The winter holidays are fast approaching and that means the panic of gift shopping. Will you get overwhelmed in the aisles of Target and end up giving a gift card again?

No, you won’t, because you took the time to read this tech toys for kids guide. Learn the hottest toys of the season below.

1. Littlebits Star Wars Droid Inventor Kit

Were your kids all about the new Star Wars last year or the one before? Do they like to learn hands-on and love technology?

Well, you can stimulate their STEM play senses with this R2 D2 droid builder toy. Not only is it adorable, but it’s officially licensed, so there’s no strange sounds or parts.

The instructions that come with it are easy to follow, as long as your child can read. If they can’t, you should have a fine time putting it together with them as an adult.

The droid is controlled via an app and it can do some cool stuff. There are games in-app that coordinate with your droid. It can even hold a pen and draw you a nice space-themed picture.

If your child builds it with one modification, they can take it apart and switch it out easily.

This is a seriously awesome gift for parents or friends of a Star Wars lover – kid or adult.

2. Anki Overdrive Battle and Race Robotic Supercars

What the last gift was to Star Wars lovers is what this gift is for lovers of Mario Kart. Except you won’t need a controller with buttons for this track.

Instead, you’ll need your smartphone app to drive the cars on the track. That’s right – no more stooping over hot-wheels tracks that always come apart. This is digital – though the track itself is in person.

You control the cars that come with the track through the app. The cars themselves have sensors built in, which read the code on the track. You can rearrange the track in any way you want – and buy expansion packs.

The app even has weapon options for you to blast your competitors out of the running for first place.

For extra kid-cred, check out the officially licensed Fast and the Furious Anki Overdrive Expansion.

If your kid isn’t ready to give up the remote cars yet, learn more here.

3. Nintendo Labo

If your kid isn’t into track racing anymore, but still loves the driving games – Nintendo came out with the perfect gift. Instead of them driving something with their phone screen, this toy helps them create a useable steering wheel.

The parts are made out of cardboard, but there’s technology included that communicates with their Nintendo Switch.

It’s a pretty cool idea. Much more exciting than the driving wheel Wii remote modifiers they had years back.

And they didn’t stop at cars. You can build your own wearable robot for fighting games. It even includes a build your own headset that fits the Nintendo Switch.

The toy line is called Nintendo Labo and we can’t wait to see what else they come out with.

4. Hatchimals

Yes, they’re around this Christmas too. If you want something a little less STEM but still tech-related for a younger kid, check out Hatchimals.

You buy them as speckled eggs, which doesn’t seem like fun. That is until you unpackage them, then wait and watch.

When the animal inside is “ready” it’ll start poking its way out of its shell. It takes longer than you’d think – some parents went ahead and pulled the egg apart themselves.

But we’d recommend using it as an exercise in patience. It takes chicks a long time to work their way out of an egg too.

Once they’re out of the egg, they’re “hatched”. You can interact with them and they interact back. They’re almost Furby-like but without the nightmares.

5. Boogie Board Writing Tablet

Remember how we had those magnetic drawing boards that you moved the slider over to erase? Think of the Boogie Board like that, but way cooler.

For one, the design isn’t all pixelated from the hexagonal design. Instead, it uses LCD lights and pressure to make designs. Then, a simple press of a button erases everything.

If you get it and your kid doesn’t take to it – but why wouldn’t they? It can act as a renewable type of post-it pad. Leave notes for your partner or the babysitter without killing any trees.

It’s also perfect for the car, but it’s thin – so watch out for it falling in between car seat cracks. You’ll be able to get it out, but that sounds like a recipe for kids screaming until you do.

6. Circuit Maze Board Game

Your seven year old may not need to know how droids work in the next five years, but knowing how electricity works would be more realistic – right?

That’s what this board game teaches. It’s an expansion of the Snap Circuit game idea, but this one is more game-ified.

Kids get to solve over 50 puzzles that end up turning a light on or moving a fan. Honestly, it’s cool to sit down and work through as a parent too.

7. Selfie Mic

Do you have a little diva? That’s okay, teach them to use their talents. This toy allows them to do karaoke but also take a video at the same time.

The app has different song choices and puts effects on the screen.

Tech Toys for Kids

Remember when tech toys for kids meant a Furby or a Barbie doll with a button on her back? We’re far from those days.

You can’t go wrong with any of the toys on this list. They’re all cool, educational, and accessible with a smartphone app and maybe some batteries. We hope this helped you with your shopping list this Christmas.

Click here for more tech news.

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7 Best Javascript Frameworks of 2015 (and 2016 so far) 1 - Florida Independent
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7 Best Javascript Frameworks of 2015 (and 2016 so far)

Front-end languages are a thing in the modern world. Today  Outsourcing Developers in Eastern Europe FreezePro Software will focus our attention on JavaScript and the most effective frameworks of 2015 based on it.

20 years ago, Brendan Eich created it, and ever since that, this language does not lose its popularity. Thankful to the need to maintain front-end pages, JavaScript becomes even more prevalent. This language is also known as EMCAScript; Mozilla has implemented the newest EMCAScript 6 in their latest build.

JavaScipt found its usage as a prototyping scripting language; its key feature is dynamic typing. Plenty of improvements and expansions recreated this language from front-end-oriented into the multifunctional toolkit. The work of an incalculable number of developers resulted in plenty of JavaScript libraries and, of course, libraries.

It was the year 1995. The talented developer, Brendan Eich, creates this profound scripting language while three corporations predict its appearance: NetScape, ECMA International, and Mozilla.

Soon after, other developers started using this language to create significantly performable frameworks. The introduction of node.js allowed creators to develop complete JavaScript applications. SpiderMonkey, V8, Chakra and many others have become the major implementation of this language.

One thing should also be pointed out – the difference and similarity between Java and JavaScript. The “Java” part in the name of our today’s main character confuses many people all over the world.

“JavaScript” is a result of the marketing-oriented strategy. At that time, Java programming language was at the peak of its popularity – and this decision helped JavaScript gain its target audience.

The rapid development of your applications can be achieved by using JavaScript frameworks. However, creating a web application in pure JavaScript is not really a real-life scenario (even though it can be a useful learning experience). A number of frameworks provide developers with shorter and faster coding.

Using JavaScript frameworks and libraries allows you to enhance rapid development and prototyping. For instance, single-page web applications can be powered by Angular.js. Even though most the modern frameworks use MVC principle, some of them use MVVM, MVP etc.

The usage of terms “framework” and “library” might confuse you. Moreover, the developers use both of the terms interchangeably. You should know the difference between the two terms to make the best out of it.

Unlike in libraries or standard user applications, the overall program’s flow of control is not determined by the caller, but by the framework itself. Pre-defined rules help the developer improve a cross-platform performance of the application.

In its turn, the library typically is a collaboration of methods and tools that can be used by the programmers without any dictated rules or guidelines.

Now let’s move on to best JavaScript frameworks of 2015 (and 2016 so far).

1. ANGULAR.JS

This framework is considerably the most powerful, useful, and, consequently, popular JavaScript framework in the world.

When Google released it in 2009, the expectations were quite unpretentious. However, Angular.js has become truly popular due to its possibility to rapidly build single-page web applications. So-called directives also enhance it.

They add reusable codes to the application and provide the application with necessary dynamic functionalities. Manipulating DOM is easy – that is why you can without troubles ass behavior and CSS to the HTML DOM elements.

2. BACKBONE.JS

You might have figured out the hint – this minimalistic framework provides the necessary backbone to web applications. It is available under the MIT license and claim to be open source.

Backbone’s significant feature is its ability to act as the base of a multilayer web project. You may find useful tools inside, for instance, model building using key-value binding, tons of enumerable objects with usable API etc.

You can use other frameworks on top of the web application set. Backbone.js can be used with other toolkits it massive projects. The appropriate mix of functionality and performance is accomplished by framework’s small size and lucidity.

3. REACT.JS

This framework is considerably one of the most useful front-end frameworks – for a reason. It works as the V in MVS, which means that it can be used to create the UI constituent of your project.

With the help of the node.js, it can be rendered on the server side; its performance is also enhanced by involving a virtual DOM. If you need to recreate your front-end component into an interactive element, React.js will help you with it flawlessly.

This is proved by usage experience of such companies as Instagram and Facebook. React.js achieved the name of one of the best UI frameworks for creating high-performance and responsive web applications – and all this with only 2 years on the market!

4. METEOR.JS

If you need to create full-process end-to-end web applications, developers will recommend you to try Meteor.js – and this commendation will be quite veracious.

Since its appearance in 2012, this framework has proved that a platform can be truly multifunctional and cover all the tasks without additional libraries or frameworks.

Moreover, Meteor.js is being permanently improved – its community contributes to the core of the application regularly.

This framework allows developers to tackle through various sections of the framework – thanks to its modular design. It also covers virtually all the phases of development (frontend, backend etc.), which enables to swiftly create real-time applications.

5. EMBER.JS

With the use of the MVC principle, this rather popular JavaScript framework is used to create complex web applications. Within it, two main mechanisms are implemented.

The first is similar to the two-way binding that Angular.js uses; it helps synchronize all the processes – for instance, the change in model initiates an immediate adjustment of the model. The second mechanic is the fastboot.js module.

You are right if you compare this mechanic with react.js’s ability to render DOM on the server side. With these two features, even scalability is not quite an obstacle to getting the best of this framework. Likewise, tons and tons of learning material about Ember is available online.

6. POLYMER.JS

Originating in 2013, this Google-powered framework has already gained popularity. This platform has much to offer including the ability to create and extend HTML or other web components. Even though Polymer.js has just released an alpha version, it already has numerous followers.

7. AURELIA.JS

This ambitious project has been on the market less than a year. It is backed up by a team of skilled professionals, so we look forward to something special.

Using the hints from Angular 1 and 2, this framework helps create powerful and responsive applications. The architectural design is also customizable and offers limitless control over the framework.

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