Brain Boosting Play All Summer Long

Kids need play to grow and learn!

It is through unstructured free play that kids build confidence, learn decision making skills, build critical thinking skills, establish social skills, explore the world and use their imaginations.

The right kinds of toys boost a child’s brain power, as they construct, connect and build, encouraging creative confidence, inventive thinking, motor skills, spatial skills, cognitive development, language skills and more!

Here are our 10 Top Favorite Brain-Boosting Toys and Games for your growing child:

Geo Boards:
Teaching a range of MATH concepts from basic to complex.  This manipulative starts by teaching simple shapes through advanced symmetry and geometry, including angles and fractions. They are also fun to play games, making a numbers or letter pattern.
The simplicity of these boards allow lots of options with this toy!

Growing Crystals: 
Geology is sometimes forgotten in school.  This is a great way to introduce the study of geology and SCIENCE.  The kit in this link gives you seven different crystal experiments.  It’s fascinating to watch the formations. Make it a game by predicting and observing the changes.
Watching how objects change and how science works is fascinating.  This experiment allows you to see changes almost immediately. ​

GEO Board Block:
This one is for younger kids.  It’s a puzzle, color sorting and counting tool all in one.  This boards engages, younger children, in sorting, matching and counting, which are all beginning MATH and SCIENCE skills.

Magnetic Builders:
These are a favorite at our house.  I have lost count of how many magnetic tiles we have.  The kids build structures, cars, carnival rides, the possibilities are really endless.  It is also a great toy to play and build with friends. It incorporates spatial skills, critical thinking, decision making, imagination and of course all the aspects of STEAM!
In this link I’ve included a starter set to get you going!

World Map Puzzle:
Need to work on READING and COMPREHENSION skills, look for puzzles such as these.  The World Map puzzles are fun to build but they are also filled with information such as state names, oceans and mountain ranges.
We have a world map puzzle, a United States puzzle and just got our first continents puzzle set, starting with Asia.  Hope to collect all the continents soon!
I also focus on map puzzles to teach GEOGRAPHY.  It is simpler to learn states and continents when you can see the continents, countries, states, oceans and mountains. A world globe is good to have handy as well.
The World Map Puzzle we are linking here has magnetic pieces so it can also double as a frame. Now you can display your puzzle and do again and again.

Snap Circuits:
I discovered this toy at a play date. It was one of those toys parents keep hidden when little ones come to play. I soon ordered our first circuit set and since have collected two more kits.
Learn about electricity, how to make a closed circuit, power a light, radio or fan. Learn how switches work. This STEM activity is my son’s favorite. Always trying to connect the boards and try new ways to use the circuits.
Here is a simple one to get your kids started!

​Microscope:
Children are always exploring their world. With a Microscope they can explore a whole new world inside everyday objects.  Send them on scavenger hunts to find pieces they can view under the microscope.  Older children can keep a journal of their observations.
Engage their curiosity even further by magnifying their world.

Terrarium Kit:
Learning about our earth and the living things on it, understanding how to care for our planet, trees and animals is an important part of everyone’s education.  With a terrarium kit a child can experience how a living organism works by building and caring for your own.

Letters & Numbers:
Whether in wooden toy blocks or magnetic letters or even letters and numbers you print at home these toys are good from primary through lower L, to explore with numbers and letters. 
Use them to learn your letters and then build words. To learn your numbers and then divide your numbers.  This is a basic handy toy that can be used for multiple learning tools in READING and MATH.

Root Viewer:
Not so much a toy, but a garden! Your child can observe the seeds growing in the soil, which is usually hidden from our view.  By planting root veggies, they can see the carrots growing in the bottom and the greens up on top.  They will need to nurture and care for the plants and soil, teaching responsibility as well.
This is one of my favorite buys in this list, since so much of our content focuses on where our food comes from and how it grows.
Plus, if you want to get your child to eat carrots, radishes, onions, this is a great place to start.  If they grow it, trust me, they will want to eat it!

3 thoughts on “Brain Boosting Play All Summer Long”

  1. I am always looking for fun activities my children can do while learning. Thank you for this great list. I’m pinning it for summer activities!

    1. If you do the root viewer please let us know! I think carrots and bean sprouts are the best seeds for this activity.

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