March Staff Picks
In this month's Staff Picks, we are featuring some of our favorite science and educational products we recently saw at the 2014 American International Toy Fair. These fun toys have an educational bent, so kids can learn while they play.
MSRP: $19.95Age Range: 6 and upSpecialty: Yes (as of 2014)Gender: Boys And Girls
Get ready to totally geek out on awesome science projects! Geek & Co. Science is a new series of 12 science-themed project kits that put fun first to make learning truly approachable and entertaining. With each kit, kids build a tangible, lasting item — an object worthy of keeping on display after the fun and educational process of creating it is over. Launch date: June 2014.
— In a May 2015 survey, two out of 11 retailers told TDmonthly that Geek & Co was their best-selling line of activity kits.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 36505 (added 1/23/2014)
MSRP: $24.99Age Range: 3 and upSpecialty: Yes (as of 2014)Gender: Boys And Girls
For all the paleontologists in training or for those just fascinated by prehistoric life, we bring you Dino Dig! WABA Fun is always looking for additional ways to make learning fun and what better way than to combine Kinetic Sand with ancient beasts! Bury your Tyrannosaurus Rex or Triceratops bones in the sand and use the provided tools to excavate right in your living room! Become the next Dr. Alan Gran and start your own Jurassic Park! (Dino DNA not included). Each Kit contains 1 kg of award-winning Kinetic San, one 3D Dino puzzle skeleton and tools for excavating. The box has fun facts about your dinosaur and serves as a containment site as well!
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 36595 (added 2/27/2014)
OWI’s geek squad, who brought to you the beloved T3 Transforming Solar Robot, has dusted off their labs coats and goggles to concoct their latest triumph…T4 Transforming Solar Robot. "T4" not only has more transformations but also comes equipped with larger parts, meaning that your younger child does not have to be excluded from partaking in some high quality robot fun. “T4” is completely solar-powered so you never need to buy batteries. Not only will "T4" provide your child with a new understanding of solar power as a source of renewable energy, but will also get your kids outdoors for some wholesome fun in the sun. This kit gives your child the option to easily transform between one of four different modes: Robot – walking legs as well as moving wheels, Insecta – 6 walking legs as well as moving jaws, T-Rex -2 walking legs and moving jaws, and Drill Vehicle – similar to a miner’s driller/drilling bit and moving wheels. If your children are glued to smart-phones, give them an opportunity to acquire solar power knowledge, learn about mechanical transmissions, and get them outside to play. Amazingly, you might find yourself engaged in conversation with your child, thanks to their newly acquired “expertise”!
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 36593 (added 2/26/2014)
Contains over 40 parts. 165 experiments can be completed using the kit, like a spinning lighted fan, a small RC car that moves forward and backward, and more. It stimulates the mind and teaches kids about electrical engineering, gears and rations in a fun and educational way.
Awards: 2014 TDmonthly Top Toy Debut Award
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 36592 (added 2/26/2014)
Part of a line of ScienceWiz Thinking Games, this puzzle game created by Harry L. Nelson and Hiroshi Yamamoto provides 40 challenges at different skill levels. Players put a puzzle card down and solve the puzzle by making sure all the pieces are looped together, at which time the board will light up with the solution.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 18203 (added 3/31/2008)
Yamie Chess is a Harvard/MIT math PhD-backed STEM learning aid based on classic chess. Supports math education for 12 year olds in the K-8 educational grades. The math learning aid has been designed by MIT, Caltech, Stanford, Columbia, Vanderbilt and University of Arizona math educators and engineers in collaboration with 2-time United States chess champion Jennifer Shahade. Made in America.
Praise for Yamie Chess:
"Yamie Chess is a beautiful, inspiring and very valuable educational tool. Teaching chess and math in a playful manner, embedding both in a fantasy story, is a great approach. The outcome is a feel-good-book for children and their parents with great pedagogical value. I recommend it highly." – Harvard University Mathematics Professor Christian Hesse
"I highly recommend Yamie Chess: The Adventures of Tigermore & The Mind Angels. When a child learns how to play chess, adds a lot to his or her science education, and has a wonderful time walking through a rich fantasy world, you can’t go wrong!" International Master Jeremy Silman, Harry Potter chess consultant on Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (Warner Bros, 2001)
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 36523 (added 2/5/2014)
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