News and reviews of children's products from Edutaining Kids.com

Teenagers (and many adults) will love GelaSkins

GelaSkins are stylish, trendy, and they protect your laptop, portable gaming device, iPod, and phone too! They make a unique gift for teenagers and young adults. GelaSkins are artist-designed skins designed to protect and spiff up laptops, iPhones, iPods, PSPs, Nintendo DS Lite, select cell phones, and Touch. They truly are delightful to look at, and extremely functional at the same time. They peel off and stick on, so that you can reuse them; and, if you have more than one GelaSkin, you can change the look of your device whenever you’re in the mood. The designs are a must-see–truly creative and inspiring. GelaSkins Inc. has recently added a line of gorgeous wallpapers for the iPhone, Touch, and PSP that you can use on the screens of these devices, downloadable for free at the GelaSkins website. There is a selection of GelaScreens designed to match each GelaSkin. GelaSkins include a wide variety of styles and artwork. While some are straightforward (such as Golfer), most are alternative. Teens are sure to find something they like. In fact, they’re sure to find many skins they love! You’ll have to take a look at the GelaSkins gallery in order to get an idea of the sheer quantity and impressive quality of skins available. Skins can be purchased offline, but the best selection can be found at the GelaSkins site. Because we’re talking art–and a lot of it–it’s probably best to let your teens decide which ones they like best, so if you’re planning on giving GelaSkins as a gift, your best bet is to buy a gift card, also available at the...

Digital Cameras for Kids

Many young children can handle a “regular” digital camera, especially if it’s inexpensive. Point-and-click digital cameras with less features, for example, or older models, will still please children and take some decent pictures. However, if you’re interested in getting a designed-for-kids camera, you’ll find some worthwhile choices. You may not have had too much luck in recent years (try as we did, we could never find one that we could recommend without a zillion caveats), but there are two current offerings that stand out from the rest. We’ll tell you about them here. Our Top Picks for Digital Cameras for Kids Fisher Price Kid Tough Digital Camera This camera truly does live up to its name–it is “kid-tough”. It’s durable, easy to use, and looks funky. Available in both pink and blue. Picture quality is questionable, as with all digital cameras designed for kids. If you’re looking for quality pictures, go for a “regular” digital camera that is inexpensive enough that you won’t lament too much if it breaks. We love the chunkiness of the camera and its ergonomic features. The LCD window is a not-very-healthy 1.5″ and full color. The viewfinder is two-eye so there is no squinting required. This latest model is waterproof as well. It comes with the necessary USB cable for computer connection. What’s different than older models of the same camera is the lack of SD slot. However, it has 64 MB of flash memory built in, so there’s room for many pictures straight off. For more information, user reviews, or to buy: Fisher-Price Kid-Tough Waterproof Digital Camera Pink Kidizoom Digital Camera by Vtech Although this camera boasts video and sound, its image quality is poor. Its 1.8″ LCD screen is acceptable, and a tad larger than the one on the Kid Tough camera, but still not great for little eyes. It has a dual viewfinder (so kids don’t have to squint), and more advanced features, although sometimes more is less when it comes to the target market–preschoolers. For more information, user reviews or to buy: Vtech – Kidizoom Digital Camera – Blue Because lower-end adult digital cameras are really quite inexpensive these days, we recommend getting one of those for kids approximately ages 6 and up, depending on the maturity of the child and the care with which he or she handles the camera. Have a digital camera and looking for ideas for activities with the kids? We have some great suggestions in our article, Fun and Learning with Photos – Digital Cameras,...

A look at Order Up! Video game for the Nintendo Wii

Kids are rookie chefs in a fun and engaging new game for the Wii, Order Up!. Rookie chefs need to start at the bottom, and in Order Up!, they begin their cooking adventure at a greasy spoon, Burger Face. As kids progress, their goal is to eventually become world-class chefs. What’s special about this game is that it not only allows kids to work with ingredients and recipes, it is also a restaurant management game. Children prepare and present food, and the focus is not only on mixing the right ingredients, but also adding the special finishing touches that make a meal a masterpiece. New recipes and equipment are unlocked along the way. In comparison to Cooking Mama for the Wii, Order Up is richer in gameplay, offering definite goals and a management angle that older kids will enjoy more. Its controls are a little trickier, however. This game is missing a multi-player mode, which would have boosted our ratings of the game considerably. For more information, user reviews, or to buy: Order...

Flytech Dragonfly and Butterfly by WowWee

WowWee Robotic DragonFly – Green (49 MHz) The FlyTech DragonFly by WowWee is sure to delight kids ages 7 and up. It’s a radio-controlled flying “robot” that flaps its wings quite realistically. Kids use a remote to control the robotic insect, and it’s really quite a wonder to see–the Dragonfly is actually very dainty as it glides smoothly in the air and lands with finesse as well. Although kids can fly the insect outside, the weather has to be just right for it–forget about doing it on a windy day. It’s better to play with the Dragonfly indoors. The charge doesn’t last long–approximately 5 to 8 minutes total–which actually keeps kids from overdosing on the toy and anxious for it to charge again. Here’s a video of the toy in action: Kids can easily see when the dragonfly is running out of steam, simply by checking its status through the LED-lit eyes. There is also a butterfly version of the toy, the Wow Wee Butterfly Indoor Outdoor Flyer: Pink, which is likely to appeal to girls as well. This one is also quite dainty, quiet, and fun to watch in action. See our Edutaining Kids review of the toys here: Edutaining Kids Gift Guides for Kids Ages...

Elmo Live – the most interactive Elmo plushie to date

Elmo Live – Available November 1, 2008, Pre-Order Now. Elmo Live is a plush toy of Elmo, who, from his sitting position, crosses his legs, bobbles his head from side to side, tells jokes as his mouth flaps right on cue, sings songs, and even plays games. Kids activate this extraordinarily true-to-life plushie by squeezing his hands, nose, or feet. Elmo Live is, of course, expected to be at least as popular as its predecessors (such as Elmo TMX and Tickle Me Elmo). This one is the most advanced interactive Elmo we have seen yet. Here’s Elmo Live in action: Elmo Live can be pre-ordered now (and will be released on November 1, 2008). Many families are getting a jump on this in case there is a shortage later: Preorder at Amazon: Fisher-Price Elmo...

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