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Golden Apple Awards 2010 (ages 6-8)

From a talking pen to a futuristic ant farm, these toys are made for kids' learning (and fun).

By GreatSchools Staff

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Leapster Explorer

Ages 6-8, $69.99 (includes more than 40 games; additional games sold separately for $24.99 each)

Modern-day kids grasp gadgets with an ease that’s downright impressive (especially for those of us old enough to remember struggling to program the VCR). So the Leapster Explorer from LeapFrog should be a natural for any child already familiar with portable gaming devices.

This handheld combines the kid-friendly cool factor of games, apps, and videos with a parent-approved focus on learning. What kind of learning? For starters, try geography, math, reading, science, art history, and social skills — there’s also an attached stylus for kids to practice their penmanship. Families can access educational games at LeapWorld (or buy ones with such faves as the cast of Toy Story), and parents have the option to monitor their children’s progress online.

Bottom line: The power to master the three R's (and much more) is in your child’s hands — literally.

Comments from readers

"Lets see YOU find something better that will excite kids to read!!!"
"Snore...three out of four of these toys are this the best great schools can do? Sad. Rotten Apple Award!"