The best tech gifts that aren’t gadgets

WhatsApp’s SuperMemes 99-cent pack, Nerf Quattro and an authentic alien/pixie life ring from Jurassic Park are among The Guardian’s favourite tech gifts in 2019

This year, The Guardian runs a Christmas gift guide focusing on practical tech and helpful gifts that appeal to the human spirit. We scoured shops, the internet and our own inboxes to bring you a new collection of nerdy gizmos and lovable geeks, as well as toys, games and children’s books. Here’s what we’ve found:

Christmas stocking fillers 2018: tips from the Guardian experts Read more

The Best Tech Gifts That Aren’t Gadgets


Cost: £59.99

WhatsApp is pretty much the most popular messaging app around – so why not download one of the best stocking fillers on the market? The 99p pack includes 40 of the app’s best messages of the year, 30 of which are suitable for sharing around the office. The packs feature fun filters and stickers as well as Instagram-esque filters. The packs are five times cheaper than Google Messenger.

Nerf Quattro Classic blaster, £89.99

Not everyone wants a powerful weapon that can blast bullets in all directions. A perfect gift for people who’d rather have fun with toys and pretend than rush up to their nearest shop to buy expensive gadgets. The Nerf Quattro cannon has been one of the best-selling toys of the year. It is perfect for various types of shooters, the type of gun that makes you a star in your local co-op club.


Cost: Various

The gift of Laser Beams can be one of the great Christmas traditions. Put on your old arcade controller (or just use one you bought online) and instantly create your own laser show. The best way to do this is with LIGHTSABRE, which allow you to switch on and off lasers, and have precise shots depending on the placement of your buttons.

A colour-matched alien on a round band might inspire you to DIY, for you and your kids. Photograph: Alamy Stock Photo

Alien life ring from Jurassic Park

Cost: £10

Today’s kids are being inundated with various TV shows, toys and movies that exist for no reason but to make us feel good about ourselves. A small, surprising bit of nostalgia can be a great way to start the year. This authentic “alien and pixie” life ring is something that takes only 10 minutes to make, and can help to inspire anyone who is addicted to a series of Lego sets, Star Wars or Pokémon (and who doesn’t want to be?).

The best Christmas gifts for 2019 | Laura Snapes Read more

Elbow splints

Cost: £10

These knee and elbow splints will help stop your friends and family knowing you’re injured. They don’t have to be worn every time you need them, although they come in an array of different styles to look appropriate for various activities. They will last you from a sprained ankle to bad dreams, and you can even pop one in your back pocket for transport.

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