"We were looking for toys that would be fun to play but that would also build skills and that the whole family would want to play together," said Carol Mangis, electronics reporter for Consumer Reports.
The $13 Techno Source 20Q is a hit for kids 6 and up. It's an electronic take on the old-fashioned 20 questions game. If it guesses your object in 20 or fewer questions, it wins. If not, you do.
"We were shocked. It beat us nine out of 10 times," Mangis said.
The $30 Paper Jamz Pro Microphone for kids 8 and up will thrill your budding musician. It even corrects your voice if you sing off-key.
Musical kids 2 to 6 can also jam with B. Toys' Meowsic Keyboard for $26. You can play it freestyle or play along to 20 included songs.
And young moviemakers 5 and up will love the Hot Wheels Video Racer. It's a little more expensive at $60, but the built-in camera records Hot Wheel action, or the car straps onto a helmet for an action cam.
You can also go low-tech with the $20 Tetris Link for kids 6 and up. This fast-paced stacking game can challenge the whole family.
Consumer Reports Shop Smart says another cool toy is Wild Planet's Ultimate Night Vision Goggles for kids 8 and up. The $50 goggles use infrared technology to let you see in the dark.