Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Back-to-School Ideas for the Tech Loving Child

(and ways to treat yourself while buying for them)

If your child loves technology, then the back-to-school season is a great time to find products for him or her, since many stores offer back-to-school discounts.  At the same time, you can usually find a way to treat yourself by also buying discounted products or by using reward cards.

The right purchase for your child depends on his or her age and what you want to spend.  Most people would not consider a computer inexpensive, but if you do, then the back-to-school time is great for your technology-focused kid. You can find a new, cheap computer for around $300 that can last many years. Your child can learn a lot from a computer, such as a programming language, how to work software programs, or how to install components.  However, this option is not open to every child.

Searching yard sales, Craigslist and eBay, you can find a used computer at a lower price. This way, your child can learn first-hand how to fix a computer and install new software. If he or she ever needs any help, you can guide them as they repair the computer.

For a less expensive item for your younger child, you can look at the products offered by Leapfrog.   Leapfrog offers many educational toys that look and act like laptops. These toys work great for younger children because the toys teach the children a lot, and since kids love imitating older people, they enjoy these toys that look like their parents' laptops.

There are also many robots that are perfect for older children.  Using these robots, kids can begin to see how batteries and radio frequencies work.  As a parent, you could even buy a few, simple books on these subjects to help encourage your child's interest in technology.

Another inexpensive option is to sign your child up for a local, technology-focused group. These groups may exist in your neighborhood or at the nearby library; or, you may need to start a group yourself.  Either way, these groups can grow your child's interest in technology, especially if you bring in other parents who work in technology-related fields. Also, your child can make friends with other kids who like technology.  There may even be special classes or clubs at your child's school that he or she can join to learn more.

Trying to find the right products and ideas for your technology-focused child could be difficult, but you can also benefit from it.  If you plan on buying anything for your child, make sure you use a credit card or a store card that uses a rewards program.  Generally, store rewards programs offer better rewards, but these rewards tend to be redeemable in that store only.  So, if you find a certain product for your kid, you should look to bigger stores like Target or Amazon, so that you can also find something you like at that store.  Also, if you find a good technology-related program for your child, you will be able to meet other parents, which may develop into new friendships.

Ultimately, when you find the best product or program for your child, you will be ensuring that his or her knowledge and interest in technology grows.

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