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Holiday Gifts: 5 Hi-Tech Toys for Tots

 Kids these days, with their smartphones and Snapchats and [insert name of whatever is cool right now that anyone over the age of 30 has never even heard of]. There’s simply never been a tech-savvier generation — so you’ll need to get creative with your holiday gifting if you don’t want to bore the wee ones.

The good news? From programmable robots to age-appropriate virtual reality, tech-heavy toys are the season’s hottest gifts. Here are ten picks that will delight even the most forward-thinking kids.

1. View-Master VR
View-Master hasn’t been cool since The Six-Million Dollar Man was in its original run. But that changes this year with Mattel’s clever take on virtual reality. Compatible with most iOS and Android phones, the new View-Master lets kids explore the solar system, African

View-Master VR

2. Dash & Dot
These blue, one-eyed robots are not just totally adorable; they also teach your kids the fundamentals of coding. Both bots can respond to voice commands, sing, dance, and navigate around objects straight out of the box. iPhone and Android apps make programming additional behaviors and building new games as easy as finger painting. (Wonder Workshop, $150 and up)

 Dash & Dot

3. Playmation: Marvel Avengers
The kids will work up a sweat with this creative toy/game hybrid. Using Iron Man’s Repulsor Gear and The Hulk’s gamma-enhanced fists, players interact with action figures by firing infra-red beams, dodging attacks, and occasionally hiding altogether. Mostly, that means running around the house like maniacs — a healthy step in the right direction for parents hoping to keep holiday gaming rooted in the real-world. (Disney, $120 for Starter Pack)

Playmation: Marvel Avengers

4. Osmo
Osmo combines your iPad with real objects that teach kids how to spell, add, and draw. New this year is a Masterpiece game that teaches art basics by projecting images onto actual paper, which your kids can then trace, and Numbers, which makes learning math fun (really). So simple and appealing, you’ll want to play along. (Osmo, from $79)


5. Anki Overdrive
This newfangled take on the classic slot car set is a technical marvel: Players race tiny cars around slick, modular tracks, using mobile devices to control speed, switch lanes, and fire weapons at one another. A surefire crowd-pleaser, Anki Overdrive looks like magic — though if you’re not careful, it might make your checking account disappear. (Anki, $149.99 for Starter Pack)

Anki Overdrive

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