Who doesn't love a good game of Monopoly - especially when you can use an iPad to keep track of your cash! "Go to jail!" … or break out of jail by playing a game on the tablet! "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 dollars. 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 dollars. Carol Mangis, "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. "Yes!" If you want everybody off the couch … try Mattel's Loopz Shifter game for 45 dollars. 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 dollars. Budding artists six and older can move the wand to draw pictures with L-E-D lights. They look even cooler in the dark! Carol Mangis "This toy is magical, but there is one drawback. Its motor is really loud." And SmartLab's 20-dollar D-J Rock Dock lets kids eight 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!" ."
More On Your Side Stories
- Back-to-school shopping is the second biggest spending spree of the year, according to the National Retail Federation.
- 44 children died last year from heat stroke inside cars.
- Can you get away with spending less on laundry detergent?
- Consumer Reports tested a 20-dollar device that promises to unclog drains without caustic chemicals or a costly plumber visit.
- Who doesn't love ice cream, especially in the summer?
- a just-released Consumer Reports' survey found that 59 percent of people look for foods labeled "natural" when they shop. But Consumer Reports says it's essentially meaningless claim.
- With grilling season heating up, all kinds of gadgets promise to take your grill to a new level.
- Flying with a carry-on bag can save you fifty dollars or more per trip. No wonder sales are up.
- Summer is salad time, and supermarkets have shelf after shelf of salad dressings.
- If you think there's no such thing as free lunch, think again. There are lots of products you can get online without having to pay a cent.