October 16, 2013

Toys That Get Kids Thinking!

As a teacher, I'd often get asked about certain 'kid products' and whether or not they had any educational value. Now that I'm also a parent, I am always on the search for a fun toy or gift that will help my children develop healthy bodies and minds. 

I decided to put together a list of toys that encourage kids to learn, grow, and explore the world around them (and boy, did I have fun choosing my top ones!). 

Each week, I will share one of these lists:

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*** Click on the links to see current prices and customer reviews.

1. Learn To Dress MonkeyWe have this little guy at our house and he has been dressed and undressed more times than I can count! With zippers, snaps, buttons, shoelaces, and more, this monkey is a great way for young children to learn how to dress themselves.

2. BlokusI have spent countless hours playing this totally fun intellectually stimulating game with my cousins at every Christmas family gathering. We start with just the four players and by the end of the game, almost every kid (and adult) in the room had gravitated over to lend their strategizing advice. The goal is to use as many of your tiles on the board as you can, while trying to block anyone else from using theirs. This will be a family favorite!

3. Magna-TilesThese magnetic tiles can be configured to make anything your imagination can conjure up! Promotes problem-solving, logical thinking, and math reasoning.

4. Rush Hour Jr.Kids have to use problem-solving skills and strategy to steer their ice cream truck through the traffic jam. Perfect for solo play or for a group to work together to solve the puzzle.
5. Tin Can RobotBudding scientists can create a robot using this kit that actually moves! This is a great activity for the family to do together as adult help will most likely be needed.

6. Bath Foam Ball RunKids can build water runs, ball runs, water falls and more in the bath with these foam ball runs. This toy has received the Oppenheim Gold Award. 

7. Cash RegisterThis cash register really works! It can provide hours of pretend play while slipping in a few math skills on the side.

8. Tangrams- This classic puzzle is still around and still just as effective in teaching problem-solving and spacial skills. For some fun, new shapes to try to create, check online for free tangram patterns.
9. Colorku (Sudoku with color)I may or may not be addicted to Sudoku. It's more like a once-I-start-I-can't-stop-playing kind of addition. I love that this board would allow me to pass on my addiction love for all things Sudoku.

10. Rack-OI have played this game for as long as I can remember. I loved it when I was a child and I love it just as much today! For those who haven't heard of Rack-O, the goal of the game is to get ten cards in numerical order. It's a great family game that teaches problem-solving skills and number order.

Check out the rest of this series for more great toy and gift ideas that are teacher recommended:

Toys That Get Kids Outside!
Toys That Get Kids Moving!
Toys That Get Kids Thinking!
Toys That Get Kids Creating!
Toys That Get Kids Reading!
Toys That Get Kids Imagining!
Toys That Get Kids Exploring!

Many of you are teachers or parents...do you have a toy you'd recommend that encourages thinking and problem-solving?


  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  2. such a great ideas about all the post, that will be helpful.

  3. I found this blog after a long time which is really helpful to let understand different approaches. I am going to adopt these new point to my career and thankful for this help.


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