February 4, 2009

Toddler toy mimics text messaging

LeapFrog unveiled a new product at a toy fair in London designed to allow small children to mimic their BlackBerry-addicted parents.

The LeapFrog Text & Learn, which is scheduled to arrive in U.S. stores this summer, is modeled after a personal digital assistant and allows children to practice spelling and computer skills with games that emulate text messaging, the New York Daily News reported Wednesday.

Busy 3-year-olds will love to 'play' like their parents do, LeapFrog wrote in the description for the $21.99 toy.

Some parents said the toy appears to a safer alternative to allowing curious kids to use mom and dad's cell phones.

It would disturb me if it were wired, but it sounds like it just looks like a BlackBerry and has some educational value, said Bay Brown, a New York mother of three.

However, Annie Keating of New York said she doesn't think her two children would be wowed by a faux-phone.

They have antennae that detects, 'It's not my mom's BlackBerry, this is not the iPhone I crave,' she said.