Tag Archives: learning toys

Best Tablet for Kids: Nabi Elev-8 Tablet

We strictly minimize the amount of screen time our kids have because (1) we want them to be doing other activities like reading, playing, and running around, and (2) because most video content on tv and tablets is either inappropriate or just devoid of educational enrichment. When we were sent the Nabi Elev-8 tablet to review, we were hopeful that it would meet our needs. It did not disappoint.

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The Elev-8 comes with 30-days free of Nabi Pass, unlimited good-for-the-brain movies, music, apps, TV, ebooks, learning, games and videos. The tablet is hugged by an attractive red silicone bumper sleeve for safety. Of course, the Elev-8 has easy-to-use parental controls, too.

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The Elev-8 is loaded with a comprehensive learning system called Wings, which is aligned with Common Core Standards and customized for kids in Pre-K through 6th grade. Each child can create a profile with his or her own avatar and take pre-assessments so each learning program is individualized. Kids earn Nabi coins for every lesson completed. Parents can then check children’s progress with a summary and recommendations.

Perhaps my favorite thing about a Nabi tablet is the little card included in the packaging that reads, “Nabi Cares.” It guides the consumer to the Nabi support team online and by phone. I haven’t needed to contact the support team at Nabi Cares, but I found that the website is loaded with information making operation of the tablet as easy as possible.

Check out our video reviews of the Nabi Elev-8.

 

 

Holiday Gift Guide: STEM and Learning Toys

My favorite kind of toy is one that teaches my 3-year-old daughter and 7-year-old son something new, especially ones that encourage STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) learning.

I received some toys to review and picked up a few from the store already. These are some of our family’s favorites. Some of the toys below have links to their full reviews, and I plan to continue reviewing and linking…so check back!

Tiggly Learning Apps and Toys

$29.95

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Each Tiggly set includes toys that interact with your Apple or Android devices. I’m a big fan of these sets because they are highly engaging and teach and reinforce academic skills. See my review for more details and for demonstration videos.

IQ Fit and IQ Twist

Age 6+; $9.99 and $11.99

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These are great stocking stuffers for kids AND adults. See my review for more details and demonstration videos.

Goldie Blox: Blox + Bits

Age 6+;  $9.99 and up

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Goldie Blox are super STEM toys created to inspire girls to have fun with construction and engineering. There are loads of sets with fun and interesting characters and challenges at all price points. We had a lot of fun trying the teeny stocking-stuffer-size Blox + Bits.

Gyrobot

Age 8+; $44.95

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Gyrobot made a bunch of “Best Toy” lists last year. What I love most about this STEM toy is that, along with the fun of constructing robots with the set, kids are learning about gyroscopes and how they’re used in many technological tools we use everyday.

Riddle Cube

Age 8+;  $19.99

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Players race each other to put their riddle cubes together according to puzzle cards. Too tricky for little ones, but great for exercising spatial-relations in big kids and adults.

Check out more in the School Psych Mom Series:

Holiday Gift Guide: Family Favorites

Holiday Gift Guide: Preschool Learning Toys

Learning Apps Review: Tiggly Words and Tiggly Math

We received the following products for the purpose of review. All opinions are our own.

Our family is pretty excited about the Tiggly toys and apps. My 3-year-old daughter tried out Tiggly Words and my 7-year-old son tried Tiggly Math; see them both in action below.

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Ever since I introduced the kids to these toys, they both often ask for a chance to play. Instead of denying them the screen time they desperately desire, I’m glad to let them enjoy these games.

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The toys are interactive, engaging, and relevant to their curriculum at school. The toys are great for kids with different strengths and weaknesses and are great for building reading and math skills.

Tiggly Words (Ages 4-8)

Tiggly Math (Ages 3-7)

There’s also a Tiggly Shapes toy for ages 2-5.

The Tiggly Learning Systems include interactive toys, 3 free apps, and a carrying pouch. The systems are compatible with all generations of iPad and iPad mini (except iPad 1), and leading android devices (Samsung, Kurio). Each system retails for $29.95.

Educators! There are Tiggly systems for the whole classroom, too. Check it out!

Holiday Gift Guide: Preschool Learning Toys

It’s time to start testing and reviewing toys for the 2015 holiday season and passing my favorites on to my readers. The two important things I look for in toys for the kids are: (1) How engaging are they and (2) Do they have some educational value, especially for STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) learning. So, here goes the first in a series of Holiday Gift Guides for kiddos.

We received these toys from  Educational Insights to review. All opinions are our own.

Magic Moves RainbowJam

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My 3-year-old daughter is a little diva, so I knew she’d love a microphone, but this toy is way more than that. When she presses the microphone on a color (anywhere!), a sensor on the bottom reads the color. Then the microphone plays a different note for each color. It’s fascinating even for adults to try the microphone on colors around the house.

The RainbowJam comes with a 16-page activity book that includes a color-coded keyboard for composing, and several original songs about the colors.

This is a fantastic toy to help preschoolers learn colors and encourage creativity. Plus, it provides hours of entertainment.

Design & Drill Flower Power Studio

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I LOVE this toy because it’s basically a power tool that inspires STEM learning with little girls. It’s not just a pink pretend drill, it’s a battery powered drill with two drill bits and a case that unfolds to become a flower board for creating designs with the included bolts. The Design & Drill comes with a guide for creating 12 patterns.
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IMG_8625My favorite things about the Design & Drill are that it encourages STEM learning, hand-eye coordination, spatial relations, and problem-solving skills. Plus, this is another toy that was a hit with my daughter and kept her busy FOREVER!

GeoSafari Jr. Jungle Crew Lab Set

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This 6-piece, animal-themed chemistry set comes with 10 hands-on activity cards with directions for how to conduct mini science demonstrations. We tried out the slime-making activity and had a great time. We still have many more activities to try.

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This is another great STEM learning toy that introduces key scientific principles and processes, supports early math skills and measurement, and provides hands-on experience with physical science and the senses.

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What do you think of these preschool toys? Do you have any good recommendations for learning toys, especially in STEM areas?