Category: Tech Toys and Random Fun

Game Developer Barbie is here, she’s hip, and she actually knows how to code.

The folks at Mattel have been pretty busy this year, with a new girl power rebranding campaign, a line of curvy Barbies launched with much fanfare, and even a Misty Copeland Barbie that flew off the shelves. Well now, a mere 24 years after Barbie uttered “math class is tough!” and got hammered for it, and 19 months after pulling the Computer Engineering Barbie book in which Barbie was only capable of creating “design ideas” and needed the help of “Steven and Brian” to turn them into real games, silly billy! we’re seeing the launch of the Barbie Careers Game Developer...

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The Octopus wearable teaches little ones more than time, it teaches time management. Awesome!

With three kids ranging from preschooler to tween, time management is always an issue for us. Especially when it comes to trying to cajole my youngest to adhere to the demands of the older siblings’ hectic schedules. (Sadly, trying to tell a toddler that we’re going to be late never seems to be all that effective.) Which is why I am so excited to see the very clever Octopus wearable that recently launched on Kickstarter. Considering the campaign hit its $50K funding goal in less than three hours (!), it’s a good indication that we’re not the only ones excited about a new way get kids learning...

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Osmo Coding is screen time you can feel good about.

I’m convinced the reason my kids keep going back to play Osmo, one of our favorite educational tools for kids, is its brilliant mashup of digital elements and tangible controls they can actually touch and move around on the table. If you’re not familiar with it, read some of our previous reviews of Osmo to find out how this innovative toy works. It’s really very cool. But their newest game, Osmo Coding, might be the coolest yet. I’m a big believer that all our kids need to learn coding, and this is a great entry point for everyone — including me. The gameplay is...

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If you can’t get your kids to brush their teeth, maybe a little help from The Dark Lord is in order.

Leave it to Firefly to come up with a new, high-tech toothbrush that may get even your most reluctant dental hygiene practitioners begging to brush “just one more time.” The new Firefly Darth Vader Lightsaber Light-Up Toothbrush is just what you think it is: A combo of lights, sound effects, and the magic of villainous movie characters, all designed to encourage kids today to do what we used to have to do back in the day, with no incentive at all. The two-minute cycle starts with some deep breathing sounds you’ll probably recognize (no, not from yoga class), then every so often, some nifty, whooshing lightsaber...

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The Mover Kit: The first wearable for kids they code and design themselves.

Over the past couple years, it has been incredible to witness all the awesome new ways we have to introduce our kids to STEM. And now we’ve come across another really cool product called Mover Kit, the first wearable for kids that they can code themselves. Cool! Launched just recently on Kickstarter (and already past its fundraising goal) Mover Kit is a completely customizable and creative project that lets kids be the programmer of their own designs  and movement. And we know it will be awesome because it’s from the folks behind the successful Technology Will Save Us, who we fell in love with at...

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Can you teach coding to preschoolers? Here are three toys that will try

Coding is certainly one of the new buzzwords in education, along with STEM, STEAM, and now, believe it or not, STREAM. And while a lot of learn-to-code apps toys, and games, like Robot School, Dash Robot, and Code Master, are targeted primarily to grade-school kids, we’ve seen several new toys that are hoping to lay the foundation of coding principles in our youngest learners. So we’ve taken a look at three new toys for kids as young as three to see how they may get kids thinking about coding without needing to know how to read, write, or do complicated computations....

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A new go-kart for kids you control with your phone. Whoa!

If your kids have a need for speed, and you have a need for keeping them safe, you have check out Actev Motors’ new Arrow Smart-Kart, one of the coolest ride-on toys I had the joy of seeing at NYC’s Toy Fair earlier this year. This high-end electric go-kart is definitely pricey but it uses some nifty technology to keep our little speedsters under control…without putting the brakes on their fun. Made primarily for kids between the ages of 5 to 9, there is nothing “kiddie” about the looks of the Arrow Smart-Kart. The steel black frame and pneumatic rubber wheels give it the appearance of a...

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We’ve found 8 geeky coloring books for adults, for fans of Doctor Who, Captain Kirk, and Jon Snow

By now we all know that the adult coloring books trend has taken over — just check any recent NYT Bestseller list. But if your inner nerd is wanting more than mandalas and nature scenes to help you get your zen on, check out these awesomely geeky coloring books for adults I’ve found. I’m already bookmarking them all for Mother’s Day, Father’s Day and my own wishlist. (Sign us all up for Sherlock, mkay?) CMP is an Amazon affiliate Related: 21 of the coolest coloring books for adults   The cult-fave small press, Geek Overlord, is just out with  Kitchen Overlord’s...

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A fun and squeezable way to communicate with your kids when you’re away

Even though my kids don’t have cell phones yet, they love texting their grandparents and especially love sending them audio messages (which iOS 8 made very easy to do). Sure, grabbing my phone and sending a sweet I scored a goal at my soccer game today! is fun, but imagine kids’ excitement when they can communicate the same message as an audio file through a squeezable plush toy. Well, hello, Talkies. Just out today for preorder, Talkies are the latest product from Toymail, a smart mom-run tech startup that created the adorable Mailmen we raved about when they first came out. Similar in concept, Talkies connect...

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Just look what kids can make with the 3Doodler Start

We went crazy for the incredibly cool 3Doodler 3D-printing pen when we first saw it back in 2013, but it wasn’t really a toy that our younger kids could safely use on their own. Until now. With the upcoming launch of 3Doodler Start, our kids can now get in on the action with a kid-friendly 3D pen that will have them making truly incredible plastic creations. In many ways, the 3Doodler Start works just like the original, and version 2.0, 3Doodler pens. Just insert a colorful plastic strand into the back of the pen, and it will come out the tip as a pliable material...

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Ultimate Birthday Party Gift Guide

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