30 Toys That'll Make Your Kids Smarter
Reviewers say their kids truly cannot stop playing with these *sneaky* educational toys.
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1. Pixicade mobile game maker to turn screen time into a creative STEM activity by letting kids turn their own drawings and concepts into playable video games (build up to 1,600 video games). They can sketch the game on paper, snap a pic of it, and then play an animated version on their phone or tablet.
2. A wooden puzzle equivalent to playing Tetris but in tactile form that'll ~exercise their brain~ without any screentime.
3. And a wooden geoboard that comes with 35 pattern cards to challenge your child's dexterity and imagination while attempting to create shapes using rubber bands. Aaaand as they become more accomplished, they can even recreate the designs on the cards.
4. A sight words Bingo game if you've ever asked yourself, "How do I take the frustration out of learning sight words and make it FUN?" — then this game is for you.
5. A DIY car STEM kit boasting two hands-on projects (complete with parts and instructions) so young engineers can make a solar-powered car and a radio-controlled car.
6. A magnetic shape-shifting puzzle cube that'll keep kids (and adults) mesmerized with its psychedelic patterns and challenge them to manipulate it into over 70 shapes. It takes origami to a whole other level.
7. And a "Speak & Spell" electronic game, exactly like the '80s toy you probably owned as a wee one that's still as effective as ever for teaching kids how to spell and pronounce over 200 words using a speech synthesizer.
8. A LeapFrog 2-in-1 laptop for teaching them their ABCs and 123s while they pretend to WFH just like their parents. *Sorry, can't talk. I'm busy right now.*
9. And a 100 Words Book that'll interact with budding scholars and help build their vocabulary in English and Spanish.
10. A Snap Circuits kit to give young engineers a hands-on intro to how electrical circuits work while they figure out how to assemble over 100 ~working~ circuit projects with 30+ electronic parts that snap together easily on the included plastic grid. (No tools needed!)
12. A Lego movie activity kit to unleash any aspiring filmmaker's creativity. Prepare to be impressed when they get the hang of making short stop-motion videos (using their phone, tablet, or computer) in no time!
13. A Melissa & Doug magnetic calendar that'll teach your preschooler the days of the week, months and the weather in a hands-on, interactive way. They'll jump out of bed eagerly to update it every morning.
14. A National Geographic geodes kit for making geology exciting. Not to mention it'll give kids an excuse to smash rocks with a hammer.
15. Or a National Geographic crystal growing kit perfect for junior scientists who also happen to like ~blingy things~. Bonus: Kids will love admiring their stunning crystal collection with the included light board.
16. An animal bath bomb–making kit that comes with a reusable mold, colors, and ingredients needed to make adorable fizzy bath bombs. A fun STEM activity that'll not only teach them chemical reactions but will also make bath time less of a struggle.
17. A marble run set for providing endless possibilities to build creative structures — all while developing their problem-solving skills. They'll be ~ah-mazed~ at the results when the marbles roll through the mazes they create.
18. And a Gravity Maze game to challenge kids to use spatial reasoning to solve the puzzles and figure out how to construct pathways to get the marble to drop to the final cube.
19. A 360-degree-rotating 3-in-1 LED globe, constellation map, and night-light that'll make it possible to explore the world and star gaze from the bedroom.
20. Or an interactive globe that connects to your tablet or smartphone to take little explorers on virtual trips. Before you know it, they'll be spewing fun facts about this fascinating world we live in.
21. A talking microscope for a peek inside nature. It comes with slides that you place under the microscope, then the microscope tells you fact about critters, plants and more!
22. And for older kids, a microscope STEM kit that comes with a starter metal microscope and everything else a beginner scientist needs to examine bugs, leaves, and the fascinating world of nature around them.
23. Speaking of nature, a personalized critter case to accompany you and your Curious George on backyard adventures so you can study fascinating critters up close — before returning them to their natural habitat.
24. A Stomp Rocket launcher that'll teach the kids basic physics (without them suspecting it!). They'll have such a *blast* as they jump on the launchpad, count down to liftoff, and watch the rockets soar up to 200 feet high.
25. A wooden puzzle for taking little ones on a journey to outer space to explore the planets in our solar system.
26. A solar-powered DIY robot kit to get the *gears* in their head turning while they build 12 different types of moving robots.
27. A Learning Resources Botley The Coding Robot 2.0 activity set for introducing kids to coding (no screen involved!). They'll love programming Botley to move up to 150 steps *and* turning it into a train, police car, ghost, and more.
28. An LCD writing tablet that'll encourage little Einsteins to practice their numbers and letters. They might even consider trading their iPad for this cool gadget.
29. A felt cupcake counting game to tempt them into learning numbers as they match the numbers on the cupcake bottoms to the tops. The only downfall is these look so yummy they'll try to sneak a bite.
30. A splurge-worthy Toniebox starter set, a shockproof, intuitive speaker cube that even the youngest kids can use on their own. Turn it on, pop a Tonie on top (aka fave characters like Elsa, Simba, and more), and it instantly starts playing songs and stories.
The reviews for this post have been edited for length and clarity.