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7 summer-fun gadgets to entertain kids of all ages

by Katie Linendoll / / Source: TODAY

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We are officially in the midst of one of the hottest months of the year. Cool off during the sizzling summer with some of the most fun and unique gadgets for all ages!

TODAY has affiliate relationships, so we may get a small share of the revenue from your purchases. Items are sold by the retailer, not by TODAY. All prices are subject to change and items could sell out based on the merchant’s inventory.

Star Wars TIE Fighter Grill, $300, Starfiredirect

Star Wars TIE Fighter Grill
starfiredirect.com

This is a must-have for any die-hard "Star Wars" fan. It’s the perfect size for the backyard or the beach and uses a standard propane tank. Impress your guests when you fold out the Tie Fighter Wings to assist with food prep. And, bonus, the grill comes with a Star Wars logo that you can grill right onto your burger.

One Touch Pop-Up Tent, starting at $30, Jet

One Touch Pop Up Tent
Jet

Protect your family from those glaring summer rays. This compact, easy-to-assemble tent is perfect for the beach, park or a sporting event. It pops up automatically with no fumbling or muscle strength needed. Sturdy and durable, it also provides strong UV protection. When you are done for the day, it easily folds down into a convenient carry bag.

Nostalgia Electrics Vintage Hot Dog Cart, $330, Nostalgia Electrics

Nostalgia Electrics Vintage Hot Dog Cart
Nostalgia Electrics

Become your own backyard vendor with this vintage-style, full-size hot dog cart. Perfect for an outdoor summer party, it will keep the neighbors talking all summer. The cart cooks up to eight hot dogs on heated cooking rollers and has five compartments to hold the condiments. It even has an included beverage cooler to keep drinks cold. You will enjoy the retro look every time you use it!

Soak ‘n’ Wet Dunk Tank, $149 for kids tank, $249 for adults, KO Water Games

Soak 'n' Wet Dunk Tank
KOWaterGames.com

This was a huge hit with my niece and nephew at a recent family gathering. Much less expensive and a safer alternative to a traditional dunk tank, it naturally brings out comedy antics and inevitably draws a crowd.

Built to last with durable PVC material, it's portable, easy-to-assemble and literally takes just a few minutes to set up for each dunk. The bucket holds up to 5 quarts of water and we filled the bucket up with warm water from the sink, so that the first dunk wasn't too scary. This is a perfect fun gadget for fundraisers, churches, schools, camps or any backyard party.

Instant Watermelon slicer, $21, Jet

Instant Watermelon slicer
Jet

As I watched my mom muscle the watermelon every year, I don't know why I never thought of this. This agronomic slicer makes it easy to prepare symmetric watermelon slices every time. It is made from hard plastic with rubber handles to prevent slipping and keep hands away from the sharp, stainless steel blades. Just grip, push-down and watch as it perfectly slices the melon into 12 equal parts with ease.

Pro Tip: You can also use it for other melons and tropical fruit such as cantaloupe, honeydew and pineapple. Best of all, when you're done, it’s dishwasher safe and comes with its own case.

H2O Bowling splash slide, $30, Target

H2O Bowling splash slide
Katie Linendoll

Pull this out on a hot summer day, when the kids are saying, “We’re bored!” Just roll the Slip ‘n Slide out in the grass and attach the hose. Watch as they try and get a strike by sliding into the six large inflatable pins. It’s hilarious and, whether or not they hit a strike, the drench pool at end always guarantees a big splash.

Bruer Cold Brew, $80, The Grommet

Bruer Cold Brew
The Grommet

This machine makes cold brew that is smoother and less acidic then traditional iced coffee. The Bruer has a glass construction with a special suction cup drip system.

The key is the slow-brewing process that filters cold water through ground coffee without electricity or heat. It makes up to 20 oounces of cold brew at a time. Just fill it up at night, place it in the refrigerator and you will have a full-bodied glass of cold brew in the morning to help you start the day.

Katie Linendoll is an Emmy-Award-winning tech expert and regular tech contributor to TODAY Show. You can follow Katie on Facebook and Instagram.

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