Around the House, Parenting & Kids

Three Tech Toys Under Our Tree This Year and One That Is Not

grandst-logoJust in time for Christmas, I’ve discovered Grand St. This new website is a thoughtful collection of new and interesting tech toys and gadgets.

What made shopping the Grand St. site a pleasure for me was – in addition to the creative inventory – the beautiful product photos, uncluttered site design, friendly customer service, and helpful gift guides. Guides are categorized by recipient – like Little Geniuses, Moms & Dads, and Photo Fanatics – and are not so long as to be overwhelming.

Here are three of the Grand St. tech toys that will be under our tree this year (and one that will not), chosen because Santa believes they will be either fun or useful.

Merry Christmas!

Volta Racer Solar Car

$25 by ToyLabs

Three Tech Toys Under Our Tree This Year and One That Is Not

Brian and his dad enjoy building things together and this car kit has a twist – it’s solar powered! Good fun and inexpensive for your little engineer.

Tiggly Shapes for iPad

$30 by Tiggly

Three Tech Toys Under Our Tree This Year and One That Is Not

Avery loves animals, and I think she’ll really love constructing her own jungle, farm, and sea animals using these four shapes and a free iPad app. In addition to Tiggly Safari there’s Tiggly Stamp and Tiggly Draw. They all look like good creative fun.

Hiku Kitchen Scanner

$79 by Hiku Labs

Three Tech Toys Under Our Tree This Year and One That Is Not

Two things I dislike: running out of things, and forgetting something at the grocery store.

That’s why I really liked the electronic shopping list maker my mom gifted me a few years ago. The magnetic device stuck to the fridge and items were added by pressing a button and dictating to it: “milk,” “vanilla extract,” “cat food”. It was great for a while, but eventually both the paper and ink needed to be refilled. And the voice recognition wasn’t that great.

I’m hoping this Hiku Kitchen Scanner sidesteps both these problems. Instead of a printed list, your shopping list syncs to an app on your phone (of course it does). And instead of spotty voice recognition, Hiku uses a real linear imager similar to the one at the grocery store to read UPC codes. Dictate items without a barcode like produce.

Bonus: have your spouse install the app and sync the shopping list to their phone for my favorite time saver of all – delegation. Merry Christmas to me!

The, Uh, Eggminder Egg Tray

$70 by Quirky

Three Tech Toys Under Our Tree This Year and One That Is Not

This app-enabled, Internet connected tray wirelessly monitors the status of your eggs. Because this is such a problem for so many!

Now I know the organic cage-free eggs we’ve been buying are more expensive than the conventional, but really. This one was good for the laughs. Ho ho ho!


  1. Katherine Hart

    10/22/2015 at 7:13 pm

    These are really great ideas. I always struggle with what to buy for Christmas when the person you are buying for already seems to have everything! My nephew will love the Volta Racer cars. I think that is the one toy he does not already have:).
    If you don’t mind me adding a suggestion to the list, my mother-in-law bought us this gadget last Christmas called the Shower Manager. It is a device that cuts water flow by 2/3 in the shower after a preset time of your choosing 5, 8, or 11 minutes. It has saved us hundreds on our water bill! Not to mention finally putting an end to fights over the shower! Another great suggestion for the family member or friend that has everything!

    1. Samantha

      10/23/2015 at 8:18 am

      Thanks for writing in Katherine! My son did really enjoy the Volta car. We raced it at the playground and it got a lot of attention.

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