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Hot Toys for Christmas 2009

Don’t forget to check out our yearly Gift Guides for Children and Families: Holiday Edition 2009. We have top ten (and more) toys, games, books, music, and more for each of these categories: Top Gifts and Toys for Babies & Toddlers Top Toys and Gifts for Preschoolers Top Toys and Gifts for Kids Ages 5 to 8 Top Toys and Gifts for Kids Ages 9 and up Top Gifts for Families: Holidays edition You can see the top toys for Christmas (and other holidays of the winter season) here: Amazon’s Top Picks in Toys 2009. Hyperdash has been selected in many toy lists each year, and it’s no wonder. We love the game that has kids thinking on their feet–literally. It’s an Edutaining Kids Top Pick as well, as it fits perfectly into our expectations for a quality “edutaining” toy. Hyper Dash puts a new spin on the term “active learning”–it promotes listening, memory, and math skills, as well as giving kids a little workout. Intense fun! For more information about this fun and educational toy, see Wild Planet Hyper Dash. Zhu Zhu Pets are one of the most wanted toys this Christmas, but their scarcity has led to toy stores upping the prices. There are many other alternatives to be found, thankfully. Some of the toys that appear on both Amazon’s list and our Edutaining Kids Holiday Gift Guides include Crayola Glow Dome which allow kids to draw on a dome and have their drawings projected onto the ceiling in full glow in the dark glory, LeapFrog My Pal Scout and LeapFrog My Pal Violet (cute little stuffies that actually say your child’s name after they’re programmed, LeapFrog Learn & Groove Musical Table, and...

The Benefits of Karaoke for Kids

When most of us think of karaoke, we think of one of two pictures, little Asian men singing bad renditions of Madonna songs, or the tone-deaf guy with the leather jacket, disco shirt and bad comb over (as if there is such a thing as a “good” comb over) taking himself far too seriously as he desperately tries to croon his way into the heart of the girl at the bar who was kind enough to acknowledge his presence when he dropped a cheesy line though his drunken stupor. In either case, the idea of karaoke as an aid for helping your kids to succeed in life probably seems, at first glance to be an oxymoron. Bear with me though, for when you realize what an incredible tool karaoke is, you will undoubtedly rush right down to the local Y’all Mart to buy a player and some discs. Kids learning to read often find the task daunting, frustrating, and anything but fun. It’s even less fun if the other kids read better or if adults have to help them too often with the words. Karaoke is a really fun outlet. Not only are the words highlighted on a screen as they roll by, but they are words to songs with which your children are familiar. Start out with the tracks that include the singer’s voice. Seeing the words on a screen and hearing a musician they love pronounce those words correctly in a flow that makes the words mean something as they string together in a times beat will help improve your child’s recognition of words, ability to pronounce those same words when seen in other venues, and allow them to hear the proper pronunciation of those words without feeling stupid for not having figured it out themselves. It’s a fun way to learn, in a format where children have no idea that they are learning. In time, you will be able to use the music track while your kid sings the words back without the aid of the musician and in so doing, they will read the screen better than they have ever read anything before. Most people have trouble speaking in front of others, no less singing in front of others. Karaoke offers a venue for this to happen in a way that is non-threatening, and in a way that will help your child build confidence. Our voices are like instruments. In time, all but the most tone deaf will learn to play those voices with confidence....

U-Dance – A New Addition to Our Gift Guide

The Hasbro U-Dance Game is a plug-and-play unit for the TV featuring an all-in-one sensor system that detects motion. Donning special foot tags, as kids dance, their steps appear onscreen–no special mat to dance on, and nothing to hold. Let your feet do all the talking! Kids learn and practice authentic dance moves as they dance solo or in a “dance-off” with a friend. There is an option to add some fitness to the mix via a “treadmill” game. Such fun, and truly innovative! The U-Dance is a new addition to EdutainingKids’ Holiday Gift Guides: For Kids Ages 9-up. See all top toy selections for tweeners. [For more information, user reviews, or to buy: U-Dance at...

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