Hot Stuff

Learn-while-you-play TOYS

Educational toys don’t have to be boring. The best ones turn topics such as reading, math and science into fascinating playthings that kids can’t put down. They learn real-life skills like critical thinking, problem solving and communication – all while having fun. Here is a round-up of great learning toys we love. We think the kids in your life will love them too.

Abacus The Melissa & Doug Abacus is a classic wooden “calculator” that helps teach math skills, patterning and color recognition. Counting and moving the beads on this wooden frame develops a visual and tactile relationship with numbers and early math concepts – but to a child sliding, sorting and counting on this colorful abacus, it just feels like fun! Comes with eight additional extension activities that help kids develop math, counting and logical thinking skills.
For ages 3-5 years. Available locally at Classic Toys or visit

Power Blox E-Blox are not your ordinary building blocks. Not only can they be used to build imaginative and awesome structures, but they also come to life with LED lights! The block set contains over 70 parts and is great for stimulating young minds with creativity, imagination and science. For ages 8 and up. Visit

HABA Ball Track Who would think problem solving could be so much fun? This exciting marble rolling building set is both educational and fun. Hardwood blocks with grooves and holes are combined in a variety of ways with the end result of having the six marbles ringing the bell to signal success. Helps educate kids on the laws of structural engineering and stimulates spatial thinking. This ball track includes 42 pieces and is made of solid, natural, untreated beech wood. This classic toy is the recipient of several prestigious toy awards.
For ages 4-10. For a list of local retailers, visit

Grow n’ Glow Dino Habitat This dinosaur-themed activity combines art with science and history for a STEAM activity that both big and little paleontologists will enjoy. The “just add water” kit includes everything needed for kids to plant and grow their own dinosaur habitat: dinosaurs, a dinosaur fossil, light up volcano, lava paint, glowing stones, planting container, potting mix, quick grow chia, wheat grass and bean seeds, a soil scoop and plant mister. Glow-in-the-dark paint and accessories, along with the light up volcano, will add WOW to this garden craft. For ages 6 to 96. Available at Classic Toys or visit

Super Sorting Pie The Learning Resources Super Sorting Pie is a fun, visual way to teach pre-K kids about colors and shapes. It is also a great way to help introduce and work on other skills such as grouping, sorting, patterning and addition/subtraction. Jumbo tweezers reinforce fine motor skills, especially fine motor pincer grasp. Comes with sorting cards that provide visual cues and an activity guide. For ages 2-4 years. Available at Target, or visit

How to be a Sports Surgeon Kit This Little Medical School “Classroom in a Box” offers aspiring sports surgeons a wide variety of hands-on and educational activities. The How to be a Sports Surgeon Kit can be enjoyed multiple times with five activities: Lend me a Hand; Skeleton; Sprains and Strains; Joints; and Tommy John Surgery. Students conclude their activities with a graduation ceremony and diploma. This kit is designed for children (6+) and can be used independently or with adult supervision. Visit

Inflatable Labeling Globe Customize this write-and-wipe globe to enrich geography, history, literature and social studies lessons. Locate and label continents, bodies of water, countries, trade routes and more. Includes multilingual activity guide, repair kit, and display hook and string. Use with wet-erase markers. Measures 27” in diameter. For ages 5-10. Available locally at Classic Toys, or for a full list of local retailers, visit

Dash Robot The Wonder Workshop Dash Robot is the perfect toy for teaching kids the basics of coding and robotics. Using free mobile apps, your child can make the tiny robot dance, light up, make sounds, avoid obstacles, and react to their voice. In addition to the coding adventures and projects, kids will also develop patience and problem-solving skills through the endless possibilities for freeform play. The Dash Robot has received numerous national toy awards and high reviews on established tech sites. For ages 6 and up. Visit

Square Panda The Square Panda Multisensory Phonics Playset blends physical and digital learning as it keeps kids entertained through age-appropriate games grounded in research-based curriculum. Every play session guides children through the game as they explore the alphabet, letter sounds, discover rhymes, build vocabulary and more. The set includes 46 tactile smart letters that a child places on a sturdy work station (12”x9”) to play interactive games. Access a customizable Parent Portal database that stores children’s words, pictures, milestones and learning progress. For ages 2-8. Visit

DIY Music Maker Science Lab Explore the science of pitch, vibration and acoustics while making your very own musical instruments: a box guitar, a pan flute and an ocean drum. Fun music and sound concepts come to life within a 36-page, illustrated storybook and activity guide that includes 10 STEM-based activities. Ages 5-8. Visit

Kanoodle Jr Kanoodle Jr. Puzzle play isn’t just for the big kids anymore! Based on the award-winning Kanoodle brain game series, Kanoodle Jr. offers on-the-go spatial reasoning fun with simple-to-follow instructions and large puzzle pieces, perfect for little hands. Kanoodle Jr. includes 60 head-scratching puzzle challenges that easily slide into the Kanoodle Jr. board for solo play, a puzzle board (doubles as a carrying case), six large puzzle pieces, and puzzle book with 60 kid-friendly puzzles. For ages 4-7. Available locally at Classic Toys, or for a full list of local retailers, visit