The Playdate

First aired on April 5, 2013

This show features Tablets for Kids, Play-Doh and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

This week’s hosts:

Congratulations to last week’s winner, Barbara S. from Campobello, SC.Kathy S. from Hope, AR.

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  1. Tablets for Kids: Nabi 2
    •  4+

    The Nabi 2 is a strong WiFi-enabled kids' tablet that's built to withstand play, comes loaded with a number of proprietary educational games and apps, and lets kids play the favorite games and apps they love. There are four pre-loaded educational app categories under the banner of Fooz Kids University: science, english, math, and social studies. These categories cover more than 2,500 lessons and 30,000 practice questions through 25 games, 50 songs, 30 books, and more.

    You can also download additional apps because the Nabi 2 is a fast Android tablet with a kid-friendly Nabi mode that restricts internet usage through its Maxthon-based browsers and 10 pre-approved websites. If your child is a reader, you'll want to download the Amazon Kindle app. And you may want to get the Over Drive app as well, which will make the tablet compatible with many libraries. You can also connect your computer wirelessly to the tablet using the Sync mode to load your own music, videos, photos, and yes, even Netflix.

    Parents can also go into the Mommy/Daddy Mode that allows the Nabi 2 to function as a full-on Android tablet. This tablet operates on an Android 4.0 operating system with a 1.3GHz NVIDIA Tegra 3 A9 quad-core processor 1GB of DDR3-L RAM and 8GB of on-board memory. The memory can be expanded via a micro SD card, which is sold separately. The Nabi 2 also has a built-in 2MP front-facing camera, a seven-inch touchscreen, and Bluetooth.

    The Nabi 2 comes with a red bumper that makes it very sturdy in case of an accidental drop. It has all the ports you'd expect, including mini HDMI, a headphone jack, an AC adapter, and a micro SD card.

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  2. Tablets for Kids: Kurio 7

    Tablets for Kids: Kurio 7

    from KD Interactive

    •  5+

    The Kurio 7 is a basic Android tablet that has been designed with a special interface for kids that gives parents security, control, and piece of mind. And it gives kids a real Android tablet to play with.

    Kurio calls this the ultimate Android tablet for families, and that's a pretty accurate description. The basic unit is a well-designed, easy-to-hold, high-quality tablet with a responsive multi-touch, seven-inch diagonal touchscreen and a 4GB hard drive, built-in WiFi, built-in microphone, Flash 11 support, an HD video player, a music player, an e-reader, front- and rear-facing cameras, and HDMI and USB connections (an HDMI cable is not included). You can expand the memory up to 36GB with an SD card, which is sold separately.

    The tablet comes with preloaded kids' content, including popular apps, e-books, educational material, and interactive activities, and offers access to the Android marketplace.

    The password-protected parents area allows for setting as many as eight different user profiles. Parents can set times (such as for how long a child can use the tablet and between what hours of the day), what applications can be used, restrict or disable all internet access, activate kid-safe content filtering, and allow or block specific websites. Only parents can download apps from the Kurio store and other available stores.

    The tablet comes with a silicone bumper, and it's highly recommended you put it to use as this is a real tablet with a glass screen. A drop could be disastrous.

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  3. Tablets for Kids: VINCI Tab II 7-inch Learning Tablet
    •  18 mos+

    The VINCI Tab II 7-inch Learning Tablet is an Android-operated, age-appropriate tablet device for toddlers and preschoolers that works in conjunction with the VINCI Curriculum, a step-by-step learning structure comprised of a series of age-specific learning apps and assessment tools. The VINCI Curriculum apps cover six aspects of a child's developing mind: thinking skills, emotional and social skills, language and literacy, math and logical reasoning, general knowledge, and science. The VINCI Tab II comes pre-loaded with six of these apps (two from each level), and the rest can be purchased separately at store.vincigenius.com. Within each of the learning apps, parents can change the language from English to Spanish, French, or Chinese. The apps are catalogued according to a child's age in increments by month. For example, an M18 app is appropriate for an 18-month-old child.

    Other pre-loaded apps include Kids Library, which comes with three eBooks; Camera, where kids can take pictures and video using the 3 megapixel camera; Gallery, where kids will find the pictures and videos they've recorded and can watch 20 pre-loaded animated music videos; and Music, where parents can upload MP3s so that kids can listen to their favorite music. Additional music videos, eBooks, and other apps can be purchased and downloaded separately from store.vincigenius.com. When parents register the device online, they can download the free VINCI Diary to track their child's developmental milestones and design their child's personal storybook.

    Because the tablet runs on the Android 2.3.5 operating system, it also comes pre-loaded with Android apps, including an Internet browser, Google Play (from where you can also download apps onto your VINCI Tab II), Gmail, Skype, Adobe Reader, QuickOffice, and Google Maps. The tablet also has Wi-Fi.

    Parents can log in to the special Parent Menu to add or remove apps from the app home screen, download additional apps, and transfer media files from a computer to the tablet and vice versa. Certain apps, such as the Internet browser, are not accessible to children if the parent has logged out of the Parent Menu. However, if the parent chooses to add the Internet browser app to the main app home page, it will be accessible to the child even if the parent is not logged in.

    Because this tablet is for kids, it features a fully protective PVC-, latex-, and BPA-free handle that surrounds the tablet, making it easy for small hands to hold.

    The VINCI Tab II features 8 GB of internal storage and has a micro SD card slot to expand the memory up to 32 GB. (A micro SD card is sold separately.) It has a seven-inch LCD touchscreen and comes with a USB cord. It runs on a Cortex A8 1.2 GHz processor.

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  4. Tablets for Kids: Proscan 7-inch Internet Tablet
    •  7+

    Parents looking for an affordable tablet will want to check out the Proscan 7-inch Internet Tablet. This Android tablet features a 7-inch touchscreen, 4 GB of flash memory, and a front-facing camera for taking pictures and video, watching videos, and video conferencing or Skyping. You can expand the memory to 32GB by adding a micro SD memory card, which is sold separately. The Proscan 7-inch Internet Tablet runs on a 1.2 GHz processor. This internet-ready tablet also has Wi-Fi. The screen auto adjusts for brightness and, when you turn it, the screen adjusts its size. Proscan says the tablet's rechargeable battery should last 15 hours if just listening to music, three hours if accessing the internet, and four hours if watching videos. The tablet also comes with a mini USB adaptor, a charger, and a headphone jack.

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  5. InnoTab 2

    InnoTab 2

    from VTech

    •  3+

    The new InnoTab 2 is a multi-media tablet with a five-inch touch screen with motion sensor. Kids can use their fingers or one of the two included styluses to tap and swipe on the screen. Up to four users can create profiles on the InnoTab 2. It comes with 14 built-in apps and one Read, Play & Create cartridge. It is compatible with all InnoTab software, and there is a content library of more than 200 cartridges and downloadable apps to purchase.

    The E-Reader app lets you read e-books you have downloaded from VTech's online Learning Lodge Navigator.

    The Games app comes with one built-in motion sensor game called Face Race. Kids take a picture of themselves to use in the animated avatar. Then they must tilt the tablet left and right to balance their avatar as it attempts to cross a pool of water by walking along a tightrope.

    With the Music app, you can listen to MP3 songs that you have purchased and downloaded from the Learning Lodge Navigator or songs that you have transferred from your computer.

    Touch the Video Recorder icon to record video with sound, which uses the built-in microphone. Or touch the Camera icon to take photos and add fun decorations, such as frames, and effects. You must add the effects before you take the photo. With both apps, kids can rotate the camera on top of the tablet to take video and photos of friends, the sky, and themselves. You can go to the Videos and Photos apps to view all your videos and photos.

    With the Art Studio app, kids can draw a picture or edit a photo using a variety of digital drawing tools and stamps.

    Kids can keep track of birthdays and play dates with the Calendar app, and write notes to themselves with the Notes app.

    The Friends app is where kids keep track of friends' contact information, such as phone numbers and email addresses.

    Kids can perform simple math problems with the Calculator app.

    Kids can set the time and date or use the stopwatch with the Clock app.

    And the Settings app is where kids can edit their profile name, set a profile picture, record a greeting message, and more.

    To access the cartridge content, touch the cartridge image on the home page. One e-book, What's That Noise?, is included on the cartridge. There is also one camera game, Alien Rescue, on the cartridge. In this game, players must find and rescue aliens by matching patterns. This game utilizes the camera so it looks like the aliens are appearing in kids' physical environments. The cartridge also includes Color & Pop, a digital coloring page activity.

    When you connect the InnoTab 2 to the Learning Lodge Navigator using the included installation CD and USB cable, you get two download credits to buy new games, e-books, and more.

    The InnoTab 2 comes with 2 GB of memory, but you can add up to 32 GB with an SD card, sold separately. A headphone jack is included, as well as a kickstand so you can set up the InnoTab 2 to use as a digital photo frame. The InnoTab 2 is available in blue or pink.

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  6. LeapPad2 Explorer

    LeapPad2 Explorer

    from LeapFrog

    •  3+

    The LeapPad Explorer was a huge hit when it came out last year. But this year, LeapFrog has revamped the LeapPad Explorer to give it more memory, better battery life, and more features.

    The LeapPad2 Explorer has a sleek new look (in either green or pink) and a growing library of more than 325 games, apps, music, videos, and more that will all be available by year's end. Just like the original LeapPad, it works with all LeapFrog Explorer cartridges and apps and LeapPad learning apps. But unlike the original LeapPad, the new LeapPad2 has two built-in cameras: one in the back so kids can take traditional photos and video and one in the front so kids can take photos and videos of themselves. There is also a built-in microphone. And LeapFrog has doubled the amount of storage in the LeapPad2 to 4 GB and given it a faster processor (550 MHz compared to 393 MHz).

    Play on the LeapPad2 is very much the same as using an adult tablet. Touch the five-inch color screen with a finger to bring characters and words to life. Tap, draw, and write with the child-sized stylus or turn, twist, and shake the tablet for motion-based play thanks to the built-in accelerometer. With the Pet Pad app, kids can create and take care of their own pet. The LeapFrog Learning Songs app is a music player with five songs. The Cartoon Director app lets kids create animated cartoons, and the Art Studio app lets kids edit pictures. LeapPad Ultra eBooks are interactive reading experiences written at three reading levels. The stories progress from simple text to more complex words and sentences. LeapPad2 remembers progress from game to game and book to book to keep the content challenging and engaging. Each experience offers multiple levels of play, and games auto-adjust so kids can learn at the right pace.

    The LeapPad2 comes with five learning apps. Pet Pad and LeapFrog Learning Songs are built into the device. The other three you'll need to download from www.leapfrog.com/connect. To do this, just go to the website, connect the tablet to your computer using the included USB cable, and follow the on-screen prompts to install the LeapFrog Connect Application. Complete the registration and go to the App Center where the Cartoon Director and Art Studio apps will automatically download. For the fifth app, you can go to the App Center and choose whatever game, eBook, or video you would like.

    When using batteries in the LeapPad2, the battery life is about nine hours. But, for parents who don't want to use batteries, there is a LeapPad2 Recharger Pack, sold separately, that replaces the need to use batteries with LeapPad2.

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  7. My Little Puppy

    My Little Puppy

    from Cuddle Barn

    •  3+

    My Little Puppy wants to show you just how happy he is by singing "If You're Happy and You Know it, Clap Your Hands". This 10-inch stuffed animal will sing the song, flap its ears, and clap its hands when you press the musical note button on its left foot. The song lasts 48 seconds. The puppy wears a green bow with white polka dots around its neck.

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  8. Play-Doh Plus 8-Pack

    Play-Doh Plus 8-Pack

    from Hasbro

    •  2+

    The Play-Doh Plus 8-Pack comes with eight cans of Play-Doh. Little hands can make more detailed swirls, stars, and other imaginative additions with this softer, smoother compound. The softer texture is ideal for adding dollops of frosting or detailed decorations on Play-Doh cakes, cookies, and cupcakes or to add ruffles and ribbons onto a Play-Doh dress. It also is less likely to break up when extruded or modeled with, making it more satisfying to work with for smaller, more detailed creations

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  9. Play-Doh Sweet Shoppe Frosting Fun Bakery
    •  3+

    Kids can "bake" and decorate Play-Doh cakes and put them on display with the Sweet Shoppe Frosting Fun Bakery. Cut the Play-Doh into one of four cake shapes, then add frosting and other shaped decorations using the extruder and the molds. Kids can also fill the cupcake liner with Play-Doh and decorate a pretend cupcake. When kids are done, they can display their creations on the domed cake stand, and then mash everything up and start all over.

    The Frosting Fun Bakery comes with a 2-piece extruder, a shelf, a tray, a cake stand, a turntable, a display dome, four cake cutters, four extruder tips, a cupcake liner, a cake server, a plate, a plastic knife, a plastic fork, two cans of Play-Doh (purple and brown), and two cans of Play-Doh Plus (yellow and pink), which has a smoother, softer texture than traditional Play-Doh, perfect for making pretend frosting.

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  10. Play-Doh Rapunzel Hair Designs
    •  3+

    The Play-Doh Rapunzel Hair Designs playset lets kids make and style Rapunzel's long hair. This styling head, based on the character from the Disney movie Tangled, comes with three cans of Play-Doh: yellow, brown, and sparkly pink. Twist off the tiara and insert Play-Doh compound. Replace the tiara and turn the crank to press out Rapunzel's hair. Use the half-molds to add accessories to the hair, add crimped hair strands with the comb cutter wheel, use the Pascal roller to add braids, and cut Rapunzel's hair with the toy scissors. All of the tools store right on the playset base.

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  11. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Anchovy Alley Pop-Up Pizza Playset
    •  4+

    The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Anchovy Alley Pop-Up Pizza Playset is a really cute concept. It's a pizza box that transforms into an 18-inch tall playset for your Turtles action figures, which are sold separately. After all, pizza is a central theme in the Turtles lore. To play, open it up and unfold it. You'll find that it's fairly intuitive. You'll want to make sure the pieces snap into place. Once open, the inside of the pizza box is a subway scene that features a portable pizza oven that flings pizzas, floor traps, a trick sewer cover that sends figures flying, and an abandoned subway tunnel. Kids can also crash open the break-away door.

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  12. Servin’ Surprises Birthday Set
    •  2+

    Kids can throw a birthday party with the Servin' Surprises Birthday Set. It comes with four double-sided slices of cake (vanilla on one side, chocolate on the other), four decorative cake toppers, two cake plates, two forks, a cake spatula, a cake stand, and a "magic" blow-out candle. Lift up on the candle's lever to make the pretend candle flame appear. When you blow on the flame, it falls back into the candle. Then you can lift it up and do it all over again.

    The Servin' Surprises Birthday Set is compatible with the Servin' Surprises Kitchen & Table, which is sold separately. Place the cake stand on the table to hear birthday phrases and songs.

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