Back to school gadgets

August 14, 2008 12:00:00 AM PDT
With the lazy days of summer coming to an end, it is time for parents to move full-speed ahead and prepare their kids for school. Elizabeth Werner, chief toy officer for iVillage.com, shares the latest things to keep your kids learning in and out of the classroom.

Elizabeth's picks:

VTech's V-Motion. V-Motion is a wireless educational gaming device that plugs right into the TV. The active game system teaches lessons in basic math, reading, science and spelling. V-Motion Smartridges are especially fun because it allows kids to incorporate their favorite characters like WALL-E and Kung Fu Panda into their play. (Ages 3-7, V-Motion $69.99, Smartridges $24.99)

Tamagotchi Connection V5. Kids can raise the virtual families to be athletes, models or even royal family. The fun doesn't stop after the characters are grown; they connect with other characters to create new generations for more play. Kids can even connect with other Tamagotchi users around the world and play together. (Ages 8&up, $14.99)

Discovery Kids Smart Animals and Scanopedia are a great way for children to learn about their favorite animals. The Scanopedia is a talking device that scans the Smart Animals to unlock sound effects, fun facts and quiz questions about the animals. Kids can play with the animals in their natural habitats with Smart Animal Green Scenes. The play sets are similar to the animal's real living conditions and even come with seeds and soil for real grass and plants. (Ages 3&up, Scanopedia $29.99, animals $4.99-$12.99, green scenes $17.99)

Samsung's BlackJack II. The smart phone comes in pink and blue and can receive email as well as phone calls. It will keep kids entertained with its AT&T Video Share and music playing capabilities. It's also great for on-the-go parents with its Bluetooth wireless technology. ($149.99)

Sylvania's Netbook is a small portable computer that will fit everyone's lifestyle. Whether it's for school or work the 8.9" mobile computer is great for accessing the internet at home or on the road. ($399.00)

Mead Writing Tools. Allows kids to be creative while developing their writing skills. Ages 4-8, $2.49-$7.99 -- Allows kids to be creative while developing their writing skills. Ages 4-8, $2.49-$7.99

For more information about Elizabeth Werner's picks, click here.

About Elizabeth Werner
Elizabeth has been immersed in the toy industry for years. A frequent host on QVC, where she regularly brings great children's products to the attention of parents, she is now CTO at iVillage, where she writes monthly articles on toys. She is also a frequent guest on The View and The Today Show and routinely speaks to the media at toy fairs and other toy industry events. As a mother of two, Elizabeth really knows how to please the kids as well as the parents. She picks toys that are not only fun, but safe too.


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