LearningRx Reviews the 2019 Smart Mom’s Toy Box

10 Award-Winning Smart Toys and Games that Boost Brain Skill – all priced under $35!

So, you’re trying to get your child or teen off their smartphone or video console to have some old-fashioned family fun, but where do you start? After all, buying new toys and games can simply feel like you’re adding to the stockpile of useless junk that will end up in the donation box the next time you head to the thrift store.

But don’t give up hope just yet. There are games and toys that are not only fun, but also build cognitive skills, like memory, auditory and visual processing, attention, logic & reasoning, and processing speed. We’re talking about award-winning games that have a track record of appeasing kids and teens of all ages, all while boosting their brain skills.

LearningRx (www.learningrx.com), the world’s largest brain training company, has put together its annual list of brain-building games and toys for the 2019 Smart Mom’s Toy Box. These items have been named best in class because kids and teens love them and they build cognitive skills. Best of all, they’re all under $35 on Amazon.com!

Spy Alley (~$34.99)

This hidden-identity strategy board game will have you bluffing, deceiving and double crossing your friends and family to earn the title of the world’s top spy.

Ages: 8+

Cognitive skills: attention, logic, deductive reasoning, strategy, planning

Awards: Winner of 12 national awards, including Mensa Select, Australian Game of the Year and the Chicago Tribune’s Top 10 Games

Buy Now

Q-bitz (~$18.94)

Ages: 6+

Compete to complete 80 different puzzles three different ways by recreating the patterns on the game cards using your set of 16 cubes. The first player to match the pattern wins the car.

Cognitive skills: memory, visual processing, processing speed, special reasoning

Awards: Parents’ Choice Gold Award, National Parenting Publications Awards’ Nappa Gold, Tillywig Toy Award’s Brain Child Award Winner, Major Fun Award

Buy Now

Brain Freeze (~$22.95)

Ages: 5+

Combining the best elements of popular classic strategy games into a new form of entertainment for kids, this game can also be played as a co-operative game for parents and kids playing head to head or on the same team.

Cognitive skills: deductive reasoning, memory, attention, strategy

Awards: Tillywig Toy Award’s Brain Child Winner

Buy Now

The Memory Palace (~$16.07)

Ages: 5+

Players explore their imaginations and test their memories while creating silly stories about 27 different animal tokens. Look out for Memory Monsters trying to confuse you!

Cognitive skills: memory, attention, creativity, decision-making, planning

Awards: Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Gold Award, PAL Award, Parents’ Choice Recommended Award

Buy Now 

Word A Round (~$12.99)

Ages: 10+

A favorite of speech pathologists, this game is great for building vocabulary and improving concentration. The goal is to figure out where the word starts and read it aloud before your opponents.

Cognitive skills: Sound blending, attention, segmenting, processing speed, visual processing

Awards: Play Advances Language Award, Good Housekeeping Best Toys, Toy of the Year Nominee, Recommended by American MENSA

Buy Now 

Logic Cards – Blue (~$5.99)

Ages: 12+

This set of 53 challenges includes numbers, logic and geometry tasks at various difficulty levels. Logic Cards comes with an augmented reality app that shows you the animated solutions for each challenge.

Cognitive skills: logic & reasoning, math computations, problem solving, attention, mental math, visual processing

Awards: Family & Education Awards Best Math Game

 Buy Now

Play on Words (~$13.99)

Ages: 8+

Make, change, rearrange and steal words playing individually or in teams. Combo cards, flip cards and wild cards give even more options in this tug-of-war word challenge that is just the right mix of brain exercise and fun.

Cognitive skills: Sound blending, segmenting, attention, planning, sequential processing, memory, word attack

Awards: Parents’ Choice Foundation Silver Honor Award

Buy Now   

Rubik’s Cube (~$4.49)

Ages: 8+

This classic 3D combination puzzle has been entertaining kids, teens and adults for decades. Pivot the cubes on the face so each side only has one color.

Cognitive skills: visual processing, planning, strategy, attention

Awards: Game of the Year in Germany, the UK, France and the U.S.

Buy Now  

Simon AIR (~$10.90)

Ages: 8+

Forget tapping the buttons on the traditional version of Simon; Simon Air players simply wave or hover their hand over the various colors.

Cognitive skills: planning, processing speed, attention, memory, visual processing, deductive reasoning

Awards: Parents’ Choice Fun Stuff Award

Buy Now  

Bop It! (~$11.89)

Ages: 8+

Follow a series of commands from the toy and press buttons, pull handles, twist cranks, spin wheels and flick switches.

Cognitive skills: auditory processing, logic & reasoning, planning, processing speed, attention

Awards: Electronic Game of the Year (Bop It Extreme 2)

Buy Now 

Ready to head to the store (or online!) to do your holiday shopping? Take this list, or download a free Games for Skills Chart at: www.unlocktheeinsteininside.com.