By Guest Contributor Audrey Matalon
The Toy Insider’s Holiday of Play event #holiplay revealed what’s coming this holiday season.. and it’s all about STEM (Science Technology Engineering Mathematics) and tech toys.
With 3D printers being the rage right now, Tech 4 Kids’ 3D Maker introduces kids to the concept in a kid friendly, safe way. $39.99 includes a UV chamber, stencils, molds and gels. Ages 6+ www.tech4kids.com
Laser Pegs’ Super Copter offers 169 bricks and instructions for 30 different models that will keep your young engineer engaged for hours! Special feature is it’s sound activated power base that lights it up. These blocks are compatible with Lego, Kre-o and other similar types. $99.99 Ages 5+ www.laserpegs.com
Thames And Kosmos has 2 versions of Remote Control Machines. First is Remote Control Animals. Each of the 8 animal models moves as a real animal does. 2 button remote control. The fully illustrated, full color, drawn to scale instruction manual contains information about each animal. Children can create their own unique animal by mixing up pieces. Space Explorers is a more extensive version of Remote Control Machines. Includes instructions for 237 pieces for 10 models such as a Mars Rover, info of how it gets to the moon, and experiments for child to try with Rover. This is both a STEM engineering toy and a learning tool. Ages 8+ www.thamesandkosmos.com
Top Tech Toys
LeapFrog continuing to develop offers the LeapPad Platinum Tablet with Imagicard for kids 3-5 yrs. The preloaded apps are created on LeapFrog premises with a designated learning experts team and tested with kids in their on site kids lab. www.leapfrog.com $129.99
Meccano Meccanoid G15 Robot for ages 10+ is a robot with included tools and polycarbonate parts. Meccanoid comes with preloaded jokes, phrases, songs and games. What’s unique about Mechannoid is LIM (Learn Intelligent Movement)? He can be programmed and taught. Using app and Bluetooth, he mirrors your movements, stores them and preforms them upon command. In the rag doll mode you can move his body parts. He will retain the pattern and preform upon command. And lastly, plug his “brain” into computer and kids can program using open source in a variety of computer languages. www.spinmaster.com $179.99
HEXBUG® and VEX® Robotics have teamed up to bring STEM build kits right to your home! Each of the construction sets feature two alternate builds and all parts are compatible with educational VEX® IQ pieces to create your own custom VEX® robot.”. For the young engineers they have plastic pieces. For kids 8th grade into college the pieces are metal. The kits are inspired by true to life robotics like robotic arms, catapults, gear racers, and calabrated machinery.
www.hexbugvex.com ages 8-14+
Luv ‘n Learn Friends- through 2 way bluetooth, this so, so, so soft cuddly teddy bear becomes a teaching friend. We covered it this summer in our Blogger Bash Sweet Suite Recap. The pre-installed programs are stories, songs, 50 math games. Kids can record and playback messages. And they are Skype-enabled. www.futureofplay.com Ages 3+
I’m thrilled to see what is going on in the toy world. As you can see there are a lot of learning tools masquerading as toys that will inspire and develop our little BIG thinkers.
Disclaimer: I attended an informational event and was given a swag bag. I was not paid or influenced. All opinions are my own.