Summer may be in full swing, but back-to-school is just around the corner. Toy Insider Mom Laurie Schacht stopped by the TODAY Show to show off some of the best educational toys to get your kids ready to head back to school. For more on the items featured in this segment, check out the product info below, and be sure to check out our complete list of the best educational toys for the summer.

Original Butterfly Garden (Insect Lore)Original Butterfly Garden (Insect Lore)

  • Your little caterpillars will arrive in their cozy caterpillar cup with all of the tasty food they need to become beautiful butterflies.
  • Watch as your bug buddies explore, eat, spin silk, and grow up to 10 times their original size
  • The caterpillars will begin an awe-inspiring transformation when they become glittering, jewel-like chrysalides.
  • Transfer your chrysalides into the butterfly habitat, a cylindrical mesh container, and perfect for up close butterfly viewing!
  • The super clear mesh allows for unrestricted viewing, enabling children to capture every amazing detail of butterfly emergence.
  • After you have enjoyed your butterflies for a few days, it’s time to let them spread their wings! Your innovative butterfly habitat allows for safe and simplified use; just unzip the top to set your butterflies free! Your Painted Lady butterflies will soar into the skies, creating a special moment your family (or students) will never forget.
  • Three of the five caterpillars are guaranteed to develop into adult butterflies
  • Experience metamorphosis again and again.
  • Ages: 4+
  • MSRP:  $24.95

original ladybug landOriginal Ladybug Land (Insect Lore)
• Now you can observe every fascinating stage of ladybug metamorphosis in the see-through, domed Original Ladybug Land.
• Set includes a beautiful diorama style habitat, an instruction guide, built-in magnifying lid for up-close ladybug observation, a water reservoir “volcano” that keeps thirsty ladybugs happy, a Watering pipette and a shipping tube containing 10 to 12 ladybug larvae
• Ages: 4 +
• MSRP: $24.99

Design & Drill Power Play Vehicles (Educational Insights)Design & Drill Power Play Vehicles (Educational Insights)
• These three power play vehicles (each sold separately) include the Race Car, the Monster Truck, and the Helicopter.
• For each, snap pieces together, then used the motorized mini-drill to add clear bolts.
• Finally, add artistic flair and customize the creation with colorful stickers and zoom intro creative STEM play.
• Design & Drill encourages creativity, imagination, and problem-solving skills.
• Ages: 3+
• MSRP: $21.99

Sharks Playing Cards (Bicycle)Sharks Playing Cards (Bicycle)
• Dive deep into a wondrous world! In the midst of the deepest, darkest part of the ocean lives some of the most beautiful, fascinating and merciless creatures, the shark.
• With 52 unique fact-filled card faces, Bicycle Sharks Playing Cards explore what mystifies us most about these creatures of the deep. Perfect for encouraging learning, exploration, and fun!
• Fifty-two original card faces each feature a different fin fact—great for mixing education with fun
• Ages: 12+
• MSRP $3.99

US Presidents Playing Cards (Bicycle)US Presidents Playing Cards (Bicycle)
• It’s election time and it’s time to win big.
• Bicycle U.S. Presidents playing cards feature all 44 U.S. Presidents and 4 first ladies as featured playing card queens, all hand-drawn with intricate detail.
• Ages: 13+
• MSRP $5.99

WordTeasers- Funny Sayings (WordTeasers)WordTeasers: Funny Sayings (WordTeasers)
• 150 conversation starters using idiomatic expressions such as “raining cats and dogs.”
• When you turn the card over, it gives you an exercise of how to use the expression which makes kids think!
• Ages 8+
• MSRP $14.95

WordTeasers- SAT Vocabulary (WordTeasers)WordTeasers: SAT Vocabulary (WordTeasers)
• This little green box of 150 engaging and fun conversation starters was developed in cooperation with Merriam-Webster.
• They include SAT-level vocabulary with definitions from the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary.
• Ages 12+
• MSRP $14.95

WordTeasers- Word Geography (WordTeasers)WordTeasers: World Geography (WordTeasers)
• 150 multiple-choice questions about countries and cultures around the world.
• Ages 8+
• MSRP $14.95

VEX Robotics Zip Flyer (Hexbug)VEX Robotics Zip Flyer (Hexbug)
• Ready? Set? Take to the sky! The VEX Robotics Zip
• Flyer is a re-invisioned take on airborne adventures. This robotic gadget is capable of shooting propellers over 30 feet in the air!
• Pull the zip-cord stick to release, the faster you pull, the higher they’ll go. The excitement doesn’t stop there, because the VEX Robotics Zip Flyer can be built for both hand-held and tabletop action. Two ways to build, two ways to launch.
• Ages: 14+
• MSRP $19.99

VEX Robotics Snap Shot (Hexbug)VEX Robotics Snap Shot (Hexbug)
• Wield the power to defend your turf by building your own handheld space blaster!
• Open construction with snaptogether pieces allows for a glimpse at the planetary gears and real working shock absorber style springs.
• Has simple gear ratios and spring energy.
• Ages: 14+
• MSRP $19.99

Air + Water Power (Thames & Kosmos)Air + Water Power (Thames & Kosmos)
• Build your own models powered by air and water pressure to learn about the laws of physics.
• This unique kit allows you to build two different air- and water-powered systems: water-jet propelled cars and hydro-pneumo (which simply means air pressure and water pressure) powered engines.
• Construct 15 models including a truck, excavator, radar car, tank, antique car, helicopter, motorbike, backhoe, rocket car, forklift, roadster, propeller plane, grinder, and cutting machine.
• The water-jet propelled cars are a fun outdoor activity, while the self-contained hydro-pneumo powered models are fun both indoors and out.
• The building pieces included in this set are compatible with those in all Thames & Kosmos Construction Series kits, Physics Series kits, Wind Power,
and Hydropower kits.
• Ages: 8+
• MSRP: $49.95

My First Piano Tutor (Schoenhut Piano Company)My First Piano Tutor (Schoenhut Piano Company)
• My First Piano Tutor is a 61 Key upright piano perfect for kids.
• Featuring full length, full width, and velocity touch keys, this instrument mirrors a traditional piano allowing your child to learn not only proper finger placement, but proper feel for transitioning to play on a full size piano.
• The USB port allows for connecting to supported device for use a number of piano teaching apps that play through the piano!
• With included microphone you can even turn your toy into a Karaoke machine using Karaoke apps.
• Ages: 6-12
• MSRP: $337.95