ACCUtip comfort ear buds. The noise dynamics never approach a dangerous level, so they’re perfect for you, because many times the noise that comes out of you gives Daddy a headache. I’m also considering the ETY-Kids 3 Safe-Listening In-Ear Stereo Headphones with Mic/Remote, which does the same but includes an inline microphone and remote, and works with the free AWARENESS isolation app that lets you hear your surroundings even as you listen to your music.

Daddy’s old-fashioned? You bet I am. But I can be cool and hip, too. Word. Like when I saw these Angry Bird earphones. I know all the kids these days love the aviary gaming antics of these feathered friends, and I thought you might, too. The 3.5mm jacks will fit almost any music player, and they come with three sizes of earbuds. Oh, yeah, check it out, sweetie. I also found Angry Bird speakers for your iPad, iPhone or iPod. In case you want to share your music with your brother.

You could also try the Sony MDR-222KD Children's Stereo Headphones in black or pink. These kid-friendly headphones don’t go in your ear, they go on it. And the volume levels never get too loud, so they’re safer to use over a longer period of time. The adjustable headband and lighter weight also make this kid-comfy.

You know how Daddy always tells you things go in one ear and out the other? Daddy remembers, because he’s also thinking of getting you the Cyber Acoustics AC-8000 Stereo Headset for Kids. They feature individual ear cup volume adjusters, so if one ear is weak you can control the volume for stereo synchronicity. Synchronicity? It’s another word for balance, honey. It also features built-in Sound Level Limiting for tender ears like yours.

Now what’s this about being a Pop Star? You don’t even like going to your piano lessons, even though Daddy was thinking of getting you the Casio LK-240 61-Note Keyboard with Lighted, Piano-Style Keys. The touch-sensitive keys and onboard digital effects should be enough to keep you interested, but it also has light-up keys to make your lessons go smoother, and 110 songs built in. Do I have to say pretty-please? How about if Daddy sprang for the Yamaha EZ-220 Lighted 61-key Portable Keyboard? It’s loaded with learning tools, 100 preset songs and 392 pre-loaded voices. It can also wirelessly connect to my iPad and use the free Yamaha Page Turner app, and it includes the very popular Yamaha Education Suite interactive music learning system and chord dictionary.

Susie, where are you going? Those are video cameras. If you want something that high-end for the holidays, talk to Grandma.

GRANDMA! I want to be a Director!

Oh really? Well, you know Grandma wants you to be anything your little heart desires, so if you want to direct high-budget movies, let’s see what B&H has for you!

The Sony MHS-TS20 8GB Bloggie Touch Camera in black has Full HD 1920 x 1080 resolution for high-quality recording, a 13MP 1/2.5” Sony Exmor CMOS sensor with 4x digital zoom, and a 3” LCD touch screen. It has 8GB of internal flash memory for up to four hours of HD video, and cool extras like SteadyShot image stabilization and face detection technology for tagging your friends when posting to social media sites. It also has an HDMI output so that you can come to Grandma’s and show her the footage you’ve shot during the day.

The Coleman Waterproof Pocket Video Camera in blue, red and green, also records Full HD, but with an action-camera twist. The 8MP resolution, 3X digital zoom and 2” color LTPS LCD can be taken anywhere you go—to the mountains, the ocean or even the backyard. It’s waterproof to a depth-rating of 10 feet (3 m) and supports micro SD/SDHC memory cards so you can expand the storage for your movies. It also has HDMI out so you can show Grandma all your hard work.

But if you want to fund your big-screen dreams, go talk to your Grandpa over by the computer section.

GRANDPA! I want to be a Computer Internet Millionaire!

Well, you want to be a photographer/pop star/movie maker, huh? Grandpa understands. When you’re young, you want to be everything—and you should! But let’s remember that a holiday gift should also be fun. Grandpa has been talking to the nice Sales Professional here, and we’ve come up with these tablets you might like.

The Ematic FunTab Pro is a multi-touch-screen tablet with Android 4.0 installed as the operating system. Android 4.0? That’s an operating system, also called Ice Cream Sandwich, that is perfect for games and apps, like the ones found on the FunTab pro. The great thing about the FunTab Pro is that it uses the Zoodles interface that adapts to a child’s age and skill level, and provides your parents with a progress report to let you know how you’re doing. Well, it is their business, honey—they’re paying for the tablet. It also features games I know you love, like Angry Birds, Fruit Ninja and Cut the Rope. And on those days when Mommy or Daddy are too busy to read to you, they can record themselves with any webcam and send it to your FunTab Pro.

Another great tablet is the nabi 2, a new interactive tablet that features a 7” touch-screen display, 1024 x 600 resolution, Tegra 3 quad-core processor for super-fast game playing and 8GB of storage (with a microSD card slot so Grandpa can add an additional 32GB of storage). It includes a 2MP front-facing webcam and can record HD 720p video. But best of all, it has parent-approved apps, activities (like a Chore Calendar, yuck!) and both Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity. It also runs on Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich.

Speaking of ice cream, what say we give your parents and Grandma a break and go get some ice cream? If there are any questions we forgot to ask, we can always contact the nice B&H Sales Professionals via live chat or over the phone at 1-800-606-6969.