2013's Best interactive learning games
Learning is always more fun when you're not alone. These interactive games introduce your child to new friends that can teach them a thing or two.
Lay the foundation for literacy
When you add playful interaction to reading, kids get really excited about story time! New Read, Build, Play sets (ReadBuildPlay.com, $13) combine construction play with reading to help preschoolers learn letter recognition, shape identification and story sequencing
Together, Lego Duplo and the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC) launched a 2013 reading list of popular book titles for children to read, build and play along with. The reading list features books for ages 1 to 3 and for ages 3 to 5. Check them out at your local library!
Make the most of the devices you have
If you find yourself trying to steer your child away from her electronic device to spend more time with books, then you will certainly appreciate the genius behind the any-device library.
MeeGenius is a free e-book app that offers indie and best-selling children's titles in an "any device" library (MeeGenius.com). In other words, the app works with just about any smartphone, tablet or computer. The e-books are available with brilliant illustrations, word highlighting and a read-to-me narration option.
Embrace stories for a new generation
Our modern children can't always relate to the fairy tale classics of old. And for some kids, traditional books are simply not as exciting as the incredible tablet or smartphone. That's why the folks at Hullabalu recently launched a new take on storytelling with a tablet app.
Light up a new friendship
Your child will build sensory perception, imagination and discovery with the world's friendliest train. The Thomas & Friends Follow Me Thomas turns your child into a special kind of conductor. (Walmart.com, $35)
Point and move the light from the lantern and watch Thomas the Tank chug along behind. The lantern buttons send the train in circles, figure eights and zigzags!
Learn a new language (or two)
A second (or even third or fourth) language will serve our children as they navigate our ever-shrinking globe. From birth through age 6, the human brain is prewired for language learning, and the Little Pim language discovery set encourages parents to take advantage of our preschoolers' ripe, eager minds.
With a Little Pim plush panda toy and three DVDs, your young child can learn Spanish, French, Italian, Chinese or English. Little Pim's Entertainment Immersion Method engages your child with video of real children along with animation and utilizes repetition techniques to help your child learn new vocabulary. (LittlePim.com, $39)