During the holiday season, we typically give our children and loved ones gifts that they have asked for, or ones we know they would enjoy. Why not use this opportunity to give your children a toy that is educational – and allows them to learn while they are being entertained? I have compiled a list of the top 5 educational toys that incorporate reading skills, vocabulary, math, and science – all while allowing your child some creative independence. Whether your child is a tactile or auditory learner – these toys are a great way to insure that they are not engaging in mindless play. Here’s some of our top picks for 2013:
1. LeapPad Ultra™
Teachers and parents are often searching for fun ways to engage their children in learning and to support skills taught in the classroom. After reviewing LeapFrog’s latest tablet for kids, more than 98% of kindergarten teachers surveyed from across the country said they would recommend the LeapPad Ultra™ to parents. Additionally, 98% said that their students would find LeapPad Ultra to be a fun tool for learning. In a market with numerous tablets for kids, the LeapPad Ultra received critical acclaim, and was noted for the educational games and apps that can be accessed through the LeapFrog App Center. Teachers noted the following features:
– Curriculum that adjusts to a child’s individual level (Personalized Learning)
– Educational skills that build upon each other (Math, Reading, Writing & More)
– Motivational – children want to play and learn (Fun & Educational)
– Good for group teaching and centers, as well as individual play (Social Skills)
– The entire system is about learning – children can’t go off-task and not be learning
2. Lego Friends™
Lego Friends is a product line of the Lego construction toy designed to appeal primarily to girls. Introduced in 2012, the theme includes unique “mini-doll” figures, which are about the same size as the traditional minifigures, but are more detailed and realistic. The sets include pieces in pink and purple color schemes and depict scenes from suburban life set in the fictional town of Heartlake City.
The theme is more story-based then most, and follows the activities of five girls; Andrea, Emma, Mia, Olivia, and Stephanie. The theme also introduced the Mini-doll figure and over two dozen new peices not seen elsewhere.
Ages 8 and up
Since it was first introduced, Spirograph has made it possible for aspiring artists of all ages to create beautifully intricate designs. Originally developed as a drafting tool, the distinctive wheels and rings of the Spirograph cleverly combine the principles of art and mathematics in a way that has inspired and delighted generations. Simply put your paper in place and then choose from 19 different gears to mix and match patterns and create a unique image. This is an excellent way to have kids use their creativity while learning about shapes, math, and how things work together.
Ages 3 and up
Magformers are easy to use and never frustrating because they always attract and never repel, so the moment any two pieces touch they connect. These high quality magnets are sure to spark curiosity and make play time creative, stimulating, and constructive. Building with Magformers engages mathematical and scientific thought, deductive reasoning, and requires use of spatial awareness.
5. Big Bag of Science™
Ages 8 and up
Introduce your child to the exciting world of science with the Big Bag of Science. Kids can perform more than 70 experiments with this kit, allowing them to explore mind-stretching science principles while having fun. The kit comes with plenty of tools and safe chemicals to get your young scientist started, including test tubes, a magnifying glass, gravity goo powder, Insta-Snow powder, and many other supplies necessary to perform the experiments. The activities cover life science, physical science and earth science, and encourage kids to discover new aspects of their world. Topics in the lab book include chemistry, physics, geology, biology magnets. Your child will also utilize test tubes, pipettes, a magnifying glass, Petri dishes, and other materials help to teach skills such as observation, classification, and measuring.
Children are more likely to retain new concepts and information when they are able to connect personally with the material. Each of these toys provides that opportunity –and encourages them to utilize problem-solving skills and an element of creativity. While it is tempting to just purchase another iPad app – think about the true definition of learning. This holiday, consider giving your child a toy that helps them understand core concepts – without becoming distracted or lost in front of a computer screen for hours.
At Triumph Tutoring, Inc., we know that playtime is another source for learning. We also believe that learning can – and should – be fun. If you would like more information about how our programs incorporate these elements, please contact us: