Digital Dragon Presents Our Annual Gift Guide for Kids – Big and Small!


Shopping Tips for Everyone on Your List!

On Dasher, on Dancer, on Donner, on Digital Dragon! With the holidays racing by, this month we’ve compiled a gift guide for your Brood…and even some for the Thunder (a group of adult dragons). While certainly not an exhaustive list, here are some characters you might have in your life.


The Builder:  It shouldn’t come as a surprise that LEGO would be included on this list, especially for this kiddo / playful adult. For this, we’re looking at not only the building experience, but also the play features and Easter Eggs.

The adorable Piranha Plant from LEGO x Mario is not only on the affordable side of sets, it packs great parts and neat building techniques. A great display piece that won’t gobble up all the shelf space! On the other side of that is the Mighty Bowser, a truly majestic build packed with features and matched with a heavy price tag.

In the middle-high range is the Hogwarts Castle and Grounds set, with delightful Easter Eggs and a different scale of building which is captivating for many new-to-that-style of builders. At the end of the day, LEGO still rules supreme in the realm of construction toys.


Image Courtesy of Nintendo

The Gamer: Here’s where things heat up! Just like in the previous category we’ll factor multiple considerations. Is it Multiplayer? Fun for the whole family? Replayable? Or is it simply a masterpiece? Nintendo strikes again. Mario Wonder hits on all fronts and is playable on a more affordable / humble Switch. This funky take on a classic shows the commitment to excellent design for all players by the team. For those who really follow this blog, you’ll note that one of my favorite games of all time has been remastered: Super Mario RPG. The SNES original was a collaboration between Squaresoft (now Square Enix) and Nintendo for an overly charming and delightful original story set in the Mario Universe and beyond!


For VR users and at the midrange price point (including the hardware): The I Expect You To Die Trilogy from Schell Games and LEGO’s Brick Tales (both available on the META Quest 2 and 3). And rounding us out on the price range: Spiderman 2 on PS5. Enough said.


Nerf LMTD Halo Needler – Hasbro Pulse

The Energy Ball: Need to unwind? NERF has collaborated with top brands to bring the fun off the screen with outdoor play for all ages. From Minecraft to Dungeons & Dragons, there’s a blaster that is waiting to be let loose! The gem…er crystal…of Nerf for the gaming adult who will compete with the other NERF users of the household, you ask? The NERF LMTD HALO Needler.  


The STEAM Engine: Is your learner curious about all of it? Digital Dragon Winter Camps spanning topics of 2D art, Minecraft, and Roblox to making blox rockin’ beats!  


TLDR; At the end of the day, when deciding on gifts it’s important to explore the intent behind it.  Do you want to play more together? Do you want to bolster social emotional learning and development? Spark curiosity? Bond over rich and deep interactive storytelling? Whatever the goal might be, from the Thunder of Digital Dragon, we wish you the warmest of holidays!

About the Author:

John Balash was instrumental in Digital Dragon’s launch in 2013 as its first Curriculum Director and is now back in the fold as a consultant on all the latest and greatest in tech education.This is John’s latest contribution to a monthly blog series we’ve launched, Tech News from the Frontier. John is the Director of Educational Engagement at Carnegie Mellon University’s Entertainment Technology Center. John has worked on educationally-focused initiatives with clients ranging from D.A.R.P.A. to Disney. Working from both sides of the desk, you can find John in classrooms and conferences around the world exploring new uses for technologies in learning environments.


P.S. We (Seth and Laurie) stopped into FAO Schwarz and the LEGO store while doing some holiday browsing last week in NY. Oh what fun it is to stroll and see what latest and greatest toys in person – so we too, could not resist sharing our holiday gift picks!

Our son loved RC’s back in the day, so we are still suckers to see what is new on the market! Cars, truck, and of course drone aircrafts in all sorts of shapes and sizes are in abundance! We wanted to buy them all…

Flashback to the Giant Dance-On Piano – for the musician/dancer on your list! It’s not a visit to FAO Schwarz without seeing this on the shelf. Too bad there wasn’t one on display!

Plushies? Yes, still popular as ever! And a large Dragon – is a must for everyone on the list! Right? Or just us?

Build a Bear still going strong after all these years. Grogu or Santa Pikachu? C’mon….who can resist?

Need a stocking stuffer – jellyCAT is all the rage! So cute…except for that green thing on the lower shelf. 

The P.S. to our P.S. Don’t forget 2 loves in one box – Minecraft and LEGO – always a great new set to add to the collection. Wouldn’t know which to pick…although the Brick Headz are very appealing…especially the llama!

Happy Holidays from our Team!