From Furbies to the latest from Leapfrog, electronic educational toys
are becoming increasingly sophisticated. New interactive capabilities
strive to promote both cognitive and social development. The latest electronic
educational toys encourage cooperative learning, and some even help boost
a young learner’s language skills or math abilities.
Recognizing parents’ desire to teach their children a second
language, VTech’s Bilingual Series teaches
young children lessons in verbal communication and culture. The flashy
laptop boasts “artificial intelligence” that automatically adjusts the
appropriate level of difficulty based on performance. CD-ROM games in
topics such as geography, history and language immerse children in a variety
of learning activities. The Tableta Genio PC also features a spoken translator
to guarantee that your child will habla espanol with the completion
of the 10 different activities (ages 5 and up, $69.99).
Perfect for little dancers, the Musini music box is
a virtual music video waiting to happen. Neurosmith’s patented MusicSensor
detects every move a child makes and translates it into a distinctive
musical response ranging from jazz to classical ($59.99). Musini’s sensors
pick up the strength and speed of each movement and turn your child into
a virtual moving band. Musini is designed for children 3 years old and
up and requires either a DC power adaptor or four “C” batteries to rock
TLJ Phonics Laptop
The Learning Journey’s TLJ Phonics Laptop Model(ToyDirectory)
The Learning Journey presents a portable classroom that
provides educational games geared towards scholars 3 years old and up. For
$39.99, this lightweight version uses games to teach spelling, addition,
subtraction, the alphabet and word sounds on an easy-to-use model that every
child can easily negotiate.
For right-brainers with artistic skills, MathWhiz
promises math made fun and easy. Electronic video games and electronic flash
cards challenge children to think on their feet as fast as the problems
appear on the LCD screen. MathWhiz boasts eight skill levels for children
6 years old and up ($19.90).
Fisher Price’s Kasey the Kinderbot Learning System (ToyDirectory)
Kasey the Kinderbot
A robotic electronic educational toy that moves and chats, Kasey
teaches important subjects like reading, science and math, as well as interpersonal
skills. As soon as parents insert three “D” batteries, Kasey will stress
the importance of good manners to a target audience of ages 3 to 7 years.
After spending some time with Kasey, a child will not only know his ABCs,
but also the importance of saying “please” and “thank you” ($70). To read
about Fisher Price's new Powertouch, click
The union of Barbie and Oregon Scientific fosters “the personality and friendliness
of a best friend” in a laptop computer filled with games to teach rhyming
words, numbers, colors, shapes, pairs and directions. At $49.99, the B-Book
resembles a professional laptop, but its educational games are designed
to challenge Barbie fans ages 5 to 12.