With kids going back to school, it’s the perfect time to talk about toys that teach! Our Toy Insider Mom Laurie Schacht has the scoop on the top items that parents should invest in, and brought them to WCIU in Chicago! Watch the video above or see our full list below!

Cra-Z-Art.EaselPop Color Super Light Up Easel (Cra-Z-Art) 

  • This easel makes drawings glow like magic!
  • Encourages imaginative and crative play.
  • Has a removable storage tray for easy clean up.
  • Folds flat for easy storage.
  • Includes four dry erase markers.
  • Ages: 3+
  • MSRP: $49.99

VTech-Write-&-Learn-Creative--pTRU1-20627240dtWrite & Learn Creative Center (VTech)

  • Inspire creativity and learning fun with the Write & Learn Creative Center. This interactive board teaches kids how to write letters and draw objects step-by-step.
  • Animated demonstrations help preschoolers follow along to learn proper stroke order for upper and lower case letters. It even teaches them how to write their name one letter at a time, stroke by stroke.
  • Drawing activities teach little artists how to progress from lines to simple shapes and how to draw more than 40 different objects. With more than 70 cheerful melodies and sounds, stamps and stencils, learning to write and draw is tons of fun!
  • Ages 3-6
  • MSRP $24.99

StellosphereDisney Jr. Miles from Tomorrowland Stellosphere (TOMY) 

  • Based on the hit Disney Junior TV series Miles from Tomorrowland, this 3-ships-in-1 playset is the Callisto family’s home base.
  • The stellophere spaceship transforms into a playset that includes a Mini StarJetter, a Zip Ship, and a Cross Vehicle Rocket System (XVR) that attaches to all 3 ships. The Cross Vehicle Rocket System (XVR) that comes with the Stellosphere attaches to all vehicles across the Miles from Tomorrowland toy line, adding lights and sounds to any vehicle!
  • Age: 3+
  • MSRP: $49.99

SchoolZone,LittleScholar2Little Scholar (School Zone)

  • This teacher-created, teacher-approved tablet teaches kids the essential skills needed for school.
  • Prepares kids ages 3 to 7 for pre-K through 1st
  • It’s the only tablet that comes fully loaded with more than 200 uniquely fun apps, books, songs, and videos (a $390 value).
  • Comes ready-to-play with or without Wi-Fi
  • All Start to Read! Books will have read-along audio tracks.
  • Features a larger, 8-inch screen and a textured easy-grip protective bumper.
  • Runs on Google Android 4.4.2 operating system.
  • Ages: 3-7
  • MSRP: $149.99 or less

FatBrainToys.JoinksJoinks (Fat Brain Toys)

  • Flex, connect, build, and play with Joinks! Colorfully constructed, Joinks engage the fingers and mind in a new biilding experience.
  • Joinks attracts inventors of all ages. From playroom to universities, toddler to teacher, simple to complex, Joinks designs are wide and diverse.
  • Wooden dowels join easily with quality 100% silicone connectors. One simple push and the dowels sit tight for a secure fit. To deconstruct, pull and the silicone slides off with a fun “POP” sound.
  • Joinks connectors reach out in all directions – five prong connecting pieces conform creativity to your definition.
  • Kids can build silly creatures, expressive forms, 3D geometric shapes, chemistry and molecular models, and irregular structures.
  • Age: 3+
  • MSRP: $44.95