Still trying to check off those last few gifts from your Christmas lists? We’re here to help. There are plenty of toys and games out there that kids enjoy playing and learn from as well.
Knowing which toys are safest and the most educational can be difficult because makers constantly introduce new toys. Parents know that effective learning toys harness kids’ inquisitiveness, helping them to become engaged learners. But who has time to do that kind of research?
We do! So, we scoured the web and found these great examples of highly-rated and popular educational toy ideas. Happy shopping!
Rocktopus around the clock
Pre-school kids can record and mix music with the Think & Learn Rocktopus interactive toy. They can even make music videos using the free Rocktopus app. This is another Toy Association Toy of the Year finalist. About $38.
UNO -- a timeless classic
The old favorite card game UNO is still a big hit with kids. Matching colors and numbers helps polish kids’ pattern recognition skills while they learn the art of friendly competition. About $6.
Elementary School Age
For the budding biologist
Kids 5 and up will make memorable connections with the life cycle while playing with Season 4 Hatchimals CollEGGtibles. In fact, they may have so much fun unboxing and collecting with these colorful toys they won’t even realize they’re learning about the life cycle of birds. About $20. (Avoid ordering more than one at a time as you may receive identical sets.)
Bubbling experiments in the Beaker Creatures Liquid Reactor Super Lab will reveal cute Beaker Creatures. This 2018 finalist for of the year from the Toy Association provides hands-on fun for kids 5 and up. However, be make sure kids younger than 5 don’t get their hands on these creatures because they’re choking hazards. About $30.
Learning to fly
In the hands of kids 8 and up, the PowerUp 2.0 Electric Paper Airplane Conversion Kit enables them to transform the humdrum paper airplane into a fun flying machine with a carbon fiber propeller. A 20-second charge fuels 30-seconds of flight. About $20.
Middle School Age
Your favorite Martian
The board game Terraforming Mars, recommended by livescience.com, encourages kids to figure out how to make the Red Planet habitable for humans. Utilizing science and technology, they must warm it up, create oxygen-boosting oceans and build cities. For kids 12 and up, about $45.
Plants that eat bugs!
Plants come to life in the Carnivorous Creatures Light Cube, a 9-inch by 9-inch terrarium in which kids grow carnivorous plants like Venus flytraps and sundews. Tiny LED lights even help the plants grow in dimly lit rooms. Recommended for kids 14 and up, about $56.