If they spent their summer playing in the sun, jacked up on freezies, bedtime be damned, September’s new routine is gonna be rough. Here are 11 fun toys that’ll get kids in the mood for learning stuff/kick their brains into learning mode (early bedtime not included):
11 toys that will actually get your kids excited for school
Math For Love Prime Climb – Ages 10+Using colour coding, players add, subtract and divide their way to the centre of the board, bumping opponents back to the start as they go. The peeps at Mensa recommend this game, enough said.
$46.98 at AmazonAmazon
Think & Learn Code-A-Pillar - Ages 3 to 8Little Ava's in preschool and can't code yet? Sacré bleu! This cool caterpillar starts tykes as young as three on sequencing, the basis of coding. By connecting and rearranging the segments they can make it move left, right, wiggle or dance. You might not have the next Sheryl or Bill on your hands, but you may end up with in-house tech support for life.
$59.99 at Best BuyBest Buy
Brain Quest Smart Game – Ages 6 to 12The winner of this mind-boosting quiz game is the first to spell SMART by correctly answering a grade-appropriate question. Categories include science, math, art, reading and the world; strengthening their cognitive abilities and general smart aleck-ness.
$32 at AmazonAmazon
Osmo Genius Kit - Ages 5 to 12+Since iPads are like crack for kids, the appeal of Osmo is undeniable. Combining technology with physical play, a reflector is mounted on the tablet's camera so it follows what they're doing. There are five play modes that get harder as they go, and classic games like Tangram let them arrange wooden puzzle pieces to match on-screen shapes. There's no science to prove they'll grow brain cells, but we'll be damned if they don't.
$129.95 Chapters IndigoChapters Indigo
Nancy B's Science Club Stir-It-Up Chemistry Lab - Ages 8 to 12Created by a real-life U.S. scientist, the kit includes beakers, test tubes and lab glasses. They'll learn the foundations of chemistry while making cool stuff like invisible gas and bubbling lava. Just keep them away from Breaking Bad re-runs.
$34.95 at Chapters IndigoEducational Insights
Lego Boost Creative Toolbox – Ages 7+Just when you thought Lego couldn't possibly get any better! The spanking new Boost kit lets kids build one of five programmable robots using any kind of Lego brick and simple coding commands. If you're lucky they'll design one that can clean up their room.
$199.94 at Toys 'R' UsToys 'R' Us
GoldieBlox Invention Mansion – Ages 6+Created to challenge gender stereotypes about STEM learning, this 350-piece kit includes ladders and levers, bridges and trap doors that let them customize a massive dollhouse. While your budding architects and engineers flex spatial and problem solving skills, you can hog the TV for a change.
$69.95 at Chapters IndigoChapters Indigo
My Own Leaptop - French Version – Ages 2+Parlez-vous français? It's never too early to give your kid the bilingual advantage. Leapfrog's French leaptop gets 'em started on ABCs, music and role-playing in our official second language. French immersion, here they come!
$29.99 at Hudson's BayHudson's Bay
LeapStart Interactive Learning System – Ages 2 to 4Packed with over 400 activities, the LeapStart allows littles to learn how to trace numbers, go on letter scavenger hunts and explore their feelings. The stylus reads invisible dots that trigger questions, challenges, songs and jokes, as they progress from preschool up to Grade 1. With 50 skills to master at each level, you'll have proof your kid really is a genius.
$49.99 at AmazonAmazon
Kanoodle - Ages 7+In this brain-twisting solitaire game, kids build 2-D rectangular and 3-D pyramid puzzles that help challenge spatial reasoning and critical thinking skills. Best of all, it's portable and pocket-sized so they can build their noggins on the go.
$14.95 at AmazonAmazon
Kano Computer Kit - Ages 6+If they've already mastered soccer shooting, butterfly strokes and decoupage it might be time to step things up. Kano includes a brain (Raspberry Pi), memory, wireless keyboard, speaker and power supply—everything they'll need to build their own computer. Once they've done that they can make art, music, or code games like Pong, Snake or Minecraft. Watch your back, Musk!
$159.96 at Chapters IndigoChapters Indigo