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Monday, February 09, 2009

The colourful device from LeapFrog has a large LCD screen and full Qwerty keyboard, just like a BlackBerry, as well as a built-in calendar to help children learn the months of the year.

It contains games that teach basic spelling and computer skills, and even has a puppy ‘guide’, called Scout, with whom children can communicate via ‘text messages’.

The toy, which is aimed at children aged three years and older, will cost around £19.99 when it goes on sale in August, and is expected to be a big hit with parents who want to educate their children about modern technology without exposing them to the perceived dangers.

Although the Text & Learn can’t connect to the internet, it has a pretend ‘web browser’ mode which allows children to explore and navigate using the device’s keypad.

“These new learning toys offer children personalised play, on-the-go learning fun and help build preschool readiness skills,” said a spokesperson for LeapFrog.

“We would love to talk to BlackBerry about a tie-up.”

The Text & Learn is the latest in a long line of toys and gadgets aimed at children. Fisher Price make robust digital cameras designed for youngsters, while the iTeddy range of cuddly toys have built in music and video players.

Even Danish toy maker Lego has announced that it is to start making cameras and MP3 players that resembled its famous building bricks.


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