WARREN, NJ - If you’ve logged onto the Internet, visited the mall or turned on the TV lately, you can’t help but know that the countdown to holiday shopping has begun! If you’re shopping for teens and tweens, they’ve probably already supplied you with a long list of expensive things they’d like. Stumped about the younger set? Don’t worry! Here’s a list of quality toys for kids 10 and under that are fun, developmental, and skill building.  And they are all relatively inexpensive!

The 2014 LearningRx “Smart Parent’s Toy Box” is a hand-picked collection of educational, development and skill building products that have won awards in the past, including Best Vacation Toys, Best Green Toys, Best Classic Toy, and Best Toys for a particular year, as rated by Dr. Toy (Stevanne Auerbach). These games have been chosen for their educational benefits. They help strengthen a variety of cognitive skills – like memory, auditory and visual processing, attention, processing speed, and logic & reasoning.   These are the essential tools needed to learn, memorize, process and recall information.  But to kids, they are just fun toys!

1. Classic Peg Game:  Jump pegs, removing them as you go, with the goal being to get down to just one remaining peg.  Ages:  8+
2. Show Me the Kwan: Roll the dice and be the first to choose the letter that matches the category for that round.  Then earn points as you call out words where either the first, second or last letter corresponds to the letter that was rolled.  Ages:  8+
3. Balance Benders: Solve these quick, fun logic problems that develop deductive thinking and pre-algebra skills.   Ages:  9+
4. Basic 001: Build 3D models with this kit of 85 pieces containing all seven types of pieces and connectors.  Ages:  5+
5. Math Dice Jr.: Roll the 12-sided die to get your target number, then roll the five 6-sided scoring dice.  Add and/or subtract the scoring dice to match the target number.   Ages:   3+
6. Meet the Phonics – Blend Coloring Book (Preschool Prep Company). Using characters, this book comes from an award-winning series (25+ national awards) that teaches phonics to early learners.)  Ages:  15 months+
7. Superstructs Custom Kit (WABA Fun, LLC). Create a personalized building set by choosing from eight different models and creating a personal message for the recipient on the cover of the box.  Ages:  3+
8. Chef Pop de Pop (Gamewright). Shake the shaker and count up the popcorn on the dice.  Collect your cards to see if the total matches any of the flavors.  Ages:  6+
9. Feelings (Little Pim). Learn to describe your feelings in three languages:  Spanish, French, and English.  Ages:  6 months+
10. Clumsy Thief (Melon Rind). A fast-paced card game requiring a mix of strategy, addition skills, and luck!  Ages:  8+

Thanks to neuroplasticity, we now know that the brain can change, adapt and grow at any age.  The fastest and most effective way to strengthen your cognitive skills is through one-on-one brain training, which produces measurable and permanent results.  But on a smaller scale, parents can help strengthen their children’s brain skills by choosing games and activities that use these skills.

For a list of more games and the skills they strengthen, visit: www.unlocktheeinsteininside.com. To learn more about the Smart Mom's Toy Box, call 908-222-7246 or visit www.learningrx.com/warren.