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Video: TODAY’s back-to-school guide

  1. Closed captioning of: TODAY’s back-to-school guide

    >>> back now at 8:18 with today's "friday whip." it is back to school time and this morning four experts are here with everything your kid needs to start the new school year off on the right foot.

    >> educational games , elizabeth warner is a toy expert and todayshow.com contributor. when it comes to educational games , no kid is too young. little ones like games just like the big ones . this from fisher price .

    >> this is a six in one smart device so they get an mp3 player , digital reader, notepad, game player , so much more. they're going to be able to learn counting and sequencing and even reading comprehension .

    >> geared to what age?

    >> between 3 to 7 p.

    >> this one to help kids learn to read . it makes reading fun.

    >> the leapfrog pad is a wonderful learning system and been working with books for the last few years. this year they're actually coming out with a tagged map. this is a map of the united states . they're going to learn locations, weather, music, food, lots of fun facts and they'll be coming out with a world map as well.

    >> my kids had this. what kid didn't want to learn about boogers and --

    >> they can create and make their own fake snot and learn to make smelly intestines.

    >> card games . you can learn with these.

    >> right. you get learning research. this is called linkology. what we're going to do is actually link pictures or images with words. here's the brain and the nervous system . we're going to learn about the human body , the solar system and animals. it's a very fast-paced fun game for the whole family.

    >> finally, there's nothing better than that. you get the lava view sent to you that turns into a butterfly.

    >> this is a reusable cage for the butterfly. once they get into the cocoons they turn into boughter fly and you see it and then you have unzip them and release them.

    >> digital lifestyle expert mario armstrong has a few things to show us. first of all, head phones .

    >> got to be stylish, adorable and sound great. these do. the biggest thing about head phones that break are usually the cords and connectors. notice that sony made these. these are called the geek head phones only 49 bucks but this is linguini style, not spaghetti style so more endurable. great for the college student that loves to beat them up.

    >> i love this note taking idea.

    >> a new pen called the echo that records and writes everything you write and hear. you are in class, you might miss something. you come back and touch the piece of paper and you'll be able to play a little bit of what was actually in the class. we took it a step further and did a little happy birthday thing for you. happy birthday to al

    >> so you can do all kinds of fun things with this.

    >> smart paper and all that.

    >> included with it. $129, to $199. new laptop big. this is the souped-up sony vaio . it's only $719. but when you look at other things only 5.95 pounds, blu-ray player in it. we want cool accessories to personalize it and make it our own. all of that can be done on the cheap. netbooks are very popular. this is different because this is for the gamer. the m-11x. play all the games and still get home work done. 4.4 pounds. hp 720 resolution.

    >> and making sure no one walks away with your laptop.

    >> you have to lock them up with a cable opinion six foot steel cable from kensington. i like the combo locks because they don't have keys. you can shut it down. if you forget the code go to your online registration and reveal the code from there.

    >> thank you so much.

    >> appreciate geeking out with you.

    >> thank you. now to carl.

    >> stores are brimming with really good school spliupplies. julie wilson has our back-to-school gear guide. lugging stuff around what dow want to look for?

    >> look for a roomy bag, something with durable straps and something that will stand out because of all those backpacks you want something that will stand out.

    >> something that makes it unique.

    >> this is the super "g" color me backpack from gym sport. you can color it with permanent markers. so your kid can go crazy, go to town on it.

    >> organizing all the stuff on their desk -- crayons and papers.

    >> this is from kangaroo and this is a workstation. your you will mat like home workstation. they can carry it from room to room or bring it from home to school.

    >> we're a long way from brown bagging it.

    >> i'm obsessed with these. these are itsy ritzy and reusable durable lunch bags. you can throw them in the wash. there's leopard print.

    >> speaking of lunch, lunch boxes are maybe the one choice that kids have that make them unique.

    >> these ones are really great. they're from target so you can get this from dora explorer. it's an inexpensive way to show off their personality.

    >> and vineyard vine. classic little whales.

    >> definitely. these $10 from each bag goes to support to end hunger in america. they're so cute. look at the wlals.

    >> julie wilson , thank you.

    >>> last but not least here's natalie.

    >> thank you, carl. nutritious breakfast and lunch can help your student sail to the head of the class . good morning. getting our kids breakfast most important meal of the day. let's get started. you have a variation on the brushetta.

    >> grill tomorrow, olive oil , parmesan, extra calcium on a whole wheat english muffin and it's delicious.

    >> perfect start to the day along with eggs.

    >> protein.

    >> a mexican omelet. and if you throw some peppers and avocados good fat and vitamins and fiber.

    >> let's talk lunch. how can we make our traditional turkey sandwich pack a little more protein and healthy benefits?

    >> first of all, of course, always use whole grain rather than white bread . but you can also sneak leafy greens in like baby spinach or even arugula for a little extra crunch. and if you substitute guacamole instead of mayo you cut half the fat and calories.

    >> pbj you added other than the regular jelly.

    >> instead use real fruit, bananas or grapes and almonds for extra calcium.

    >> thank you so much.

    >>> still ahead, the chart topping band daughtry live in concert . that's all coming up.

TODAY contributor

Explainer: Educational back-to-school games

  • Tag Reading System & U.S. Map

    ($39.99 & $19.99)

    LeapFrog’s Tag Reading System helps kids learn to read at their own pace and brings books alive with amazing narration and fun interactive sounds and facts. Now LeapFrog is introducing Tap Map for our children to learn about the United States of America. Our kids just touch the tag reader to the map and instantly learn about different locations, foods and weather in the USA as well as facts about travel and the lives of children around the country. I can’t wait for the world map LeapFrog will introduce to go with this system in the fall.

  • iXL by Fisher-Price

    iXL by Fisher-Price ($79.99)

    The iXL is an amazing educational toy and also serves as a story book reader, game player, MP3 player, art studio, notebook and photo album all wrapped in one cool, small, hand-held device. While the children are playing and having fun with the iXL, parents will be thrilled to know their kids will be working on their reading comprehension, key words, spelling, numbers, sequencing, counting, art skills, letter-writing skills and more. The iXL can store multiple software titles, songs and pictures so no cartridges are needed. Comes in pink, blue and silver. Requires 4 AA batteries, which are not included.

  • Live Butterfly Garden

    Live Butterfly Garden ($19.95)

    The Live Butterfly Garden is a reusable, collapsible habitat that enables the whole family to witness the transformation from larvae to butterfly. The butterfly larvae and food come straight to your home and easy instructions make it a snap to set up. The top of the habitat lifts off so your little ones can easily release their beautiful butterflies into the world when it’s time. 

  • Linkology Card Games


    Linkology Card Games ($9.99)

    Linkology Card Games are a great way to learn about animals, the solar system and the human body. To play this fun, fast-paced game you have to match a photo or illustration card with the appropriate fact-based word cards. Play with up to six players and watch everyone link facts together to gain a better understanding of important science concepts.

  • The Scientific Explorer Disgusting Science Kit

    The Scientific Explorer Disgusting Science Kit ($19.99)

    The Scientific Explorer Disgusting Science Kit is a hysterical way for the family to learn about science together. Our children can learn about their smelly feet, make fake blood and snot, grow their own germs, create their own laboratories and loads more. While having a blast experimenting, our kids will also be learning some chemistry and biology.

  • Fun Back Packs

    Fun Backpacks ($12.99 and up)

    A fun way to get them excited for the new school year is to grab a backpack that has their favorite characters’ images splashed on the front. Many stores have huge collections of fun backpacks. My daughter wants the new Zhu Zhu Pet backpack. Some of the hottest characters this year are Skelanimals, Disney Princess, Transformers, Toy Story 3, Hello Kitty, Iron Man 2, Phineas and Ferb, Zhu Zhu Pets, Pook-a-Looz, Dinosaur Train and Olivia.

  • The Yubo Lunchbox

    The Yubo Lunchbox ($29.95)

    The Yubo lunchbox is a dream come true for parents because it is 100 percent dishwasher safe, it’s anti-microbial and comes with a compartmental system that eliminates the need for baggies.  My children love the Yubo Lunchbox because its appearance is customizable.  They can use the included face plates for the front and back of this lunchbox or, better yet, download photos or images and create their own unique look.

  • Mabel’s Labels Ultimate Back-to-School Combo Pack

    Mabel’s Labels Ultimate Back-to-School Combo Pack ($39-$44)

    Mabel’s Labels are going to save me some serious money this year because my children’s school items will all be labeled and then returned by the school when they lose them. Every year my children lose numerous items at school that some how disappear out of the blue, which makes me crazy. Try the Tag Mates, which are peel-and-stick clothing labels that are washer safe; the Shoe Labels, which are also peel-and-stick and are waterproof; Skinny-Minis, which are dishwasher- and microwave-safe labels for reusable lunch containers, water bottles and school supplies such as markers, rulers and binders; and Teeny Tags, which are sturdy, waterproof metal tags for lunch bags, backpacks, pencil cases and more.

  • Crayola Wild Notes

    Crayola Wild Notes ($5.99-$6.49)

    Make note-taking a blast for your tweens by getting then the new Wild Notes by Crayola. Wild Notes are a 1- or 2-subject notebook that include a Wild Notes pen. The special paper in the notebook and the pen work together to create an amazing array of colors, patterns and textures as your child takes notes. The 1-subject notebook comes in a wide-ruled, 10.5” by 8” 75-sheet notebook and the 2-subject comes in a wide-ruled, 9.5” by 6” 75-page notebook.

  • Shape & Spin Elmo

    Shape & Spin Elmo ($19.99) 

    Shape & Spin Elmo is a new electronic Play-Doh playset that teaches kids about counting and shapes while aiding them in their tactile development. Kids love hearing Elmo positively reward them when they create, play and learn with their Play-Doh.  This great playset has two modes of play for hours of endless creativity. The set includes three 3-ounce cans of colorful Play-Doh compound and the two AAA batteries required for use. 

  • Word Shout

    Word Shout ($6.99)

    Word Shout is a fast-paced, fun-filled word game perfect for kids, tweens, teens and adults! Roll 10 different letter dice on a flat surface and everyone playing must quickly look at the various letters to see what words they can form and shout out before their opponents do. Once the letters are utilized, those letter dice are removed and play continues until every possible three or more letter words have been created from the remaining letter dice. Play round after round and see which person or team reaches 50 points first.


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