With a slew of new toys on the market every year, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by all the choices. Here’s a round-up of our favorites for Christmas 2013, from techy innovations to hands-on learning and creative games.
From Smurfs to Power Rangers, SWAPPZ interactive apps allow you little iPhone or Android user to play to his heart’s content–a lifesaver on a long car ride or while waiting at the doctor’s office. Free download; characters and accessories, about $10.
Read Related: How to Choose Safe Toys for Your Child This Christmas
For ages 3 and up, the StreetBeatz Road Rippers remote control race car features realistic sounds, flashing lights and even a stereo, and users can make hairpin turns, slam on the brakes and go from 0 to 60 in…okay, not quite, but this is a fun first car! $17.99.
iPhone kids will love Romo, the “digital creature” that promises to be a their new best friend. Highly interactive and mobile, Romo is an app with a traveling base that can follow kids around, take pictures, play chase, and learn rules and emotions. With facial and voice recognition software, it greets its “person” warmly and misses her when she’s not around. $149.
Sure, we teach our kids not to play with the light sockets, but littleBits Premium Kit allows them to safely and creatively discover how electricity works. The kit includes directions for 10 different projects, from a bubble blower to a playful pet, and more. $149.
If you want to help your kids love reading even more, try the Sparkup Magical Book Reader. You or a loved one read your child’s favorite books into the recorder. Later, when she attaches her book to the reader, it’s read to her at her pace. The reader even allows her to flip pages in the wrong order. This is a sweet idea for kids whose grandparents live far away. $79.99
It‘s 20 Questions with a twist with the HedBanz “What AM I?” game. Each player is given an identity card that only he cannot see. Before the clock runs out, he has to ask the right yes or no questions to deduce his own identity. Fun and fast-paced, and suitable for the whole family.