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  • Good Gadgets for Great Parenting

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Laugh & Learn Laptop

fisher price laptop

The Laugh & Learn Smart Screen Laptop “makes learning fun,” Fisher-Price says. “Power up a world of learning fun with a baby-appropriate laptop that’s just their size.”

The small device has nine colorful keys that are easy to press, and “bring learning to life on the animated screen so baby can learn numbers, shapes, colors, object names, initial letters and more.” Character comes to life when the lid is flipped open, Fisher-Price adds, and there are sing-along songs, words, sounds and exciting activities, in both English and Spanish.

It’s $20 here.

Learn with a helicopter

VTech - Explore and Learn HelicopterThe Explore and Learn Helicopter combines a favorite toy with introductory learning tools.

There’s a spinning propeller of course, and wheels that roll for take-off. The exit door opens and closes — and releases colorful balls. “Pulling the helicopter and spinning the propeller promote imaginative role-playing,” VTech says. “Press on the piano keys, object buttons, and the puppy to hear fun phrases, piano sounds, and melodies.” It’s $16 here.

Book Sings and Squeaks in the Bath

vtech sing book“Bath time can be reading time with the Sing and Squeak Bath Book,” Vtech says. “This soft, waterproof book actually floats in the tub.”

There’s also a light-up music button for sing-along songs — and a rubber ducky button for funny, squeaking sounds. Two electronic buttons introduce first words, fun sounds, and music.

The short rhyming songs promote language development, the company says, and the playful sing-along songs encourage parent-child interaction.

It’s $15 here.

Learn letters with LeapFrog

leapfrog lettersThe Letter Factory Phonics has 26 singing letters to bring the alphabet to life, LeapFrog  says.

It’s based on the award-winning Letter Factory DVD, but doesn’t require a disc player. Instead, “little learners place letter tiles in the “factory” to hear songs that teach the corresponding letter names and sounds,” LeapFrog says.

The learning system has helped more than 7 million children practice phonics in a fun way, the company adds. The tactile play with the individual letter tiles helps reinforce the curriculum.

It’s $20 here.

 

A classic: The Farmer Says

Farmer Says

Yep, Fisher-Price is still making the classic See ’N Say toy. “Children love animals, and The Farmer Says engages children by providing colorful images and sounds of animals,” FP says.

The toy teaches kids fun facts about 16 different animals, Fisher-Price adds. “Your child just points the arrow and pull the lever.” Kids can also play quiz games, and sing along with the melodies from Old MacDonald and Farmer in the Dell. It’s $15 here.
(The original first came out in 1965. Hey, so did I!)

 

LeapFrog puppy helps tots read

leapfrog puppy reads“Children learn more when they’re having fun,” LeapFrog says. The company’s toys “help your child learn about reading, writing, numbers, colors, matching, shapes and manners.”

“Read With Me Scout” is a “cuddly companion that provides the perfect interactive introduction to reading,” LeapFrog says. “The plush puppy pal” reads from 5 included books, and then asks questions to engage kids and deepen their comprehension. “This adorable introduction-to-reading experience is designed by our learning experts to inspire and entertain early readers everywhere.”

You can also switch the puppy into sleepy-time mode for relaxing stories, and 8 minutes of lullabies. It’s $24 here.

 

Friendly gadget speaks letters

vtech gadget letter friend

Don’t think it will give your kid an English accent, but it should help them learn letters: the Little Gadget Letter Friend from Vtech uses English voices “dispatched from the UK.”

The 7-inch talk robot “is sure to get your little one excited about learning!” Vtech says. “He shakes, dances and responds to your child with funny voices and sound effects.”

The toy helps kids learn letters, phonics, words, objects, telling the time, and more. It’s $65 here.

 

Walker helps toddler learn more than just moving

vtech walker

“Little ones can play with the standalone activity panel on the floor while discovering animals, colors, music, shapes and numbers,” VTech says. “Attach the panel to the walker as babies grow and they’ll continue to learn as they move along.”

The walker has 5 piano keys that play music notes, 3 colorful spinning rollers, 3 shape sorters and light-up shape buttons, and even a telephone handset, spinning gears, and an open/close barn door.

It’s $30 here

Puppy plays to learn

FP play puppy

Baby’s best friend? You child can start learning A-B-Cs  and 1-2-3′s with this toy dog, which “invites baby to learn through singing, dancing and playing.”

The Laugh & Learn Love to Play Puppy comes with a CD of tunes, and also plays ten sing-along songs and games. “The cuddly pal enhances baby’s sense of security, inviting baby to hug and express friendship,” says maker Fisher-Price.

It’s $22 here. (affiliate link)

 

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