Smartphone for preschoolers:
* LeapFrog is planning to sell a BlackBerry-like device for tots this summer. The Text and Learn PDA will retail for $20 to $30 and allow children to feel like big kids in a multitasking world. It was recently introduced at a London toy fair. The PDA has a full, grown-up keyboard, a calendar (for learning dates, not making appointments), and games and functions to help with letters, spelling, phonics and basic computer skills. It's geared toward preschoolers. There are limited texting capabilities, but don't worry. The user can only converse with their on-screen buddy, Scout.
On the Web:
* The Library of Congress has released rarely seen pictures of President Abraham Lincoln. The set, Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865), is part of a series of photos released by the library and others in Flickr Commons on Flickr's photo-sharing site. Many of these portraits had not been seen by a wide audience until their release on Flickr. Go to flickr.com/photos/library_of_
* The crafts section of
kaboose.com), a family-oriented site, includes crafts organized primarily by season and holiday. Projects are geared toward younger kids who would find making a simple love-bug pin or a pompom polar bear enjoyable. To make sure neither parents nor children get in over their heads, each tutorial is labeled with a difficulty level and a recommended starting age.
* For the more techno-savvy, there's Instructables (instructables.com). Some projects are targeted to those with certain knowledge and skills, such as converting an old radio amplifier so it can be used by an iPod and building a honey extractor from an antique washing machine. Each tutorial includes detailed instructions, images and a comments field. If the high-level projects scare you, don't worry. There are also easier ones, such as creating PVC flutes and duct-tape wallets.