Best Electronic Learning Toys For Christmas 2010

Christmas is fast approaching and while parents want to give their kids toys they enjoy they also want toys that don't dumb them down. There are a number of new electronic learning toys on the market that can offer parents both-the reassurance of a popular toy that will add to the richness of children's lives.

Learning toys are great, except when they sit in the cupboard unused because your child can't stand them. Ultimately, they have to be fun and engaging before any learning can take place. Leapfrog and VTech are two of the biggest names in interactive learning toys and they both have new devices on the market, ready for Christmas in 2010, which are specifically designed to help kids learn through technology.

VTech has a long history of making toys with a learning focus and their newest device, the V. Reader is one pretty cool idea. It's basically an ebook reader for kids and combines animation with audio and reading to engage kids with the books and allows them to interact on a number of levels.

Kids can read the books but also listen to the device read to them. Using their fingers or a stylus they can also touch words and images on the screen and small animations appear, defining hard words or moving the characters. It's a great idea and at under $60 it is sure to appeal. We liked the clear protector that folds neatly over the screen and keyboard to protect it and just the idea of a kids ebook reader is one long overdue.

Another company with a long and awarded history in learning toys is Leapfrog. They have been a favourite of parents and kids for many years and their latest device is called the Leapster Explorer. Parents familiar with the previous incarnations of the Leapster will know it is a handheld gaming device, much like the Nintendo DS but with games designed specifically for learning. While not backwards compatible with earlier versions of the Leapster the Leapster Explorer is a big improvement.

Like the V Reader it has a touch screen that can be operated by using fingers or a stylus and also uses cartridges to add games and ebooks to the system. The main difference is that the Leapster Explorer is shaped and operated like a handheld gaming console rather than an ebook reader. Kids navigate through the games to learn and answer questions about science, maths, spelling and a whole range of curriculum based subjects. The Leapster Explorer retails for $69.95.

If you are looking for ways to entertain and educate your kids look no further than these two devices, just remember to include some rechargeable batteries in the stocking!