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

Best Tablets for Kids – Pros and Cons, Tips, and Guides

There are so very many options to choose from for a young child’s first tablet, but after weighing the pros and cons of current offerings, we would choose for a 3-5 year old’s first tablet the LeapFrog LeapPad Ultra, and then graduate to a Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 Kids Edition or an iPad Mini. The LeapFrog LeapPad Ultra can be skipped, as it is expensive when the extra software apps are added into the cost, and some might families might prefer to start with the Galaxy Tab.   The LeapFrog LeapPad Ultra This very kid-friendly tablet is specifically designed for young children and is filled with fun and truly educational (or edutaining) activities. The LeapPad Ultra Kids Tablet is currently available in green or pink. It’s tough, the apps are strong and appealing, kids love the camera and video options, and includes a kid-safe internet browsing experience. The only real problem with this choice is that additional apps/software for the unit are necessary for full enjoyment of the tablet, as users cannot access non-LeapFrog apps such as Google Play, and they are quite expensive. A regular tablet will be desired once the LeapPad Ultra has outgrown its appeal, and this has to be considered as well (some parents would prefer to skip right to a “real” tablet instead). If you can afford it, however, you will likely be happy with your choice. A regular tablet will be desired down the road, but this one is quite perfect for the younger set. For more reviews, information, or to buy: LeapPad Ultra PROS Kid-friendly and kid-safe. You can find some truly educational material in its apps. CONS It won’t grow with your child for as long as the other tablets in this article. The apps/add-ons are costly (although mostly good quality).   The Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 Kids Edition We love this tablet. The Galaxy Tab 3 can be run in standard mode, and it’s the same Galaxy Tab 3 that adults use. In kid mode, there are nice parental controls and preloaded kid-friendly apps with the option to acquire more. You can load up this tablet with apps from Google Play, for example, or the Samsung Kids Store. For more information, user reviews, or to buy: Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 Kids Edition (7-Inch with Carrying Case and Stylus) or Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 Kids Edition (7-Inch with Orange Bumper Case) PROS Easy access to apps on Google Play and other Android apps Preloaded apps – it’s fun right out of the box....

Best Tablets for Kids & Families

Apple’s iPad has become synonymous with the tablet experience. But just because idevices are the most popular choice doesn’t necessarily make them the right choice for you. Depending on your needs, budget, and wish list, one of these alternative slates may just make you much happier with your purchase. Take a look before you buy. For the Bookworm and Video Junkie Amazon’s Kindle Fire HDX, available in both 7 and 8.9 inch versions, might just be the perfect tablet for media-holics. It comes with Amazon’s huge e-book lending library built in, which is awesome for book lovers. But don’t mistake the Fire for just another e-reader. Amazon instant video, 24/7 tech support at the push of a button, fantastic parental controls, a stunning high-res display and a whopping 14 hour battery life make this one of the most well-rounded tablets on the market. A streamlined user interface and a much lower price tag ($229 – $375) than the iPad make the Fire a great introduction to tablets for novices and many kids, as well. There are different options to the HDX that alter the price. Kindle Fire HDX 7″, HDX Display, Wi-Fi, 16 GB – Includes Special Offers For the Writer, the Artist, or the Doodler The Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 is the perfect tablet for doodlers. If you’re one of those people that’s always jotting down notes and ideas, or if your fridge is covered with sticky notes and recipes, or if your job requires constant updates and revisions, the pen interface of the Note is just what you’re looking for. Features like Screen Write and Action Memo allow you to do everything from design your own app windows and copy website information to writing directly on your screen and red pen editing presentations. Perfect for teachers, students and artistic souls, the Note has an impressive 10.1 inch display and 3GB of RAM. For the Tech-Savvy Parent and their Children Southern California-based electronics creators Fuhu are making a name for themselves with tablets, laptops, computers and more geared towards a much younger audience. The Fuhu Nabi XD is a tablet geared specifically for tweens. If you’re looking for the perfect tablet for your 11-13 year old, but worry about the implications, this may be the perfect solution. You’ll love the adjustable parental controls and a library of over 200,000 e-textbooks to choose from. They’ll love playing console-quality games and watching moves on the high def 10 inch screen. You’ll both love the built-in features that make homework, presentations...

Pranks, Parties, and Pretend: Sims 3 – Generations

Sim lovers, it is time to get excited. The mega minds at EA Games have come up with yet another expansion on the beloved game. The Sims 3 brought with it the ability for Sim children to grow into teenagers juggling part-time jobs, adults with children of their own, and finally elders with retirement on the brain. The Sim citizens were free to jump through age groups, but something was still missing. The teens obediently went to school and did their homework. Adults experienced the joys of parenthood without the slightest hint of stress. Elders refused to reminisce about the good old days. The Sims clearly lacked a sense of realistic roundness, but that glitch is about to be rectified, thanks to The Sims 3: Generations. Kids say the darndest things, probably because their imaginations are running wild during this delicate age. Now your Sim children can exercise their creativity the way real children do. Enter the original childhood activity of make believe, complete with imaginary friends. Kids can pretend to be a princess or even an astronaut, and luckily for them, the castle or spaceship has evolved, too. Sim kids can be seen playing their games in the brand new tree house or the bunk beds they share with their siblings. If that is not enough, the kids also enjoy time spent at the playground, which boasts new equipment, such as a see-saw and sandbox. When the weather is beautiful, as it always is in the Simverse, kids can play on a waterslide in their backyard. Talk about an upgrade, kids lives are fuller than ever with all the places they can play in this expansion. The new features in childhood are fun and fairly harmless, though the same cannot be said for the new lives of teenagers, thanks to the expansion. Since when have any teens you know monotonously, yet happily, gone on their merry way to school each morning, plopped down to start their homework in the afternoon, and gone to bed without a fight? Well, never, unless the only teenagers you know live in the Simverse. If the teens had really wanted to shake it up, they might have gotten a part-time job, which of course, they would excel at, given that their angelic lack of autonomy never let them skip a shift or steal from the cash register. Sim parents are in for a real treat with this new expansion pack. Pranks and holding house parties while their parents are away are key features...

Nintendo 3DS

Here are our notes on the new Nintendo 3DS: The Nintendo 3DS boasts 3D graphics (optional) without the need for special glasses, and it’s quite stunning. It’s backwards compatible, which we love, and virtual items bought on your DSi can be imported into the 3DS. There’s a new joystick-like feature which is great, but the D-Pad is placed slightly awkwardly in order to accommodate it. The 3DS sports much better graphics than the DS. Potential buyers of the Nintendo 3DS should keep in mind that this is NOT just another DS model (as was the DSi and DS Lite). Rather, it’s a next generation DS. Essentially, it’s a DSi with considerably better graphics. Nintendo is promising an exciting game line-up, although there is not too much to choose from at the time of this writing. The 3DS comes with cute AR Cards for silly pictures, and more. Kids can take digital photos and then insert Miis and characters into them with truly cute results. Like the DS, there are two cameras and they’re low quality. The 3DS is compatible with Miis from your Wii system. There is a 3D slider that adjusts the intensity of the 3D factor, and can be turned off fully if desired. When 3D is active, it takes the eyes some adjusting to really “see” it. It’s a tad grainy and washed out, but overall quite stunning. It’s recommended that kids 7 and younger NOT use the 3D, as their eyesight is still developing, and that’s one of the reasons it’s essential to have the option to turn 3D off. But some users, regardless of age, may find the 3D distracting and disorienting. The stylus is in a slightly awkward location, and must be extended to full length in order to use it, which makes it less accessible than it is in previous DS models. However, this is something that users simply need to get used to. Perhaps the most frustrating element of the design of 3DS for Nintendo DS users is the location of the Power button. It’s in the same place as the Start/Select buttons were on the DS and DS Lite. Long-time users tend to press it instinctively and can end up closing the unit, losing their most recent progress! This is another thing to get used to.  As well, the new Start/Select/Home buttons are in a less than intuitive location and require more force to use. Keep in mind that battery life is shorter. To buy: Nintendo 3DS – Cosmo...

How to pick a portable audio player that suits you

In today’s market place, there are countless variations of a device that originally began with only one goal in mind: play music. Now of course, these devices can do anything from browsing the internet to editing word documents, but there are still a few that just give you the down to earth music playing capabilities. No video editing, no fancy touch screen. Of course, there are still a few factors to consider in buying one of these, which will be discussed below. Space available. If you are a person who hoards music, and has tens of folders worth on your computer, then you are not going to be happy to have only a few megabytes worth of space, and perhaps should aim higher, into the twenty, thirty, or even sixty gigabyte range. There is a trade off for this extra space though, price goes up and so does weight, which is no good if you want to take your player out jogging, or to an environment where you may easily lose it. Then again, if you only want an audio player that you only want to put, say, motivational songs on, and you are happy about losing it, then about a gigabyte should be fine. Ruggedness. How much wear do you think you’re going to put your player through? If you only use it occasionally, again, cheaper is better, but if you want one that will stand the test of time, you may want to invest in some of the pricier options available, as these are far more likely to be able to stand up to constant use without breaking down. Remember, a rugged player can be good for places such as the gym and the workplace, where you are more likely to drop it while moving about, it’s just wasted money if all you are going to be doing is relaxing at home. Price. Price is a big factor in deciding what audio player you finally buy, and with some available from less than $15, you really have to take the above factors into consideration before buying. Remember, the more features you choose, the more you will have to pay. Consider this: You buy a new, top of the range, $250 mp3 player. You don’t use any of the features, but you figure that you may need them eventually. The very next morning, you set out for quick jog in the park, only to lose it among the bushes. You overcompensated. Have a good idea of the features...

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