I’VE seen the future of British youth – it’s half man, half desk. Why? They can’t relate to anything unless it’s writ large on a glowing screen at chair level.

But now the school PCs and whiteboards have been powered off, could we entice our next generation humans into the garden of real-life high definition?

Sorry, no. Not without gadgets.

Here’s something that might work: for £44.95 Garmin ( supplies a mobile phone with SatNav. Presumably they named the M10 phone (pictured below) after a motorway, so kids will feel grown up. Wait until they’ve taken it on holiday and racked up massive mobile roaming charges. Welcome to our world, children.

Better still, give the kids their own SatNav device that can talk to them as they cycle along the pavement. “Turn left onto the neighbour’s flowerbed.” Just like mummy or daddy’s, but for two wheelers. Binatone does a special SatNav that clips onto your bike. Give your kid £60 to take to Argos, and they’ll get a Binatone F350 (and enjoy an exciting one-penny cashback deal). Garmin does an amazing bike device for £200, but it won’t last long unless your kids stay within a gated community. Sadly, the Edge doesn’t speak like Ali G, but your yoof will learn a valuable life lesson when they are inevitably mugged.

OK, I give up. Let’s give the kids toys that keep them indoors. In this throwaway age, when toys die so quickly, it’s better to keep things cheap. For as little as sixty pence you can give the kid in your life an app for their mobile. You don’t have to leave your desk to buy presents at, iTunes or Ovi Store.

Balloonimals is a case in point. The game is to blow into the microphone of your iPhone and bring Balloonimals to life. Shake the phone and the fish/duck/unicorn will take three dimensional shape. Now involve your kids in an educational naming game where you name all the animals. In the final stage, drain all the saliva out of your microphone before it destroys the circuitry, as this sort of damage isn’t covered by a warranty. That’ll teach you to buy an iPhone!

Education is about working with your kid’s abilities, rather than telling them stuff. So why not put their gadget obsession to good use? offers to help budding entrepreneurs to create their own apps, which they can sell on the open market. That’s better: get the kids working.

Nick Booth is the

editor of