Kids and technology are amazing today, aren’t they?

As a mother of 3 teenage girls, I can tell you that if there was a snow day in my school district and I was the only one to get a call about it,  I could ask one of my girls to blast this news out and within five minutes every kid in the school district would have gotten the memo.

It truly is amazing.

Today our kids are born surrounded by technology that  grown-ups are still trying to grasp. There is no learning curve. It’s become a natural progression of steps. Babies pick their heads up, learn to crawl, walk and somewhere in the middle they are playing with Mom and Dad’s cell phone.

So its no surprise that much of the fun in kids toys come from- what our Toy Insider team now calls- “Smart Tech”.  Smart Tech is not just a computer application or a toy with batteries. Smart Tech will wow you for its multiple “wow” features. And this Smart Tech, starts with babies!

Here are some of my favorites from our HOT 20 List.. in all different ages:

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Hide and Seek JOJO, Interactive Bunny. What child doesn’t love hide and seek?  Now, not only is it a fun game- it’s a great toy!  JOJO the bunny, comes with a carrot. The child takes the carrot and hides while JOJO covers his eyes with his ears (yes, he really does this) and counts to ten.  JOJO will begin seeking the child and the carrot.  Does JOJO always find your child?  Not always. Sometime the carrot is too far and JOJO needs help. If this happens, he will ask for a hint.  If your child yells here I am…JOJO will move in that direction.  After a couple of minutes if JOJO has not found your child he will say “come out, come out, where ever you are” just like the real game.  That is Smart Tech and great interactive fun for our youngest kids.

The V-reader by V-tech Today’s kids want the same great gadgets that their parents have. The V-reader  looks and feels like mom’s, but, it doesn’t carry the same high price tag, and more importantly it encourages a love of reading with animation in both the pictures and the words.  There are games and other things for kids to do. Very smart tech!

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Spy Net Secret Mission Video Watch Spy Toys with smart tech are definitely cool. With this spy watch, kids 8+ can go online to download secret missions and then use  the hidden video camera (which also has audio) and create videos that play on the screen of the watch and of course can be downloaded online.

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Air Hogs Hawk Eye This radio control helicopter takes up to five minutes of video.  Fly the helicopter to your neighbor’s backyard for a little spying fun for kids 12+.  I have tried this toy and it is definitely a lot of fun. I found out that I’m a lousy pilot, but then again, I’m not 12.

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Paper Jamz I cannot stop talking about these new products. It is the coolest smart tech in the slimmest guitar you will ever see.  No stings-all touch.  Plays like a real guitar but also gives perfect play mode, volume control, and even a karaoke mode.  Drums and amp just as cool and innovative so kids can build the entire band.  And there’s more coming….I have the 411 on that, but my lips are sealed till the news is released!

As you can see, technology does not just exist on the computer anymore- it is a part of our every day lives and certainly has become something that our kids expect.  Should every toy have some wild and cool “smart tech” application?  No, but many will and it’s as exciting for us (maybe more) as it is for them to watch their eyes light up because something astounds them.

And when it comes to choosing your child’s smart tech toy this holiday, remember-

Smart technology that is truly smart,  will deliver hours and years of interactive play- these are not – “Watch Me” toys.

-Laurie

The Toy Insider Mom