Toys that teach: Looking for something to help keep kids engaged?

Whether you're shopping for holiday gifts or just looking for something to help keep kids engaged with learning during the break. Toy expert and speech language pathologist Erika Cardamone with Play On Words joins FOX6 WakeUp with some toys that teach. 

Is or Isn’t by SimplyFun, 6+ ($34.00)

  • Vocabulary building word game of synonyms and antonyms
  • Players take turns rolling the die, moving their thesaurus dwelling creatures around the game board.
  • As they land on their spots, players reveal cards with a target word and try to match a synonym (or antonym) and fill their board, similar to BINGO.
  • Even non-readers in the family can play and match by a picture

Paper Flower Science Kit by Crayola, 7+ ($19.99)

  • Part of Crayola’s STEAM line, hands-on learning that is fun, creative, and educational
  • Pop-out the flower petal cut-outs and layer them, attach the stem, place in a flower pot, create color combinations, and add water.
  • The color absorbs up the stem and wicks through the petals
  • Great for making predictions, experimenting, and afterward makers have a lovely decoration afterward!

Fun Fan Fryer by Hape, 3+ ($29.99)

  • Encourages pretend and imaginative play, children become home chefs
  • Includes 3 double sided meal options, salt and pepper cranks, which are great for putting play sequences together
  • First put the food in the pan, then turn on the fryer to watch the food move and cook. Next, finish your meal with some salt and pepper and serve!
  • Can elicit lots of languages, like requesting, commenting, using different verbs, and telling a sequenced story.
  • Batteries included

Speak and Learn Puppy by LeapFrog, 12+ months ($29.99)

  • Bailey is a head wiggling and ear flapping puppy that engages with little ones and repeats back what you say
  • Kids are amazed by the magic of hearing their phrases come from a cuddly friend
  • Buttons on her four paws that prompts toddlers to answer questions, create fun stories
  • Other learning components include feelings, letters and sounds, counting and numbers, and vocabulary development.

A Year of Kindness Calendar by MindWare, 6+ ($29.95)

  • Encourages deep-thinking, empathy, teamwork and creativity. Discussions and reflections about kindness and caring for others.
  • Great for teachers too and can be adapted to a classroom setting.
  • Reusable year after year