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Tech Toys that Keep Kids Thinking

posted by Suzanne Kantra on July 28, 2011

Summer is a time for kids to relax and get time outside, but that doesn’t mean their minds have to vegetate, especially with right school around the corner. Thankfully, there are great tech toys that can spark creativity, get your kids thinking and sometimes even teach them a thing or two.


Wild Planet Speed SliderWild Planet Speed Slider

A workout for your children’s minds and bodies, the Speed Slider calls out colors and numbers that they need to find and then kick on the toy. More advanced play includes double-digit numbers and simple math equations. The game can be played solo, competitively or cooperatively in groups of up to six. Price: $24.99  


AnimapAnimap Interactive Talking Map

With 72 animals and 500 fun facts literally at your child’s fingertips, the Animap will provide hours of fun for even young children. Once they’ve spent some time exploring the world of animals, kids can test their knowledge by taking quizzes. Price: $21.95 


Radica Mindflex DuelRadica Mindflex Duel

Using sensors that measure each player’s brainwaves, kids can engage in a concentration duel. At its most basic, players try to push the ball to their opponent’s end zone. In other modes, you can race to see who can push the ball through an obstacle course in the shortest time. Kids can also play cooperatively, with one player controlling height and the other forward motion. Available for preorder now and release on Aug. 15. Price: $99.99


VTech Brillant Creations Advanced NotebookVTech Brillant Creations Advanced Notebook

This versatile notebook-like “toy” includes 120 different learning activities in areas including reading skills, science, math and foreign language. The 4.5-inch laptop-lookalike has a full QWERTY keyboard, a touch pad and even a mouse, for teaching computer skills. Price: $49.99 


Laser Pegs World of BugsLaser Pegs World of Bugs

Create 3-D models with pieces that contain a glowing LED light inside. Plug the first piece into the base and then it passes along a low-voltage current to the next, lighting it up as well. The World of Bugs set includes pieces and instructions on how to assemble a dragonfly, giant mosquito (shown), butterfly, daddy long legs and scorpion to name just a few of the possible models. Price: $59.99 


LeapFrog Tag Reading SystemLeapFrog Tag Reading System

The Tag Reading System may not be new, but it’s still one of the best ways to keep kids interacting with books and reading over the summer. The specially printed books can be read aloud by the Tag pen, or kids can explore the pages for sounds effects and play educational games. Tag can also be used with interactive maps and learn to write and draw packs. Price: $30.25 


kid-tough see yourself cameraFisher-Price Kid-Tough See Yourself Camera

Thanks to a lens that rotates 180-degrees, kids can easily put themselves in the shot with the latest in Fisher Price’s ruggedized kids’ camera line, the Kid-Tough See Yourself Camera. And it’s not just still shots; this camera also takes videos. So set your child the task of writing their own screenplay and then take a starring role in it. The 1.2-megapixel camera has a 1.8-inch display, 256 MB of memory built-in and an SD card slot. Price: $69.99


Lego Master Builder AcademyLego Master Builder Academy

The LEGO Master Builder Academy Space Designer kit teaches successful building methods by showcasing techniques like locking, model stability and sideways building. Plus the kit helps your child conceptualize, design and create their own models. It can stand on its own or as one of six kits that come in a subscription. At the end of the year, LEGO Master Builder Academy subscribers will receive over 1,000 LEGO pieces, six Designer Handbooks, access to exclusive Web content and a unique LEGO mini figure for each of the two levels they complete within the year. And it all fits in the Level One Lego Master Builder Academy Space Designer kit box. Price: $29.99


Family and Parenting, Kids, Guides & Reviews

Discussion loading


From Pam Zanelli on July 28, 2011 :: 2:01 pm

As a grandparent for whom some of these toys are completely new, I think it would be helpful in future product reviews to include an option to view short videos demonstrating how they work and how kids interact with them.  Thanks.



From Cindy Grieshaber on September 07, 2011 :: 8:07 am

As a potential purchaser, it would be helpful to me to have age ranges included in the reviews for the toys.  Thanks.


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