Giving toys that teach for this holiday season


You better watch out, There's only a few more days until Christmas.

If you still haven't figured out the perfect gift for the little ones this holiday season, here's a list of toys packed with education and tons of fun.

Video games, action figures, princesses and ponies.

Toy store aisles and online searches can get exhausting for parents like Kim Curtiss trying to find that perfect holiday gift.

"I'm always looking at mom blogs to see what they're giving and what they recommend.

This year the hottest toy isn't one item.

"It's a category," said aMuse Toys store owner, Claudia Towles. "What's hot right now is mat stem, anything teaching science."

Towles says toy companites are reinforcing science, technology, engineering and math in their products, filling toy aisles with education.

"The reactivity of the magnet is a very interesting idea for kids," said Towles.

Even though MagnaTiles are nothing new to store shelves, Towles says it's a classic favorite that promotes early math concepts.

As a child ages, add to the collection so they can build more complex structures.

"Think about it, with Legos, the more pieces they have, the more they can build. These don't hurt though when you stand on them," said Towles.

It's never too early to start learning.

The Noggin stick is one of the hottest toys for babies.

"This changes color every time you shake it, it helps with visual tracking. It's educational," said Towles. "Now does the baby know they're being education? Of course not, but it teaches cause and effect."

Even Barbie is hoping on the STEM wagon.

"Barbie, something very familiar to kids, but STEM and engineering concepts may not be," said Towles. "So this is trickery. I don't know if you've heard of the slime craze, this is another one, this is all chemistry."

And don't forget family game night.

Klask is a skill game with magnetic control.

"This is one we sell to college kids and 5-year-olds. It's kind of like air hockey, but without the danger," said Towles. "And it doesn't take that much space. I scored."

This holiday season, the emphasis is on anything that fosters critical thinking and problem solving.

Kim is hoping a gift now will also provide Henry with skills he'll be glad to have later.

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