The Gadget Gift Guide for ‘Big Kids’

Written by Holly Arnason, Digital Literacy Librarian

Just in time for the holidays - a list for the “big kid” who loves exploring new technology and gadgets. EPL staff have hand-picked the latest tech gadgets that could make someone’s gift under the tree a memorable one and could also easily fit in the EPL Makerspace.

Pocket C.H.I.P. ($70 – $100)

This retro-inspired hand-held computer is perfect for anyone interested in making and playing PICO-8 indie games with a huge online community. The onboard SunVox synth also allows chiptune composition for scoring games or, if you dare, live performance!

GEMMA Wearable Sensor Starter Pack ($60)

Do you know someone who is interested in fashion or wearable technology? This GEMMA starter pack by Adafruit is a great way to get started exploring the intersection of textiles and tech. Create a garment or hat that reacts to your environment or give a plush toy new life with lights and sound. Great for cosplayers too!

Kill Screen Magazine 4 Issue Subscription ($90)

Kill Screen is a beautifully designed magazine that features compelling and critical writing about independent video games – especially as they intersect with film, music, architecture and politics. Highly recommended for anyone interested in video game culture and development.

KORG Volca Keys ($219)

Do you know someone who likes making music – or maybe just noise? KORG’s Volca Keys is a gorgeous, retro-styled polyphonic analog synthesizer. With various options for playback and recording, this device also has a highly portable form factor that is great for enthusiasts and beginners on the go.

ANKI Cozmo ($200+)

Are you looking for a cute robot pal to befriend in advance of the inevitable robot wars? Or perhaps you need a roguish partner-in-mischief, akin to Frank Langella’s dutiful robotic caretaker in the 2012 film Robot and Frank? Cozmo learns and its reactions evolve as you interact and play with it. Highly recommended for fans of 80s sci-fi film nostalgia, this cute, mischievous robot also made our list for younger explorers, tinkerers, and makers!

PancakeBot ($350)

Are the pancakes at your family’s brunch, well…unspeakably boring and plain? Shock and delight your loved ones by designing and ‘printing’ custom pancakes with PancakeBot! This pancake printer is a great introduction to technology similar to the 3D printing and vinyl cutting machines in the EPL Makerspace, but the output is infinitely more delicious.

HTC Vive Virtual Reality Headset for PC ($1,149)

In the last two years, EPL Makerspace has offered demos of the Oculus Rift DK2. We’ve also had customers bring in their own HTC Vive or Microsoft Hololens units for others to try. One VR unit we're really impressed with is the HTC Vive; this snazzy unit would make a great gift for the gamer or virtual explorer in your life who has everything – especially a high-end gaming PC required to run the Vive!

Help Build a Revitalized Downtown Library ($25 – $2,000)

In addition to the ‘big kid’ on your holiday list, you can help provide access for creative and curious people of all ages to new and transformative technologies in the revitalized downtown library Makerspace. Your charitable gift will help us outfit the new Makerspace with resources to inspire discovery, learning and collaboration in our community!

Donate to EPL in honour of a loved one and make a difference in your community.