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Hot toys for summer play by VTech and Playmobil

For toys to be awesome hits for kids and parents alike, they must be fun to play with right out of the box, but also having staying power to last as well. It's also important for toys to educate, entertain, and hold a child's attention for a good length of time. Most of this year's toys will also appeal to adults, so join in on the fun and enrich your child's playtime. And most importantly, make sure the toys are age appropriate for your youngster to avoid injuries. Here are a few to consider.

Pretend play increases your child's imagination and thinking skills.
Pretend play increases your child's imagination and thinking skills.
Tania Cowling

VTech has launched the InnoTab 3S, which is a Wi-Fi enabled children's learning tablet. Just like the parents' electronics, this communication device allows kids ages three to nine to be connected with their parents and friends through both tablet to mobile and tablet to tablet communication with the Kid Connect app. Just think, your child can make you a special drawing or note and you can download it on your smart phone at work and you can reply back to them. This package, at around $100, comes as a kid-safe web browser along with a rechargeable battery pack and AC adapter. VTech's Learning Lodge app store has a plethora of age appropriate content and curriculum to download plus 20 free apps with this package. It's never too early to start children on computers as technology is the key to future learning.

Understanding the importance of imaginary play, Playmobil has launched its new toy PopStars Stage. Pretend to be rock stars and belt out your favorite tunes in concert to a crowded audience. This toy is MP3 compatible so you can create your concert where your songs are accompanied with drums, guitar solos and flashing lights. Four figures are included (as your band) along with accessories such as drum sets, guitars, microphones, speakers and two preloaded tunes to get you started. This toy is a must for musically inclined kids ages four to ten who yearn to be singing sensations. It's retailing this holiday season at $39.99. Later you can add to this theme with the PopStars Tour Bus and PopStars Keyboarder.

And for the younger set, why not let your youngster play with miles of learning with VTech's Go! Go! Smart Wheels Airport Play Set? The airport helps young children strengthen their fine motor skills and builds their imagination through play. The little airplane teaches letters and sounds and there's a control tower that turns its antenna to fly the plane. Children may also be interested in this company's other sets including the Go! Go! Smart Wheels Train Station and Go! Go! Smart Wheels Construction Play Set. These stations range from $25 to $35 in retail stores. You can pack a few Go! Go! Smart Wheels vehicles in a child's holiday stocking for $7.99 with an assortment of 12 different vehicles to choose from. With a push of a button, they light up, talk and play music.

Is your child a foodie? VTech has the 2-in-1 Shop and Cook Play Set, which transforms from a shopping cart to a kitchen in a matter of minutes. The cart responds with cute sounds and phrases and then when the child is ready to cook, there is a pretend cutting board, stovetop, oven, and sink. For children ages two through five, this play set encourages learning about food, colors, numbers, following directions and much more. This toy retails at just under $50.

What a fun year for the toy industry and for the entertainment of your children. Take time to enjoy your children's company and play with them. You'll be directing their development and absorb the thrill and amusement in their playtime activities.

DISCLOSURE OF MATERIAL CONNECTION:

The Contributor was given a gift or sample to inform this content.