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Children

iCam motion controlled games console gets youngsters “edu-physical learning”

Motion controlled videogaming, ushered in by Nintendo’s Wii and joined by the PlayStation Move and Kinect, has opened up a whole new market of casual gamers – not least of all because of the ease with which previous non-gamers can get into the action without the need to learn complicated button layouts on a traditional controller. Educational toy company Comfy figured that such ease of use is ideal for its target audience of kids aged four to eight and has released a motion controlled education game console called iCam that has been dubbed “the baby Wii.”Read More

Cubelets help make robotics a snap

Do you remember those colored building blocks you would use to learn words and numbers, or just construct mighty castles to keep your enemies outside? Well, they've now received a 21st Century update in the form of the Cubelets system. Currently made up of 20 colored blocks that snap together with the help of magnets, each one has a little computer inside which gives it different functionality to the others. One might be a sensor, another have wheels and another sport a potentiometer. The fun starts when you put them together. The behavior of the resulting robot depends on how the blocks talk to each other. Sweet. Read More

Solar Pegasus harnesses power of Apollo for battery-free fun

Hunting round for batteries to power toys that come “batteries not included” is a common problem on Christmas morning. If there are none to be found then you’d better hope junior likes playing with the box because that new whizz-bang gadget can be decidedly underwhelming without any juice. The Solar Pegasus Flying Horse solves this problem by incorporating a solar panel in the mythological winged horse’s carriage to harness energy from the sun, or nearest available lamp, to power its batteries and keep the kids entertained long after traditional batteries have run flat.Read More

LeapPad Explorer tablet for children

If we needed any proof that 2011 is going to be the year of the tablet, CES and MWC have given us what we need. But why should all the tablet fun be had by the adults, as kids surely deserve their own touchscreen distraction too? Happily, Leapfrog has announced a multi-functional edutainment tablet for children ages 4 and up. The device has a collection of creativity tools – including a built-in camera, video recorder, microphone and animation studio – to allow kids to fully express themselves, and it will be backed up by an extensive learning library available at launch.Read More

GeoPalz pedometers reward kids for walking

As children get chubbier and chubbier, finding ways of motivating them to exercise becomes more and more important. Rich and Sheri Schmelzer and Alexandra O'Leary have taken the approach of creating their GeoPalz pedometers, that record how far children walk, so they can then redeem their miles for free prizes and awards on the company’s website. As anyone who spent their childhood proudly working their way up the YM/YWCA’s hierarchy of sew-on swimming crests will tell you ... it’s not a bad idea. Read More

Keep the kids on a virtual leash

A toddler on a leash – no matter how many times they see it, some people find the sight of a small child wearing a harness and tether just somehow wrong. It’s understandable why some parents do use leashes, however, as many tykes have a nasty habit of wandering off into the mall, park or woods as soon as mom or dad’s back is turned. There are GPS-based alternatives such as the Wherify Child Tracking System (which appears to now be discontinued), although they require the parent to access the internet or use their mobile phone. The Mommy I’m Here CL305 child locator, however, will instantly let you know where your kid went via an audible alarm.Read More

RC Tron Light Cycle drives on walls and ceilings

Back in 1982, when the original Tron was released, movie merchandising wasn’t quite as... robust as it is today. Therefore, there wasn’t much available in the way of Tron collectibles, much to the chagrin of Apple II-using geeks everywhere. Skip forward 28 years, and you can now buy Tron Legacy toys before the movie has even opened. One of the first out of the starting gates is Air Hogs’ RC Zero G Light Cycle... and yes, you're right, remote-control toys have become pretty much a dime a dozen. Ones that can be driven across walls or ceilings, however, are still kind of special.Read More

ChouChou Electric Butterfly – weirdly-realistic fluttering butterflies in jars

“Robobutterfly” may not have quite the same coolness factor as words like Robocop, Robowrestler, or even Robogecko. The fact is, however, you can now buy your own flying mechanical butterfly, and it looks pretty impressive. Marketed in Japan as the ChouChou Electric Butterfly, the fluttering electric bug-in-a-mason-jar was unveiled at this year’s Tokyo Toy Show and this month it became available to the public.Read More

Read your kids a bedtime story without being there

The In Your Own Voice Storyteller lets children enjoy a bedtime story with a familiar family voice – even if there's no familiar family member around. A parent, older sibling or grandparent records passages of a book onto a child friendly pen programmed with specifically coded stickers that can be attached to the relevant pages of a story book. All a child needs to do is place the pen over the sticker on the book’s page and the recording will play. Read More

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