Holiday gift idea: Toys for the whole high-tech family

Consumer Reports News: December 10, 2010 02:38 PM

Scrabble Flash
Photo: ShopSmart

Kids love to play, but so do many parents. And since your children are inevitably going to want tech toys, why not get some gadgety games that you can play with them? Earlier this week, we suggested toys for little kids and toys for older kids. The following toys can be enjoyed by the whole family.

Consumer Union’s ShopSmart magazine tested some of the year's hottest tech toys for its December issue. The toys weren't formally tested in our labs, but some of our tech experts did get in touch with their inner children and gave them all a try. The toys are "designed to foster musical talent, boost reading comprehension, or simply allow for self-expression, imagination, and discovery."

Scrabble Flash, $29.99
The traditional Scrabble has always been a great way to learn letters and spelling. Scrabble Flash offers faster, more frantic play—a great game for wordsmiths and quick thinkers. Players slide, swap, and shuffle the electronic tiles to create words; three different types of gameplay are included. The technology provides a new experience each time the game is played because the letters on the tiles change from game to game, and the tiles themselves keep score for you.

Monopoly Revolution Edition
Photo: ShopSmart

Monopoly Revolution Edition, $34.99
Monopoly on a round board? For the 75th anniversary of this iconic game, Hasbro has amped things up with a digital banker (no more paper money) that keeps track of your location and plays song clips and sound effects as you move around the board. Go to jail, and hear a door slam. When you Pass Go and collect $2 million, a party tune starts playing.

Another way to play family-style is to invest in a Nintendo Wii, Microsoft Xbox, or Sony PlayStation gaming console. Each is offering fun new gesture-based enhancements this year. Check out our video game console buying guide below. You'll get the scoop on the newest in motion-based gaming: the Microsoft Kinect for Xbox 360, Sony Move for PlayStation 3, and Nintendo MotionPlus.

—Carol Mangis

Carol Mangis

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