Who doesn't love a good game of Monopoly - especially when you can use an iPad to keep track of your cash! .... or break out of jail by playing a game on the tablet!
According to Carol Mangis with Consumer Reports ShopSmart, "One of the big trends this year is toys that interact with apps on your smart phone or tablet. And we thought the Monopoly game was a lot more fun with an app."
Monopoly's "Zapped" edition costs $30. You download the app for free.
Consumer Reports' ShopSmart sampled 11 other tech toys, too.
A favorite for kids seven and up: Sifteo Cubes, for $130.
Carol points out, "Sifteo Cubes are pricey, but there's no other toy like them. Kids will play with them for hours."
First you download the software to add games to the interactive cubes. Then shake … flip … tilt … or press the blocks to play a variety of brainy games like puzzles … or math challenges.
If you want everybody off the couch … try Mattel's Loopz Shifter game for $45.
Players seven and up use their best karate-chop-like moves to repeat a pattern.
And there are tech toys for creative kids, like Crayola's Digital Light Designer for $60. Budding artists 6 and older can move the wand to draw pictures with L-E-D lights. They look even cooler in the dark!
Carol says, "This toy is magical, but there is one drawback. Its motor is really loud."
And SmartLab's $20 D-J Rock Dock lets kids 8 and up build a speaker dock that really works!
Don't expect high fidelity, but your child will love being able to say, "I made it myself!"
Also likely to be popular again this holiday season - tablets for kids. Consumer Reports is in the process of testing these, and we'll bring you those results as soon as we get them.