LeapFrog will be taking pre-orders for its $100 LeapPad Explorer tablet for kids beginning Wednesday, the educational product developer announced on its site this week. The 5-inch tablet comes in pink or green, has a 480-by-272 pixel (16:9) touchscreen and will have 100 downloadable apps or app cartridges ranging in price from $5 to $25 available in time for the August 15 release.
The multifunctional learning tablet "builds off the success of 2011's Educational Toy of The Year Award winner, Leapster Explorer," LeapFrog said in a statement. The LeapPad Explorer is intended for children ages four and up.
"LeapFrog created the first interactive learning experience with our original iconic LeapPad Learning System in 1998. After 10 years of research into the most proficient ways for children to learn, we are doing it again with LeapPad Explorer," said Craig Hendrickson, senior vice president and chief product officer for LeapFrog, in a statement announcing the tablet back in February.
One of our favorite iPad apps for children, Bartleby's Book of Buttons: Volume I, is now being served up for free thanks fo the folks at Monster Costume. They're prepping Volume 2 of the storybook, and have decided to make Volume I (which typically sells for $4.99) free through WWDC 2011. If you've got an iPad, you should have Bartleby on it. Why? See our Bartleby's Book of Buttons review.
Read More | Bartleby's Book of Buttons Vol. 1
Those thinking about buying the upcoming Nintendo 3DS for your pre-schooler might want to wait a few years. In advance of its Nintendo World 2011 demo, Nintendo posted a warning that suggests children under the age of six should not use its 3D functions.
"Vision of children under the age of six has been said [to be in the] developmental stage," according to a note posted to Nintendo's Japanese site. 3D content, including the 3DS, "delivers 3D images with different left and right eye images, [which] has a potential impact on the growth of children's eyes."
Nintendo recommended the use of parental controls to only allow younger gamers to play in 2D. There is "enough for everyone to enjoy," Nintendo said.
Nintendo recommended that players of all ages take breaks from 3D content every 30 minutes - or if you feel sick.
The Tonka Rumblin' Chuck is an interactive companion designed for kids ages 3 and up, and if you've seen any of the commercials around children's programming this holiday season, you've probably seen this guy, so we're including him in our 2010 Holiday Gift Guide. This cheerful electronic truck aims to captivate your child with more than 50 sounds and phrases. In addition, Chuck features several fun animations: he'll wiggle, pop wheelies, and can even dump the load he's carrying. Rumblin' Chuck also includes an accompanying storybook, Friends for the Long Haul, which promotes a positive message about the value of friends and having fun. You can pick him up from Amazon for $37.57, which is 16% off the normal price.
Read More | Rumblin' Chuck
The Num8 from Lok8u (pronounced “locate-you”) is designed for parents who want to know where their children roam. This GPS locator device is concealed inside an ordinary child’s wristwatch, and a parent can follow their kid virtually via mobile phone or computer. Users also have the option of setting up a “virtual fence.” If a child with the Num8 steps outside this “safe zone,” the parents will be notified electronically. The Num8 will also notify the parents if the device is removed for any reason.
Of course, this security has a price. The device is about 149 Euros ($245,) and the location services range from about 4.99-19.99 Euros ($8-33,) depending on what type of service you want.
Read More | Num8 Press Release
For those parents that are nervous about their kids, and really want to know where their children are, then they should probably purchase the Amber Alert GPS 2G device. It works as a GPS beacon, which allows not-so tech savvy parents text to find out the exact location of their kid. True, I’m not certain whether a longitude and latitude will help, but the “Breadcrumbing” feature allows them to track their steps like Billy from the Family Circus. The Amber Alert costs about $379.99, with monthly plans being $9.99 and $59.99.
Read More | Amber Alert GPS 2G Release
We’ve gotta hand it to PeeWee PC, as their Pivot Tablet Laptop looks exactly like something that would be a home run in the hands of a technology-curious child. Don’t go comparing this to the OLPC XO, though, because the Pivot Tablet starts at $599.99. What do you get for the cash? Let’s run down some of the specs. First of all, the Pivot Tablet Laptop if drop-resistant and spill-resistant, which immediately should give a bit of piece of mind to parents (like me) who know the horrors of kids + tech + juice. It also has a handle, making it easy for the children to tote the 3 pound device around. Getting into the nitty gritty, the Pivot Tablet Laptop sports a 10-inch touch-sensitive rotating display with stylus, 6-cell Li-ion battery, a 1.6GHz Intel Atom N270 processor, 1GB RAM, a 1.3 megapixel camera, and a 60GB hard drive. Not too shabby. You’ve also got two USB 2.0 ports, Ethernet, and Wi-Fi, and the whole thing ships with Windows XP Home, which is customized with a theme of your choice (things liek Disney, Sci-Fi, etc.). Being a device for kids, there is also a security suite that let’s you keep on eye on what the little one is up to while using the device as well.
You can pick one up starting today.
Read More | PeeWee Pivot Laptop product page
Gallery: PeeWee Pivot Tablet Laptop for kids
Sometimes, it’s the simplest apps that turn out to be the best, and SmackTalk! for the iPhone proves that point. You see, all SmackTalk does it record your voice, and play it back to you at a faster speed. However, they also have animals whose heads move when it plays back your voice, so it appears that a hamster (or cat, or dog, etc.) is repeating back to you what you said. Kids love this, as I have witnessed first-hand. Check out the video above for a demo, and you’ll be wanting to grab SmackTalk for $1.99 from the App Store.
Read More | SmackTalk
You get to play with your iPhone or iPod touch apps all the time, so next time you go on an extended trip, instead of hearing “Are we there yet?” pass your brats the phone with one of the iKids Play titles installed. One of the applications has 5 activities that include a coloring book, stories, finger painting, reading/recording aloud and a hidden image game. The company claims that it promotes tactile, listening and motor skills, visual/spatial coordination and color recognition as will as reading. More books will be available later, and for the introductory price of $2.99 at the App Store, it is definitely worth the mini-cost.
iKids Play titles:
Read More | iKids Play Caterpillar's Dream
Here’s one that the kids are sure to love - Kota the Triceratops is a rideable dinosaur. Did you catch that? A life-sized baby dinosaur to be exact, Kota is 40-inches long, and has a spring-loaded seat and handle. He also sports a smile on his face, which should mean that children won’t be scared of him. Kota has 11 sensores, so it reacts intelligently to sound as well as touch. He will react by turning his head, tail, horns, or even by roaring. You can also feed him some leaves, which will cause the dino to make a munching sound. The best part? Kota sells for $299 - but Amazon is currently selling him for just $150 - that is 50% off! Better hurry though, no telling how long that deal will last.
Read More | Kota the Triceratops 50% off
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