The holidays are fast approaching, and we all know a busy parent or two in our family circle who could use a fab gift under the tree! (I just happen to one of them! ;-)) If you're stuck for holiday gift ideas for parents, think about products that might pamper them, help them carve out some extra time in their day, or, make more of the time spent with their kids. For today's time-strapped parents, finding time for real-life social interactions, other than with spouses and children, is challenging.
Between working outside the home, doing housework, helping with homework, and taxi-ing kids' to their activities, parents rarely have time left over for themselves, friends, or one another. Technology like these 12 great gift ideas for today's high speed parents plays a huge role in helping them stay socially-connected and entertained.
Here are all the details:
As a parent of three young children (including two messy 3-year old boys), the idea of having a robot do my vacuuming while I'm out, or doing something else, is pretty dreamy.
- Help them to get more done: Vacuuming is a time-sucking task that doesn't allow any real multi-tasking. The iRobot would allow parents to do a bunch of other things while the vacuuming gets done.
- Give them back at least 20 minutes a day! With the 20 minutes they'll save every day by using the iRobot instead of a traditional vacuum, they might even get to sit and finish their morning coffee before it gets cold!
- Give them the gift of a cleaner home: Keeping the house clean is one of the biggest stressors for parents. Because the vacuuming would get done more often with the iRobot, they won't have to worry about messy floors, and might even feel like having friends over more often.
- Want to see an iRobot review? Check it out at Geek.com.
- Want to see how Roomba works? Check this out...
Clean your floors even when you're not around with the Roomba 660. This robotic vacuum features On-board scheduling, so it can use its patented 3-stage cleaning system while you're at work. It removes dirt, dust, and other types of debris as it automatically adjusts to clean carpets, hardwood, tile, and linoleum floors.
Check out all Robot Vacuums & Sweepers.
- This camera is a great gift idea for parents because it allows them to get all the great photo quality expected of a larger Nikon camera, but in a size and weight that's much easier to carry along to kids activities.
- The 'mirrorless' design simply allows the camera to be extra-small and lightweight, while still retaining all of the best qualities of a larger camera.
- Like larger Nikon cameras, it has an interchangeable lens system, allowing you to select from 4 optional lenses.
- Check out sample photos from the Nikon 1J2, plus technical specs and reviews here.
The Nikon 1 J2 10.1MP mirrorless camera and matching 10-30mm standard zoom lens are a versatile and practical way to start your Nikon 1 system. Thanks to the EXPEED 3 processor and the included lens you'll easily be able to shoot sharp, clear photos in a variety of situations, and with the interchangeable lens system you'll have the versatility to attach new lenses for even more creative options.
Check out all Mirrorless Cameras.
When our adventurous 3-year old twins transitioned from cribs to toddler beds a few months back, we relied heavily on a video monitor to ensure they weren't (literally) climbing the walls in their bedroom a night.
- It's so convenient that this monitor transmits to a smartphone via a WiFi or Bluetooth connection. It means that if you're using your iphone, ipad or ipod, you can seamlessly scan your child's room to ensure everything's OK. If you want to, you can be alerted automatically following a noise or a motion in baby's bedroom. You can also see what the temperature and humidity is in your child's room.
- This will provide real peace-of-mind for new parents to know that their child is safe and comfortable.
- It also provides better rest for everybody. You don't have have to risk waking your baby or toddler(and then getting them back to sleep again) by entering their room every time you feel like checking on them.
- The Withings Wi-Fi monitor has received 5 awards for innovation, and is considered a breakthrough in the baby monitor industry. Read more details here.
With the Smart Baby Monitor by Withings, a high resolution video camera lets you see what your baby is up to. Zoom in, monitor the temperature and humidity, or scan the room with the wide angle lens to see what's going on. Information is transmitted wirelessly with a Wi-Fi or Bluetooth connection so that you can keep a watchful eye on your little one with your iPad, iPhone or iPod.
Check out all Baby Monitors here.
- If you've ever had the bone-crushing experience of having the whole family crowded around your laptop screen to watch a video posted on Facebook of their cousin's first hockey goal, I'm sure you'll agree that there are just some things in life that weren't meant to be watched by 5 people on one 15"screen. This cool little box allows you to send any Internet video straight to your HDTV so everyone can enjoy iton the big screen (and, with a remote, to boot!)
- Considering that parents rarely have time to watch their favorite shows at scheduled times, another great feature of the Boxee Box is the ability for them to watch any show that's available on the Internet on their HDTV at a time of their choosing.
- The Boxee Box also allows parents to access any movies available on the Internet, and watch them on their HDTV - great for choosing a flick for Movie Night with the kids!
- Check out more details on the Boxee Box here.
The Boxee Box from D-Link (DSM-380) is the ideal media player to transform your TV into a streaming home entertainment system. Pillage Internet goodness and watch it on your HDTV from the comfort of your couch. Stream content from Netflix, Youtube, and other sites. Best of all, no keyboard or mouse required.
Check out all Media Streaming devices.
- Kobo Glo is a great idea for parents since they spend so much of their time waiting for their kids at activities like music lessons and hockey practice. Reading a favorite book or magazine is a rewarding way for parents to re-charge their batteries during that rare down time.
- Kobo Glo is the first Kobo eReader designed for both day and night reading, and is equipped with an integrated 'ComfortLight'. This makes reading easier, for example, while waiting in the car at dark, or sitting in the stands.
- It is lighter than most paperbacks, so it's perfect to carry along to activities, or keep in a purse.
- Get answers to FAQs about the KoboGlo here.
The Kobo Glo features a 6" XGA ClarityScreen E Ink display that's almost as clear and sharp as paper, even in direct sunlight. The ComfortLight feature provides an even, gentle radiance that lets you read when you're in a dark area. The Glo has crisper text, adjustable font sizes and settings, and access to the Kobo eBook store's 2.6 million titles - with over 1 million of them completely free!
Check out all E Ink Readers.
- Being a parent is a 24/7, physically-demanding job. Yet most parents rarely have time (or disposable income) to schedule regular spa visits, even though they're probably the ones who need it most.
- A massaging driver's seat cover would go a long way towards soothing away the aches, pains and fatique that arise from all that go-go-go.
- The car is the ideal spot for this product since parents spend a crazy amount of time in their minivans bringing kids from activity to activity!
- To read more details about and reviews of this Obusforme massaging seat cover, click here.
The ObusForme Personalized Comfort Drivers' Seat gives you the comfort of heat, massage, and lumbar support in one seat. Enjoy the relaxing feeling of six massage motors going to work on your back as you drive, and turn up the heat for extra comfort. Finally, an inflatable lumbar support lets you select the firmness and size of the support.
Check out all Massagers.
- From smartphone cameras to DSLRs, one thing's for certain: parents love taking pictures of their kids! But, sadly, they rarely find time to have them printed. All those precious memories end up on a hard drive rather than in a photo album.
- The Epson Artisan 730 Wireless Printer, which quickly prints high quality photos wirelessly from a smartphone or computer, would allow parents to easily print photos as they take them, avoiding the overwhelming task of sorting a year's worth of photos on a hard drive.
- The printing speed is also a time saver: it's the world’s fastest 4” x 6” photo printer, able to print hi-definition photos in up to 10 seconds. This is a great feature since parents don't have the luxury of waiting around for photos to print.
- Fortunately, quality isn't sacrificed for speed, as it boasts the ability to create "better-than-lab-quality prints".
- You can the read about all the rave consumer reviews here, and industry praise here.
The Epson Artisan 730 printer delivers high quality photo prints, quickly. Built in wired or wireless network lets you share all the printer's functions across computers on your network. And new Epson Connect technology even lets you print wirelessly from your mobile devices. Other features include two sided printing, auto red-eye correct, PC-free printing, and a Smart Touch panel with a 2.5-inch LCD display.
Check out all All-in-One Inkjet Printers.
- This would be a great gift for parents by allowing them to create a fun Saturday or Sunday morning tradition with their kids. Homemade waffles would be a welcome treat after a school week of cereal breakfasts and brown bag lunches.
- Parents can create a fun experience for kids by cooking waffles in front of them, and then laying out a variety of toppings for kids to choose from.
- Parents will look like heroes when they make 'the perfect' restaurant-style waffle each and every time!
- It also makes a variety of other yummy breakfast foods like omelettes, frittatas and pancakes!
The Cuisinart WAF-600C Rotary Breakfast Central isn't just a Belgian waffle maker – it's an awesome Belgian waffle maker that lets you make other stuff like omelettes, frittatas, and pancakes. Make waffles with swimming pool-size pockets, perfect for filling with syrup. And the omelette side lets you cook everything from pancakes to eggs.
Check out all Waffle Makers.
- TGIF! Parents might not get out on a Friday night as much as they did before they had kids, but they still love to kick back and relax...family-style. A movie and popcorn is a great way to share Friday night fun with children.
- There's just something about watching popcorn 'pop' that makes kids giddy! Rather than throwing a bag in the microwave, a popcorn maker like this one contributes to the fun of Family Movie Night for kids.
- It's also a great way to share a movie as a couple after the kids are tucked in. If you can't get to the theatre for date night, then a popcorn maker is a fun way to create a 'theatre experience' at home.
- Another great feature is that this popper pops 25% more popcorn than other poppers using the same amount of popcorn and less oil.
You can stop worrying about all those unpopped kernels at the bottom of your bowl with this West Bend Stir Crazy Popcorn Maker. With a non-stick heating base and a vented clear lid, your stress-free popcorn making experience has arrived.
Check out all Popcorn Makers.
- A smartphone holder for a stroller is a super gift for a new mom or dad because it eliminates the risk of dropping your smartphone while out with your stroller; and, in turn, the expense of replacing a smashed screen.
- This product would help new parents stay connected with friends while on-the-go with a baby. I'm certain that maneouvering a stroller while texting on an iPhone with both hands could easily qualify as an Olympic sport, based on technical difficulty.
- It's also convenient because it means you won't have to miss calls from friends while digging through an over-stuffed diaper bag to find your phone when it rings!
The texthook is the ultimate smartphone holder for your active lifestyle. It tightly secures your smartphone while still providing access to the touchscreen or keyboard. With the texthook you can text, talk, or email while strolling, exercising, shopping and more.
Check out all Stroller Accessories.
- This diaper bag is convenient because you can take it out in any kind of weather. Its made of hard wearing, water resistant fabric.
- This particular model would make a great gift for any new parent because of the gender-neutral aesthetic of the black dotted fabric. It's a diaper bag that a dad would feel just as comfortable toting around town as a mom.
- The fashionable messenger bag style also means it doesn't scream "diaper bag", allowing it to be used as a tote bag long after a baby outgrows diapers.
This fashionable, practical, messenger-style diaper bag features a black microfiber exterior with a charcoal grey dot pattern and stylish lime green nylon interior. It includes insulated bottle storage and a large padded changing mat for added convenience. With several different compartments, it has space for all the essentials for your busy, on-the-go lifestyle.
Check out all Diaper Bags.
- The ST200F is a great gift idea for parents because it can capture crystal clear images from far away, yet its not bulky like most other powerful, long-zoom cameras.
- It is small enough to easily tuck into your pocket, eliminating the need to carry heavy camera equipment in order to get great close-ups at your kids' hockey game or recital.
- Another reason this is great for parents is its built-in Wi-Fi capability, which means that parents can share any special moment with grandparents while on-the-go. They can send photos by uploading to Facebook™, Picasa™, Photobucket™ or email directly from the camera, or upload videos to YouTube™.
- Check out consumer reviews on Samsung's site.
Complete with a 27mm wide angle 10X optical zoom lens and built-in WiFi, the Samsung ST200F is an impressively powerful point-and-shoot digital camera. The 16.1MP processor helps capture razor-sharp pictures. And extra features like Motion Photo and Live Panorama let you take fun and creativity to the next level.
Check out all Extended Zoom Cameras.
With all these great ideas to choose from for today's high speed parents, shopping for the perfect gift should be a breeze!
Until next time,
P.S. Find me blogging at my home decor blog, A Pop of Pretty, where I'm out to prove that a pretty home is still possible, even in the chaos of raising a young family (including 3 year old twin boys)!
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