Sneak STEM skills into play time with these ‘Toy Insider’ top toys
PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) — Santa is trying to get brownie points with the teacher, adding science, technology, engineering and math into playtime. “We’ve just seen an explosion of toys that are teaching kids, but in a way that’s fun,” said Madeleine Buckley, a senior editor at The Toy Insider. “We say sneaky STEM sometimes because kids won’t even realize how much they’re learning.”
Storytime with Sunny by Vtech is designed to look like a desk lamp and will help little ones light up. “As soon as kids turn Sunny on, they can choose a different disc, each with a different theme of educational content,” Buckley said. “They can turn it for all sorts of different activities, conversations, stories, jokes and so much more.” This top toy is $59.99.
The Pretendables school desk is also one of the Toy Insider’s top toys of the season. “It’s part of an ongoing line of Pretendables that really encourages imaginative aspirational play among young kids,” Buckley said. “It has a little bell. It has a pointer, so kids can start learning this content, but in a way that they are pretending to teach it.” The MSRP is $39.99.
On the more affordable end of the STEM focus list, the next toy is the STEM Explorers Pixel Art Challenge. “This is a really interesting creative introduction to coding,” Buckley said. “Kids are going to get this board that has little spaces for a variety of colorful blocks and they use the included guide and it will teach them how to create a variety of pictures using just those foam pixels and the board. As they progress in the booklet they will start just getting code to follow, so it’s really taking that skill set that they’ll then be able to transfer into coding.” This toy is best for kids five years old and up and is $16.99.
For children who are a little bit older, there’s the Snap FM Radio. “It comes with all the pieces kids need to make their own radio,” Buckley said. “What I love about this set is not only is it teaching kids about circuits and about how they work, but you get a functioning product out of it.” It’s best for kids eight and up and is $19.99.
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