When it comes to electronic gadgetry, no one rocks it better than mom and dad, which probably explains why kids can't keep their hands off seriously expensive means of communication.
VTech gets that, and consistently creates cutting-edge ways to bring education and entertainment ("edutainment" as insiders call it) together.
Encouraging kids to love learning while teaching them the value of technology used in a positive way is key, and this past fall saw the introduction of the V.Reader, a kiddie Nook, and MobiGo, a handheld learning system, both for little ones ages 4-9, and both with touch-screen technology.
This year, it's all about iPad-like awesomeness with the introduction of the VTech Innopad, a multi-media, educational tablet designed for children ages 4-9 that combines interactive and animated reading, learning games, creative activities and a rich collection of applications.
Not only that, but it features a 5-in. brilliant color touch screen LCD, a tilt-sensor for game control and a microphone, as well as interfaces for USB, an SD card and a headphone jack, all housed in a sleek, kid-tough, compact design for easy portability.
But wait, there's more...
E-books: Stories come to life through interactive, animated e-books that offer story narration, character voices, animation, vivid graphics, sounds and music. Kids will learn and enjoy reading comprehension, vocabulary, phonics, word building, and interact with animated characters. As they read, the words are highlighted. Kids can touch individual words to hear them pronounced. Each e-book comes with a story dictionary offering word definitions that are easy for kids to comprehend and that help with the context of the story.
Learning Games: Using the touch screen and tilt-sensor, kids can control how they play and develop the skills needed to navigagte applications including tap, flick, pat and drag-and-drop just like mom and dad.
Creative Activitiea: The tablet lets kids bring out their creative side with an Art Studio - think painting and drawing applications - they can use with with touch or or the included stylus. It also provides a Photo Viewer/Editor.
Software Cartridges: Full-feature cartridges provide feature rich, fully interactive e-books, learning games and creative activities. Kids can play and learn with their favorite characters from Toy Story, Dora the Explorer and Disney Princesses, to name a few.
This expanding library of cartridges starts with nine titles at launch:
Applications: Kids can maintain their multi-media lives with the tablet's integrated MP3 player to listen to their favorite songs, as well as view videos with the Video Player. Other integrated applications include a Calculator, Calendar, Notepad, Clock with personalized voice alarm and Friends Address Book.
Online Value: The tablet easily connects to a PC or Mac computer via USB port and has an SD card slot for memory expansion interactive e-books and learning games can be downloaded from VTech's Learning Lodge Navigator (www.vtechkids.com/download). More than 100 download titles will be available by the end of the year. Parents can also use the Learning Lodge Navigator to stay on top of their kiddos' progress on a variety of educational milestones and lessons.
Though a final launch date has yet to be announced, the Innopad will retail for $79.99 and will be available at VTech's retail partners, including Target, Toys R' US, Walmart, Amazon.com and VTechKids.com
Take note: Cosmotot does not accept pay for play. The product information featured has been submitted by VTech Toys, then tried and tested by Maria Pilar Clark, a straight-shooting mom to two, who is the writer and creator behind Cosmotot. As a social media strategist for VTech Toys, otherwise known in the virtual world as the "VTech Mom," Pilar does have a working relationship with the VTech brand.
Maria Pilar Clark is a mom times two and Windy City-based writer.
See more of Pilar's stories here.