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Magnext – Magnetic Building Toys that Engage Young Children

Many kids love building toys, and their brains love them too! Magnext is a special magnetic construction toy that is safe, well-built, and innovative. There are a number of different Magnext sets available, including gravity-defying cars (the Spheron line), rollercoasters (the iCoaster set), and “special parts” sets that allow kids to build such things as submarines, jets, and a whole lot more. It’s best to start with a basic or starter set and then build upon it with a special parts set. If you know your child is going to be especially fond of the rollercoaster set (called the iCoaster), go for that set. It has plenty of nice features, and actually adds cool sounds to the creative mix. There is a girls’ Magnext set also available–it’s the same system, but with pastel colors. Recommended for kids ages 6 and up. Magnext...

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...

Vtech V-Motion like the Wii?

Vtech – V.Motion Active Learning System The Vtech V Motion Active Learning System incorporates motion into a through-the-TV games console. Wireless motion-activated play through the included joystick and educational-style games are featured in this system that plugs into the TV. The system comes bundled with Action Mania software game. Additional games for the system (and if you need to buy an additional controller) are sold separately. Testers felt the system was very similar to the Vtech VSmile, but with a different controller. Unfortunately, they ended up opting out of the motion feature and instead simply used the controller, as it wasn’t always as responsive as we would have liked. I suppose it’s not exactly fair to compare the unit to the Nintendo Wii, which is very responsive, but it seems natural to do so, since we expect many families will look to the VMotion as a less-expensive alternative to the Wii. In this sense, there is no comparison–the Wii is much more user-friendly. There are not a lot of educational titles available for the Wii, but the game packaged with the VMotion doesn’t teach much to young kids at any rate. So, if you’re looking for a Wii-like console with an educational slant, the VMotion won’t completely satisfy. To buy the VMotion system: Vtech – V.Motion Active Learning...

Tag Reading System by Leap Frog – Review

LeapFrog® Tag Reading System Designed for children just heading out on the road to reading (beginning readers), the Tag Reader (which looks like a pen or stylus) is a touch-sensitive reading device that “reads” specially designed storybooks to children. Activities that encourage word recognition, other reading skills, and general learning experiences are also incorpororated. Currently, there are over 20 books and games designed for the Tag Reading system, some of which are classics like The Little Engine That Could, and others based on popular characters like SpongeBob SquarePants. The leanring activities are leveled and automatically adjust to a child’s responses. Downloadable content is available online and accessed using a USB key. The Tag Reading System includes a rather generic reading book, and the other storybooks are available separately. As such, you will need to factor the additional expense of books into the overall price of the product. (Kids will definitely need and want more storybooks). See for yourself: We like the leveling, interactivity, and concept of this product. Downfalls are overall price, if you factor in the purchase of additional storybooks, and only one user can be tracked at a time (kids can share the unit, but the leveling and reporting becomes mixed up that way). To buy this system: LeapFrog® Tag Reading System Also reviewed in the video above: LeapFrog® Leapster® 2 Learning Game System – Green More reviews on Edutaining...

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