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  • Good Gadgets for Great Parenting

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Learning to Walk

VTech Sit-to-Stand

The Sit-to-Stand Learning Walker was made to grow with your baby, says VTech: “Little ones can play with the standalone activity panel on the floor while discovering animals, colors, music, shapes and numbers. Attach the panel to the walker as babies grow, and they’ll continue to learn as they move along.”

Your baby will enjoy spinning the three flowers to hear fun phrases, sound effects, and a melody, the company says, or pressing the piano keys to learn colors, numbers and animal sounds.” Baby can also press the piano keys to play piano notes. When a melody is playing, pressing the piano keys will activate fun animal sounds on top of the melody. “In both modes, little ones will enjoy picking up the phone to hear animals singing and opening or closing the swinging door to play hide-and-seek with the friendly cow.”

It’s $30 here. (Affiliate link)

 

Babies Build with Blocks

baby blocksKids love to build, but babies aren’t born ready for Legos — so here’s a good starter set of ten colorful blocks for your baby to sort and stack.

“Filling the bucket with blocks, dumping them out, and starting over is great for eye-hand coordination and other early skills,” says Fisher Price. “Then your baby can move on to stacking and matching, and sorting the five different block shapes through the shape-sorting lid.” This can help a baby learn to identify and sort shapes and colors, enhance problem-solving skills, and motivate imagination, the company adds.  Man… that’s a lotta activity from some simple blocks!

The 10 blocks fit inside the bucket, with a carry handle. They’re $8 here. (Affiliate link)

Educate your Unborn Baby

baby plus natal educationHere’s a real jumpstart on your offspring’s education: the BabyPlus is a “prenatal education system” that’s “developed to strengthen a child’s long-term learning capabilities.” 

The developer says infants who have used the BabyPlus “are born more alert and responsive, nurse better, sleep better, and enjoy improved school readiness.”

The BabyPlus provides audio lessons with which a baby can discriminate the simple rhythmic sounds of the gadget from those of the mother. It’s a “progressive developmental tool that gets results,” the company adds. “This patented, prenatal curriculum is designed to strengthen your baby’s learning capabilities with naturally derived audio lessons. For your child, the developmental benefits of BabyPlus last a lifetime.”

The BabyPlus is $150 here. (Affiliate link)

 

Little Scholar educational tablet for kids

little scholarDon’t want an Apple iPad or Google Android tablet? Here’s an independent effort:

The Little Scholar tablet comes with custom content designed for children in preschool, kindergarten, and first grade. It’s “like having a teacher 24-7,” developer School Zone says.

With exciting activities, charming animations, and audio praise, these apps combine progressive challenge with playful creativity. You can also “enjoy toe-tapping kids tunes: Little Scholar is preloaded with 87 original songs that you and your kids will love.”

It’s available for $200 pre-order here.

 

Amazon Kindle FreeTime — a better babysitter

amazon kindleThe Kindle tablets can be great ways to read plenty of books — but are they appropriate for your toddler?  Amazon thinks so, and has added software to its Fire tablet, Kindle FreeTime, with which parents can set educational goals for their kids, and make sure their kids have met their goals before switching to cartoons and games.

How? Just tap on “Learn First,” and all non-educational content is removed from the child’s FreeTime library until they have met their daily reading or educational goals.

Amazon also touts thousands of new educational books, apps, games and videos coming to its Kindle FreeTime Unlimited platform, including Common Core Standard-aligned books, educational apps from developers like BrainPOP and Agnitus, and movies and TV shows from Sesame Street, PBS, Reading Rainbow and more.

“We know kids spend a lot of time every day looking at screens, and we’re excited to add new tools that help parents make this time more educational,” the company says.

The Kindle Fire HD is $139 here. (Affiliate link.)

Kids can learn electronics

snap circuits

Kids can do more than just play with new electronic gadgets — they can also learn how these things work. Snap Circuits by Elanco is a series of kits with simple circuit boards on which project components simply snap into place: no soldering or alligator clips required.

The Snap Circuits Jr. SC-100 starter kit is $34 here. (Affiliate link.) It has 30 reusable color-coded parts to build 100 projects and experiments such as a dual-speed fan, periodic doorbell, photo sensor police siren, flashing laser light and more.

The kit has won the Seal of Approval from The National Parenting Center, as well as other awards.

 

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