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The 2020 Smart Mom’s Toy Box

The 2020 Smart Mom’s Toy Box

For some of us, the pressures and stresses of the holidays guilt us into stockpiling useless gifts that often end up in the donation bin after gathering dust. But 2020 feels like the year for change, so why not start with your gift-giving?

LearningRx, the world’s largest personal brain training company, has put together a list of 10 award-winning toys and games for a variety of ages that go beyond one day of fun. These options actually help boost vital brain skills—like processing speed, logic & reasoning, attention, visual processing, memory, and auditory processing—that make learning easier and faster. Best of all, they’re all priced under $35 on Amazon!

1. The Genius Star ($24.99)

Fill in the 11 colored shapes in the 7 positioned blockers to complete a “STAR.” There are 165,888 possible solutions in the 48 triangle spaces grid.

Ages: 8+

Cognitive skills: attention, logic & reasoning, planning, strategy, processing speed, problem solving, spatial awareness

Awards: ASTRA “Best Toys for Kids” winner

2. Laser Maze ($32.96)

Use mirrors, beam-splitters, a little science and brainpower to direct the laser through a series of mazes and light up the target.

Ages: 8+

Cognitive skills: logic & reasoning, spatial reasoning, planning, visual processing

Awards: Good Housekeeping Best Toys Award

3. Zingo! ($19.99)

Swipe the Zingo! dispenser and match words and pictures to those on your Zingo! card.

Ages: 4+

Cognitive skills: attention, phonemic awareness, sound blending, visual processing

Awards: Oppenheim Gold, Parents’ Choice Award, ASTRA Best Toys for Kids, Toy of the Year Nominee (3 times)

4. Snippets ($24.99)

Write down as many words as you can in 60 seconds that contain the round’s short sequence of letters. Proper nouns, slang and even non-English words are all fair game!

Ages: 10+

Cognitive skills: attention, phonemic awareness, sound blending, visual processing

Awards: Parents’ Choice Gold Award, TillyWig Top Fun Award, Dr. Toy’s 100 Best Games

5. Continent Race ($34.48)

Created by a 6-year-old during a long hospital stay, this fast-paced card game leads racers around the globe to see who can collect the most countries from each continent.

Ages: 7+

Cognitive Skills: problem solving, critical thinking, communication, attention

Awards: Mom’s Choice Award, Creative Child Magazine’s Game of the Year, Tillywig Top Fun Award Winner, National Parenting Product Award Winner

6. Escape E.V.I.L. ($33.50)

This game offers a fun and simple introduction to science! Each player chooses 1 to 16 different magic tricks and navigates the board to find the required chemicals.

Ages: 8+

Cognitive skills: logic & reasoning, memory, strategy

Awards: Creative Child Game of the Year, Academics’ Choice Brain Toy, Moms’ Choice Award- Gold, Tillywig Best Family Fun

7. Kingdomino ($18.36)

This city/territory-building board game is similar to dominos but uses landscape tiles to create your kingdom.

Ages: 8+

Cognitive skills: planning, strategy, logic & reasoning, attention, decision-making

Awards: ASTRA Best Toys for Kids Award, Games and Puzzles Magazine Game of the Year Award, GeekDad Approved

8. Simon Optix Game ($18.78)

The Simon game now has a wearable headset! Watch the lights, remember the colors, repeat the pattern.

Ages: 8+

Cognitive skills: visual processing, memory, attention, processing speed

Awards: Parents’ Choice Fun Stuff Award

9. Proof! ($17.99)

This fast-paced math game helps players practice multiplication, division, addition, subtraction, and square roots, but can be adapted for younger players.

Ages: 9+

Cognitive skills: planning, numerical strategy, attention, visual processing, math comprehension, logic, memory

Awards: Teacher’s Choice Gold Award

10. Maze Racers ($27.99)

Use magnetic walls to build the most creative set and then swap creations and race balls down the tilted boards. The fastest board wins!

Ages: 8+

Cognitive skills: visual processing, logic & reasoning, attention, planning

Awards: Winner of ‘Games That Make You Smarter’ Award, Dr. Toy’s Top 10 Best Games winner, winner of the Seal of Approval from the National Parenting Center

PLUS! Order a copy of “My Fantabulous Brain: Learning Helps Me Grow” written by award-winning author, Julia Cook. The 32-page book is priced at just $9.95 and is suitable for kids ages 7-12 (see Book Summary below). Visit www.MyFantabulousBrain.com for details. BONUS! If you pre-order a book between October 29 and November 4, 2020, you’ll also receive a FREE downloadable resource bundle that includes fun and engaging brain training exercises, lesson plans, worksheets, plus coloring pages that parents and teachers can share with students at home or in the classroom.

Book Summary:

“Wade doesn’t understand why things like math and spelling seem so easy for other kids but so hard for him. His brain doesn’t seem to work right, and he can’t focus with all the stuff going on in his head. He tries so hard but feels like he stinks at everything! Just when he is about to give up, Wade’s Fantabulous Brain comes to the rescue. By using tools in his “Brain Toolbox,” Wade learns how to give his brain a tune-up making it stronger and more efficient. He also visits a Brain Trainer, a special brain mechanic, who teaches him how to work smarter not harder. With a little time and a lot of hard work, Wade is amazed what he can accomplish when he and his Fantabulous Brain work together!”

Ready to head to the store (or online) to do your holiday shopping? Use this list or download a free Games for Skills Chart at: www.unlocktheeinsteininside.com.

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