The Top 5 Toys That Teach

That little invention called the iPad has taken over the universe, especially when it comes to learning games for kids. But we believe that nothing beats good old-fashioned play (with real toys, not virtual ones!). Marcia Gresko, the head of product development at Educational Insights (she’s a teacher and a mom, too), handpicked her favorite toys from our sale, and revealed some secrets to helping your kids learn and grow.

Design and Drill, $20
“Kids explore colors, shapes, counting, and creating patterns – all while developing fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination.”


Hot Dots Jr. (alphabet, phonics, and counting), $39
“Ace, the talking teaching dog, offers self-correcting, independent learning. The phonics and alphabet sets reinforce beginning reading skills for school success – learning upper- and lowercase letters, beginning and ending letter sounds, and rhyming word patterns. The numbers and counting set reinforces number recognition, number words, number order, and more for numbers 1 to 10.”

MicroPro Elite, $60
“Young scientists use this 98-piece kit to investigate the hidden world of miniscule things around them. They learn to use a microscope, hone their powers of observation, and get a head-start on their school science learning.”

Blurt!, $20
“With 1800 definitions, two levels of play, and ‘everyone plays’ game rules, Blurt! is a fun family vocabulary-building game that sharpens players’ listening skills, too.”

 Bean Bags (numbers, alphabet, shapes), From $15
“Young learners are active learners. Bean bags encourage hands-on (literally) learning of basic skills (letters, numbers, shapes), as well as balance, coordination, and playground skills – like throwing and catching.”

 

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