We’re all busy, and even with school season coming around we don’t always have the energy to keep up with the younger ones in the family. There are a few old school ways to keep your children entertained while you relax, but there are also some really cool modern gadgets to occupy your children while your babysitter or nanny arrives.

While I wouldn’t recommend sitting your child in front of the TV all day – get them outside breathing fresh air every once in a while, get them moving! – I can say that we all need a break every now and then. And these days it is easy to keep a child amused with the various gadgets and technology in our homes – but there are things other than the TV and computer, and there are also many products that are more educationally-geared. The 5 gadgets that I’ll be showcasing today, though, are not strictly educational (or necessarily educational at all).


Kinect is an amazing and futuristic gaming console that uses motion sensors, vocal and facial recognition, and lets your child (or you) play games without any controller at all. It’s not extraordinarily expensive, either – though perhaps initially a bit expensive with the additional cost of games.

The added benefit of not having any controllers is that in order to play the game you actually have to play – in the traditional sense, that is – you have to move around, jump, punch, kick, dance. The Kinect gets your kids up and moving as well as keeping them entertained. As a side note, I might make sure that there is nothing breakable around you TV when you get a Kinect.


Everything technology starts with ‘i’ these days – and we all know why. But this little hookup is an amazing gadget if you have a son or a daughter who likes to sing. What it does when you hook-up the microphone and apparatus to any iPod, the lead vocal is silenced and the music is sent to any home stereo. I might only get this for kids that you have who can actually sing well…or only allow it to be used at certain hours.


Qausi might just be your kids new best friend. He talks with anyone about anything, even his “quest to understand humans better.” He’ll do everything from teach your child how to dance (I’ll believe it when I see it) and answer your math problems. Maybe keep Quasi out of the room when your child is doing homework? You never know what kind of answers this robot would give…

Yourock MIDI Electric Guitar

Have a musically inclined child? The YouRock MIDI electric guitar takes the concept of Guitar Hero one step further. Rather than just the buttons without any kind of strings (as the controller for Rock Band is) this is much more natively similar to a real guitar, strings and all. It can also be used as a control for Guitar Hero – so when you’re sick of hearing your kid attempt to learn how to really play the guitar, they can start playing the game without missing a beat.


And of course, the king of distraction, the iPad. (Or really, any of the Apple products). With the iPad, though, it can be anything from an e-reader to a game player to an internet browser – all at the fingertips of your child. A completely engrossing activity, you (or the babysitter) will probably have to tear your child away from the screen.

These are my thoughts on the ways to help to distract a child while you as a parent get the necessary things done for your day. Best of luck wrangling the little ones!

Alexis Green wishes that her babysitter or nanny services when she was a kid were this cool. The iPad is currently on her own wishlist for the upcoming holiday season.

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