Not so long ago, back-to-school shopping was defined as buying some new clothes, paper, pencils, folders and a lunch box.

Today, the world isn't so simple, new research out today suggests that Americans are expected to invest an additional $2 billion on next-generation edutainment appliances to give their children a head start.

"We just want to give our child the best possible chance to do well", one dad told Pocket-lint.

According to the company that commissioned the report in Arizona, parents spent $1.7 billion on edutainment products in 2005 and are projected to spend a whopping $5.5 billion on edutainment appliances by 2010.

"Many dads want to give their kids a video game system, but are worried about software that may include violence or inappropriate content for their kids", said Julia Fitzgerald, vice president of marketing, VTech Electronics North America.