It’s getting cold, and we still have a few months of hunkering down ahead of us. Here are some top-rated items for distance learning, learning pods, and generally keeping your kids busy and safe both indoors and out, at Cyber Monday prices. Most of these items are from Amazon, and all are highly-rated and/or expert recommended.
Tech for Remote Learning and Zoom – All Ages
- An Amazon Fire HD 10 Tablet is the largest, fastest Fire tablet and is $80 with a 47% off sale, while the smaller Fire 7 is also capable for Zoom, as well as watching videos and other activities, for $40.
- Laptops: The Asus VivoBook S13 is a compact and capable machine currently at $600. If a Chromebook is all you need, the Acer Chromebook Spin 311 can be used as a tablet or laptop and is currently $270. A higher-end laptop that can double as a gaming machine or crank through more intensive work is the Razer Blade 15 on sale at $1450.
- Headphones: The super-popular Powerbeats Pro Wireless Earphones are Zoom-ready and compatible with both Apple and PC, have 4.6 stars on Amazon and are 20% off. For something more affordable, Razer Kraken’s gaming headphones are great for Zoom for teens (and pre-teens with larger heads). If you have wired headphones that you love, here’s an adapter to turn them into wireless Bluetooth headphones, for $16 at 40% off.
- For better ergonomics, the wildly popular VicTsing wireless mouse is only $9 right now. For an upgrade, the Logitech M705 is a great choice and on sale at $25.
- There are a lot of great monitors on sale right now; this Samsung 24” has an average of 4.6 stars on Amazon and its Cyber Monday price is $120. Or save $20 with this model if you don’t need as many input and adjustability options.
- Amazon’s Kindle e-readers are all on sale, and the Kindle Kids Edition, with parental controls and a few options for colored and patterned covers, is perfect for kids at $80. For the most avid readers, the ergonomic and waterproof Kindle Oasis is a great upgrade.
If you’re teaching or otherwise speaking a lot, a microphone stand can be a huge boost to your audio quality. This one has 4.6 stars and is 50% off at $20. If you’re not quite that hardcore, you may still want to upgrade your microphone itself with this 4.5 star mic for $30.
School and Craft Supplies – All Ages
- If everyone’s cutting at the same time, these scissors are incredibly reliable and right now under $8 for a pack of three.
- Get all your Crayola at once, with this pod-sized pack of washable markers, colored pencils, and crayons for $14.
- For analog work, AmazonBasics pencils come in a 30 pack for $5, and you can get a six-pack of Oxford spiral-bound notebooks for $9.
Toys and Tools (Active, Imaginative, and Creative Play) – Age 3 – 7
- Marbotic’s wooden Lowercase Smart Letters work together with an award-winning iPad app to help children age 3-5 learn pre-literacy skills. Uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and shapes are all available, and kids tap the letters directly on the iPad screen to interact with the game. 40% off.
- Using your tablet’s camera instead of the touch-screen to power its interactivity, the Osmo Little Genius Starter Kit for ages 3-5 (compatible with iPad or Fire Tablet) includes manipulatives made for the youngest learners to build their pre-literacy, counting, and other skills, and is currently on sale for 30% off.
- Mad Mattr is a non-toxic modeling dough that holds it shape better than kinetic sand and never dries out. 4.7 stars on Amazon and currently 50% off at $10.
Learning and STEAM Toys and Tools – Age 5 – 10
- The Osmo Genius Starter Kit for kids age 6-10 (compatible with iPad or Fire Tablet) is currently 44% off, which is the best price we’ve seen for these physical letters, numbers, shapes, drawing tools, and other manipulatives that pair with a tablet for an interactive learning experience. Many of their Osmo kits are currently on sale, and make sure you get the right version (iPad or Fire) for your tablet.
- Wonder Workshop Dash – Coding Robot for kids 6+ is used in over 20,000 classrooms worldwide and is 25% of.
- The most basic Snap Circuits kit is rated for kids 8+, but much younger children can enjoy and learn from it with adult supervision. A classic STEM toy with a 4.8 stars on Amazon, and right now 40% off at $21.
Learning and STEAM Toys and Tools – Age 10+
- Monoprice’s Wirecutter-recommended 3D Printer is on sale for $200, for older kids and teens who are ready to go deep into digital design. More affordable and compact, the 3Doodler 3D Printing Pen is $79 (regular price) and offers a free-form making experience.
- The best-selling and Wirecutter-recommended Wacom drawing tablet is on sale at $60, for older kids with artistic inclinations.
- 4M’s Table Top Robot kit is for kids and teens 8+ and is only $16.
Technology for for Hosting a Pod
- Netgear’s Tri-band Whole Home Mesh Wifi System (3Gbps) comes with a router and extender and covers up to 5,000 square feet. 4.4 stars on Amazon, 20% off. If that’s more than you need, there’s also a wide variety of other options on sale, including the Amazon eero mesh Wifi Router for $79 or this Netgear router for $60.
- Anker’s waterproof portable speaker is great both indoors and out, has 4.7 stars on Amazon, and is on sale for $22.
- An Echo Show 8 is more often used for families to keep in touch and for recipes in the kitchen, but it can also be used by kids to easily keep in touch with their friends when they can’t meet in person. It could also serve as a video monitor if you have multiple spaces to keep tabs on. $65 right now with a 50% discount. You can also connect your Echo Show to a Ring video doorbell, right now at 30% off.
Setting Up a Space and Hosting – Cleaning, Safety, and Comfort
- To keep kids warm over the winter, even if they’re in a garage or other poorly insulated space, get this MaxKare electric blanket with three heating levels and a four hour auto shut-off. (Not for use in snow or wet weather!)
- Roomba has a range of vacuums and its robot mop on deep discounts, as well.
- A fire extinguisher is an essential piece of safety equipment for all pods and homes. This one from Kidde is one of the best, is a good size, and 33% off.
Avoiding Covid Like the Plague
- iHealth’s hugely popular no-contact thermometer has 4.5 stars on Amazon and is 60% off at $24. There’s also this one, if iHealth goes out of stock.
- The GAP has 100% cotton kids’ masks at $5-7 each. And these three-layer masks come in a range of children’s sizes and cost under $6 each.
- The Coway Mighty HEPA air purifier is a massively popular, expert-recommended machine that can remove viral particles and other particulates (like smoke) from your air, and is currently $150, which is as cheap as you’ll ever see it.
- Stock up on hand sanitizer in big bottles from Pasco or Rubbermaid.
Gear for Outdoors and On the Go
- These lightweight binoculars are sturdy, have 4.7 stars on Amazon, and are 58% off.
- Tile bluetooth trackers for laptops, tablets, keys, wallets, backpacks, and everything else you don’t want to lose.
- Micro Kickboard’s gold standard Micro Deluxe (ages 2-5) and Macro Deluxe (ages 5-12) scooters are 20% off.
- In a supply chain and marketing miracle, Target has a 12” Strider balance bike not only available but on sale for $80.
- For outdoor-all-day pods or families that love to hike and go on longer adventures, a LifeStraw Go Water Filter Bottle cleans your water while you drink, allowing you to safely get drinking water from lakes and streams.
Want to read more? Check out a list of toys that support independent play for ages 1-8; a list of outdoor toys to make fields and forests fun for for kids; and the three easiest things you can do to help your family be well while staying at home during COVID-19
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About Littldata: At Littldata, my goal is to help parents figure out their family logistics by sharing calendars, maps, lists, and spreadsheets–as well as research-backed blog posts and data graphics. This post uses Amazon Affiliate and referral links.
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