Little Tikes creates iTikes iPad toy range

Little Tikes, the company behind those red and yellow push-along kids' cars, has announced that it is launching a range of iPad and iPhone-friendly gadgets in time for Christmas in the UK.

The new iTikes range will consist of four iPad-friendly kids toys that will come with accompanying apps to help kids to learn and play.

Top of the list is the iTikes Discover Microscope (£74.99) that lets kids examine 36 real specimens like mini beasts. Kids will be able to either look through the standard eyepiece as you normally would with a microscope, or view a series of images, video and other factoids on an accompanying iPad connected to the makeshift lab.

It's not just about science, however, the iTikes Canvas (£39.99) takes Etch-a-Sketch one stage further, offering a large case in which to house the iPad and a series of hardware buttons that work as stamps within the accompanying drawing app. There is also a stylus to help you draw and colour. When used with the iPad app the stylus produces music, lights, and sound effects.

Musically minded kids will no doubt be nagging you for the iTikes Piano (£49.99). It lets you plug in your iPad, iPhone or iPod touch and with the free app learn how to play the miniature keyboard. It's not all-boring school stuff though, and Little Tikes tell us there will be six learning games, plus the ability to record and play back your music.

Finally there is the iTikes Map (£59.99), designed to allow kids to look at six different maps of music, cultures, countries, space and more. With a strong focus on learning, the idea is that you'll be able to press the buttons on the iTikes Map case to initiate animations, factoids and other bits and bobs on an accompanying connected iPhone or iPod touch to keep your little one quiet.

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