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Best gadgets to take back to school

These robots, games and tablets can help make learning fun. Bonus: Your kid will love you forever.

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id-pic-work

Jennifer Bisset

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Gadgets for school

Kids' tech doesn't just mean toys or cheaper, lesser versions of something else. These gadgets can help your kid find learning fun.

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Sphero Mini

Roll your kid into coding with the Sphero Mini, a smaller, cheaper version of Sphero's original rolling robot. You control it with Sphero's EDU app. It's as cute as the young, sweet person in your house: you.

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Lego Boost

This robotics set is for Lego-loving kids who want to control the robots they build. The robot uses Bluetooth to pair with a tablet or phone. Humming with motors and proximity sensors, it's perfect for kids who like a challenge.

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4 of 15 Sarah Tew/CNET

Nintendo Switch

If they insist on a game console, get them the best. The Nintendo Switch is modular, so the sides clip off and become controllers for two-player gaming. No more yanking kids apart in the back seat.

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Nintendo 2DS

For a cheaper Nintendo handheld, which is also the best value, get the Nintendo 2DS. It isn't foldable, but it plays every Nintendo 3DS and DS game.

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Apple iPad 2017

Speaking of good value, the Apple iPad 2017 is Apple's cheapest and most worthwhile iPad for the money you pay. Its big, bright display makes it one of the best personal portable media players -- great for kids.

Fire 8 HD Kids Edition
7 of 15 Sarah Tew/CNET

Fire 8 HD Kids Edition

Amazon's Fire 8 HD Kids Edition is a cheap tablet with 32GB of memory, a protective Play Doh-coloured case and a two-year, no-questions-asked replacement policy. Choose this over other toy-like kids tablets.

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8 of 15 Ian Knighton/CNET

Anki Overdrive: Fast & Furious Edition

This is one for the whole family -- and if you like "The Fast and the Furious", you know the importance of family. Anki's racing cars use infrared tech to stay on the modular track, with an app for steering from your phone. Did I mention the "Fast and the Furious" designs? Did I also mention family?

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9 of 15 Sarah Tew/CNET

Anki Cozmo

Like Wall-E? Meet Cozmo, a codable, remote-controlled robot with facial recognition and three blocks to play games with. You decide who's cuter.

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Pyramid Arcade

If you want something new for board game night, consider Looney Labs' massive box set. The kit has 22 games and creative kids can invent dozens more.

The Raspberry Pi 3 packs a lot of computing horsepower into a $35 circuit board for students.​
11 of 15 Stephen Shankland/CNET

Raspberry Pi 3

"Mum, Dad, look at what I made!" This cheap circuit board encourages students to tinker. It's outfitted with a CPU, graphics card, memory and other components. By connecting the Pi to a monitor, keyboard and mouse, it functions as a basic computer.

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12 of 15 Sarah Tew/CNET

Kindle Paperwhite

Obviously, you'd only buy this for your kid if you're going on holiday or they have so many books to take to school they can't carry all the physical copies. Only then do you get the Amazon's Kindle Paperwhite, our favourite e-reader, with a backlight for reading under the covers at night.

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RC mid-sized drone with Skywalker

This drone is great for beginners, plus with the protective cage it won't dint the walls or, you know, your kid's head. It's midsized at 24x215x215 millimetres and needs AA batteries. Expect to pay AU$55, which is on the cheaper end for a drone of this size. Check out more drone options.

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Osmo Coding Jam Game

If your kid wants to be the next Taylor Swift, plus they're into coding -- what a combo -- this game lets them create their own music by arranging coding blocks into patterns and sequences that correspond with their iPad or iPhone. The Osmo Coding Jam Game comes in at AU$90.

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Wacom Intuos Draw

Maybe your kid is into drawing and has been asking for something to take it to the next level. The Wacom Intuous Draw lets you draw either directly on the computer or make touch ups and use effects you wouldn't otherwise have access to with a peasant's lead pencil. It'll be AU$107.

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