Video: TODAY’s back-to-school guide
Explainer: Educational back-to-school games
Tag Reading System & U.S. Map
($39.99 & $19.99)
LeapFrog’s Tag Reading System helps kids learn to read at their own pace and brings books alive with amazing narration and fun interactive sounds and facts. Now LeapFrog is introducing Tap Map for our children to learn about the United States of America. Our kids just touch the tag reader to the map and instantly learn about different locations, foods and weather in the USA as well as facts about travel and the lives of children around the country. I can’t wait for the world map LeapFrog will introduce to go with this system in the fall.
iXL by Fisher-Price
iXL by Fisher-Price ($79.99)
The iXL is an amazing educational toy and also serves as a story book reader, game player, MP3 player, art studio, notebook and photo album all wrapped in one cool, small, hand-held device. While the children are playing and having fun with the iXL, parents will be thrilled to know their kids will be working on their reading comprehension, key words, spelling, numbers, sequencing, counting, art skills, letter-writing skills and more. The iXL can store multiple software titles, songs and pictures so no cartridges are needed. Comes in pink, blue and silver. Requires 4 AA batteries, which are not included.
Live Butterfly Garden
Live Butterfly Garden ($19.95)
The Live Butterfly Garden is a reusable, collapsible habitat that enables the whole family to witness the transformation from larvae to butterfly. The butterfly larvae and food come straight to your home and easy instructions make it a snap to set up. The top of the habitat lifts off so your little ones can easily release their beautiful butterflies into the world when it’s time.
Linkology Card Games
Linkology Card Games ($9.99)
Linkology Card Games are a great way to learn about animals, the solar system and the human body. To play this fun, fast-paced game you have to match a photo or illustration card with the appropriate fact-based word cards. Play with up to six players and watch everyone link facts together to gain a better understanding of important science concepts.
The Scientific Explorer Disgusting Science Kit
The Scientific Explorer Disgusting Science Kit ($19.99)
The Scientific Explorer Disgusting Science Kit is a hysterical way for the family to learn about science together. Our children can learn about their smelly feet, make fake blood and snot, grow their own germs, create their own laboratories and loads more. While having a blast experimenting, our kids will also be learning some chemistry and biology.
Fun Back Packs
Fun Backpacks ($12.99 and up)
A fun way to get them excited for the new school year is to grab a backpack that has their favorite characters’ images splashed on the front. Many stores have huge collections of fun backpacks. My daughter wants the new Zhu Zhu Pet backpack. Some of the hottest characters this year are Skelanimals, Disney Princess, Transformers, Toy Story 3, Hello Kitty, Iron Man 2, Phineas and Ferb, Zhu Zhu Pets, Pook-a-Looz, Dinosaur Train and Olivia.
The Yubo Lunchbox
The Yubo Lunchbox ($29.95)
The Yubo lunchbox is a dream come true for parents because it is 100 percent dishwasher safe, it’s anti-microbial and comes with a compartmental system that eliminates the need for baggies. My children love the Yubo Lunchbox because its appearance is customizable. They can use the included face plates for the front and back of this lunchbox or, better yet, download photos or images and create their own unique look.
Mabel’s Labels Ultimate Back-to-School Combo Pack
Mabel’s Labels are going to save me some serious money this year because my children’s school items will all be labeled and then returned by the school when they lose them. Every year my children lose numerous items at school that some how disappear out of the blue, which makes me crazy. Try the Tag Mates, which are peel-and-stick clothing labels that are washer safe; the Shoe Labels, which are also peel-and-stick and are waterproof; Skinny-Minis, which are dishwasher- and microwave-safe labels for reusable lunch containers, water bottles and school supplies such as markers, rulers and binders; and Teeny Tags, which are sturdy, waterproof metal tags for lunch bags, backpacks, pencil cases and more.
Crayola Wild Notes
Crayola Wild Notes ($5.99-$6.49)
Make note-taking a blast for your tweens by getting then the new Wild Notes by Crayola. Wild Notes are a 1- or 2-subject notebook that include a Wild Notes pen. The special paper in the notebook and the pen work together to create an amazing array of colors, patterns and textures as your child takes notes. The 1-subject notebook comes in a wide-ruled, 10.5” by 8” 75-sheet notebook and the 2-subject comes in a wide-ruled, 9.5” by 6” 75-page notebook.
Shape & Spin Elmo
Shape & Spin Elmo ($19.99)
Shape & Spin Elmo is a new electronic Play-Doh playset that teaches kids about counting and shapes while aiding them in their tactile development. Kids love hearing Elmo positively reward them when they create, play and learn with their Play-Doh. This great playset has two modes of play for hours of endless creativity. The set includes three 3-ounce cans of colorful Play-Doh compound and the two AAA batteries required for use.
Word Shout ($6.99)
Word Shout is a fast-paced, fun-filled word game perfect for kids, tweens, teens and adults! Roll 10 different letter dice on a flat surface and everyone playing must quickly look at the various letters to see what words they can form and shout out before their opponents do. Once the letters are utilized, those letter dice are removed and play continues until every possible three or more letter words have been created from the remaining letter dice. Play round after round and see which person or team reaches 50 points first.
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