What are the best tech toys for kids?

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(Nov. 11, 2014) - Electronic toys are a favorite gift. But don’t think that children have to just sit glued to a screen. Consumer Reports ShopSmart magazine found four great tech toys that are loaded with creativity and will really engage the young ones on your list.

The $40 Leapfrog Leapband features “pets” that give kids activity challenges. It gets them up and moving, really active and engaged.

Crayola’s Virtual Design Pro kit is also $40. It has a colorful array of crayons, markers and stencils and a book full of car or dress designs. When you scan your drawings into a phone or tablet they animate. Models walk the runway and cars race through an obstacle course.

Another crafty device extrudes a thin stream of plastic that dries almost immediately so teens can turn their drawings into 3-D creations. The $100 3Doodler comes with 10 colors. Extra color packs are $10 each.

The $50 kit from MaKey MaKey is loaded with fun.  The wired clips connect to a little circuit board and turn anything that conducts a current — everything from cucumber slices to bananas — into computer keys that play music.

Complete Ratings and recommendations on all kinds of products, including appliances, cars & trucks, and electronic gear, are available on Consumer Reports’ website. Subscribe to ConsumerReports.org.