One of the magazines I look forward to receiving every month is called FamilyFun. It’s always full of useful information and all sorts of ideas from recipes to crafts for me to try at home with my kids.
The December issue listed FamilyFun magazine’s Toys of the Year and their top tech toys for kids. I was so impressed by everything on FamilyFun’s list that I want to share it with you. I sometimes have a hard time finding great gift ideas for my kids, who LOVE any sort of tech toys, and hope you find these suggestions as helpful as I do.
One thing I especially like about these picks is that there are several choices for the younger kids (think the 3 to 6 years age range.) Kids that age love to play with gadgets, but we all know that anything we give them needs to be durable enough to withstand a bit of rough play and accidental drops.
If I am given the opportunity to review any of these tech toys for kids, I will add the links to my review posts so you can see the toys in action with my kids.
Check out the list of top tech toys for kids with your child and see what sparks their interest! There’s a toy for kids who enjoy everything from coding and robotics to animation and more for ages 4+, including a durable kids tablet and robot toys. Each one of these eight innovative tech toys for kids bring STEAM education to life — plus they’re a lot of fun.
JIMU ROBOT MEEBOT KIT
Not your average toy! Made by high-end robotics company Ubtech, Jimu uses cutting-edge technology and six impressive robotic motors to follow your child’s commands. Kids start by building the bot with help from the iOS app’s 3-D, animated instructions. Then they can make him wave, walk, dance, and more with three levels of play that help them advance from learning basic coding concepts to writing their own programs. Ages 8 and up, $130; apple.com
Preschoolers can learn early programming skills while this wiggly worm works his way across the floor! As little ones rearrange the pieces in his tail to create new “codes” for him to follow, they practice sequencing, problem solving, and critical thinking along the way. How many tries does it take to get him around that sofa? Or through a maze of blocks? Ages 3 to 6, $50; fisher-price.com
Watch as your child transforms the kit’s buzzer, dimmer, power board, and more into eight cool inventions that can make her room the envy of the house. Budding engineers can spook out friends with posters that suddenly jump off the wall, or create an alarm that sounds if anyone tries to swipe their piggy bank (think twice, little bro!). All the pieces are reusable, so kids can invent and reinvent to their imagination’s content. Ages 8 and up, $100; littlebits.cc
Why hand over your tablet all the time when the kids can use one built just for them? This 7-inch gadget, the latest from Mattel’s tech line, comes loaded with more than 100 apps. We especially love their Wings Learning System, which offers educational games that adapt to your child’s abilities and also align with Common Core standards. And kids will love the Dream Pro Studio for making movies and writing stories. Extra bonuses: parental controls to help you better manage screen time and a really durable construction. Ages 6 and up, $80; walmart.com
Storytelling skills go digital with this custom video-game-making set. Just slot the colored cubes into a grid to create different characters and scenes, take a photo using the camera function in the toy’s iOS or Android app, and—voilà!—a game is born. Players can then get to work running, jumping, and exploring in a virtual world of their imagination. Ages 8 and up, $50; Toys “R” Us
Just roll with it: This robotic ball zips across the floor showing off all its skills. Not only can little programmers use the toy’s app to drive it around and change the color, they can also access a step-by-step system to “teach” SPRK+ to navigate a maze, dance to a specific beat, and more. The iOS and Android app also includes tons of user-generated projects that inspire kids to use the robot for everything from art projects (program it to roll in paint and then draw different objects) to building toys (it makes a great wheel for a car). Ages 8 and up, $130; sphero.com
Pop an iPad into the toy’s base and add the reflector camera up top. Players then choose one of four app-based games that will teach about tangrams, words, physics, and drawing. We especially love that the tangrams and word games are played through interaction with real-world pieces—seamlessly combining classic activities with a high-tech learning device! (And the fact that it’s beautifully designed doesn’t hurt, either.) Ages 5 and up, $80; bestbuy.com
Kids are sure to stick with this! Figures with suction-cupped feet and hands can go anywhere they like, thanks to an included green-screen stage and a special stop-motion animation app, which is available on both Android and iOS. Moviemakers upload their own photos or use included backdrops, add extra props and toys from home, then stick their bots anywhere the story takes them. The app snaps individual photos and stitches them together into a video. Once they add music and sound effects, the mini films might even be Sundance-worthy! Ages 4 and up, $20; target.com
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Tell me, which tech toys for kids caught your eye? Are any of these toy picks going on your child’s holiday wish list?