Buyer’s Guide – Kids Electronics

Major toy companies are manufacturing electronics for children that are a kid’s version of popular products for adults.  Items such as video disc players, digital cameras and MP3 players are some of the most popular electronics for children.  Following is a list of some of the electronics that you can find for children and what you may want to look for when purchasing:

  • Audio Players: Digital audio players and CD players are widely available for kids of all ages.  They are designed to be tough enough while remaining easy for kids to use.  For some models, parents can download songs and stories onto the player, or any CD you may already own.  Kids can pick their own songs and stories to play – big buttons and easy navigation menus allow children to learn how to use the device without much assistance.
  • Cameras: Children can learn the art of photography with age-appropriate digital cameras.  The preview screens, easy navigation menus and big buttons for little hands along with great durability make it a perfect electronic piece for typical rough preschooler and grade school use.  Kids can get creative by taking, viewing and printing their own digital pictures.
  • Electronic Pets: From Webkinz to Tamagotchi there are a plethora of electronic pets waiting for your child to take care of them.  Some electronic pets require the use of the Internet to nourish and develop your child’s pet, while others only entail a small handheld electronic device.  Virtual pets are a great toy, while at the same time helping your child learn responsibility.
  • Handheld Games: With a wide variety of handheld games available there is something for everyone.  These games make great travel companions as they are generally small and easily packed.  Old-time classics such as Merlin, 20 Questions and Simon are still available and provide children with hours of entertainment.  You can also find handheld games that include word games, trivia/quiz games and casino games such as slots, poker and blackjack – mom and dad can have fun with these too!
  • Learning and Education: Realistic looking computers feature big style for little learners – many come with colorful keyboards and a detachable mouse designed for both left- and right-hand users.  Some also include an educational, interactive writing pad.  Other handheld computerized learning systems allow your child to learn on the go or at home.  They contain multiple skill levels, tailored tutorials and an unlimited potential for educational fun.  Children don’t even realize they’re learning how to write their letters, identify plants and animals, applying mathematical concepts, matching shapes, performing logical reasoning and expressing ideas artistically and musically.  Many of the learning and education electronics available can also be hooked up directly to your television so that kids can experience the fun and learning on a bigger screen.
  • Plug and Play Video Games: These electronics simply plug into any television and are ready for your child to play.  They range from dancing and singing to classics with hundreds of games such as action, sports, strategy, puzzle and racing.  For many of these, no video game console is required – just plug in and go.  Many of these can also work for traveling families since they are light and in many cases quite portable.
  • Walkie Talkies: Kids can chat with their friends with walkie talkies, some of which resemble cell phones (however, not have the costs associated with a cell phone!).  Children also love to use walkie talkies to set up secret adventures and keep communications channels open for their next mission.  Some can be attached to a belt or backpack to aide in pretend play time.

Bottom line, kids love toys – whether they’re electronic or not.  Dependant on your child’s interest in adult electronics as well as his or her skill level, some or all of the products mentioned above could be right for your child.