5 On Your Side

Educational Toys Use TV To Maintain Staying Power

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RALEIGH, N.C. — What better way to find out whether a toy is really a toy: thousands of children across the country testing thousands of toys to find out which ones have staying power.

Educational toys continued to score well in this year's Great American Toy Test -- enough to win several spots on this year's "Fabulous 14" list.

One of the top picks was


V.Smile Pocket

, a go-anywhere portable high-resolution video learning system that can also be directly connected to a television.

Where video game mania meets learning skills, the V.Smile Pocket plays all of the more than 20 V.smile "Smartridges," which contain exciting games that teach school skills ranging from spelling and math to science and music.

For ages 5 and up, the V.Smile Pocket costs about $90.


Read With Me DVD

animated interactive learning system also made the "Fabulous 14" list.

Complete with a wireless, child-friendly remote control, this toy not only helps kids learn a love for reading, it also helps boost their story comprehension and vocabulary.

At significant moments in a story, children are encouraged to stay and play on the page where they can learn the meaning of new words, as well as respond to questions about the characters and key story elements.

It comes with an interactive DVD called "Where The Wild Things Are."

For children ages 3 to 7, the Fisher-Price Read With Me DVD System is $35.

Other educational toys that children loved, but did not make the "Fabulous 14" list, include Fisher-Price's

View-Master Super Sounds 3-D viewer

, which features not only 3-D pictures, but sounds to go with them. It costs less than $10.

For under $20, the Etch A Sketch Wired lets children create with color, sound effects and animation through a television.

Tune into WRAL's Morning News at 6:15 a.m. Tuesday as Five On Your Side's Monica Laliberte shares more top-rated toys from this year's Great American Toy Test.

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