While play itself helps in the growth and development of a child’s mental capacity, several varieties of toys have been produced with their ability to educate as the primary feature. They can be simple alphabet building blocks, or puzzle toys, or even pop-up books with moveable parts. Some of these educational toys have included nursery rhyme and childrens songs to enhance the learning experience. LeapFrog Enterprises and Video Technology Ltd have been engineering electronic educational toys. LeapFrog Enterprises was founded by Michael Wood in 1995, with the aim of introducing a toy in the market that would help his dyslexic three-year-old son to read. LeapFrog created the phonics desk, followed by an electronic children’s book made interactive by the digital features and a stylus. Mattel produced a similar toy called the PowerTouch, which did not require a stylus. The VTech company, based in Hong Kong, produced technology for the general population, and also invested in the design and production of electronic educational toys.
The Texas Instruments company had released a line of electronic educational toys as early as the 1980’s. The Speak & Spell toy was a talking keyboard—with the keys set in alphabetical order rather than QWERTY, and the Speak & Math was a single electronic toy that served as a platform for five different mathematical games.
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