In this ongoing update, we’ll fill you in on the latest in gear, gadgets, and new ideas that can make caring for your baby safer, more efficient, or more fun.
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VTech’s Kidibeat Drum Set, available on Amazon.com for under $20, provides little ones with hours of jamming, fun and learning.
The drum set works in three modes: free-style, playing along with nine pre-set songs (the drums light up as a learning guide to the songs), and learning about letters and numbers through structured play.
Geared to ages 2-5, the Kidibeat Drum Set runs on two AA batteries (included) and weighs two pounds. It includes a volume control for sound-sensitive parents, and comes with two drumsticks (but tiny hands work as well).
You can purchase the VTech Kidibeat Drum Set here.
WebMD’s Pregnancy app, which is free for downloading and runs on iOS, has just about everything you need to guide you through your pregnancy. The app comes with 626 pregnancy-related articles, 129 quizzes, 104 tips, 23 videos, 10 tools, and five slideshows.
After you download the app, take the video tour to show the app’s features, then navigate the simple-to-use home-page menu, which includes checklists for you and your doctor, an appointments calendar, a symptom tracker, a contraction time, a kick counter, and entries for your vital statistics throughout your pregnancy. There’s also a journaling feature and a section to store your weekly belly pics.
Its Pregnancy 101 section is what makes this app stand out among pregnancy apps; it includes articles on nutrition, exercise, labor and delivery, prenatal testing, high-risk pregnancies, and health and safety.
The WebMD Pregnancy app runs on iPhones, iPads and iPod Touch and is available here.
Elenco’s Electronic Playground Learning Center 130, currently available at Amazon.com for under $35, is a comprehensive science kit for older children (ages 8 and up, with adult supervision needed for the younger end of that range) that teaches them the nuts and bolts of electricity through creative play.
The kit includes learning activities that include teaching about magnetism and physics in addition to basic principles of electricity. Projects include building an AM broadcast radio station, an electric organ, an LED strobe light, logic circuits, and a metronome.
A PDF of instructions and activities is available on the manufacturer’s website here. The Electronic Playground Learning Center 130 can be ordered on Amazon.
VTech’s Kidizoom Smartwatch, selling for around $50, isn’t just a tool to help your child learn time, but also serves as a pushbutton camera (with customizable filters and frames for pictures), a voice recorder and mini-video (60-second) recorder.
The Kidizoom Smartwatch comes with four games, voice-altering effects, and more than 50 face designs. Time displays include both analog and digital, and the watch includes alarm and timer features.
The watch includes a USB cable that lets you charge it, as well as upload pictures from the watch to your computer or tablet.
Parental controls are included for game-playing limits, and the wristband is made with endurable rubber. Games that come with the Kidizoon Smartwatch are Super Detective, Rotating Puzzle, Finger Dance, and Time Master–and parents can purchase and download more games through VTech’s website.
The Kidizoom Smartwatch is available here.