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December 2011 | Vol. X - No. 12
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Top-10 Most-Wanted Educational Products and School Supplies


With additional reporting from Chris Lundy and Brenda Ruggiero

When TDmonthly asked retailers about their best selling educational products and school supplies in November of 2011, the most mentioned products were classic Brain Quest cards from WORKMAN PUBLISHING and art supplies from MELISSA & DOUG. You can see these, and the other Top-10 Most-Wanted Educational Products and School Supplies, below.

No manufacturer paid to be included in this article. All products listed were designated by editorial staff without regard to the company's relationship with TOYDIRECTORY.com/TDmonthly Magazine.




MSRP: $8.95
Age Range: 3 and up
Specialty: No
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Educational
School Supplies
Developmental Toys



This Brain Quest write and erase format is geared to give the earliest learners a leg up on writing, reading, and using number. Featuring an attached pack of 40 large, write-on, wipe-off cards plus a dry-erase pen, each deck teaches a critical skill to help children learn to read before kindergarten. These are practical lessons that are also fun, entertaining, and informative. Phonics teaches early reading with fill-ins for long and short vowels and basic consonant sounds, letter scrambles, complete-the-words, and more.
— ''We just got [the Phonics write & erase sets] in, and we sold 18 last month,'' said Gwen Bowden, manager of Doodlehopper for Kids in Springfield, Va.
— ''Brainquest work books and cards go the fastest,'' seconded Susan Blanton, owner of Pufferbellies in Staunton, Va.
— In a November 2011 survey 2 out of 12 retailers said that Brainquest was their best selling educational item. “Brain Quest (Workman Publishing) has always done well for us," Chris Lowe, owner of Beanhead Toys in Sandy Springs, Ga., told TDmonthly. Mike DiAndrea, manager of Hardware Toys in Paoli, Pa., told TDmonthly that sell about 30 units of Brain Quest each month.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 31225      (added 11/24/2010)
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Wholesale Price: (Log in to view)
MSRP: $12.00
Age Range: 3 and up
SKU or Item #: GMFL
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Creative Activities
General Games



On these 48 cards, polite pink pigs demonstrate good behavior in familiar situations. Two parent cards are included. "The vibrant artwork and great design coupled with quality material make our products a family favorite," Roisin Ross of eeBoo told TDmonthly.
— Lisa LeStrange owner of Lucky Duck Toys in Wayne, Pa., told TDmonthly in a November 2011 survey that as far as educational products go, "Lately, we have been selling a lot of the Eeboo Flashcards...We have sold maybe 10 this month so far."
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 15925      (added 10/31/2007)
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MSRP: $12.95
Age Range: 5 to 6
Specialty: Yes (as of 2011)
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Educational



These Start to Finish Mazes Sets are teacher-created books that combine age-appropriate mazes with challenging activities such as counting practice, letter recognition and more. Lightweight paperback volumes are great for taking along on road trips or filling time at restaurants. 100 puzzles in all.
— When asked about her best selling educational products in November 2011, Mary Porter Green, owner of The Curiosity Zone in Ashburn, Va., told TDmonthly that "Just about everything in our store is educational, so this is a tough question to answer," but that "Workbooks from Mindware do well," in particular.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 33148      (added 11/10/2011)
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MSRP: $34.99
Age Range: 3 and up
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Creative Activities
Arts & Crafts
Preschool



This set comes with four bottles of poster paint and four spill-proof paint cups. Also included are an easel paper roll, chalk, paint brushes, a dry-erase marker and an eraser.
— In a November 2011 survey, 2 out of 12 retailers said art supplies from Melissa & Doug were their best selling educational products.
— Mark Rosenblum from Hobbytown in Fairfield, Conn., told TDmonthly in a January 2015 survey that Melissa & Doug was one of their best-selling brands of arts & crafts toys.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 29771      (added 7/27/2010)
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MSRP: $27.99
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Bags & Backpacks



This brightly colored backpack can help kids tote their tomes to school.Sturdy back packs are just the right size for younger children. Bold colors and designs. Back packs are 11.5"W X 14" H.
— In a November 2011 survey about best selling educational items, Elmer Carranza, assistant manager of Doodlehopper 4 Kids in Falls Church, Va., told TDmonthly that, "We have backpacks from Crocodile Creek... people love the designs. We sell about 3 a month."
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 24584      (added 7/16/2009)
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MSRP: $8.99
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Educational
Arts & Crafts



Non-toxic, child safe ink. unscented. These pads are wonderful for large stamps. Stamp pad measures 6-1/4" x 4". Conforms to ASTM D-4236.
— In a November 2011 survey about best selling education products, Kim Emigh, manager of e-commerce at Growing Tree Toys in State College, Pa., told TDmonthly that, "We sell the large stamp pads from Center Enterprises — little kids just love them. They are easy to use for hands or their extra-large stampers."
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 33149      (added 11/10/2011)
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Wholesale Price: (Log in to view)
MSRP: $28.00
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Educational
Preschool



Kids writing their first letters will get helpful up, down and sideways instructions via easy-to-follow arrows. A magnetic stylus pulls beads up to create solid lines. Erases with the tip of a finger. Comes in lower case, upper case, and numbers.
— Mike McCollum, owner of Learning Express in Hoover, Ala., told TDmonthly in a November 2011 survey that their best selling educational product is the Magnatab. "Parents like the way children have fun pulling the magnet around," he said.
Watch Video from Toy Fair 2011
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 31784      (added 3/2/2011)
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MSRP: $1.99
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Educational
Arts & Crafts



Regular crush resistant polyester stems come in a poly bag with header. Available in a variety of colors, sizes and quantities.
— In a November 2011 survey, Syd Clarke, owner of Ali-Cat in Carrboro, N.C., told TDmonthly that they sell 20 of this item each month. "People, especially teachers, like them because they are versatile," he said.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 33150      (added 11/10/2011)
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MSRP: $2.99
Age Range: 5 to 7
Target Age Range: 5 to 7
SKU or Item #: T-23004
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Educational



Teacher-created, child-tested cards are ideal for reinforcing basic skills at home or school. Handy 3 1/8" x 5 1/4" size makes these 56 cards great for travel. Set includes activity ideas to challenge growing skill levels. Cards feature rounded corners for quick sorting.
— This product is a best seller at Neely's in South L.A.
— In a November 2011 survey about educational items, Stephanie Dupuy of Playville in Covington, La., told TDmonthly that "For general parents," their best selling item "would be flashcards by Trend," which they sell 48 units of each month.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 28698      (added 5/28/2010)
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MSRP: $15.99
Age Range: 3 to 5
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Educational
Preschool



Teach geometric shapes and reinforce fine motor skills as kids put the correct shape into the pegboard. Five shapes including square, circle, triangle, star and hexagon come in five colors. Large 1.5" x 1.25" pegs for easy handling.
Awards: 2005 Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Gold Seal Award
— In a November 2011 survey about best selling education toys, Martha Bimblich, owner of Twinkles of Bay Harbor in Bay Harbor Island, Fla., told TDmonthly that she sells 20-30 of these each month.  “I think it's a great manipulative toy for kids, especially if they're having trouble using their hands," she said.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 33151      (added 11/10/2011)
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Justina HuddlestonWriter's Bio: Justina Huddleston graduated Magna Cum Laude from Emerson College with a BA in Writing, Literature, and Publishing in 2009. After graduating she was the on-site director of the Boston Children's Museum gift store for a year, selling educational, developmental, and creative activity toys that tied in with the museum's exhibits. Justina also interned at children's book publisher Candlewick Press before moving from Boston to Los Angeles, where she is now Editorial Director of TDmonthly Magazine. Read more articles by this author

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