January 7, 2009

Top Toys To Stimulate The Mind

Top Toys To Stimulate The Mind

The Holidays are over and done with, leaving a whirlwind of wrapping paper and new toys strewn about the house. Some may be used once or twice and forgotten about quickly, others received may become life long favorites. When it comes to shopping for your kids, how do you sift through all the junk and find a toy that's both fun and educational? You want something that's more exciting than a book, but at the same time it should inspire some sort of stimulating activity, whether it is physical or mental. Well, here's a list of some of the hottest toys, designed with your kids' minds in mind!

Toys for Toddlers (Ages 1 - 3)

  • Yookidoo Discovery Dome: This fun play set for toddlers encourages physical and cognitive stimulation through imaginative play. The dome includes ball play, shape sorting and peek-a-boo games. Bright colors, lights and sounds add to the overall experience - engaging your child's senses. With plenty of space under the dome, the Yookidoo Discovery Dome encourages cooperative play. Oh, and the dome folds away for easy storage! Perfect! Price: $100 at The Discovery Channel Store

Toys for Pre-Schoolers (Ages 3 - 5)

  • LeapFrog Tag Reading System & Game Bundle: Now I know I said earlier that books are a boring gift idea...LeapFrog is a book that's actually fun! Tag is a touch reading system that is designed to fully engage a child while reading about his favorite characters. Simply touch the "Tag Reader" to the pages and characters come alive - speaking and singing to your child! With more than 20 books to choose from, your kids will learn the joys of reading in a fun and innovative way! Price: $50 - $70

  • Step2 Art Master Activity Desk: Get your child in touch with his or her creative side with this arts and crafts table from Step2. Its huge work surface lifts up to reveal extra storage for all of the essential supplies. It comes with a 15 inch stool which is both comfortable and sturdy! The desk also features a handy push button light (which shuts off after 5 minutes).Price: $80

Toys for Grade Schoolers (Ages 6 - 9)

  • LeapFrog Didj Custom Gaming System: Also from LeapFrog, the Didj Custom Gaming System is a hand held gaming system for the grade schooler in your family. Connect it to your computer and play action-packed games, sharpening your child's studying skills. Playing each game earns you points, which can be traded for cool downloads allowing you to personalize and customize your game system to your liking. Interactive and educational. A perfect combo. Price: $80

  • Balitono Works of Ahhh...Painting Sets: From Balitono, comes a group of fun painting projects designed with your creative child in mind. Each set includes an item for your child to paint (a dollhouse
    dresser, for example), non toxic paint and artist quality brushes. These fun painting sets are sure to inspire the artist in your child. What's more, made from natural, sustainably harvested hardwoods and featuring non-toxic paints - this toy is all "green"! Eco-friendly toys are in this season! Price: $12 - $15

Toys for Tweens & Teens (Ages 10 & Up)

  • Project Runway Graphic T-Shirt Design Studio Set: Even if your kids don't watch Project Runway on Bravo TV, they are sure to enjoy this fun and artistic crafts game. This fun set has all your child needs to be the next big thing in fashion! The set includes 6 fabric markers, the Cooler Jeweler Tool (gem and stud setting tool), 50 gems, 50 studs, 2 yards of ribbon, stencils, patterns and an idea book! Your child will be creating some fabulous T-shirts in no time! Price: $25 at Amazon

  • Guitar Hero: On Tour for Nintendo DS: Guitar Hero is such a fun game for both kids and parents alike! On Tour offers the same fun as the real game in a hand held, bite-size version. Hook the guitar grip to your Nintendo DS and rock out to the tunes of Nirvana, No Doubt and more! You can customize your own rock character - choosing clothes, hairstyles and more! Interactive, intuitive and so much fun - this is the must have game for teens and tweens alike! Nintendo DS sold separately Price: $50

As you can see, if you're trying to find a toy that's the perfect blend of fun and learning - your options are abundant! Some of these games are so much fun that you might feel the need to borrow them after the kids go to bed!