Six Educational Toys to Get Your Kid Into Harvard

| November 20, 2012

Little Kid with TelescopeThe holiday shopping season is fast approaching and it’s time to think of what to get the little ones this Christmas. While there are always the “hot” toys of the year that everyone “must have,” why not grab a few that are fun … and educational!

Here are some choices that will get your kids, grandkids or other young family members thinking as well as smiling. You can start your search for local retailers at DexKnows.

LeapPad2 Explorer tablet

LeapFrog is known for designing innovative educational products. Educational experts design the learning apps and games that teach skills from math and science to creativity. The LeapPad2 Explorer tablet, a preschool learning toy, features a touchscreen and is easy to use. It includes a wide variety of apps and you can extend it by buying more than 325 cartridges. Features include front and back cameras that double as video recorders.

“My kids love this,” a parent wrote on an Amazon.com review. “With the front-situated camera, they can actually take pictures of themselves and put in some pretty neat effects in the art studio.”

The LeapPad2 Explorer sells for about $100. It is designed for children 36 months to 9 years old.

MobiGo 2

Another company known for making educational toys is Vtech. Its MobiGo 2 features motion control, a color touchscreen, e-reader, QWERTY keyboard and sound-activated games. The motion sensor and microphone are new features. Apps that come with MobiGo 2 include ebooks, coloring books, a photo album and coloring books. Basic skills taught with MobiGo 2 include vocabulary, math, problem solving and creativity. Children can learn letter names, phonics and reading skills, giving them a head start to kindergarten and elementary school learning. It is designed for children 3 to 8 years old.

MobiGo 2’s list price is $59.99 but you can probably find it for less. Software cartridges are available through the company website for $19.99.

Wild Science! Kits

Wild Science! offers more than 25 experimental sets to get your child interested in science. These toys strive to incorporate STEM, an educational push to stress science, technology, engineering and math skills. There’s the Bath Bomb Factory and the Weird Sime Factory. Products also include the Flower Factory Kit, Dog School, Kitty College, Future Farm and Ant Mine. The Kitty College lets children create interactive cat toys and intelligence tests. The kits start at about $15 to $20, then go up from there.

Polydron Bridges of the World

Another toy that will get your child revved up about STEM is Polydron Bridges of the World. The set comes with plastic construction parts and cards with instructions that will let them build truss, suspension, drawbridge, swing and other types of bridges. The toy, made for ages 8 and up, lets children make realistic designs based on some of the world’s most famous bridge designs. The basic kit sells for about $100.

Take-apart toys

The website Top Educational Toys for Kids suggests take-apart toys, giving your children a chance to take apart things without getting a scolding. Brands that offer take-apart toys include Black & Decker, Tomy Constructables and Battat.

Telescopes

Get your child interested in exploring with telescopes. There are dozens of varieties suitable for different ages. Let your child explore the universe with telescopes like the Orion Starblast 4.5 Astro Reflector Telescope, made for beginning astronomers. Its compact design makes it portable, giving you something that you can grab and take outside. See the moon, Saturn and Jupiter as well as other celestial sights. The kit is preassembled and comes with astronomy software. It sells for $169.99 on Orion’s website.

These are just some of the choices for learning toys this holiday season. Check with your local retailer, who may have other suggestions. Start your search at DexKnows.

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Category: Holiday Shopping

About the Author ()

Central Ohio journalist with 15 years experience at daily newspapers. Freelance writer and amateur photographer. Storytellers are my heroes, poets my idols and photographers my looking glass.