New technology provides us with endless possibilities, not just for science and medicine, but also for smart toys to help our kids learn. Toy Insider Mom Laurie Schacht stopped by NBC Chicago to show off some top tech toys for kids. For more on the products in this segment, check the product info below, and be sure to check out our complete guide to the best educational toys of the summer.


VTech.touch__learn_activity_desk_deluxeTouch & Learn Activity Desk Deluxe (VTech)

  • The Touch & Learn Activity Desk Deluxe by is a three-in-one desk with interactive activity cards that’s expandable for more fun and discovery!
  • The desk features an interactive desktop and five pages to explore that are filled with engaging content including letters, numbers, music, colors and more.
  • Choose from eight expansion packs (each sold separately) that each focus on a specific curriculum like nursery rhymes, reading skills, animals and numbers.
  • It also transforms from a desk into an easel and chalkboard with plenty of storage space for art supplies to encourage play and discovery.
  • The LED display illustrates letter and number stroke order and how to draw basic shapes.
  • For even more fun, toddlers can play with the toy telephone or listen to fun tunes on the music player.
  • Enjoy hours of fun as kids create, discover and learn!
  • Ages: 2-5
  • MSRP: $54.99 (extension packs $9.99 each)

LeapStart (Leap Frog)LeapStart (Leap Frog)
• The LeapStart interactive learning systems are designed to help build key skills and challenge kids to get ready for their next step in learning.
• Using the stylus, kids can tap any page to activate audio responses and play activities designed to keep them engaged and coming back for more.
• Each book in the library is packed with over 30 activities. Games, jokes and songs come to life, enticing kids to trace numbers, hunt for letters, compose their own music and so much more.
• Ages 2-7
• MSRP $39.99

Think & Learn Smart Scan Word Dash (Mattel)Think & Learn Smart Scan Word Dash (Fisher-Price)

  • Teaches early literacy, following directions and thinking skills through active, seek-and-find fun!
  • With 9 Smart Discs and 3 learn & move modes of play, Smart Scan Word Dash gets kids’ minds (and bodies) moving in so many fun ways!
  • Spread out the Smart Discs on the floor, pick a play mode and see kids go!
  • With the Smart Scanner in hand, they’ll be prompted to answer questions, build stories, play games and more with objects on the Smart Discs – making countless connections as they learn the basics of literacy right on the “spot!”
  • Ages: 3-6
  • MSRP: $30.00


FisherPrice.ThinkandLearnCodeapillarThink & Learn Code-a-Pillar (Fisher-Price)

Hands-down the first bug parents will actually want in the house, this toy will turn tiny tots into programmers. This caterpillar is made up of different segments, each with its own color, symbol, and USB plug. Each segment represents one action, and will make Code-a-Pillar move forward, left, right, or even pause before moving again. With the press of a button, the caterpillar will move and interact with kids in the order kids place the action segments, teaching them the basic premise of sequencing. Kids can also code the caterpillar to reach the two included targets they set up throughout the room.