Toys for 4th Graders

It can be hard to buy toys and games for 9 and 10-year olds. They're in that 'in-between' stage. We found several toys and games that promise to perk their interest. But, do they live up to the advertised expectations?

Scott City 4th graders decide which of these three games they want to play with -- the Harry Potter Levitating Challenge, an active board game called Cadoo, or a Spy Tool contraption.

Harry Potter draws the biggest crowd at the beginning. A battery-powered stream of air keeps a plastic ball 'levitating' above the board Then, with knobs and cranks, kids control the air flow to maneuver the floating ball through an obstacle course.

"It's kind of tricky!"says one student. "You have to go through some really neat things to get passed a level."

Cadoo is a board game that makes kids actively answer trivia questions. "You get to make stuff out of Playdough, draw cards, and act stuff out," says another 4th grader. Cadoo really holds their attention, and they don't even realize they're learning something!

Meanwhile, the Spy Tool is inspiring lots of little sleuths. Battery-operated telescopes, flashlights, and microphones are supposed to help you see and hear things from far away. We watch as they point the spy gun toward a group of friends, to see if the spy microphone can pick up what they're saying. One girl hears her friend speaking from about 25 feet away.

The kids are having fun using the microphone part of the spy tool kit. But the microscope isn't working. We're not sure if it doesn't work, or if they just don't have it on right. But they're too excited to read directions to try and figure it out! So they're having fun either way.

Harry Potter totally upstaged our t-v camera. You could see it on their faces, the Scott City 4th graders were simply enthralled. "What's on your Christmas list?" Amy Jacquin asks one player. "This, right now!"

And everyone playing Cadoo gives Santa the green light to leave it under their tree.

This class had a lot of fun with all three games and toys. The $35 Harry Potter Levitating Challenge definitely earns an 'A'. And so does the $20 Cadoo. The Spy Tool kit was fun, but for $20, the telescope should have worked a little better. It finishes with a 'C.'