Good Toy Guide’s Top Scoring Toys in 2015
This year we’ve seen the popularity of digital toys explode and as technology improves there are an increasing number of toys that offer amazing play experiences. They also allow children to explore educational topics with hands-on experimentation.
Where traditional toys couldn’t give much output to children, we’re now seeing toys that can help guide children’s learning through multi-level games and immediate feedback to steer them more closely in the right direction while allowing the child to grow at their own pace.
Here is a look at the toys this year that not only received a Recommended stamp from the Good Toy Guide but went even further and scored full marks in our Fun and Skills ratings. And because it’s not just about what the experts think, our little testers have had their say in what makes these toys so great too.
Use physical objects to interact with different puzzle apps and get children to really think outside the box.
Age: 6-11 years
The Osmo gaming system works with your iPad to transform the physical space in front of the iPad into a digital game board. This interacts with multiple Osmo apps including Tangram (a geometric puzzle), Newton (a problem solving game) and Words (a pairs spelling game). This variety means this one toy can stretch across different skills and ages.
We love how novel Osmo is and it was great seeing children thinking hard about the challenges they were faced with. The Newton game really got them thinking outside the box to achieve their goal, while Tangram keeps the physical interactivity of the classic game while adding value by giving tips and tracking the player’s success.
Solve-it-Blocks (school version)
A giant puzzle to challenge children’s thinking while developing personal, social and emotional skills.
Age: 5-9 years
Solve-it-Blocks are a highly adaptable teaching aid that are ideal for schools. The soft play cubes have different colours, shapes, flags, numbers and letters on each side; the aim, to build a wall matching a given 3×3 grid pattern.
It was inspiring to see how enthusiastic and immersed even the 5-year-olds were (who aren’t known for having long attention spans!) in a lesson using Solve-it-Blocks. On this occasion the teacher challenged children to build the wall as a team, and it was amazing to see them thinking about the problem out loud and discussing solutions with the rest of the group. The method of moving blocks to solve the puzzle also gave the children a chance to move about and get active which they loved.
Colourful physical blocks that interact with learning and creative apps for toddlers to help teach them shapes.
Age: 18 months – 3 years
Tiggly combine physical toys with a variety of fun and educational apps for young children. This particular set, Shapes, is a collection of brightly coloured shapes that toddlers can press onto a tablet screen. Children use the shapes as stamps to create scenes (Tiggly Stamp), decorate the shapes with animated stickers (Tiggly Draw), or match the shape on the screen to magically turn it into an animal (Tiggly Safari).
Our little testers hugely enjoyed playing with Tiggly Shapes and really showed motivation and learning as they played. They found the animations in Tiggly Draw hilarious! These games help to familiarise toddlers with basic shapes and support language learning – they liked repeating words like ‘square’ and ‘chicken’ as they played (the language can be changed so Tiggly Shapes can even introduce children to foreign languages!).
See more Recommended and Approved toys in our Good Toy Guide.
Tags: educational toys
Categorised in: Toys and Play
This post was written by Anna Taylor