The Toy Industry Association has announced the nominees for 2009 Toy of the Year. And since it’s the holidays, we thought we’d look at the toys in the Educational and Electronic toy categories to help you make smart gift choices this year–and of course we wanted to see which ones are incorporating media! You can view the entire list of nominees here.
EDUCATIONAL TOY OF THE YEAR
Computer Cool School by Fisher Price: This kid-friendly keyboard attaches to your home computer, and includes a CD-ROM which needs to be installed (one time only) before the games begin. Kids can use the special keyboard to navigate the program and do activities related to math, science, reading, art, vocabulary and more–all while learning the basics of using a computer.
Idbids Eco-Friendly Starter Kit by Idbids: The Idbid characters consist of Scott the Cloud, Lola the Flower or Waverly the Water Drop. Each kit uses one of the characters to teach kids about the environment, including a storybook, Field Guide of small things kids can do to make a difference, and an online rewards program where kids get a certificate for completing their Field Guide mission.
TAG Reading System by Leapfrog: This pen-like device is used concurrently with a selection of over 20 books. As the pen touches the page, it “reads” the words on the page, providing audio as they learn to read. The pen has different settings which can be used for different reading levels.
Zillions Touchscreen ATM by Summit Products: This fancy piggy bank replicates an actual ATM to help kids learn about withdrawing money, saving money and how to count money.
V-Motion Active Learning System by Vtech: A wireless gaming console that works with your television for your kids to play learning and developmental games with characters like Scooby-Doo, Thomas the Tank Engine, WALL-E and others.
Discovery Kids Smart Animals Scanopedia by Jakks Pacific: A wand scans a barcode on Smart Animal figures to give more information about the animal, like what sound they make, what they eat, etc. The wand can also be used with the provided poster for more activities.
EyeClops Bionicam by Jakks: This is essentially a microscope. Kids look at specimens with the camera, save them to the camera’s flash drive, and can look at them more closely on the computer or share with friends online.
ELECTRONIC ENTERTAINMENT TOY OF THE YEAR
Ultimate WALL-E Programmable Remote Control Robot by Disney: Based on the movie, this robot interacts with you to play music, dance and talk to you, all by using a remote control.
Imaginext Spike, the Ultra Dinosaur by Fisher-Price: Use a remote control to make Spike walk, stand, blink and more.
Fur Real Friends Biscuit My Lovin’ Pup by Hasbro: Looks like a dog, and responds to your voice to perform tricks and play.
U-Dance by Tiger Electronics: This is a wireless mat-free dancing game. Players have motion-sensor detectors, and use their movements to control the game. Kids dance to songs, or simulate running on a treadmill for a workout.
KidiJamz Studio by Vtech: The keyboard acts a mixing station, allowing kids to record and create their own songs. Kids can use their voice, preprogrammed songs and sound effects as well.
RS Tri-bot by WowWee: A robot friend who dances, runs, tells jokes and stories.