BY JENNA BEAUCHAMP
I’m sure many of us have lost count of how many times we have heard these are unprecedented times and some may have lost count of the hours of screen time children are having. With kids spending more time at home, having anything but a traditional school experience, and attention spans decreasing, there is a stronger than ever need for educational, screen-free toys. Many toy companies have debuted new products to engage kids at home and here are some of our favorites:
Combining the magic of origami, the ease of building blocks, and the power of magnets, Clixo is the essence of modern, minimalist play that offers limitless creative possibilities. Clixo allows children to transform lightweight, flexible pieces from 2D into 3D, clicking inventive ideas into infinite possibilities that can be worn, stuck on the fridge, or even tossed like a ball. The colorful, twisting and interlocking shapes comprised of reinforced paper and durable magnets encourages improvisation, experimentation, and out-of-the box thinking. Parents will love that Clixo encourages kids to be as imaginative as possible and all Clixo Packs come in eco-friendly recycled bamboo packaging that is biodegradable and compostable. Kids will love the endless entertainment of the creative process as well as the fun of playing with their unique creations.
Circuit Explorer by Educational Insights helps curious kids learn how to engineer simple circuits with these off-the-board space-themed circuit playsets, including a Rocket, Rover, and Deluxe Base Station. The sets combine creative imaginative play with STEM fundamentals. Circuit Explorer’s kid-friendly, 3D design makes it easy to snap the pieces together in the correct order to instantly receive feedback and interactive results to know they are on their way to a galactic journey, such as light, motion, or sound, championing a child’s creativity while encouraging STEM learning and honing problem-solving skills. Parents will love that they all feature real-working, kid-friendly 3D circuit pieces designed specifically with safety in mind and kids will love that each set also comes with friendly astronauts, robot figures, and stickers, so they can customize their sets and launch into hours of space-age adventures.
Young explorers can travel the world and see everything in it with Leap Frog’s Magic Adventures Globe. Using the stylus, children can tap on the interactive learning globe and experience new places, languages, cultures, animals, geography, habitats, and more through high-quality BBC videos. Featuring an integrated video screen, animations and live-action videos fully immerse kids in the curriculum to provide a better understanding of the world through more than 5 hours of videos. They can also play three interactive games called Around the World, Quiz Show, and Where in the World to explore the globe, challenge a friend and solve mysteries. Parents will enjoy all the fun kids have while learning about the world and kids will enjoy great fun exploring the world while staying at home.
Put Me in The Story uses the power of books to bring people together. Through stories, we can dream and discover, make and share memories, and connect with those we cherish the most. From first steps to birthday parties to graduation, we want to inspire those oh-my-gosh, can’t-stop-smiling moments that create lifelong memories. By putting growing readers in the middle of the action, Put Me In The Story creates an instant, profound connection to the story, the moment, and the grown-up who made it possible. When kids see themselves in the middle of the action, when their favorite super heroes ask them to join the team by name, when the princesses they pretend to be during playtime ask them about their dreams for the future, children feel an instant, profound connection to the story — and reading in general. We work with bestselling authors, award-winning publishers, and blockbuster brands to shape each personalized story into the best reading experience possible.
Snap Circuits MyHome is designed to inspire kids of all backgrounds and interests to learn about how electricity in their home works. Kids ages 8+ can build a house or city building with real, working, 3-D circuits, just like they use every day. With colorful base grids to spark creativity, kids can make their structures their own, all while learning how electricity travels and powers their home. Learn about security systems, automatic lights, alarms, motors that power appliances, and more! MyHome answers questions like: How does the electric company get power to my home? How does power travel inside my walls? What happens when I turn on a light? What happens when the power goes out. Parents will love that these educational STEM toys will have kids learning by doing and having fun, too.
Thames & Kosmos CREATTO Light-Up Crafting Kits are a simple yet versatile building system that consists of just two primary components that can be woven together into countless 3D creations. The plastic tiles interlock quickly and easily for all skill levels. Each Creatto kit includes assembly instructions for four different configurations, but the possibilities are limited only by your imagination. Add strings of colored LED lights to illuminate your works of art from the inside out. Creatto is available in three fun sizes: mini, medi, and maxi. Kids can choose to build a Moonlight Elephant Safari; Magical Moose & Forest Friends; Starlight Kitty & Cutie Crew; Shimmer Shark & Ocean Pals; or Sparkle Unicorn & Friend.
Crayola STEAM Science Kits are not only educational but fun. Each kit is designed to teach kids various science experiments behind four different themes: Paper Flowers, Space, Liquid, and Gross using water-based experiments. We especially enjoyed the Paper Flowers Science Kit where colors bloom before your very eyes! Using the magic of physics and capillary action, this hands-on educational toy lets kids learn about the science of water “wicking” as they create colorful paper flowers. $19.99
Botley 2.0 helps kids as young as 5 learn to code through 100% screen-free play. Botley 2.0 is a friendly coding robot that has all-new tricks and functions that provide endless hours of screen-free STEM fun, helping kids learn hands-on coding and critical thinking skills without the need for a phone or tablet. Botley 2.0 knows multiple ways to code right out of the box— code him to move in six directions, play music, and even put on a light show! Discover Botley 2.0’s 16 fun interactions— transform him into a train, police car, ghost, and more! You can even test your memory with the lights and sounds of a game of Botley Says! Your little coders can build coding sequences of up to 150 steps, and go on adventures with a built-in sensor that lights up Botley in the dark! Kids will be solving their first coding and STEM challenges in just minutes!
This story originally appeared on newyorkfamily.com.