(WSYR-TV) — Combining fun and education can be challenging with all this back-to-school chatter. But luckily, speech-language Pathologist and toy expert Erika Cardamone has rummaged through the shelves to find the perfect toys for your kids that embraces a new way of learning through play.
Team Digger by SimplyFun, 6+, $36
Unplugged, Cooperative, coding game where kids practice sequencing, planning, problem solving, and logic.
Create 5-card sequences (code) to move their dogs from one dig site to another around the game board.
Players work together to dig up four bones before they dig up five unwanted objects.
I love the cooperative accept because kids are checking each other’s code for the most efficiency and accuracy, having dialogue and working towards a common goal
Scissor Skills Activity Kit by Crayola, 3+, $21.99
Cutting is important for developing hand-eye coordination, concentration, and bilateral coordination – a skill that involves using 2 hands at the same time (one hand to cut and one to hold and guide the paper)
Kit offers a wide range of cutting, coloring, and pasting activities with varying levels of difficulty. From cutting straight lines to more intricate shapes and patterns, children can gradually enhance their scissor control and precision.
3 child-safe scissors that cut different designs (straight line, zig zag, and curvy), 50-page activity pad, stickers, markers and crayons.
Learning Fun Totes by MindWare’s Peaceable Kingdom, 4+, $22.95
Fun introduction to basic letter and number concepts for preschoolers. Each tote contains over 80 magnets, double sided activity boards, and a dry erase marker allowing for excellent repeat play value customizable to different skill levels. If your child isn’t quite comfortable using a pen/pencil yet, no problem – the magnets (manipulatives) are perfect!
Each activity sheet focuses on a different skill. For instance, rhyming, letter and sound correspondence, sight words, counting, numbers, patterns, and shapes.
Fun pretend play element as kids even enjoyed being the teacher.
Build-a-Bubble by South Beach Bubbles, 6+, $16.99
Experience 3D bubbles with Build-A-Bubble! The incredible geometric learning experience where kids use fine motor skills as they’re putting their shapes together
build spatial awareness to follow directions and problem solving perseverance
The instruction booklet includes tons of geometric vocabulary to learn, like vertix and face. It provides plenty of 3D building examples and their names, where kids were easily comparing and contrasting geometric shapes and talking about the similarities and differences of each.
Big Feelings Pineapple Deluxe Set by Learning Resources, 3+, $19.99
Lots of big feelings coming from first day jitters.
Interpret, discuss, and discover feelings with Big Feelings Pineapple Deluxe Set.
Self storing, tropical friend is designed to promote language development, vocabulary, emotional processing and empathy in children.
50 pieces, Emotion card includes 36 pineapple faces that depict feelings and encourage children to use descriptive language to express how they feel.
This can help to expand their vocabulary and improve their social-emotional skills and self-regulation.
Fluffy Weight, 3+, $78
huggable weighted plush (5.5 lbs) toy that brings the love and comfort of a stuffed animal paired with the regulation of a weighted blanket.
Self-regulation refers to a child’s ability to manage their emotions, behavior, and attention in response to the demands of the environment. Fluffy Weight stuffed animal can help them feel more grounded
This is especially important during times of stress or anxiety, when children may be feeling overwhelmed or out of control.