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!
  • Easter Gift Idea: Race to Pop Them All with the Bubble Buster!

    Race to Pop Them All with the Bubble Buster!Easter is a wonderful time to enjoy the outdoors and celebrate spring. For me, Easter brings memories of egg hunts in my grandparents’ backyard with my brother and cousins, enjoying the grass, breeze and sunshine in a bright new dress. I also loved when the Easter bunny hid my basket, full of candy and toys, somewhere in the yard to find.

    Outdoor activities are perfect additions to Easter baskets. Sidewalk chalk, bouncy balls and jump ropes are all classic picks—and don’t forget the bubbles!Boy and girl playing with Bubble Buster

    Bubbles are even more fun with the Bubble Buster, a bubble-bursting race game that counts your bubbles as you pop them. It's a Spring Top Toy!

    This talking electronic game is as cute as a bug! The bug-shaped wand announces when it’s time for Player 1 and then Player 2 to play. One player blows bubbles while the other pops. On your turn, pop as many bubbles as you can with the Bubble Buster’s antennae, and a “ping” will sound on each one. When the timer runs out, the Bubble Buster will tally how many bubbles each player burst, and announce the winner!

    This game encourages active play as kids run and jump to pop as many bubbles as possible. It’s for ages 3 and up, and perfect for siblings, cousins and friends to play together.

    The game includes a bubble wand, tray and 4 ounces of bubble solution in addition to the Bubble Buster. All you need is two AAA batteries.

    Enjoy the sunshine, and Happy Easter!

    --Becki

  • PopSockets: Your Phone Can Handle This!

    Two girls using PopSockets on phoneI use my phone a LOT. I’m a new mom, so you bet I’m browsing Facebook during all those feeding sessions—and, of course, taking pictures of the baby every hour. After the first few weeks of motherhood, my hand was cramping up bigtime.

    Then I got a PopSocket for my phone. I’ve had it for about four days, and I don’t know how I survived without one!

    PopSockets are clever stick-on devices that make using your smartphone much more comfortable and practical to use. They function as a grip, a stand, a cord wrap, and more!

    When closed, PopSockets personalize your phone. They look like a decorative, half-dollar-sized circle on the back of your smartphone. They come in trendy designs for every taste—from wood grain to the American flag to donuts. Mine has a beautiful mandala-style elephant.

    When you pop open the PopSocket by pulling it straight outward from your phone, you can prop up your phone to watch a video, hold the phone between two fingers comfortably for texting or selfies, or wrap your headphones around it.

    Two teenage girls taking selfie using iPhone equipped with PopSocket

    It’s also a great fidget item – the PopSocket makes a satisfying “pop” as you snap it closed! Don’t worry about overdoing it – PopSockets are designed to expand and collapse 12,000 times. Three styles of PopSockets, one on an iPhone

    PopSockets stick to your phone with a sticky gel. The PopSocket can be removed and repositioned many times. If the adhesive gets dirty, you can rinse it with water and let it dry to stick it again—just don’t expose the gel to the air for more than 15 minutes, or it will dry out.

    Unfortunately, they don’t stick well to silicone phone cases or waterproof coatings. However, mine stuck just fine to my hard plastic, textured case.Android phone with elephant PopSocket

    PopSockets are also great for tablets, e-readers, the Nintendo 3DS, on your mirror to hang jewelry, and more.

    Paired with the optional PopClip mount, you can even attach your phone to your car's dashboard for music, speakerphone and GPS!

    Those Pringles commercials had it right: “Once you pop, you can’t stop!”

    --Becki

  • These Bath Fizzers with a Surprise Inside are Da Bomb!

    Inviting bathtub with rose petals and rubber duck and three Da Bomb bath bombs

    Taking a bath has long been my favorite way to relax. Now that I’m a new mom, I appreciate it even more when I can snag 30 minutes in the tub.

    I try to make it count by lighting scented candles, putting on some good music, and turning out the lights.

    But now there’s a new way to really deck out a bath – Da Bomb bath fizzers!

    Da Bomb bath bombs turn your tub into a fizzy, scented, colorful oasis.

    When the fizzing’s over, the fun isn’t – there’s a surprise inside each bath bomb!

    I was lucky enough to test an Earth Bomb, which has a “sea breeze” scent. As I watched it fizz, it turned my bath (but not my skin or tub!) a beautiful shade of blue.

    The bath bomb bubbled away for about two minutes as I waited for my prize to emerge. Ta-da: A plastic shark was inside!

    Da Bomb Bath Bomb Prize

    The soothing oils in the bath fizzer made my skin feel great and the bath even more luxurious. I’ll definitely need more of these!

    As a bonus, part of the proceeds of the Earth Bomb go toward saving the world’s oceans – a cause near and dear to my heart as an aquarium lover.

    Da Bomb bath bombs were created by two sisters, Isabel and Caroline, at the ages of 10 and 11. They are hand-made in the USA with only a few simple ingredients: baking soda, citric acid, food grade PEG, fragrance and pigments. They may look tasty (especially the ones with sprinkles) but they are not edible!da bomb bath fizzers

    The prizes inside are small, so these bath bombs are not for young children. They range from sea creatures to pirate booty to famous quotes, depending on the style. Da Bomb bath bombs make perfect gifts for kids and adults, and they’re great in Easter baskets!

    They definitely are Da Bomb. (Do kids even say that anymore?)

    Relax and enjoy!

    --Becki

  • 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 relatively 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 de-stress.  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!