Toys that Teach on CTV Calgary

Ahead of the new school year, many parents are looking for toys that entertain as well as teach. Toy Insider Associate Editor Maddie Michalik stopped by CTV in Calgary to talk about the best new toys that use “stealth learning” to teach kids important concepts while still being very fun. For more on the products featured in this segment, check out the notes below, and for more on the hottest new toys of the season be sure to view our Spring and Summer Toy Guide.

Think & Learn Smart Cycle (Fisher-Price)

  • The Smart Cycle creates a physical play experience on tablet or TV, putting kids in control of racing and learning games full of kindergarten-readiness curriculum. The more they pedal, the more they can learn.
  • Adjustable tablet holder for various-sized tablets
  • Multi-position handlebars with input controls, LEDs & joystick.
  • Adjustable seat makes play comfortable for kids of different sizes.
  • Bluetooth technology allows for play on tablet or TV for an even more immersive experience.
  • The free Smart Cycle Mission to Tech City app is available for download and features 15 different levels of play.
  • Additional apps are available for purchase, featuring characters from some of your child’s favorite Nickelodeon shows focusing on different subjects, like math, STEM, natural science, and more.
  • Age: 3-6
  • MSRP: $149.99
  • Available: Amazon

Play-Doh Letters and Language Set (Hasbro)

  • The Play-Doh Letters and Language Set provides fun and creative learning opportunities! Little ones can explore letter recognition, practice letter sounds, and explore reading and writing using the stampers, play mats, and classic PLAY-DOH compound.
  • Set includes 26 letter stampers, stylus, roller, two double-sided mats, Together Time Guide, and six cans of Play-Doh compound.
  • Age: 2+
  • MSRP: $29.99 CAD
  • Available: Target, Walmart


  • LEGO BOOST is a supercharged building and coding set that lets kids bring their LEGO creations to life by adding sound, movement, and personality.
  • Powered by a Move Hub, a LEGO stud-covered brick upon which children can add LEGO elements, motors and a sensor that combines color and distance detection, LEGO BOOST brings movement to any LEGO creation.
  • The LEGO BOOST set includes instructions for five diverse models: Vernie The Robot, Frankie The Cat, the Guitar 4000, the Multi-Tool Rover 4 (M.T.R.4), and the Autobuilder, each designed to give children the basic skills to express their creativity by personalizing whatever they build.
  • Ages: 7-12
  • Canada: $199.99 CAD
  • Available: and LEGO brand retail stores

Meccano M.A.X. (Spin Master)

  • Meccano M.A.X. is the most advanced Meccano robot to date. Drawing on advanced robotics technology, M.A.X. combines Artificial intelligence (AI) learning and customizable programming to create a one of a kind personal companion.
  • Infrared (IR) Navigation and customizable apps bring M.A.X. to life with almost limitless potential for personalization and interactivity.
  • A.X. also includes a built in gaming platform for added fun.
  • Age: 10+
  • MSRP: $189.99 CAD
  • Available: Target

VTech Touch & Learn Activity Desk (VTech)

  • The Touch & Learn Activity Desk Deluxe 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 with 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 years
  • MSRP: $79.99 CAD
  • Available: Target

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