8 Great Educational Toys

When I was young, playing with toys usually meant sneaking my dad's magnifying glass out in the sun to start small fires, or turning sticks into a bow and arrow so I could harass my older sisters.

While I still think there's value in using simple tools and imagination to get through childhood, browsing baopals.com for toys recently makes me wish I'd had access to some of today's toys. Here are eight that caught my eye (and I'm using the term educational rather broadly - I believe in learning through play!).

Yangyang Plasticine Sandbox Set

¥167.60

You don't have to go to the beach any more to make sand castles - this set comes with sand box, molding tools, and 5 pounds of "sand" in your choice of color.

Mattel Tumblin' Monkeys Game

¥185.45

Tumblin' Monkeys a fun, kid-oriented twist on Jenga in which players pull out sticks and hope the monkeys don't tumble to the bottom of the tree.

Magical Airport & Police Station

¥426.95

This isn't your run-of-the-mill toy track. It has "SmartPoint" locations with fun phrases (in Chinese), lights and music, and the vehicles themselves interact with the track.

LEGO Creator 3-In-1 Series

From ¥48.95

I remember when Legos were just squares and rectangles. The Creator series takes it to another level, and kinda makes me want to own Legos again.

Beiens Magnetic Drawing Board

From ¥26.90

It appears the old Etch A Sketch has decided to join us in the 21st Century.

Learner Basketball Hoop & Ball Set

From ¥39.40

It's never too early to start draining jumpers!

Made-To-Move Barbie Doll

¥216.95

I was always a little put off with what Barbie seems to represent, but I won't go into that rant. I'm pleased to see a Barbie that encourages yoga, though!

Plumbing Pipes Buiding Blocks

From ¥49.90

If Mario and Princess Peach ever had kids, I imagine they'd forgo the usual Legos in favor of these.

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