Toy Insider Mom Laurie Schacht stopped by Breakfast Television in Toronto to talk about some great new toys to encourage learning and get kids ready to head back to school. For more on the items featured in this segment, check out the product notes below, and for our complete rundown of the best gifts for the season, check out our Spring and Summer gift guide.
( WOODLAND ANIMAL SET FOLKMANIS)
Kids can have hours of creative, on-the-go playtime with the Folkmanis Woodland Animal Set.
Perfectly portable, the set includes four finger puppets: black bear, gray squirrel, beaver, and red fox.
Kids can find species information in the colorful canvas carrying case.
MSRP: CAD $30
PLAY-DOH SHAPE & LEARN DISCOVER & STORE PLAYSET ( HASBRO)
The Play-Doh Shape & Learn Discover & Store Playset is full of ways for parents and children to engage in meaningful and educational play together.
Kids can explore a wide variety of skills, such as sorting, problem solving, and early math and language skills using the included stampers, cutters, and newly designed Fun Factory tool for small hands.
New themed activity mats will allow kids to use their imaginations as they learn about exciting environments including animal habitats and transportation scenes.
This all-in-one case will provide hours of play and doubles as a storage unit when playtime is over. The lid can also be used as a protective work station!
MSRP: CAD $29.99
Available: at most major toy retailers nationwide and on HasbroToyShop.com
( DISCOVERY GALACTIC FIZZING DIG HORIZON GROUP)
Create a fizzing reaction to excavate six real gemstones with Discovery Galactic Fizzing Dig.
This hands-on activity comes with three excavation tools and three Fizzing Digs.
Use a combination of water, the mallet, and the chisel to unearth your gemstones.
Use the included magnifying glass to take a closer look at the patterns and colors within each gorgeous stone!
MSRP: CAD $29.99
Available: Michaels CA
( SPIROGRAPH KAHOOTZ)
Spirograph has been a classic favorite for over 50 years!
An original STEM toy.
The iconic Spirograph wheels and rings combine the principles of mathematics and art to create beautiful, distinctive designs recognized worldwide.
Students are exposed to mathematical principles while drawing with Spirograph.
The Spirograph product line encompasses all ages and ability levels, from preschool artists (Spirograph Jr.) to Spiro-experts (Super Spirograph, Spirograph Shapes).
Age: 3+ for Spirograph Jr., 8+ for the Original Spirograph Deluxe
MSRP: CAD $34.99 for Spirograph Jr., CAD $39.99 for the Original Spirograph Deluxe
Available: Amazon, specialty retailers
( WACKY WHEELS STEM CHALLENGE LEARNING RESOURCES)
Give kids a fast and friendly introduction to speed, angles, and distances with the hands-on learning challenges of the Wacky Wheels STEM Challenge set from Learning Resources.
This compelling physics-inspired activity set gives kids a seemingly simple goal—send the included launch balls rolling up ramps, over obstacles, through a target hoop, and into the goal cup.
Once they begin, kids use trial-and-error play as they tweak the course setups, launch speeds, and other variables in search of a successful result.
In addition to designers, kids are also the Wacky Wheels STEM Challenge’s prime power source—the set’s paddlewheel launcher operates without the need for batteries, rubber bands, or springs, giving kids hands-on lessons in force every time they send a ball flying.
This set includes a full-color booklet filled with challenges both simple and complex; a combination that keeps kids (and adults) coming back for additional playtime.
MSRP: CAD $25.99
( MAGFORMERS SKY TRACK 44-PC PLAY SET MAGFORMERS)
Enjoy racing adventures with the Magformers Sky Track 44-piece play set! Build a track onto your Magformers tiles and watch the shuttle zip around!
Equipped with a sky shuttle and multiple track accessories, kids can create loops, ups and downs, twists and turns for endless flight fun.
Watch as your shuttle does a 360 spin and climbs the lift elevator!
When your track is completed, the Sky Shuttle will go off-road in its Sky car!
Available: Amazon, specialty
( SMITHSONIAN ROBO SPIDER NSI INTERNATIONAL)
Build your own motorized robot spider with eight multi-jointed legs that duplicate the walking movements of real spiders.
This engaging introduction to robots and gears allows you to study the way spiders actually crawl.
Assemble the gears and wire the terminals, then attach the legs and pop in batteries to make your Robo Spider move.
Experiment with different length legs to see how they change your robot’s stride. Cut and fit rubber tubing to the legs, and watch you spider climb gentle slopes.
This kit includes a 23- x 17-inch color poster that teaches fun facts about spider anatomy, habitat and more!
MSRP: CAD $19.99
Available: Amazon and
( POMSIES SKYROCKET)
Pomsies are loveable, and fashionable interactive plush pets that you can wear and take anywhere. Inspired by the pom-pom fashion trend, each Pomsies pet has a soft, cuddly fur face and tail you can wrap around your wrist, hair, backpack, clothing, and more – they are the ultimate accessory!
Pomsies are interactive with two modes of play – Virtual Pet Mode and Freeze Dance Mode.
They will tell you when they are happy, sleepy, or hungry with eyes that light up in different colors and adorable sounds
In freeze dance mode, you can shake and dance your Pomsie to the beat of the music. The faster you shake and dance, the faster the music plays. Freeze when you hear the whistle.
Pomsies can have up to 50 different reactions with sounds only you can make happen.
There are six characters in the first Series.
MSRP: CAD $19.99
Available: Amazon, Walmart
( KIIPIX TOMY)
KiiPix is an affordable instant film printer that lets you take your favorite smartphone photos and turn them into hard-copy keepsakes!
KiiPix requires no special app or battery. Simply place the smartphone on the instant film printer and print your favorite photos right from your phone.
KiiPix lets you create vintage-inspired printed photos to share special moments with family and friends or to frame and display – transporting your treasured images from the digital world into the physical.
Available in three colors: pink, blue or black.
Film sold separately.
MSRP: CAD $49.99
( FINGERLINGS UNTAMED T- REX WOWWEE)
Meet the Untamed T-Rex’s by Fingerlings! These finger-gripping creatures are fierce and unpredictable, and know friends vs. foes.
In untamed mode, they roar, hiss and chomp! In tame mode they nuzzle, purr and love to be near you.
Complete with snapping jaws and gripping claws, these interactive dinos react to touch, motion, and sound with over 40 different sounds and animations.
MSRP: CAD $19.99
Available: Walmart, Mastermind, Amazon Canada