Best Educational Toys & Games for 7- to 10-Year-Olds
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Let's Experiment!Elementary school kids are natural science whizzes. These are the years of pop-bottle chemistry experiments, baking soda volcanos and Lego Rube Goldberg machines. Encourage hands-on fun and experimentation with kits to inspire kids' natural curiosity. These toys will open up the worlds of chemistry, physics and more to the 7-to-10 set.
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Tasty Science Kit
Children can create edible concoctions after taking stock of the ingredients, recipes and activity cards included in this test-tube laboratory. The kit comes with 10 activities that explain a number of culinary tricks, including how cakes rise, how rock candy crystalizes and what makes drinks fizzy. The recipes are great for everyday fun or birthday parties. (Recommended ages: 6 to 11 years)
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My First Mind Blowing Science Kit
This science kit walks young learners through several wacky experiments, including how to create a sunset in a test tube and how to make a volcano that can change colors. The 20-piece kit teaches kids about the basics of chemical reactions and how to use science tools. The kit contains a number of instruments, such as test tubes, pipettes, measuring scoops, chemicals (including cabbage powder and citric acid) and an activity guide. (Recommended ages: 4 to 8 years)
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Crazy Action Contraptions Kit
Watch children learn about mechanics as they fit together and take apart gears, rubber bands and wheels. The kit includes Lego blocks, gears and axles, as well as easy-to-follow instructions for 16 toys that zoom across the floor, plummet down a zip line and spin out of control. With a bit of work and creativity, kids can build their own creations, such as a wind-up race car, by themselves or with friends and family. (Recommended ages: 7+ years)
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This "cool" puzzle highlights spatial reasoning and abstract thinking, with more than 40 challenges for your kid or teenager. Participants can challenge themselves with different levels, ranging from student to expert. Just pick up a puzzle card, make a loop to solve the challenge and watch the board light up when it's solved. The game was named puzzle of the year in 2013 by Games Magazine, and comes with a light-up board; eight fluorescent, 3D puzzle pieces; and 40 game cards. (Recommended ages: 8+ years)
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Watch your child learn about the beauty and complexity of crystal growth. The kit includes 15 different experiments with instructions that explain the structure and geometry of the crystals. With hot water, crystal-growing solution and a bit of patience, kids can grow a rainbow of colorful crystals in a variety of shapes. Crystal "farmers" can then display their fully grown creations in special cases that come with the set. It's the perfect gift for budding geologists. (Recommended ages: 8+ years)
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Playmobil Space RocketKids can reach for the stars with Playmobil's "Mission Geo" rocket and Launchpad set. At nearly 2 feet in height, this set comes with all the bells and whistles: a launch structure, a satellite payload, a repair robot and battery-powered lights and sound effects.
(Recommended ages: 3+ years)
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3DoodlerImagine a pen that can write in 3D. That's what kids are getting with the 3Doodler Start, a 3D-printing pen. 3Doodler Start extrudes a stream of warm, malleable plastic, which lets kids draw in air. There are no scorching-hot parts, and the plastic material is food-grade, BPA-free and non-toxic. The plastic takes a moment to set, so kids can adjust their design as they create it. An included workbook has templates and project suggestions to get the creative juices flowing.
(Recommended ages: 8 and up)
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DIY Ping Pong LauncherGive a kid a ping pong ball launcher, and you'll entertain them for an afternoon. Teach a kid to design their own ping pong ball launcher, and you'll entertain them for at least two afternoons … and maybe sneak in a lesson about physics, too. The Design A Ping Pong Ball Launcher kit comes with three ping pong balls, a sling-shot-like launcher, a wooden target and paints and stencils to decorate the latter two.
(Recommended ages: 6 and up)
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Gravity MazeEncourage logical thinking with Gravity Maze, a single-player game with the goal of moving a marble from start to finish, using only gravity. The game comes with 60 cards for setting up challenges, ranging from beginning to expert level; players have to figure out how to set up the towers so that the marble will move from point A to point B successfully.
(Recommended ages: 8 and up)
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Chemistry LabEvery kid needs a chemistry kit, and the Magic School Bus Chemistry Lab is just the ticket for the elementary-school set. The kit contains instructions and ingredients for a few dozen experiments, from testing pH with litmus paper to making slime and creating an exploding volcano. (Parents will have to provide some basic kitchen ingredients like cornstarch, salt, vinegar and ice.)
(Recommended ages: 5 to 12)
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Archaeology KitWannabe archaeologists have their chance to uncover artifacts from a lost civilization with the Ancient Treasures Archaeology Kit. The kit comes with treasures encased in a pumice block, a magnifying glass, a pick and a brush.
(Recommended ages: 8+)
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Magbot BlocksBabies and toddlers are forces of nature. Introduce them to another sort of irresistible force with the Tegu Magbot Wooden Block Set. Tegu blocks are embedded with magnets, allowing kids to build structures that would be impossible with standard wooden blocks. Even little ones will be fascinated by twisting and turning the blocks to figure out how to make them "click." With no small parts or choking hazards, Tegu blocks are great for letting toddlers practice their fine motro skills. (Recommended ages: 12 months and up)
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