VTech ABC Phonics Pals
Your little one will have lots of fun learning to write letters with the step-by-step ABC Phonics Pals system by VTech. The writing recognition technology highlights if the letter is written correctly, and gives instructions to correct mistakes. Kids see what they are writing as it appears on the LCD screen. VTech offers a variety of different high-quality, innovative, educational products for kids from birth to preteen that engage kids while they learn. VTech ABC Phonics Pals is priced around $15 at Walmart, Toys 'R' Us and many other retailers.
First Spark Kids Toshiba L635 Laptop
Get your child their own computer created just for kids. This full-sized laptop features a wipeable keyboard and is loaded with software to keep your child safe online. It is preloaded with Net Nanny (Internet filtering service) and KidZui (kid-friendly Internet browser) with one-year service. It also features preloaded movies and games: Toy Story 2 movie, The Princess and the Frog movie, and LEGO Batman: The Videogame. You can get this laptop at BestBuy.com for $499.99. It's perfect for homework, research, educational games and much more.
No matter what the press says, video games aren't all that bad. Handheld gaming systems are a favorite among kids. The Nintendo DS offers strategic and educational games that can help develop your child's analytical skills, vocabulary, mathematical ability and much more. The Nintendo DS Lite is priced around $125.
LeapFrog Leapster Explorer Learning Experience
Teenagers aren't the only ones who love electronics and games. The LeapFrog Leapster Explorer Learning Experience is a learning system that children (ages 4-9) will adore. The system includes a library of more than 40 games and activities, including cartridge games, downloadable apps, videos, eBooks and much more. Children can learn basic scholastic skills — reading, math, science and geography — as well as creative thinking with music, health and problem solving. Kids also can expand their learning (and fun) in LeapWorld — a safe, online world of learning just for children. You can get the LeapFrog Leapster Explorer Learning Experience at Toys 'R' Us and other retailers for around $70.
ReadingPen Basic Edition K-12
The ReadingPen Basic Edition K-12 from Wizcom is designed to help school age children improve their reading, comprehension and vocabulary. The handheld "pen" scans the words as it's dragged along the text. The ReadingPen displays the words on its screen, speaks them aloud, and provides dictionary definitions and thesaurus entries. It allows children to maintain their reading flow, even when encountering unfamiliar words. This is particularly helpful for children with reading difficulties, learning disabilities or dyslexia. The ReadingPen is a little pricey ($225) but also includes earphones, batteries, training foot and carrying case.
Fisher-Price Smart Cycle
The Fisher-Price Smart Cycle looks like an exercycle for kids. This stationary bike for preschoolers plugs into your TV, and then the kids pedal their way through the Learning Adventure (cartridge included). It teaches letters, numbers, spelling, shapes, matching, problem solving, creativity, spatial reasoning, motor skills and more. You can also purchase additional educational games for the Smart Cycle. Your child will be able to exercise, learn and have fun all at the same time. The Smart Cycle Racer is priced at $85 from Fisher-Price.com.
More about kids and technology
Kids and online: Safety tips for parents
Finding safe online games for kids
10 Things you should know about computers for kids