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Toy Review

Read all about the latest toys and toy trends to hit the nation. Learning Express Toys is a leader in educational toys for children and is constantly developing and searching for the best products in the toy industry. Learn about hot products and creative ways to use our toys for adaptive play!
  • Deal Yourself a Puzzle with the Rubik’s Battle Card Game!

    Rubik's Battle Card Game Collage

    For 40 years, puzzlers have wrestled with the most challenging puzzle to solve: The Rubik’s Cube. Now, families can enjoy the perplexing fun of Rubik’s with a fast-paced card game that challenges players' quick-thinking skills: Rubik’s Battle Card Game! It's a classic game of war with a Rubik's spin!

    Can you think fast on your feet? Can you identify color differences quickly? Can you Show It, Spot It, and Shout It?  Then you have the skills to play Rubik’s Battle Card Game.

    Rubik’s Battle is easy to learn and play; the rounds go quickly, so the game is not long lasting.  Kids will have fun building their problem solving and social interaction skills. This game is great for 2–4 players, ages 7+.

    Let’s play a couple of hands. Imagine there are 3 players. All 60 cards are dealt to the participants, then everyone simultaneously flips over their first card, featuring a familiar Rubik’s Cube color grid. The challenge is to identify a color either unique to your card, or common to all cards in play except yours. No peeking at the answer (at the bottom of this post).

    Hand 1: Which player has a card with a unique color, and what is the color?

    Three Rubik's Battle Cards - Hand 1 Example

     

    Warning! You can’t just shout out an incorrect color, or you will be penalized by having to give your opponents a card from your pile.

    Hand 2: Which player has the only card WITHOUT colors appearing on every other card, and what is that color? Again, no peeking.

    Three Rubik's Battle Cards - Hand 2 Example

     

    The real excitement begins when two players flip over the exact same card. When this happens, the first to shout out “Rubik’s Battle” wins all the other player’s cards, and that player is out of the game.  The player to collect all the Rubik’s Battle Cards wins the game!

    Rubik’s Battle Card Game is perfect for family game night!  If your family enjoys fast-paced, challenging fun, this is the game for you.

    Let the Rubik’s Battle begin!

    P.S. Don’t forget about all the other great Rubik’s games. Check out Rubik’s Race, Rubik’s Build It, Solve It and of course the Original Rubik’s Cube.

    Collage of Rubik's Race, Build it Solve it and Cube

    Hand 1 Answer:

    Hand 1 Answer

     

    Hand 2 Answer:

    Hand 2 Answer
  • Fidget Toys for Kids of All Ages

    Fidget Toys Collage

    The fidget toy has been around since the dawn of time.  The cave man fidgeted with rocks and sticks and today we fidget with more sophisticated items, such as stress balls, worry stones, paper clips, pens and anything we can get our hands on.

    We all have a lot of distractions; however, studies find that fidget toys help children and adults reduce stress and anxiety and increase concentration, attention and active listening.  Just look at the compelling research below!

    Children with ADHD benefit from fidget toys in the classroom for increased focus, learning and remembering. In a study by the University of Central Florida, “Kids with ADHD Must Squirm to Learn”, Mark Rapport says, “What we’ve found is that when they’re moving the most, the majority of them perform better. They have to move to maintain alertness.”

    In a recent Fidgety Block Facebook post, a Learning Express customer said, “I bought one for my son who has ADHD and this is awesome. Keeps him busy so he can concentrate.”

    The February 5, 2017 Columbus Dispatch article “Classes calmer as schools help kids reduce stress” says every classroom now has a bin full of "fidgets" — tiny toys such as squishy balls and water bottles filled with glitter liquid that children can handle while they listen or read.

    Adults also need such fidgety distractions at home and work. The article “The Science of Why We Fidget While We Work” indicates a correlation between working with our hands and increased memory and creativity.

    Learning Express Toys Best Fidget Toy Review: Fidgety Block

     

    One of the most sought after fidget tools today is the Fidgety Block.  The Fidgety Block is a unique six-sided block that you can click, glide, flip, breathe, roll and spin.

    Fidgety Block Collage of the Six Sided Block

    It takes all of the other fidget toys and rolls them into one grand tool that is perfect for kids and adults. Based on the video above, you would think this is a noisy toy, but in reality the buttons, switches and gears make little to no noise so nearby occupants will not be disturbed.

    Fidget toys are not a new phenomenon, but the Fidgety Block is the new can’t-put-down toy that has sensory benefits for everyone.

     

    Fidget Spinner Collage

    Fidget Spinner

    The Fidget Spinner is the latest Hot Trend in fidget toys.  The Fidget Spinner is the perfect fidget toy for restless hands.  It will hypnotize you as the toy spins faster and faster in your hand or on your desk.  The spinner is constructed with hybrid ceramic center bearings for longer spin time.  This increases the spin factor up to 1.5 minutes.  The toy is relativity quiet only making a weak swoosh sound.  This addicting toy should be top on your list of fidgety toys.

     

    Light up Slinky

    Light-up Slinky

    When I hear the word Slinky, my first thought goes to the unforgettable Slinky jingle, “What walks down stairs, alone or in pairs and makes a slinkity sound...”  Slinky has evolved since that commercial.Here is the next generation Slinky/fidget toy, Light-Up Slinky!  As you stretch it like an accordion, make it walk down stairs, bounce it from hand to hand or just pick it up and let it slink back down, you become mesmerized by the feel, look and classic sound of the Slinky.  Turn off the light and you can watch and relax with a psychedelic light show as you play.

     

    Crazy Aaron's Thinking Putty Easter Mini Tins

    Crazy Aaron’s Thinking Putty

    Crazy Aaron’s Thinking Putty provides a variety of sensory experiences: It’s smooth to the touch, but can be twisted or molded to be bumpy or textured. If you pull it slowly, it stretches, but if you pull it quickly, it snaps with a satisfying noise. Certain colors of Thinking Putty are color-changing based on heat or light, providing visual stimulation as well.  Another perfect fidget toy.

    Mom and Dad; as the kids try your patience, these fidget toys are the perfect way to destress.  If the kids need calming, don’t let them borrow your toy, you can always find a supply of fidget toys for each member of the family at your local Learning Express Toy Store location.

    Fidget Away!

  • Mad Mattr the Smartest Doh to Ever Flow!

    Mad Mattr Product Collage

    As the universe evolves and scientists explore the vastness of space, they have made numerous discoveries. One such discovery is Dark Matter: an unseen, unidentified type of matter. Then you have Ordinary Matter: everything you can see and touch. But a new type of Mattr has been discovered in Sweden: Mad Mattr! I imagine the scientists that created Mad Mattr accidentally combined two different compounds, and in a puff of smoke, created this incredibly fluffy and soft material that stimulates your sense of touch. I can only suggest you dig your fingers into this luscious material.

     

    It’s very difficult to describe how this “Doh that Flows” feels. You can feel the minute grains that are sand like, but it’s more of a dough than sand. However, it doesn’t have the stickiness or the residue of a traditional dough. It’s super soft and very smooth when compacted and fluffy when separated.

    Mad Mattr is great for shaping, molding and building. When the Mattr is compacted, it maintains its shape like clay - it can be cut and molded - but stretch this compound, and it looks like the molecular structure of the dough is disintegrating! In this stretched state, the dough is super soft and fluffy and will flow through your fingers like sand on the beach. It will even float!

    Mad Mattr Product Collage

     

    If you are looking for a sensory toy for your child, Mad Mattr will deliver. This toy will allow your child to knead the dough to improve finger strength and manipulation and strengthen his or her fine motor skills. This dough is a great fidget tool that will enhance focus and help develop sensory processing skills.

    Mad Mattr is wheat, gluten and casein free. It’s easy to clean up. When small pieces of dough become separated from a larger piece, just dot them up with the larger piece of dough. If the Mattr gets on the floor or carpet, a quick vacuuming will make the Mattr disappear. The best part of Mad Mattr is that it never dries out!

    This compound comes in six amazingly bright colors; Red, Pink, Green, Blue, Teal and Purple. Sorry, this product is not for children under 3 years old.

    Mad Mattr is an addicting and unique modeling compound that you and your child need to experience. It will open up a universe of molding possibilities. You will not want to put the Mattr down!

    Enjoy the madness!

  • The Magic of Magnets: Why You Need Magformers in Your Life [Top Toy Review]

    The Magic of Magnets: Why You Need Magformers in Your Life

    Magnets are magical.

    At least, they seem so to young children.

    Hold a paper clip near a magnet, and it flies toward it. Hold two opposing magnets near each other, and they seem to hover.

    Magnets are great for encouraging children’s curiosity about the physical world. What are different objects made of? What are metals, and what does it mean to be metal, as opposed to wood or plastic? How much paper can I hold on the refrigerator with a single magnet, and why? With Magformers, children can safely enjoy exploring magnets while building 3-D creations from flat geometric shapes. Cylindrical magnets are encased in each side of the plastic triangles, squares, hexagons and other shapes, and each side of each piece sticks to any other piece. They’re one of our Spring Top Toys!

     

    In addition to learning about magnetic properties, Magformers help children develop spatial thinking: the ability to picture the location of objects, their shapes and their positions as they move. By creating 3-D objects from the flat magnetic pieces, Magformers help kids understand and manipulate the elements of a structure. “Spatial thinking is associated with skill and interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, as well as art, graphic design and architecture.” —Nora S. Newcombe, Ph.D., What Does “Spatial Thinking” Mean?, learnnow.org

    The sets come with diagrams to help kids get started with their 3-D shapes. Once they get the hang of it, they’ll be building castles, airplanes, towers, or whatever they can imagine.

     

    Magformers construction sets come in various color schemes and are great for kids 3+ (but better suited for 5 to 6+). For the child who loves cars or electronics, the Magformers Walking Robot Set and Magformers XL Cruisers Set include a walking mechanism or wheels to set your creations in motion. They're also great building toys for younger children (with supervision). Since any side of a piece can attach to any other side, it's easy for preschoolers to grasp the concept and start building quickly.

    So pick up some Magformers, and see what you can create!

    Enjoy!

  • 5 Retro Toys That Are Making a Comeback (Or Never Left!)

     

    5  Retro Toys that are Making a Comeback

    My husband and I are expecting our first baby this month, and it has been so much fun to buy our baby-to-be gifts that remind us of our own childhoods: books we remember reading like Pat the Bunny, Winnie the Pooh cartoons, and Peter Rabbit room décor. We can’t wait for when our daughter is old enough to enjoy some of the same toys we did as kids, too!

    Retro toys can help us connect to our kids and remind them that we, too, were once young. We love that so many great toys have stood the test of time – and some are more popular than ever before!

    Here are 5 retro toys that are making a comeback (or never left):

    1. Simon

    Simon, the electronic memory game from the late 1970s and 80s, is still entertaining kids today while helping them sharpen their memory skills. The battery-powered game is shaped liked a flying disc with four large buttons: green, red, blue and yellow. Simon lights up the buttons in a specific order that the player must repeat, with progressive difficulty. Each button lights up and makes a unique tone when pressed – the same classic sounds I remember from childhood! The only upgrade is that the buttons are now touch-sensitive instead of physical, clunky plastic buttons.

    1. Rubik’s Cube

    This puzzle toy, invented in 1974, has fascinated generations! The Rubik’s Cube is a 3x3 cube the player twists and rotates to match up the colored tiles on each side. The puzzle has exploded in popularity with a sport called “speedcubing,” a worldwide phenomenon with many official and unofficial competitions. Today’s version has fully-plastic tiles, so there are no more peeling and fading stickers (and no cheating)!

    Pac-Man Mini Arcade Game
    1. Pac-Man

    The arcade game Pac-Man was first released in 1980, and quickly became one of the most famous video games of all time. The yellow, pizza-shaped Pac-Man character navigates a maze, eating pellets and fruit and being chased by ghosts. Many versions of this game exist today, including the Pac-Man Mini Retro Arcade Game. This portable game brings home the nostalgia of an arcade cabinet while being just 6 inches tall!

    Lincoln Log House
    1. Lincoln Logs

    Believe it or not, Lincoln Logs are celebrating their 100th anniversary! Named for President Abraham Lincoln (and the log cabin he was born in), Lincoln Logs are miniature notched, wooden logs for building structures. The 100th Anniversary Tin includes 111 all-wood logs and all pieces are made in the USA.

    1. Spirograph

    Spirograph is the geometric drawing toy that has helped kids make mesmerizing works of art since 1965. Place a pen tip in one gear, hold the anchor gear to your paper, and use the pen to turn the gear around and around as you draw. Soon you’ll have an incredible curve design! Today, Spirograph is better than ever, with a variety of updated features to make it easier to use. Many of our design kits include Spiro-putty, which holds the anchor gear in place. The Spirograph Cyclex and Spirograph Junior kits keep the gears self-contained within a plastic frame to prevent slipping. There are options for all ages (3 and up)!

    In a world of smartphones, virtual reality games and other cutting-edge technology, there’s something satisfying about pulling out these retro toys and watching kids enjoy them. Try your hand at these too – it’s amazing how quickly it comes back.

    Cheers to the toys of decades past!

    Becki

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