Leapfrog Scout My Own Leaptop £12.97 @ Amazon
Devices like the Leaptop are a great way to introduce children to the digital world in a way that they can explore and learn independently. While sites like CBeebies are great for fun, educational games, you don't really want to leave your five year old playing on your computer on their own.
On the Leaptop, children join Violet the dog in six modes of play. It can be set up to know their name, send personalised emails from family and friends, and they can even download music. I'm not 100% sure how the email system works. On the site this is described as eight email messages you can personalise for your child. And it requires an internet connection to work.
The learning games teach them about the alphabet, music, and animals. It is possible to listen to Violet the dog's blog , where she tells you about what she gets up to.
The website describes Leapfrog My Own Leaptop Violet as a "fun learning toy that teaches you about computers, and a variety of other skills."
Do note that some functions require a computer with internet access to set up. It requires three AA batteries, and these are included.