The Toy Expert: Smart toys, games for the whole family

MILWAUKEE -- The Toy Expert Sherry Artemenko joins FOX6 Wake Up for the latest on how to keep your family busy with interactive toys this spring.

Toys and Games for Smart Family Play During Shelter at Home

Turtle Steps by Hapinest, 3 years and up ($49)

• Kids loved it immediately, as soon as they saw the box

• Set up play with large and medium sized textured turtle shells

• Whole family can play, kids lead the play, strategically placing shells

• Spin to see what color shell to jump to or read an activity card..switch shells with someone else or balance on 1 foot

• Kids practice listening, following directions, large motor and balancing skills

• Made up their own games and created a pretend play scenario, stimulated their leading the play

Available at Hapinest. Click here.

Just Add Egg by Griddly Games, 5 years and up, ($29.99)

• It’s all about the egg, over 10 activities-science experiments and DIY activities

• Kids can create disappearing eggs, chalk or an egg succulent garden

• Crush egg shells and color to make a mosaic on the box

• Experiments are followed with “What did you see?” and “Why?”

• Observing and thinking critically, kids are exercising language skills as they explain conclusions

Available at Griddly Games Click here.

Global Warning by Adventerra Games, 10 years and up, ($24.95)

• So deep in learning while interesting and fun!

• Intergenerational play

• Players understand causes of global warming, prioritize fixes while assessing the cost benefits of their actions

• Each card has a real global example of a specific problem or solution

• Challenges kids to use higher level language and cognitive skills to work collaboratively, think critically, analyze, compare and come up with best solutions

Available at Adventerra Games. Click here.

Brio Builder Record and Play Set, 3 years and up ($39.99)

• Wonderful pairing of STEM and language skills

• Make a robot, airplane, animal or ??

• Great attachment system using grey pegs to attach wheels, decoration, accessories, facial expressions and body parts

• Add movement and integrate a little electronics to add recorded message or sounds effects

• Build and pretend play to stimulate language development

Available at Brio. Click here.

Story Time Chess, 3 years and up, ($49.99)

• Learn to play chess based on a story whose characters match up with chess pieces and move according to their back story

• Silly King Shaky who lives in a pillow castle who is scared of everything so he tiptoes on square at a time on the game board

• Playing chess can sharpen critical thinking, problem solving, reasoning, and social language.

Available at Story Time Chess. Click here.

Toddler Kitchen Set by Hape, 18 months and up, ($24.99)

• Imitating Mommy and Daddy, why not give them their own kitchen?

• Mini stove with spatula and spoon, clicking dials and clean up storage

• Pretend play important to language development

• Kids use higher level of language when role-playing conversing like adults

Available at Hape. Click here.