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Fun and entertaining, educational toys for kids always come in clutch for busy parents. Over the last few years during the rise of work-from-home jobs, educational toys have been more in demand and more useful than ever before. If you need a refresh on your stash of educational toys so you can hop on that next phone call without interruptions, look at some of our favorites below. 

— Editors’ Pick —

LEGO Tech Machines Set

A LEGO set featuring different types of machines.
Image: LEGO

What You Get: LEGOs are always good tools for teaching kids about building, and this set goes the extra mile. Your child can build tons of classic machines, which is an excellent way to develop early engineering skills in addition to fine motor skills, problem solving and more. Beyond the classic LEGO pieces for the builds include in this kit, you’ll also get four screwdrivers with screws to help assemble special bricks, inspirational building cards and an activity booklet. Plus, if you become a LEGO Insiders member and spend $200 or more at LEGO by Feb 18, you can get a LEGO Micro Rocket Launchpad as a free gift.

Why We Love It: An early understanding of engineering and machinery is an incredible gift for young minds. Kids will be learning and having fun at the same time, which is always the goal. It’s nice to have multiple builds within one LEGO set too. Not only will kids get to experience how the bricks come together to make something new, but the movement of each build will give them an idea of how the machines they’re creating really move and work in the real world.

Cost: $249.95 at LEGO


KiwiCo Kiwi Crate + Special Resource Hub!

A child's art project featuring rainbows.
Image:KiwiCo

What You Get: This is a monthly subscription box tailored to your child’s age, offering educational projects, crafts and activities on different themes. A few years ago, KiwiCo announced a handy resource hub to support learning at home that is still available today. You’ll find loads of educational activities and kid-friendly content like the science behind handwashing.

Why We Love It: There are monthly crate subscriptions for various ages. Each box includes everything you need for the hands-on projects. It’s so much fun and perfect for indoor play! KiwiCo makes STEAM accessible, engaging and fun. If you do purchase a subscription, be sure to see which cash-back offers RetailMeNot has available.

Cost: Starting at $23.95/month at KiwiCo.com.


Orboot Earth Interactive AR Globe

Image: Amazon

What You Get: This isn’t your ordinary globe. This is an interactive, informative and no-borders globe that will teach your children loads about the world and planet we live on. It comes with a 10-inch globe, passport, stamps, country flag stickers and a detailed help guide. It is supported by an interactive app that’s compatible with iPads fifth generation and above, iPad Air, iPad Pro, iPad Mini 2 and above and Android 3GB RAM and above.  

Why We Love It: Point your device camera at a place on the globe you want to explore and be transported to a magical getaway with visual storytelling, music, animals, voice interactions, quizzes, puzzles and challenges all designed to help you learn. Orboot Earth has over 400 highlights and over 1,000 cool facts based on cultures, cuisines, monuments, inventions, animals and maps. It sparks the imagination and curiosity while building skills in geography, the environment and social science. It also helps kids gather a general knowledge of the world and cultural sensitivity. Bonus: once the app is downloaded, it doesn’t need Wi-Fi to run.

Cost: $54.99 at Amazon.


Learning Resources Botley the Coding Robot

Image: Amazon

What You Get: Get kids as young as 5 years old coding within minutes and watch as Botley grows with them to challenge them at each age. You get 77 pieces with this set, including a remote, detachable robot arms, 40 coding cards, six double-sided tiles, 27 building pieces for an obstacle course and a starter guide with coding challenges. What you don’t get is another screen or app for your kids to stare at. Botley does require five AAA batteries that are not included.

Why We Love It: One of the best things about this educational toy for kids is that it doesn’t require any screen or app. Foster creativity, problem-solving and critical thinking skills by coding Botley up to 80 steps, with 40 more challenges to be unlocked. With Botley, kids will have so much fun learning to code that they won’t even miss the screen time.

Cost: $53.53 at Amazon.

Osmo Little Genius Starter Kit

Image: Amazon

What You Get: Osmo has many kits available, and all are good options. This one is for kids ages 3 and up and comes with a base for the iPad, 19 cardboard pretend play costume pieces, 38 silicone sticks, a silicone gameplay mat, stackable storage for the pieces and four game apps. The game apps included are:

  • ABCs: Through this playful practice for pre-readers, kids can build letters with squishy, colorful sticks and rings. 
  • Squiggle Magic: Kids can create anything they want using sticks and rings and then they come alive on the screen! Kids will learn vocabulary, build artistic confidence and develop fine motor skills.
  • Costume Party: Kids experiment with clothes and colors to make party outfits, then watch the characters react!
  • Stories: This promises hours of problem-solving fun. Kids mix and match costumes to find silly solutions to obstacles and learn to navigate adventures.

Why We Love It: Turn your tablet — in this case, iPad into an early learning tool. Kids can interact with the iPad but play with physical pieces offline. Osmo has made a name for itself in the educational toys arena, and the Little Genius Starter kit is one of the best sellers for good reason. If you don’t have it yet, run, don’t walk to your nearest store to scoop it up.  

Cost: $70+ at Amazon. Prices vary.


Lincoln Logs

Image: Amazon

What You Get: Lincoln Logs are timeless and not going out of style anytime soon. The STEAM building set comes with 137 authentic wooden pieces and three design plans that spark the imagination and encourage motor skills and analytical skill development.   

Why We Love It: Lincoln Logs have been around the block a time or two and are here to stay. Children will spend hours creating log cabin designs or making the three included with the kit.

Cost: $44 at Amazon.


GoCube

Image: Uncommon Goods

What You Get: A stickerless, easy gliding cube, like the retro Rubik’s Cube, the GoCube has six sides and six colors. The fun is in twisting it to solve the puzzle and align all colors up on their respective sides. This modern-day version comes with an app to download that teaches you to solve it, times you, shows your solving statistics and even lets you play games against your friends.  

Why We Love It: Voted one of the best STEM gifts two years in a row by Wired, parents love this toy because it teaches problem-solving, spatial awareness, memorization, and hand and eye coordination. It’s small, easy to take on the go and offers hours of endless play opportunities. The added app and the ability to connect with friends add even more fun to the classic toy. See more of our favorite electronic cubes for kids.

Cost: $70 at Uncommon Goods


Magna-Tiles

Image: Amazon

What You Get: Encouraging free play since 1997, this magnetic tile set comes with 32 translucent, colorful pieces in square and triangle shapes.   

Why We Love It: Great for ages 3 and up, kids can build flat or three-dimensional structures. The creative set encourages free play and is STEM approved. It fosters early math, science, spatial and tactile skills. Your kids will spend hours building beautiful structures.

Cost: $49.99 at Amazon.


ThinkFun Circuit Maze Electric Current Brain Game

Image: Amazon

What You Get: Players can flex their brain power with a game grid and 60 challenge cards that increase in difficulty, plus everything needed to create the circuit. Three AAA batteries are required but not included.

Why We Love It: Kids will use planning skills to explore electricity and circuitry concepts. It’s challenging and fun for kids ages 8 and up. Each challenge card is a puzzle you put together to light up the beacons. The challenge cards are increasingly complex and sure to provide ample entertainment.

Cost: $24.99 at Amazon.  


LeapFrog LeapReader System Learn-to-Read 10 Book Mega Pack

Image: Amazon

What You Get: Get the LeapReader Pen plus 10 early reading books. The pen works with the books to sound out letters and words.

Why We Love It: Just tap the pen on the page, and the stories come to life. The set grows reading confidence and phonics skills, while the pen is compatible with additional LeapReader books (sold separately).

Cost: $42.50 at Amazon.  

The post The 10 Best Educational Toys for Kids appeared first on The Real Deal by RetailMeNot.



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