Each year I take at least one of my kids to NYC on the bus for a day trip to NYC when Toy Insider hosts an event called Sweet Suite; it’s a night of play and checking out all the best and newest toys and games. So we scour the vendors to find educational games to add to your curriculum!
Highlights from Toy Insider’s Sweet Suite ’19
We were so privileged to attend Sweet Suite and talk to game companies about what they’re most excited about kids playing with this year. We have also included affiliate links to some of our favorite games below; we earn from qualifying purchases.
OK 2 Win
Boom Goes the Dynamite
Want to introduce multiplication? Or maybe reinforce addition and subtraction skills? This is an easy to learn and fast paced game for kids to learn and practice these skills. Kids will have to make matches by using both luck and strategy!
Why consider buying? There is flexibility in that this game can grow with kids’ and their abilities. The multiplication cards can be take out for younger kids and added in as they’re learning to multiply and divide. See product here.
3 Up 3 Down
This is a quick game for kids that is all about getting rid of the cards in your hand. To start, each player is dealt out 3 cards face down in front of them to form your “3Down” that you don’t look at. Next, the dealer gives everyone 6 more cards, which you do look at; three of them are placed face-up on top of the 3Down cards and the remaining three form your starting hand. Card have to be played that are equal to or greater than what’s shown. In the end, you’ll have to calculate the best way to discard your last few cards in order to maximize how many cards you can play each turn and get to your 3 Up and 3 Down piles.
Why consider buying? Great for k-4 kids to work on greater than, less than, and equal to in math. A fast-paced game that could be an easy homeschool starter or to fill gaps in a traditional classroom. See Product Here.
Fat Brain toys
We have always loved squigz as an open-ended way to play and build. Now they’re introducing Ringlets. They can be used to make links and rings for little kids or added to your squigz collection to build rings and arches which adds even more dimension to how kids can play and learn.
Why consider buying? Squigz are a fantastic way to develop fine motor skills in kids that are necessary at all ages for writing, typing, and more… but it’s a fun way to work those muscle groups and since they’re not tiny, even young toddlers can play with them! Coming Soon.
What we love about this new puzzle-like toy is that it’s all about placing pieces by color to make a picture, but the pieces could be used to make your own piece of art as well.
Why consider buying? Again, these promote fine motor skills, but for older kids since they are tiny pieces. It would encourage imagination and creativity beyond what each set creates. See Product Here.
Tech Will Save Us
There are several different projects and boxes to choose from to teach different concepts or inspire kids based on their interests. Whether it’s electro dough, creative coder kit, or other, kids will be inspired as they spend time exploring STEM. The different projects serve children from 4 – 11+ and cover a wide range of STEM topics.
Why consider buying? There is no better way to introduce kids to conductivity, coding, and more than through these fun projects using dough. See Products Here.
These are little pillows that have a mesh top and come with a tool much like a crochet hook. Kids are to pull the loops up through the mush to make their pillow. While on the surface it doesn’t have a lot of educational value, there actually are many skills covered from fine motor development to learning the basics of crocheting which could teach them to make creations from scratch in the future.
Why consider buying? For both girls and boys, it’s important to teach life skills that will serve them in their day-to-day needs outside of a classroom or workplace. This provides an entry point or piques interest in crocheting. See Products Here.
The famous Rubik’s cube just turned into a game where you have to get 3 in a row. Each player can either add a cube, turn the cube, or flip the cage! It’s a fun way to learn some strategy and like a mash up of Connect 4, tic-tac-toe, and a Rubik’s cube.
Why consider buying? This game develops a child’s spatial awareness and forces them to plan ahead and strategize in 3 dimensions. It also takes the Rubik’s cube form being a single player toy to a multiple player game. See Products Here.
Honestly, this was one of our favorite finds at Sweet Suite 2019. It’s so simple and in many ways I can’t believe it’s taken this long to introduce it! It’s simply a 3x3x1 Rubik’s cube. It is great for building hand muscles, working through problem solving skills, and doing puzzle work in 3D.
Why consider buying? This is an easy entry point for kids to start learning how to do a larger cube and is a great lesson in spatial awareness and thinking in 3 dimensions. Coming Soon.
This is a small logic game that has multiple skill levels for all ages… kids to adult. The small board makes it an easy addition to a game collection and also a fun game to take traveling. Like many Smart Games, it could be done individually or cooperatively.
Why consider buying? Smart games in general are fantastic at teaching logic and the best part is that they are self correcting so kids can keep working at the same problem until they solve it! See Product Here.
Thames & Kosmos
Alien Slime Lab & Ooze Labs
Get kids exploring basic science. They can make bath bombs, create snow from a test tube, and more. There is so much fun and longterm open-ended play that can happen when kids get put into from of science lab equipment and are set loose to explore.
Why consider buying? This introduced kids to science tools while also allowing them to make hypotheses and test them when it comes to how ingredients interact with each other. My 4 year old actually spent a lot of time here working through problems and playing with fake snow!See Product Here
Big G Creative
Happy Little Accidents
This is a game that involved not just little doodles, but the challenge in trying to create a picture out of the doodle you’re given.
Why consider buying? Especially for kids that are somewhat art-averse, it’s a fun game to help them see doodling and drawing in a whole new way. It also is a really wonderful way to inspire creativity and think outside the box. See Game Here.