Best toys with apps

by Joost Nusselder | Updated on:  July 21, 2021

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It can take some getting used to, to see toys that your kids control with an app…

But soon you will see that the world we live in is increasingly connecting the digital world with the physical one, and children can learn a HUGE amount from it.

In this article, I'll show you what's possible with some of the best app-controlled toys.

Best toys with apps

Let's take a quick look at all the options, then I'll dig deeper into each of these choices:

App toysImages
Best Educational Toys With App: Osmo Genius KitBest Educational Toys With App: Osmo Genius Kit
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Best AR toys with app: Shifu OrbootBest-AR-toys-with-app-Shifu-Orboot
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Best construction toys with app: LEGO Technic R 9800 Liebherr 42100LEGO Technic R 9800 Liebherr 42100
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Best extensible app: MERGE CubeOverall best app: MERGE Cube
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Best cheap app enabled robot: Sphero miniBest cheap app enabled robot: Sphero mini
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Best Educational Toys With App: Osmo Genius Kit

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Age: 5-12

Osmo Genius Kit is a great new toy that offers 3 different tools to keep your kids entertained.

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Toy reviews & comparisons video

It treats

And all with one app!

Osmo genius also allows you to scan the solution with your own iPad's camera and play it interactively, keeping it interesting for kids of all ages.

You no longer only need an iPad for it, but it can now also be used with Fire.

Awards: Time's Best Invention

Osmo Genius is actually a nicely designed crash course fun school activities for kids from 5 years.

Because the game elements are based on lifelike material, your child learns faster than if you only use an app, I think it's a very nice innovation from Osmo.

The combination of physical objects and scanning with your iPad's camera makes it so much more interesting than just an app, and THIS is the kind of toy that's going to combine digital with the real world for them, which they'll have to deal with a lot.

All this with little more than an iPad and their creativity will set them up for success in any math competition they go to.

Plus with its WiFi compatibility, it can be used anywhere, making it easy for you if you want some peace of mind that your kids are also playing something educational now and then :)

Check prices and availability here

Best AR Toys With App: Shifu Orboot

Best AR Toys With App: Shifu Orboot

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Age: 3 - 10 years

The Shifu Orboot is an educational app for kids with augmented reality. Right away interactive experience teach your kids about the world while having fun and playing games.

This globe for kids has beautiful visuals that guide helpful explanations for them to understand.

Shifu Orboot is the augmented reality globe that tells children about the world in a new way.

It is suitable for use in the home, classrooms and other educational environments. The app can be used on any Apple or Android device.

This great product teaches children about various things from all over the world by displaying information using pictures and sounds.

When you use a map app with augmented reality, it's like the world becomes your video game. You will see an overlay of places around you and can even get information about them without visiting them in person!

But if old phones or have low-end processors, this may not work as well, so that's something to watch out for.

Many people just don't find using maps through their phone's screen enough anymore - they want something more immersive, which makes exploring new places feel like playing a real-life version of Pokemon GO (in my opinion).

That's why there are now apps that allow users to experience what Google Maps AR would look like by superimposing names and photos over landmarks all over the city so that one could find themselves

Check availability here

Best Construction Toys with App: LEGO Technic R 9800 Liebherr 42100

LEGO Liebherr R 9800 on the construction site with app

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The LEGO Technic Liebherr R 9800 Excavator 42100 Building Set is a high-tech construction toy that provides hours of immersive and engaging play.

With a realistic design and advanced app technology, this building set teaches kids advanced engineering skills while allowing them to build and control an incredible replica.

The Lego Technic Liebherr R 9800 Excavator is perfect for the little engineer who needs a challenge and loves nothing more than learning through play.

This high-tech construction toy is powered by 2 advanced Smart Hubs, with 7 motors controlled via 4 control screens to drive, operate the boom and bucket, create movement sequences, play sound effects, complete fun challenges and real-time get feedback.

This year, give your architect some serious brain food and teach him how things work in a way he'll never forget!

Check the latest prices here

Best Extensible App: MERGE Cube

Overall best app: MERGE Cube

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Imagine not only being able to go on a reconnaissance mission, but also having your own laboratory. Now imagine taking that lab with you everywhere – the playground, the store, or just relaxing in your home.

That's what educators and learners can do with Merge Cube AR.

This revolutionary product was designed by some of America's most esteemed institutions, including Harvard University and NASA's Jet Propulsion Lab, specifically for STEM education.

The Merge Cube is the only product that allows you to hold digital 3D objects (holograms), enabling an entirely new and powerful way to learn STEM.

It comes with a limited amount of free STEM and Science content. The full learning experience requires a subscription to Merge EDU apps, and a free trial is available. Compatible with iOS or Android devices.

More than 100 interactive science simulations let students learn effectively, they can touch, hold and interact with them!

Check the latest prices here

Best cheap app enabled robot: Sphero mini

Best cheap app enabled robot: Sphero mini

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Little Robot, Lotta Fun: The Sphero mini is a tiny programmable ping-pong ball-sized robot equipped with a gyroscope, accelerometer and colorful LED lights.

It is more than an exciting family gift or a personal party gift, because it is also educational.

This perfect entry into robotics for beginners is packed with coding blocks, drag-and-drop features, and fun STEM games to help your little student learn to code!

Are you ready to start coding and master robotics?

The Sphero Mini is the perfect beginner robot toy with app-based programming, VOICE games, and easy vehicle mode.

From learning to code to playing video games as a driver, Sphero Mini will keep kids entertained at home or on their next family trip!

Check the latest prices here
Joost Nusselder, the founder of Speelkeuze.nl is a content marketer, father and loves trying out new toys. As a child, he came into contact with everything around games when his mother started the Tin Soldier in Ede. Since 2016, he and his team have been creating helpful blog articles to help loyal readers with fun play ideas.