Looking for the best educational toys for your kids.
Toy Insider Mom Laurie Schacht stopped by Cityline in Canada to talk about the smartest new toys and games of the year. 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.
( Power Wheels Dune Racer Power Wheels)
Designed for outdoor use, this off-road vehicle features a Monster Traction drive system that enables it to go on hard surfaces, wet grass, and rough terrain. It has a max speed of 5 mph.
Its sturdy steel frame with flashy chrome accents boasts an open cockpit design that is roomy enough to handle two riders. And with two forward drive speeds, one reverse speed, and a 12-volt rechargeable battery, the Dune Racer offers hours of fun.
Available: Amazon, Sears, Walmart
Fisher Price Bouncesational Bouncer ( Bestway)
The Fisher-Price Bouncesational Bouncer by Bestway comes with 50 play balls and a built-in pump. The Bouncesational Bouncer provides a wonderful, safe place for little ones to play the day away.
The Bouncer is a brightly colored bounce house where little ones can learn their colors while playing. The entrance allows tots easy access to the Bouncer, helping to improve motor skills as they crawl in and out. The solid, side walls and mesh windows create a safe place for kids to play and allow for adults to easily supervise them.
The 50 play balls, which come included, provide an additional fun way for little ones to learn to catch and throw, improving hand-eye coordination.
The built-in pump makes it super easy to inflate and deflate the Bouncesational Bouncer– simply place the house where you please, connect to a plug-in and watch as it inflates in less than 4 minutes. When you are done, the auto-deflate option makes for an easy clean-up. With an inflatable floor, kids have a soft, cushioned area for playing.
STMT DIY Journal Set Horizon Group USA)
Personalize a trendy spiral journal with the STMT D.I.Y. Journaling set! This set fits the needs of any writer, creator or memory gatherer. Organize your lists, your thoughts, your feelings, your memories; this journaling set comes with everything you need to make it your own. With trendy patterned papers, fun chipboard frames and sparkling glitter tape, you’ll be able to uniquely decorate all 70 pages! The ideal gift for the avid scrapbook or fill it with memories for a family member or friend.
Kit includes: 70-sheet journal – 80 die-cut shapes – sticker sheet – glitter tape – ballpoint pen – 6 shaped paper clips – 3 magnetic bookmarks – 5 chipboard frames – faux suede tassel key chain – 8 printed pages – glue stick – easy-to-follow instructions
Ages: Tween to Young Millennial
Canadian MSRP: $24.97
( Action Pony Ride On UFREE)
The UFREE Action Pony is a horse toy that can walk without the power of a battery.
Forward motion is attended by the rider’s repeated actions of treading on the pedals and sitting back down on the seat, which makes like a feel of riding a real horse.
The Original Fidget Cube by Antsy Labs ( ZURU)
The Original Fidget Cube by Antsy Labs is a versatile fidget toy featuring six different sides with multiple buttons, dials and switches so fidgeters can quietly focus while clicking, spinning, rolling and gliding their nervous energy away.
The six-sided desk toy is equipped with an array of addictive features including five clicker buttons (two of which are silenced), a switch to flick up and down and a side designed after a gaming joystick with a satisfying gliding action.
Launched on Kickstarter in 2016 by Antsy Labs, Fidget Cube has since been one of the platform’s most successful crowdfunding campaigns. Manufactured and distributed by ZURU, the multi-functional fidget toy is available now in eight different colors.
Canada SRP $14.99
Available: Toys “R” Us, Walmart, and Mastermind
( K’NEX Education: Intro to Simple Machines; Levers & Pulleys K’NEX)
Let your children experience endless building possibilities with K’NEX Education’s Intro to Simple Machines Levers and Pulleys Set!
This building set contains 178 pieces that kids can use to build eight replicas of real-world machines. This building set fosters your students imagination in creating construction equipment. The Levers and Pulleys Set is designed for kids from grades 3 to 5.
With this set, they can create big, interactive models that actually move! Storing K’NEX parts and pieces will never be a hassle, since the K’NEX Intro to Simple Machines Levers and Pulleys Set includes a plastic container. All pieces can be placed in this large plastic tub for ease of access and storage. This set comes with easy-to-follow instructions and a comprehensive teacher’s guide.
The building set can accommodate two to three students working as a team. It comes with a comprehensive teacher’s guide that allows for hands-on, inquiry-based exploration where children can see real world examples of science concepts in action.
Canadian MSRP: $39.99
( Tad’s Get Ready for School Book LeapFrog)
Get ready for school with Tad’s Get Ready for School Book. This book contains twelve pages of fun learning and introduces ABCs, numbers 1-10, colors, animals, shapes, community, emotions and music.
Press the music button to hear six lyrical learning songs and watch the light flash along. Then, practice telling time by turning the hour hand on the clock.
The Get Ready for School Book covers core learning skills that expose kids to common topics they will learn as they enter preschool.
Available: FALL Amazon, Target, Toys R Us, Walmart
( Break Free YULU)
Break Free from YULU Toys is a new, challenging action skill game full of urgency, suspense and tons of fun. The objective: players must race to pick the lock on their handcuff as quickly as possible and before everyone else!
First, players handcuff themselves together and insert a maze into each handcuff. The game includes three maze colors. Each color represents a different level of difficulty, making each round unpredictable. Using the lock pick, players must try to pick the lock on their handcuff as quickly as possible. The fastest to break free from their handcuff receives a token that corresponds with the maze color. There are points on the back of each token, the player with the most points after playing all three rounds, wins the game.
Record the ultimate race to escape and upload it to social media using #BreakFreeChallenge. Use the hashtag to also see others during their moment of truth and to challenge others!
Break Free requires 2 or more players. Each Break Free game comes with 4 handcuffs with chains, 4 lock picks, 4 easy level mazes, 4 intermediate level mazes, 4 advanced level mazes and 16 tokens.
Available: Toys R Us and Mastermind Toys
( 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, playmats, 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.
Available: Target, Walmart
( Mayka Toy Block Tape ZURU)
Cut, shape, stick and build anywhere with Mayka Tape. Based on the viral sensation and original toy construction brick tape, Nimuno Loops, Mayka Tape instantly transforms virtually any surface into a base for construction toy bricks and figures. One side features a bendable, flexible surface with a toy block pattern that is compatible with LEGO
® toys and other toy construction brands and can be cut to any desired size. The other side has a re-usable adhesive backing to allow builders to construct on nearly any object, around corners and on curved surfaces to make 3D creations. Each roll will feature an exciting new way to play with Mayka Tape. The line will comprise of 3 core sizes – Small (2 stud / 3.3 ft), Medium (2 stud / 6.6 ft) and Large (4 stud / 6.6 ft) – in 10 popular base colors. The product originally launched as Nimuno Loops on Indiegogo, raising over $1.6 Million Dollars in crowd funding in just 30 days and has been billed as one of ‘2017’s greatest inventions,’ revolutionizing the way construction bricks are played with all over the world! Ages 3+,
MSRP: $12.99 (Small), $18.99 (Medium), $24.99 (Large)
( Meccano MeccaSpider Spin Master)
Building the MeccaSpider is just the start of the fun. With app control and venom attack, it’s easy to keep enemies at bay.
MeccaSpider also has an interactive personality and built in games to keep the whole family entertained.
MSRP: $149.99 CAD
Available: Target, Amazon
Stikbot Pets ( Zing Toys)
Built on the tremendous success of Stikbot, Zing now introduces Stikbot Pets. With nearly 100 million views on YouTube, Stikbot continues turn kids into creative stop-motion animation moviemakers, bringing imagination to life.
Tapping into the pop culture phenomenon, Stikbot Pets brings creating, watching and sharing viral pet videos to a whole new level. Stikbot fans can now include their favorite four legged friends in their stop-motion films.
Stikbot Pets are easy-to-pose figures built with suction cup hands and feet that can stick to almost any flat surface. From dogs and cats to pandas and monkeys, animals and pets can now be the stars of the show!
With the free Stikbot Studio app, available on iOS and Android, kids can snap individual photos and stitch them together into a film, complete with built-in music and sound effect options.
Stikbot Pets are available now in StikBulldog, StikCat, StikDog, StikMonkey. StikCow, StikHorse, StikGorilla and StikBear will be available summer of 2017.
Each Stikbot Pet is available in brown, red, blue and green.
Available: Costco, Toys “R” Us, Walmart, Mastermind Toys
( Discovery 3D Solar System Horizon Group USA)
Explore space and beyond with the hands-on Discovery Solar System Model! Introduce your child to the planets, stars and galaxies through the act of building then discussing the different features of each planet and where it belongs in relation to the sun. Create a fun three-dimensional mobile or build a diorama to display in their bedroom or playroom. Glow-in-the-dark stars and paints are included, so the fun doesn’t stop when the lights go out! This kit is recommended for scientists ages 8 and up.
Canadian MSRP: $29.99
StickerYou stickers and labels ( StickerYou)
Label kids’ shoes, food containers, bottles, toys, school supplies and lunch boxes with customized stickers.
StickerYou kids’ lables are durable for all kids’ label needs.
Iron-on labels are ideal for kids’ clothing and accessories.
MSRP: starting at $14.99