Every generation's youth are residents of the future, or at least you would assume that by how quickly they understand new technology. Children of all ages show a huge understanding and excitement about technology, and recent studies have even shown that on average children start using the internet at the age of 3.
However, for many of us gadget fans, we can remember fondly our own childhood of first CD players and brick-sized Game Boys. Part of our future love of technology came from that early exposure and if you have children in your life, you can help inspire that same love by choosing the best gadgets to expose them to. Luckily as our children slowly take over our tablets and smartphones, new kid-focused gadgets and technology stores have come out to let you take back (or kid-proof) your tools.
Maker Shed is a technology and DIYers dream store. From robot kits to circuit boards, there are options for soldering newbies and McGyvers of all levels. For kids, they have numerous projects that could be perfect for your little engineer. The Squishy Circuits Kit is a great example of an introductory project, using dough and LEDs to teach children about circuits. Another great option is the Sound Kaleidoscope Kit that walks you through building a speaker and microphone to explore frequencies and, using colored sand, display sound waves.
For many of us, our first gadget was a Nintendo product. You can recount your first Zelda game or the color of your first Game Boy, even tracing back your constant love of Tetris on long car rides (or that may just be me). For today's kids, the Nintendo 3DS is a great hand-held device with tons of family-friendly games like Animal Crossing: New Leaf.
Robots are just cool. While we still wait for our own housekeeping maid, we may be able to inspire the future inventor of it with a neat robot kit. There are numerous great ones on the market from the adorable Tin Can Robot to your child's first J.A.R.V.I.S..
Sometimes, the best gadget for your kid is the gadget that is already in your house. But while they may be able to beat your Angry Birds score, they may not be able to hold on tightly to your phone or tablet. Luckily some great cases designed to take a beating are coming from companies like Fisher Price to protect your gadgets while letting your children explore.