Playtime can also be a time for learning as well. Toy Insider Mom Laurie Schacht stopped by Good Morning Arizona to show off her favorite toys that teach as much as they entertain. For more on the products featured in this segment, check out the notes below, and for a full rundown of the best toys of the year, check out our complete holiday toy guide.
CogniToys Dino (Elemental Path)
- CogniToys are Internet-connected smart toy Dinosaurs that are changing theway kids learn and play.
- The Dinosaurs are smart devices in toy form, tailored just for kids to provide an educational and entertaining experience without the need for a screen.
- Powered by Elemental Path’s “Friendgine” and IBM’s Watson technologies, CogniToys respond to thousands of questions across multiple topics with age appropriate answers.
- Additionally, the Dinos explore educational subjects like spelling, geography and math through games and stories designed to challenge kids’ problem-solving abilities.
- While other tech toys rely on pre-programmed responses, CogniToys listen to kids’ questions and adapt to their interests, creating a unique opportunity for interactive learning.
- The cute and curious 7-inch Dinos are Wi-Fi-enabled and Cloud-based and update regularly as new content becomes available.
- The toy explores favorite colors, animals and more to customize engagement as well. Each toy comes with access to the CogniToys Parent Panel, a platform that provides analytics on a child’s progress across content modules for parents to review.
- Ages: 5-9
- MSRP: $119.99
- Available: Toys “R” Us
Touch & Learn Activity Desk (VTech)
- The Touch & Learn Activity Desk is a three-in-one desk with interactive activity cards that’s expandable for more fun and discovery.
- The desk features an interactive desktop and five pages to explore that are filled wit engaging content including letters, numbers, music, colors, and more.
- Choose from eight expansion packs (each sold separately) that each focus on a specific curriculum like reading skills, animals, and numbers.
- It also transforms from a desk into an easel and chalkboard with plenty of storage space for art supplies to encourage play and discovery.
- The LED display illustrates letter and number stroke order and how to draw basic shapes. For even more fun, toddlers can play with the toy telephone or listen to fun tunes on the music player. Enjoy hours of fun as kids create, discover, and learn.
- Ages: 2-5
- MSRP: $54.99
- Available: Amazon, Target, Toys “R” Us, Walmart
Box & Balls (Fat Brain Toys)
- It’s a rolling, bouncing, banking, stacking, and nesting game!
- With dozens of palying options, this classic-looking set of 8 wooden nesting boxes and eight bouncy balls is awesome at home or away.
- Set yourself seemingly impossible challenges with the boxes; everything is more gun with bouncy balls!
- Ages: 5+
- MSRP: $32.95
- Available: fatbraintoys.com
Code & Go Robot Mouse Coding Activity Set (Learning Resources)
- The race is on to build coding skills!
- Kids can build a maze and then use the coding cards to create a step-by-step path for Colby, the Programmable Robot Mouse.
- Program the sequence of steps, and then watch Colby race to find the cheese!
- This deluxe set includes 30 double-sided coding cards, 10 double-sided activity cards, cheese wedge, and Activity Guide to provide the perfect hands-on introduction to coding concepts.
- Colby lights-up, makes sounds, and features two speeds along with colorful buttons to match coding cards for easy programming and sequencing.
- Add multiple players with Jack, the Programmable Robot Mouse, sold separately.
- Ages: 5+
- MSRP: $59.99
- Available: Target, Walmart, Fat Brain Toys
Little Scholar Mini (School Zone)
- With over 36 years of experience as the leaders in providing early education resources, School Zone Publishing Company continues to innovate and provide fun learning tools for kids.
- The Little Scholar Mini is a 7-inch children’s tablet that comes preloaded with over 70 apps, books, games, videos and songs that improve your child’s reading, math and spelling skills.
- The tablet includes Charlie & Company, School Zone’s Intellectual Property video series.
- Ages: 3-7
- MSRP: $129
- Available: Amazon, Toys “R” Us