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The Smart Mom's Summer Toy Box

The Smart Mom's Summer Toy Box

Sometimes, it's hard to keep kids busy on a rainy day or on a long road trip. While it might feel like an easy solution to plop them in front of the TV so you can get a little work done, there are other options. That's why we've put together a list of toys and games that help boost cognitive skills.

Cognitive skills are the core skills your brain uses to think, read, learn, remember, reason, and pay attention. Working together, they take incoming information and move it into the bank of knowledge we use every day at school, at work and in life in general. Because each of these brain skills plays an important part in processing new information, it's vital to keep them all strong. Even one weak cognitive skills can cause a learning struggle.

It's worth noting that many games now come in travel versions, which make them perfect for road trips! Easy-to-open packaging, magnetic boards and pieces, and totable, condensed containers help prevent searches for scissors and lost pieces—all without taking up a lot of valuable space!

Just check out our list of award-winning toys, including which cognitive skills they build. Best of all, they're all under $25: