I've got a riddle for you. What's blue, talks, and keeps my kids busy for an hour at a time?
The Spark Talking Telescope!
The Parent Bloggers Network sent this little gem my way and I will admit, my first thought was "Oh gads, not ANOTHER talking thing!" but the educational aspect prodded me into opening it up and giving it a go.
the Spark Talking Telescope requires 4 AA batteries which are not included. Once those are installed you are ready to go. The slides are held in a tray that slides in and out of the main body of the telescope. I like it when you can easily keep all the pieces together! Learning to put the slide in properly can take a few tries for little hands, so at first you will want to be right there to help out. Place the slide in the slot, punch in the code located on the slide and bing bang boom- the telescope starts teaching facts about that image be it a comet (one of the personal favorites of my 5 year old) or the Milky Way. You can also opt to put the telescope in quiz mode and test your knowledge.
The slides themselves are beautiful- very colorful and clear. They actually feature Nasa images. The telescope is light weight and the talking is not too loud or obnoxious (like other learning toys I've had to lose to retain my own sanity).
The question remains, is this a great gift? YES! My children have played with it everyday since it's arrival and are now telling every adult they know facts about the universe. I'm so impressed that I'm going to purchase the Spark Talking Microscope as a birthday present for my oldest when she turns 6.