It's tempting to jump onboard with the latest tech toys for kids, knowing that the newest releases will have improved on older models from the same company. There are many toys that include electronic operation, and they keep kids really busy, a bonus for families that are on the go a lot. Still, it's important to consider some things before you shell out the higher prices of the latest tech gadgets.
Similarity to Older Products?
If the new toy or game is technological in nature, one of the most important considerations is whether the device is a new rendition of an old concept. Nintendo is notorious for frequent improvements on it's handheld game consoles, for example. The Game Boy gave way to the Game Boy Advance. Then came the DS craze, which is continuing to expand each year. The latest device, the 3DS, is exciting, but it's pricey. There are a lot of similarities to the DSi and the DSi XL. Some people complain of the 3D effects being hard on their eyes. If your child already has a DSi or DSi XL, it may be worthwhile to wait for something even newer.
The LeapPad Explorer created quite a stir in 2011 because of its similarity to the iPad. While many previous LeapFrog products included touchscreen activities, the LeapPad's resemblance to an iPad made it a hit with parents struggling to have control of their own tech toys again. The LeapPad incorporates the quality of a brand that produces excellent content and is continually innovating in the area of educational toys. The value of the LeapPad seems to justify selecting it over other older tech devices from the company.
Quality of Product
Try to explore a product in person before you buy. Take time to review. If it's a hot item, you need to move quickly in the decision making process, though, as the 2011 competition between LeapPad Explorer and VTech Innotab made both hard to find during the holiday season. Look for reviews of previous years' successes in order to determine whether your expenditure is a wise one. Sometimes you may have to act on instinct.
Would a Tech Gadget Accomplish the Same Goals?
In some cases, there are inexpensive tech gadgets that serve similar purposes to the toys. Toy eReaders are limited to a short time in use before a child moves on. A real eReader, though, will last a long time in its service. Content is useful when your child is older, and the devices often include entertainment features.
You hold the reigns in your purchasing decisions. Researching specific tech toys for kids is important in determining their suitability for your youngster.