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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...

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...

New Nintendo DSi

Due out on April 5, 2009 in the US, Nintendo’s latest handheld seems impressive. Nintendo pioneered hand-held entertainment in the 1980’s with the Game Boy video game system. There have been very successful incarnations (or iterations) over the years, and now Nintendo is releasing the Nintendo DSi handheld system. Priced at a manufacturers’ suggested retail price of $169.99, this new handheld features a sleek and slim design, the largest screen Nintendo handhelds have seen yet, a set of two cameras (external and internal, pointed at the user), an interactive voice recorder, and music player. Both the new sights and sounds features can be manipulated–photos can be taken using interactive lenses, and music or voice can be altered. The system will be released in black and matte blue versions. Similar to the Nintendo Wii’s Wiiware, the DSi platform will allow downloadable games and applications using Nintendo DSi Points. Of course, there will be the usual retail games designed specially for the system. Is it backwards compatible? In other words, will kids be able to play their current Nintendo DS games on the new DSi? The answer is “for the most part”. It will be able to play most DS games, according to Nintendo. The system will be launched along with the game, Rhythm Heaven, a unique musical game that has been quite popular in Japan since its release. For more information and/or to preorder: Nintendo...

Caring Corners Dollhouse Teaches Good Habits

The Caring Corners Mrs. GoodBee Interactive Dollhouse is a real little gem. It reminds kids that refrigerator doors should be closed, teeth have to be brushed, and so forth. Ringing the doorbell brings this clever fold-out dollhouse to life. There are 12 rooms in the Caring Corners dollhouse–six on each side–each with interesting details that inspire a young girl’s imagination. Parents will love the fact that the dollhouse is big enough for more than one child to play with, yet it also folds up neatly for easier storage and clean up. The dollhouse comes with an access code that kids can use to unlock a “good deeds garden” online–an activity that offers further playful lessons about responsibility. The toy requires batteries, and most families will want to purchase some of the additional accessory sets for it, so factor that into the total cost of the playset. Also, small parts make the dollhouse appropriate for children over 3. For more information, user reviews, or to buy: Caring Corners – Mrs. Goodbee Interactive...

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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