(WXYZ) - Whether they’re six or sixteen, if you want your kids learning over summer, it helps to be sneaky…and make sure that toy you offer up appears more fun than educational.
Crayon Physics is one example of a toy which requires certain science skills to be mastered as the child moves up in levels.
“It feels like it’s all just a little game that any kid would play,” says one teenaged boy.
Even younger kids can up their IQ, says Laurie Schacht, CEO of The Toy Insider Mom, with the LeapPad $100 and its new eBooks cartridges at $19.99.
“Their progress is actually assessed as they go through different activities and different games and the books will auto adjust to their level,” says Schacht.
If you’re worried about too much computer time, the Kurio tablet $199 comes loaded with controls that limit access and minutes and can be set for up to eight different people.
A new option that may amaze your kids: Augmented reality. You’ll all have a hard time shutting down the new Animal Planet game.
“They can watch a 3D version of behavior of animals in the habitat,” say Schacht. “Then they can go in the library. They can get all kind of facts about the animal.”
12 year old Mackenzie Stulack says she, “learned that the Bengal tiger can be three to five feet tall and they can weigh up to 300 pounds.”
Getting the kids up and moving matters to moms, too.
Lauren Pope, 12, says her mom doesn’t want her sitting inside and being bored all day. Schacht says that, “an active body leads to an active mind.”
The Plasma Car $69.99 provides 360 degrees of fun, but the Rockboard Scooter $199.99, and the Descender Rockboard $120 put a different spin on a skateboard that really gets them going.
Schacht explains that the scooter has a platform that you actually have to pedal forwards and backwards.
Some other fun and educational outdoor products include the Green Thumb Garden Set $29.99 and Growums Garden in a Box, solar energy panels, or the Kre-o Battleship U.S.S. Missouri $69.99, which survived three wars, transports them back in time.
Schacht says kids are going to learn and have fun using these products, but the sneakiest game of all is, Suspend, which teaches kids cause and affect and balance.
They toys featured in this story vary from a couple dollars, like the Crayon Physics App, to a couple hundred for the Kurio. More information can be found on the Toy Insider website.
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