9 New Electronic Learning Toys for Kids [Plus Reviews and Buy-it-Now Prices]

9 New Electronic Learning Toys for Kids [Plus Reviews and Buy-it-Now Prices]The children’s electronic toy market is still growing like crazy. Choosing the one that’s perfect for your kids can be confusing. I’ve put together this intro to the newest kids’ electronic learning toys out there. I’ve linked to the items at Amazon where possible so that you can learn more, and I’ve also found some great reviews on them elsewhere on the web. Plus, I’m including buy-it-now prices so you know if you’re getting a great deal.

If you’re new to my Buy-It-Now price lists, here’s what you need to know: “Buy It Now” (BIN) prices are what I consider “very good” prices on the item. They’re the best sale prices you can expect to find fairly regularly, based on records of previous sales. Don’t confuse these with the current price (although they may be the same) or the “lowest price ever” price. You may be able to beat this price if you happen onto a unusually great sale.

The Toys:

Screen Shot 2014-10-14 at 8.26.46 AM

Vtech

VTech Kidzoom Smart Watch Features video recorder, touch screen, timer, alarm clock, rechargeable battery, and more. Comes with four learning games. Ages 4-7. Review. Review. MSRP $60. Buy-it-Now Price: $40

Screen Shot 2014-10-14 at 8.27.25 AMVTech Innotab 3 Plus Features 4.3″ touch screen, 180-degree rotating camera, mp3 player, 4G of  memory plus microSD card slot and rechargeable battery. Comes with 12 apps. Ages 3-9. Review. MSRP $60. Buy-it-Now Price: $40

Screen Shot 2014-10-14 at 8.28.15 AMVTech Innotab 3s Plus Features 5″ touch screen. 180-degree rotating camera, mp3 player. Wi-fi enabled. Smartphone app lets parents communicate with the device. 4G of memory plus MicroSD card slot. Rechargeable battery. Comes with 16 apps. Review. MSRP: $80. Buy-it-Now Price: $56

Screen Shot 2014-10-14 at 8.29.00 AMVTech Innotab Max Features 7″ touch screen (higher resolution than 3 Plus and 3s Plus) and 8G of memory plus microSD slot. 180-degree rotating camera, mp3 player. Faster processor than 3 Plus and 3s Plus, but shorter battery life. Wi-fi enabled. Includes 18 installed apps. Ages 3-9. MSRP unknown. Review. MSRP: $110. Buy-it-Now Price: $77.

Compare Innotab features across models

LeapFrog

Screen Shot 2014-10-14 at 8.29.55 AMLeapFrog LeapBand 4-7 This is one of those toys that parents buy not necessarily because they think their kids will go nuts over it, but because it will encourage them to do something healthy–i.e., get moving. Comes with 50 active challenges. Virtual pets guide kids through activity challenges.Waterproof band. Fitness tracker. Ages . Review. MSRP: $40. Buy-it-Now Price: $28

Screen Shot 2014-10-14 at 8.31.21 AMLeapTV LeapFrog’s first console game system. Play with body motion, pointer play and classic control. 100+ available cartridge games. Includes console, camera, mount, transforming controller, HDMI cable, AC power adapter, 16GB of memory and built-in Wi-Fi/Ethernet port for downloads. Trusted Reviews says “think of it as a cross between a Nintendo Wii and Microsoft’s Kinect.” Ages 3-9. Release date: October 24. MSRP $149. Buy-it-Now Price: $112

Screen Shot 2014-10-14 at 8.49.48 AMLeapPad 3 Features 4G memory, front and rear-facing cameras and video recorder. 10 installed apps. Wi-fi enabled. Rechargeable battery. Ages 3-9. Review. MSRP $100. Buy-it-Now Price: $70

Screen Shot 2014-10-14 at 8.31.57 AMLeapPad Ultra XDI 7″ tablet with a high-resolution touch screen. Wi-fi enabled. Features 8G memory, front and rear-facing cameras and video recorder. 10 installed apps. Rechargeable battery. Ages 4-9. Review.  MSRP $130. Buy-it-Now Price: $91

And….

Screen Shot 2014-10-14 at 8.33.12 AMKindle Fire HD Kids Edition  $149 for 6″ display, $189 for 7″ display.  Comes with 1 year of Amazon FreeTime Unlimited and Kid-Proof Case. Will be released on October 21. Review. Review. MSRP $149. Buy-it-Now Price: $149

Related: Baby Cheapskate’s 2014 Toys that Get Played With Lists

Toys That Get Played With 2014: 7 to 8 Years

Toys That Get Played With 2014: 7 to 8 Years

Welcome to the 2014 updates of Baby Cheapskate’s “Toys That Get Played With” lists. The toys on this list are here for one reason and one reason alone – because kids love them and continue to play with them long after the holiday decor is boxed up.

There’s no one toy that every kid likes, but the toys on the list have proven track records among Baby Cheapskate readers when it comes to appeal and longevity. Each toy is linked to its listing on Amazon so that you can learn more about it.

Screen Shot 2014-10-10 at 9.55.19 AMMost Loved Toys for Kids 7 to 8 Years Old

*All-Star toys are toys that often see active play for MORE than a year. Read more about them here.

You can find this and other holiday-themed lists under the Toys that Get Played With tab at the top of BabyCheapskate’s home page.

Related:

Toys That Get Played With 2014: 6 to 7 Years

Toys That Get Played With 2014: 6 to 7 YearsWelcome to the 2014 updates of Baby Cheapskate’s “Toys That Get Played With” lists.

The toys on this list are here for one reason and one reason alone – because kids love them and continue to play with them long after the holiday decor is boxed up.

There’s no one toy that every kid likes, but the toys on the list have proven track records among Baby Cheapskate readers when it comes to appeal and longevity. Each toy is linked to its listing on Amazon so that you can learn more about it.

Screen Shot 2014-10-09 at 1.45.06 PMMost Loved Toys for Kids 6 to 7 Years Old

*All-Star toys are toys that often see active play for MORE than a year. Read more about them here.

You can find this and other holiday-themed lists under the Toys that Get Played With tab at the top of BabyCheapskate’s home page.

Related:

Toys That Get Played With 2014: 4 to 5 Years

Toys That Get Played With 2014: 4 to 5 YearsWelcome to the 2014 updates of Baby Cheapskate’s “Toys That Get Played With” lists. The toys on this list are here for one reason and one reason alone – because kids love them and continue to play with them long after the holiday decor is boxed up.

There’s no one toy that every kid likes, but the toys on the list have proven track records among Baby Cheapskate readers when it comes to appeal and longevity. Each toy is linked to its listing on Amazon so that you can learn more about it.

Most Loved Toys for Kids 4 to 5 Years Old

*All-Star toys are toys that often see active play for MORE than a year. Read more about them here.

You can find this and other holiday-themed lists under the Toys that Get Played With tab at the top of BabyCheapskate’s home page.

Related:

Toys That Get Played With 2014: 3 to 4 Years

Toys That Get Played With 2014: 3 to 4 Years

Welcome to the 2014 updates of Baby Cheapskate’s “Toys That Get Played With” lists. The toys on this list are here for one reason and one reason alone – because kids love them and continue to play with them long after the holiday decor is boxed up.

There’s no one toy that every kid likes, but the toys on the list have proven track records. Hundreds of Baby Cheapskate readers have responded to more than half a dozen polls posted thrice yearly over the course of three years about which holiday toys their kids are still playing with. I’ve pored through the responses to compile this list. Each toy is linked to its listing on Amazon so that you can learn more about it.

Most Loved Toys for Preschoolers 3 to 4 years old

*All-Star toys are toys that often see active play for MORE than a year. Read more about them here.

You can find this and other holiday-themed lists under the Toys that Get Played With tab at the top of BabyCheapskate’s home page.
Check back tomorrow for the next new Toys that Get Played With list!

Related:

Toys That Get Played With 2014: 25 to 36 Months

Toys That Get Played With 2014: 25 to 36 MonthsWelcome to the 2014 updates of Baby Cheapskate’s “Toys That Get Played With” lists. The toys on this list are here for one reason and one reason alone – because kids love them and continue to play with them long after the holiday decor is boxed up.

There’s no one toy that every kid likes, but the toys on the list have proven track records. Hundreds of Baby Cheapskate readers have responded to more than half a dozen polls posted thrice yearly over the course of three years about which holiday toys their kids are still playing with. I’ve pored through the responses to compile this list. Each toy is linked to its listing on Amazon so that you can learn more about it.

Screen Shot 2014-10-03 at 9.51.28 AMMost Loved Toys for Toddlers 25 months to 36 months:

Tip: To save, try to find these second-hand via Craigslist, garage sales, thrift stores, etc. Inspect them carefully and check for recalls.

You can find this and other holiday-themed lists under the Toys that Get Played With tab at the top of BabyCheapskate’s home page.

Check back Monday for another updated Toys that Get Played With post!

Related:

Toys that Get Played With 2014: 6 to 12 months

Screen Shot 2014-09-29 at 10.13.44 AMHave you ever given your child a toy you thought she’d love only to find it forgotten less than a week later? Ugh.

Welcome to the 2014 updates of Baby Cheapskate’s “Toys That Get Played With” lists. The toys on this list are here for one reason and one reason alone – because kids love them and continue to play with them long after the holiday decor is boxed up.

There’s no one toy that every kid likes, but the toys on the list have proven track records. Hundreds of Baby Cheapskate readers have responded to more than half a dozen polls posted thrice yearly over the course of four years about which holiday toys made it to the top of the toy pile and stayed there. I’ve pored through the responses to compile this list. Each toy is linked to its listing on Amazon so that you can learn more about it.

Most Loved Toys for Babies 6 months to 12 months:

Look for another new Toys that Get Played With list tomorrow! 

Related:

Dollhouse Shopping Guide [Top Picks and Buy-it-Now Prices]

Because dollhouses are so good at fostering the open-ended play that keeps kids interested, they always make BC’s Toys that Get Played With lists. They’re fabulous toys, but choosing a dollhouse for your child can be overwhelming. There are over 400 dollhouses and accessories on Amazon alone! How can you choose the one that’s best for your child?

This guide will help. It will also clue you in on what price you should pay for the one you choose. Read on!Dollhouse Shopping Guide [Top Picks and Buy-it-Now Prices]

Choosing the Best Dollhouse for your Child, Home and Lifestyle

When choosing a dollhouse, think about the following:

  • Consider your space. Where will you keep it? Where will your child play with it? How much room do you have in your chosen location? Big dollhouses can span four feet wide or more, whereas the smallest can easily fit on a tabletop. If you’re short on space, consider a folding dollhouse or a corner dollhouse.
  • Consider your budget. The prime ages for playing with dolhouses are from about three to age six. That’s a pretty long span for a toy. How much do you want to spend? If the house you want costs more than you want to spend, check consignment sales, consignment stores, Craigslist. etc. for a gently used model.
  • Does the house come with furniture and/or dolls? If the house you choose isn’t furnished, you’ll end up spending more on those little tiny sofas and chairs. Be sure to take the extra cost into consideration.
  • Will it fit dolls your child already has? Little People? Barbie? American Girl? There are dollhouses to fit all sizes. You may want choose a dollhouse that will work with your child’s cherished pals.
  • Do you want plastic or wood? Plastic can be wiped down, but may parents prefer the aesthetics of wood. You may also be able to repair wooden items if they break.

Top Dollhouses

Here are my top dollhouse picks, taking into consideration a variety of needs and wants. I’ve also listed the Buy-it-Now price for each house, and I’ve linked to the item at Amazon so that you can learn more.

If you’re new to my Buy-It-Now price lists, here’s what you need to know: “Buy It Now” (BIN) prices are what I consider “very good” prices on the item. They’re the best sale prices you can expect to find fairly regularly, based on records of previous sales. Don’t confuse these with the current price (although they may be the same) or the “lowest price ever” price. You may be able to beat this price if you happen onto a unusually great sale.

The picks:

Screen Shot 2014-09-29 at 2.54.33 PMBest deluxe wooden dollhouseKidKraft Majestic Mansion: Top selling dollhouse at both Amazon and Walmart. Assembly required.

  • Dimensions: 51.0 x 14.0 x 52.75
  • Rooms, etc: 4 stories with 8 rooms
  • Furniture and dolls included: 33 pieces of furniture. Dolls sold separately.
  • Additional accessories available? Yes
  • Fits Barbies

List price: $246.99. Buy-it-Now price: $145

Note: You really can’t go wrong with a KidKraft dollhouse. If buying for the holidays, be sure not to wait until the last minute to assemble the house. Some of them can take a while. For extra savings, check out the very similar Imaginarium dollhouses.

Screen Shot 2014-09-29 at 2.55.41 PMBest if you’re short on space: Melissa and Doug Folding Princess Castle

  • Dimensions: 27″ x 15.25″ x 17.5″
  • Rooms, etc: 2 stories, 5 rooms
  • Furniture & dolls included: 6 pieces of furniture, princess, prince, 2 horses
  • Additional accessories available? Yes

List price: $49.99. Buy-it-Now price: $35 (Currently at BIN price at Amazon)

Note: Also comes in gender-neutral gray.

See also: Fisher-Price Loving Family Dollhouse. It also folds.

Screen Shot 2014-09-29 at 2.56.34 PMBest for toddlers: Fisher-Price My First Dollhouse. Ages 2 and up

  • Dimensions: 22.25″ x 9.125″ x 16.0″
  • Rooms, etc: 3 stories, 5 rooms
  • Furniture & dolls included: mom, dad and baby figures and a few interior items–kitchen, table, chairs, etc.
  • Additional accessories available? Yes

List price: $40. Buy-it-Now price: $35

See also: Fisher-Price Little People Happy Sounds Home

Screen Shot 2014-09-29 at 2.57.03 PMBest eco-friendly: Hape All Season Dollhouse. Solid wood construction with child-safe paint finish. Gender neutral.

  • Dimensions: 23.6″ x 11.8″ x 28.9″
  • Rooms, etc: 3 stories, 6 rooms
  • Furniture & dolls included: four room sets: Master Bedroom, Family Bathroom, Media Room and Kitchen. Dolls sold separately
  • Additional accessories available? Yes

List price: $199.99. Buy-it-Now price: $125 (Currently at BIN price at Amazon)

See alsoPlan Toys The Green Dollhouse with Furniture

Screen Shot 2014-09-29 at 2.57.56 PMBest Plastic: Fisher-Price Loving Family Dollhouse

  • Dimensions:  25.6″ x 9″ x 16″
  • Rooms, etc: 4 stories, 6 rooms
  • Furniture & dolls included: Mom, Dad, Baby, sofa and baby seat
  • Additional accessories available? Yes
  • Requires 2 AA batteries
  • Folds for storage

List price: $69.90. Buy-it-Now price: $49

Screen Shot 2014-09-29 at 2.58.47 PMBest for 18″ Dolls (American Girl, etc.): KidKraft Elegant Doll Manor with Furniture for 18″ Dolls

  • Dimensions:  47.7″ x 19.5″ x 65.5″
  • Rooms, etc: 4 stories, 4 rooms
  • Furniture & dolls included: 12 pieces of furniture
  • Additional accessories available? Yes

List price: $338.99. Buy-it-Now price: $210

Screen Shot 2014-09-29 at 2.59.56 PMBest Gender-Neutral: Kidkraft Deluxe Fire Rescue Set

  • Dimensions:  30″ x 17.5″ x 25″
  • Rooms, etc: 4 stories, 4 rooms
  • Furniture & dolls included: 22 pieces of furniture, 3 firefighters, helipad and helicopter, Garage with ambulance and fire truck
  • Additional accessories available? No

List price: $150.99. Buy-it-Now price: $100

See also: Hape All Season Dollhouse

Screen Shot 2014-09-29 at 3.03.12 PMBest Dollhouses with a twist:

Like to DIY? You can also make your own dollhouse from boxes, bookcases and more. See my DIY Dollhouses Pinterest board for inspiration?

11 Fab [And Cheap!] Kids’ Gift Picks from IKEA

10 Fab Gift Picks from IKEA

Got an IKEA nearby? Good for you, because that means you’ve got access to some REALLY great toy deals. Take a look!

See more.

A few of these items are available online, but shipping may get ya. Find your nearest IKEA store here.

Train Sets: 6 Top Picks for 2013 [Plus Buy-It-Now Prices]

Preschoolers are fascinated by trains. In poll after poll, readers have told me that train sets and train tables are toys that hold their kids’ interest for years, with the peak ages of interest being about two to four.

Here’s a rundown of six popular train sets and tables. I’ve linked to the items at Amazon so that you can learn more and read reviews.

Screen shot 2013-11-05 at 4.02.55 PMThomas the Train TrackMaster Castle Quest Set:  Currently Amazon’s best selling train set, the Castle Quest set comes with Thomas engine, cargo cars, King’s Crown and track set and is compatible with other Thomas sets. List price: $59.99 Buy-it-now price: $47Currently $41.45 at Amazon.

Baby Cheapskate's 6 Top Train Set Picks for 2013KidKraft Ride Around Train Set and Table: KidKraft is known for well-built wooden toys. This wide train table comes with two built in storage bins and 100 pieces. List price: $149.99 Buy-it-now price: $125. Currently $119.99 at Amazon.

Baby Cheapskate's 6 Top Train Set Picks for 2013Step2 Deluxe Canyon Road Train & Track Table: What’s great about this table is that it has a lid. When the train isn’t in play, your kids can use the table for coloring, building with blocks, etc. Another great feature for mess-weary parents is that the tracks are molded into the table and can’t be lost or scattered about. On the other hand, because the tracks are molded into place, you can’t change the track layout. Includes three-piece train set. Made in USA. List price: $99.99. Buy-it-now price: $70 Currently $79.97 at Amazon.

Baby Cheapskate's 6 Top Train Set Picks for 2013Thomas & Friends: Take-n-Play The Great Quarry Climb: Folds for storage. Inspired by the DVD “Blue Mountain Mystery.” No batteries required. List price: $39.99. Buy-it now price: $25. Currently $35.25 at Amazon.

Baby Cheapskate's 6 Top Train Set Picks for 2013Plan Toys Road and Rail Deluxe Train Set:  This set is made from chemical free, sustainable rubber wood, and its paints have been tested for safety. Includes three cars, 18 track pieces, 6 road pieces, traffic light, train signal, train station, two people, and a few trees. Table not included. List price: $90.99. Buy-it-now price: $56. Currently $59.98 at Amazon.

Baby Cheapskate's 6 Top Train Set Picks for 2013Melissa & Doug Deluxe Wooden Railway Set. This set comes with 100 pieces and 30 accessories including  six-piece freight train with cargo, a four-piece passenger train, and a three-piece flatbed truck with cargo. At less than $30 Melissa and Doug’s Basic train set is a more affordable choice if you’re on a tight budget. Tracks in both sets are compatible with other wooden sets. List price: $129.99. Buy-it-now price: $70. Currently $86.49 at Amazon.

Two more money savers: Toys R Us’ budget-saving Imaginarium sets are also worth checking out. The Imaginarium City Train Set is $34.99, for example. If you have an IKEA nearby, don’t miss their 20-pc. LILLABO basic train set. It’s only $9.99!

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