What to Get the Kids? High Tech Toys that Teach

Friday, December 20, 2013

Billy from London plays with the 'Innotab 2' from V-Tech at the 2012 'Dream Toys' exhibition in central London on October 31, 2012. (LEON NEAL/AFP/Getty)

These days, shopping for Christmas presents for children can be a little overwhelming.

On top of the usual high-demand gadgets like tablets and smartphones, there are dozens of high-tech toys to pick from—battery-operated puppies, motorized wagons and so much more.

But how do you actually pick out toys that have real educational value? Manoush Zomorodi, host and managing editor of WNYC's New Tech City has a few ideas about how to get out of the iPad rut with tech toys that let kids build and create, and not just push buttons.

She shares her list of toys that teach, promote creativity, and build skills, while managing to be fun too.

Below you'll find a list of some of of the toys recommended by Manoush:




-LEGO Mindstorms

-Rainbow Loom


-Marble Run




Manoush Zomorodi

Produced by:

Mythili Rao


T.J. Raphael

Comments [7]


I would have really appreciated links to these products instead of having to research them all on my own! However, I really appreciated this segment which gives great ideas for good toys for kids. I would have loved to hear this segment several weeks ago!

Dec. 20 2013 09:22 PM
Paul Furbacher from Scotch Plains, NJ

Manoush is a bit mis-informed about boys and Rainbow Loom. There is no notion that the loom is for girls only. Our daughter knows lots of boys with the looms, and none of them show any sign that they thought it was only for girls. We go into the store where the bands are sold, and boys as well as girls are buying them. Our daughter's school is having some after school classes in January and a good number of boys are signed up for the extremely popular loom class.

Dec. 20 2013 03:29 PM

I thought these suggestions were going to be around $50. I must have heard it wrong. These are mostly expensive. And yes, it would have been nice to have links to the product websites.

Dec. 20 2013 02:14 PM
Ellen Larsen from Oregon

Magna- Tiles are not good for "the little ones" The magnets are very harmful if swallowed by small children.

Dec. 20 2013 12:31 PM
Larry Fisher from Brooklyn, N.Y.

The problem with electronic gizmo presents for kids is that parents can't get to watch how their kids play...electronic games go on in the kids head.

My kids are lucky, I am an old collectible toy dealer. I get them the electronic crap they want, but when they see me repairing some old model kit of Rat Fink or some such, they raise their eyebrow and ask if they can help... I always say yes, even if they end up the destroying the toy.

Watching them play with some physical toy that I can watch them play with, makes me feel lucky as well. I get to see how they play in the real world and learn something about myself in the process

Dec. 20 2013 10:10 AM
Scott from Ohio

Where's the list you said would be on your website?

Dec. 20 2013 09:51 AM
jean Gramlich from Ohio

Where is the link to the list of toys talked about today?

Dec. 20 2013 09:50 AM

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