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By Kerry Breen

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Using tech-heavy toys to get your kids to look away from the TV screen might sound counter-intuitive — but these fun, creative options will keep them entertained for hours with almost no screens necessary. To make it even better, most of the picks have an educational component which means you can start getting them ready for the upcoming school year at the same time.

Tech expert Katie Linendoll stopped by TODAY this morning to share some of her picks for high-tech toys that kids are sure to love.

Gumball Machine Maker

Part science experiment, part engineering project, and part pinball machine — this exciting toy allows kids to build their own gumball machine track while learning different lessons about physics, and forces like gravity and momentum. Fun attachments mean the set can be as exciting as you want it to be, and with a dizzying amount of possible combinations, it's sure to keep kids entertained for hours. The set comes with a pack of gumballs to get you started, but you can keep the fun rolling by using any standard-size gumballs of your own.

Loog Mini Guitar

Give your kid an intro to music with this colorful miniature guitar! Available in a rainbow of hues, the mini guitar comes fully assembled and ready to rock. With an award-winning, educator-approved design, and accompanying flashcards that teach important musical concepts like chord diagrams, your little one can start practicing right away.

The guitar also has an accompanying app to learn songs and complete exercises, but if you're looking to stay screen-free, the flash cards are a great way to start learning.

Pictionary Air

This is the only toy that requires a little bit of screentime — but it's worth it for the family fun! Give Pictionary a hilarious 2019 twist by using an app and a special pen to draw in the air. Players will see the image on their screens, and the easy-to-use app even lets you record the performance so you can save it and laugh even more later.

Sound-Activated Robot

First, your little one will put together this 172-piece hedgehog model (though the packaging recommends that they are at least seven-years-old "with help" or ten-years-old to complete alone). That step helps teach skills like mechanics and learning about the inner workings of a robot — but things get even cooler when kids start clapping their hands. The built-in sound sensor triggers the hedgehog to react and respond to different patterns of claps, and with all sorts of options, your child will want to spend plenty of time with their new friend.

The set requires 4 AAA batteries, which are not included.

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