Learning Through Play 1

Educational Toys and Books Keep Children’s Minds Active Outside of School

Even if your child is in the best school around, it’s always a good idea to keep them learning long after the final bell rings.

Fortunately, it’s easy to make learning fun for kids in Tulsa. Ryan McAdams, founder of Tulsa Toy Depot at 101st Street and Sheridan Road, said he felt it was important to incorporate educational toys into his stock, along with 1,500 titles in the store’s book section.

“Studies show that reading with a real, paper book rather than a tablet helps kids learn faster,” he said.

With that in mind, we asked McAdams to pick out a few of his favorite educational toys and books that can help kids learn, create and dream.

Wordteasers, $14.95

These colorful boxes are filled with flash cards featuring conversation starters that can help kids of all ages build their vocabulary and think critically at the same time. For instance, cards in the set meant for younger children might ask “What makes someone a good winner?”

The Wordteasers set for middle-schoolers includes cards such as “Who is the most reliable person you know?” Not only will they challenge your child to recognize the meaning of the word “reliable,” they’ll also need to put that word to use with examples from their own life.

Thinkfun Math Dice, $5.99

You don’t have to plow through pre-written problems in order to get kids fired up about math. With Math Dice, number problems can be turned into an unpredictable game that will keep them on their toes.

For each round, you’ll first roll the two white 12-sided dice and multiply them to get a target number. Then, roll the three six-sided dice. To get that total as close to the target as possible, you can add, subtract, multiply or divide. If you’re really good, you can use powers — two to the third power is two multiplied by two multiplied by two equalling eight, for example.

Scholastic Bob Books, $16.99

Usually children’s books are sold one at a time, but Bob Books are sold as a set. This increasingly popular series is written with very simple language to appeal with kids who are just starting to learn to read, though the words are carefully chosen so that readers can grasp core sounds in the phonics method.

Each Bob Books set revolves around a specific theme, such as basic letter pattern recognition, sounds throughout the alphabet and skill building. For instance, the first book in the Beginning Readers set features just the letters M, A, T and S, and the word On.

Usborne First Thousand Words series, $12.99

This ongoing series helps children build up their vocabulary by incorporating a solid 1,000 words into colorful scenes. Not only does this help with reading and spelling, it also contains an index to make practice easier.

What separates out First Thousand Words from other book series is the fact that this book is translated into an array of languages. Now English speakers have an easy frame of reference for words in Spanish, Hebrew, Japanese or Latin, just to name a few of the languages available.

Scholastic Wipe Clean Workbooks, $9.99

Though workbooks are a great way to entertain and educate children, there’s just one problem — if the workbook is written in once, it’s hard if not impossible to use again. Scholastic knows children can be messy, and their solution was to create workbooks that can be easily erased and used again.

To make things as easy as possible, each Wipe Clean Workbook comes with its own pen. With a variety of topics aimed at early learners, each one can be re-used until your child has truly mastered a topic.

The Crazy Scientist Lab — Bubbles and Foam, $15.99

Who says science experiments have to wait until children are older? The Crazy Scientist series is geared toward the younger set, with hands-on activities that are a snap for kids to grasp but still convey basic scientific concepts.

The Bubbles and Foam set takes an almost universal childhood pastime and gives it a scientific twist. They’ll start with noticing how to create a membrane from soap, then find ways to chain them together, hold a bubble without popping it and even paint with foam.