Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Educational Toy Reviews

Learning Resources recently asked us to review some of their educational toys. We put them to the test with our toughest critics; our four kids. Here are the results.

Race Around the Clock was our favorite. This is a fun game that helps students to practice their time skills. Questions are asked that require students to calculate elapsed time. They can use paper and pencil, the game board, or a time line included on the box to help solve the problems. The game requires little set up, and moves quickly. Our only complaint was that the questions are directed at kids in school, but our homeschooled kids are used to this.

AlphaBall was a disappointment. I really wanted to like this toy. Kellen is not a great speller, and I was hoping that this would be a good in the car toy for him to practice with. In theory it would be, but we found that the roller ball to be a bit cumbersome, especially when playing the hangman game where you have to scroll through the entire alphabet to get to the letter you want.

There are six games to play; three in English and three in Spanish. You can unscramble words, use a set of letters to build words, or play a hangman type game. We did like that the sound is adjustable, and can be turned off. We wished that there was an option to turn the flashing lights off also.

Smart Splash Color Play Penguins are water toys for children ages 2-5. We love bath toys for preschoolers, especially ones that are educational too! These penguins are super cute, and help children learn to match colors and patterns. These will be great for fun, and learning in the tub!

Educational games and toys help teach and reinforce skills that children are learning regardless of whether they go to school or are homeschooled. They are valuable resources for all parents. Though disappointed with the AlphaBall, we were very pleased with the other two selections we were asked to review.

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