Sun’s out, fun’s out. Toys, games, and the opportunity to play is important in the social, mental, physical, and emotional development of children. STEM toys in particular encourage a child’s curiosity and creativity, and cultivate skills such as problem-solving and critical thinking. To bring us the scoop on all the hot new toys coming this spring, our expert Laurie Schacht and her team test thousands of toys to select the best ones that the kids will love.
#1: Big Feelings Pineapple (From Learning Resources)
This pineapple has a lot of feelings! An emotionally intelligent Mr. Potato Head, this toy helps kids explore emotion identification and expressions. It has 26 changeable pieces, such as mouths, eyes, eyebrows, and hands, meant to help kids articulate their own feelings. It comes with a guide that has tips for introducing social-emotional learning (SEL) skills. The pieces store inside the pineapple for easy cleanup too!
#2: Snap Circuits Myhome (From Elenco)
Next up is a toy is a fun way to learn about engineering and electronics. With this toy, kids can build real, 3D, working circuits and learn how electricity in their home works. This toy is screen-free, tactile, educational, and fun! It teaches kids about circuitry, security systems, dimmer switches, automatic lights, alarms, motion detectors, fan speeds, appliance motors, generators, and much more! Questions about power grids, circuitry, power outages and circuit breakers are answered by this toy. It comes with approximately 60 parts and 25 projects; an illustrated, easy-to-use, full-color project manual; and seven colorful base grids to make the structure unique.
#3: Giddy Buggy Bowling Set (From Melissa and Doug)
The always-happy Giddy Buggy will bowl you over with his smiling face and this exciting kid-sized bowling set! The six 8-inch-tall, multi-colored Giddy Buggy pins can be used both inside and outside. They work just like regular bowling – set them up then roll the included ball to knock them down. This game is great for younger kids, since it encourages hand-eye coordination and dexterity, and promotes early counting skills.
#4: Geosafari Jr. Kidscope (From Educational Insights)
This one is for all the STEM kids! Kids can learn about slide microscopes with this microscope that features kid-friendly magnification and 15 printed slides with four unique images on each one. It supports STEM learning for kids as young as five. This real scientific microscope features a rotating stage, double-eye viewer, focus knob, rotating dial stage, LED light, and a slide storage drawer that holds every slide. This toy is great because it provides hands-on practice with a scientific tool, teaching kids to stage a slide and focus a microscope.
#5: Squeakee Minis (From Moose Toys)
These cute little animals combine the whimsy of balloon animals and the fun of playful pets, with the added twist of electronic magic. Kids can speak to Heelie the Puppy, Poppy the Bunny, or Billo the Monkey and they will speak right back, but in hilarious helium voices. If you pat them on the head, they let out squeaks of happiness that sound like a real balloon animal!
#6: Billie Eilish L.A. Live Fashion Doll (From Playmates)
If your kid is a Billie Eilish fan, this is the toy for them. This 10.5-inch fashion doll is based on Billie Eilish’s 2019 concert at L.A.’s iconic Shrine Auditorium. It features an impeccable likeness from her hair to signature fashion and accessories. Fully poseable with 14 points of articulation, the fashion doll comes in sustainable packaging that transforms into an “on-stage” backdrop to display the doll.
#7: Swingin’ Shoes (From Fat Brain Toys)
It’s horseshoes… with a twist! In this version, kids take turns tossing the rubbery horseshoes to try and ring them onto a suspended pole and platforms. Land a Sitter with the horseshoe flat on a platform; get a Ringer by ringing the horseshoe around the pole on any platform; or score extra big by getting a horseshoe to hang from one of the platforms. Keep in mind that with every toss, the whole thing swings more and more! You can play one-on-one or in teams, and the horseshoes are soft, rubbery, flexible, and safe. The game includes a pole with platforms, a door frame hanger, eight horseshoes (four orange, four green). It hangs easily from any door frame, tree branch, or car hatch.
#8: Swimways Swim Trainer Kickboard (From Spin Master)
So far all these toys have been for land, but what about kids who love to swim? This sturdy fiber clad kickboard with brightly coloured Swim Steps graphics is perfectly designed for beginner swimmers. It’s available in three different styles: crab, mermaid-unicorn, and sea monster. Whether you use it at the beach on in the pool, it’s great for everyday fun! This toy is wonderful because it encourages beginner swimmers to get their feet wet – literally!
#9: Gazillion Rollin’ Wave (From Funrise)
Bubbles are always a winner with the kids and this one has an endless flow. This bubble machine uses its rolling wheel to send hundreds of bubbles in an upward direction! It creates instant bubbles — no priming needed and no assembly required, and comes with one 4 ounce bottle of premium Gazillion Bubble Solution. It’s a great way to get the kids running around and chasing bubbles!
Ages: 18 months+
#10: Blockaroo Windmill (From Blue Marble)
Our last toy is unique building blocks. Blockaroo Blocks are a new way to build. These soft foam magnetic blocks click together like magic, rotate 360-degrees, and always attract to each other, creating a multi-sensory experience! They were developed by teachers and are the easiest construction toy for preschoolers ever developed! They also float, which means that this unique construction toy doubles as the ultimate bath toy! Plus, this means you can easily sanitize these blocks in dishwater! Blockaroo Builders give toddlers the chance to explore shapes, colors, and frustration-free stacking with soft foam blocks that are safe, easy to handle, and connect like magic.
Ages: 18 months
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