As a day doesn't go by where they don't see my husband and I using our computers, phones, tablets and more, it's not really a wonder that they are so interested in them. But even as responsible as both girls have proven to be, I have a hard time passing over one of my items without cringing over the fact that it is a little more delicate (and a little less durable) than devices that are designed for children.
Fortunately, that's where VTech comes in with their gadgets that are safe, educational, entertaining, easy to use, and just for kids. And, after the success of the MobiGo Touch Learning System, VTech has added enhancements, updates and features to make it even better with the release of the MobiGo 2.
Since 1980, VTech has been developing high-quality, innovative educational products that enrich children's development, from birth to preteen, through fun and smart play. Their award-winning items have long displayed why VTech is a world leader of age-appropriate learning products and the MobiGo 2 Touch Learning System is no exception.
This portable, multi-functional device (available in blue or pink) provides fun and education for 3- to 8-year-olds all while teaching basic learning skills including math, vocabulary, spelling, reading, logic, drawing and more.
Considering how much my kids have enjoyed playing with the games and apps on the original MobiGo, I wasn't surprised to see their eyes light up at the chance to try out the MobiGo 2.
Right out of the box we found that this new version resembled the previous with its colorful appearance, durable design and slide-out QWERTY keyboard... but now comes with a handy stylus (which stores conveniently on the back of the base) to be used for more accurate playing, coloring or writing on the screen.
As soon as we had four AA batteries installed (not included), we hit the power button and were ready to play. The MobiGo 2 comes preloaded with games as well as as art studio, photo book and, two new additions, a motion sensor and a microphone.
It didn't take long before Hamster Highway, one of the preloaded games, became an instant favorite. Highlighting the new motion sensor feature, this game is played by tilting the MobiGo 2 side to side to control the direction that Henry the Hamster races in his clear hamster wheel. The race continues along the track as Henry attempts to pass by other racers while collecting stars for extra speed or lollipops for help.
Additionally, Henry occasionally stops for pit stops to complete a pipe maze puzzle that helps him along the way (and causes the player to use their critical thinking skills). All in all, while Hamster Highway isn't the most educational game that VTech offers, the girls (and I!) have loved the fast-paced fun that this game provides and I appreciate seeing my kids' motor skills, coordination and problem-solving skills increase each time they play.
Not to mention their laughter and smiles when they play the game individually or together!
The MobiGo 2 also includes a Shooting Gallery game, which gives kids the opportunity to use the QWERTY keyboard, therefore helping them become familiar with a traditional keyboard and where particular letters are found (a skill that they are going to use more and more as they grow up).
In this game, players can choose the easy level and simply have to find the letter that is displayed on the screen. In the difficult level, 3- and 4-letter words are displayed and players have to type the letters in the correct order when they appear.
I love that Little Sister B is getting faster and faster at identifying individual letters and where they are found on the keyboard, while Big Sister E does the same and can practice reading the complete words as well. I'm always a fan of times when my kids are participating in something educational and they only see it as being entertaining!
When they aren't playing games, my girls have been enjoying the Art Master and Photos options as well. The Art Master allows kids to color, paint and stamp on various coloring pages, while the Photo folder can view their own or preloaded photographs.
But VTech makes this more than simply an album, it also gives kids the opportunity to tag photos by typing in words or apply special effects (a warping motion or bubbles along with sound) by blowing on the microphone on the front of the MobiGo 2. Little Sister B doesn't stop grinning the whole time she plays with the effects, making this all the more fun for her as well as for me to see!
Along with the software that comes on the MobiGo 2, it only took a few minutes for me to download VTech's Learning Lodge Navigator and have our device registered. As well as being able to keep track of your child's progress and manage the storage space of your MobiGo 2 (it has 75 MB, which holds quite a bit), VTech also gives you the gift of three free downloads to increase your child's library of activities right away.
I do wish that the e-books were available now, but it looks like those are still in the works for the future. I'd also love to see more games and activities that take advantage of the MobiGo's motion sensor and microphone, as those have already proven to be great new features, so hopefully they will be utilized more as new software developments are created.
For now, I do really appreciate that cartridges and downloads from the original MobiGo work with the MobiGo 2, as that means that users who upgrade to the new device don't have to worry about replacing all of their previous items. Instead, this engaging, entertaining, attention-grabbing gadget can provide hours of imaginative play at home... or on the go!
Whether pulled out while waiting for an appointment or for keeping the peace on a car trip, the MobiGo 2 is great for holding kids' attention and keeping them interested. The volume control makes it easy to turn down the sound or, for even more quiet, there is a headphone jack to provide silence on an airplane or in a waiting room.
The MobiGo 2 is available now directly from VTechKids.com or Amazon.com for a suggested retail price of $59.99. Find out more about this great device from VTech and by connecting with them on Facebook and Twitter.
I participated in a campaign on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for VTech. I received product samples to facilitate my review.