Garmin Fish Finder

The perfect gift for the fisherman in your life.


Comes with advanced scanning sonar which gives almost almost picture-like images of what is in the surrounding water. Now he can never again complain about the “one that got away.”


(Please click on the image for more detail.)


Product Discussion: Leapfrog Scribble & Write

If you ever wanted your youngster to begin learning the alphabet, the Leapfrog Scribble and Write is a great way to start.

Leapfrog, for those unfamiliar with the company, develops toys and games that merge education and fun.  While not everything they put in the marketplace is a home run, the Scribble and Write is one product that probably is.

The S&W is crafted to teach the alphabet, and it does so in several ways:  tracing upper-case and lower-case letters; drawing shapes; and guessing letters.  Basically, letters and shapes, shown in the form of red dots, appear in a traceable writing area. Verbal instructions voiced by the S&W prompt children to trace the object which appears using an attached stylus.  (In the “guessing” mode, a letter is drawn on the tracing surface and children are asked to identify it by pressing the proper alphabet button on the S&W.)

In brief, the Scribble and Write is a great way to get your child familiar with the alphabet, both in terms or recognizing letters and writing them.

Product Discussion: Leapfrog Phonics Pond

Phonics, as most of us probably already know, deals with teaching the basic concepts of reading through speech sounds.  Leapfrog’s Phonics Pond implements this idea in a neat and enjoyable teaching tool.  (Many of you with smaller children may already be familiar with Leapfrog, a company that regularly puts out a wide array of products that incorporate both learning and fun. For my money, Phonics Pond does a great job of integrating the two.)

First, let’s look at the physical layout of this product.  Aesthetically, Phonics Pond presents all the consonants of the alphabet (in lower-case letters) as yellow push-buttons on purple fish icons.  Vowels appear as red push-buttons on green frog icons.  At the upper right corner is a “Help” button labeled with a question mark.

Phonics Pond actually teaches in a multitude of ways. A slidebar on the right lets you indicate which of the following seven activities to formally initiate:

            Discovering Letters – Children press the letter of their choice and are rewarded with the name of the letter.

            Finding Identified Letters – Phonics Pond asks the child to find a specific letter of the alphabet, e.g., “Find the letter O”.

            Letter Sounds – Children press the letter of their choice and Phonics Pond imitates the sound the letter makes.

            Finding Letters by Sound – Children are given the sound of a letter and asked to identify it.  (This is essentially just the reverse of the “Letter Sounds” activity.)

            Spelling – Various 3-letter words are spelled out, and children are asked to press the corresponding letters that make up that word.

            Random Spelling – Children are asked to press any three letters to make their own word.  (Should the letters pressed not form an actual word, Phonics Pond will still sound out the letters themselves.  In addition, certain inappropriate words will be ignored if spelled, whether by accident or design.)

            Music – Children are prompted to press a letter, which will cause music to be played – mostly perennial favorites like “This Old Man,” “Yankee Doodle,” and the like.

Overall, Phonics Pond seems to do a great job of teaching through the concept of phonics.  Even better, it does so in such a way that children will actually enjoy learning.  Finally, this would seem to be a product that will have long-term utility, especially in households with more than one child.