‘Edutainment’ Means Educational Toys

With education at the top of many people’s lists, what could be better than combining learning with educational toys? Someday we may be able to watch movies and learn something from them – wait a minute, you probably already do! But education is a growing concern in the United States, and entertainment will always be a priority. Anyone who loves learning has probably been introduced to TED Talks via the net and opened their minds to inventions, global issues, and ideas never before considered. We’ve proven you can teach old dogs new tricks, but what about the new dogs? They want fun too!

No need to be a Misfit
No need to be a Misfit, Hermey the wannabe dentist tells Rudolph

So come on, Santa, bend your ear to hear the latest and greatest educational toys for the kids this year. Ready, Set, School! gets your pre-schooler ready by educating them to cut, tie shoes, plus a ton more, and is recommended for children 3 years and up.

An old favorite is Baby Alive, soft and sweet, she can eat and she can sleep. If you remember those commercials, then you know this is an American favorite of dolls for elementary-aged kids with a choice of blond or brunette hair. There are also Chinese and Mexican dolls available for kids to have fun while they learn.

Doc McStuffins Pet Vet App enables kids who may have a different idea of nurturing learn to take care of their pets on Apple, iPhone/iPad/iPod Touch. This educational toy isn’t expensive, but kids are going to be having too much fun to notice. Go ahead and pair it up with another fun toy, like a stuffed animal.

Nurturing an education with toys is easier than ever considering how many video games are available. Everyone has them, but how much education is provided? CBS Consumer Reports gives us the shakedown on the best games to educate your child while playing. They tested everything a parent would want to know before setting their kids up on a program taking into consideration ease of use, quality and durability, the “eye candy” value, and battery life. Although they tested dozens of games, they determined the best game was KD Interactive Kurio Smart, retailing at approximately $200, including parental controls. This educational toy was extremely responsive and jam-packed with fun motion-sensor games.

Two educational toys failed the tests with a huge thumbs down in the “tumbler,” a three-foot fall that shows what happens when kids aren’t especially careful with the devices. The failures were the School Zone Little Scholar Learning Tablet and the Isabella Products Fable, with a less than cooperative screen to swipe.

Perhaps your kid is more interested in programming and educational games one might not even consider to be a toy, even though it is. If this is your wish, then you need Puzzlets. With this educational toy, your child can program their character to do what they want – wish they had these for people, right? Seriously it’s fun and causes the kids to think.

Star Wars? I’m talking about the kids, but educationally it’s a great way to introduce them to investing. A rare Star Wars toy collection went up for $500,000, according to CNN, when The Empire Strikes Back was listed as the top-selling item. A 1977 store display, posted as an “Early Bird Certificate Package,” was let go for $20,000 with only five left in existence. With collectible toys like these, kids can learn the value of saving instead of the “right now” frame of mind so many credit card happy Americans have today. Why not buy them two so they can play with one?

One of my favorite places to go is Mindware. If you’ve never been there, you’re missing out. They’ve got pottery wheels, Laser Pegs National Geographic Dinosaurs Construction Kit, and games.

Let’s talk about what kids really want, no matter their age. Even preschoolers want a phone like mom and dad, and who better to make this educational gadget for your kid than Smithsonian? Kurio used to produce special offerings on smartphones for kids, but they’re still available with GPS monitoring, including a device in its mapping system determining “safe” and “danger” zones. This phone is considered the biggest bang for the buck, but there are other great offers on DigitalTrends for your kids’ educational toys.

Don’t just entertain your kids, educate them with “edutaining” toys and let them have fun while they learn.

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