Best Critical Thinking Toys

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Building a fort is not only a fun activity for kids, but it helps them work on spatial relationships, problem-solving and critical thinking skills. This kit includes 44 joint balls and 86 rods that can be used to build any structure your child imagines. The set also includes a building guidebook to help get kids started. They’ll have fun as they improve their STEM skills and imagination without even knowing it. This set is recommended for kids 5 and up.

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This toy is a great way for kids to explore how things are built with this hands-on toy. The toolset includes 25 necessary pieces, pretend electric tools and easy-to-follow assembly instructions with illustrations. This is a great set to help build your child’s confidence as well as critical thinking skills, fine motor skills, reasoning and focus. The best part is that kids will get to play with what they’ve built — building it is one part, but playing with it and letting their imagination run wild is another. This kit is recommended for kids ages 3-6.

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Kids love building with blocks, and this critical thinking toy adds an extra dimension of fun and challenge. With Mental Blox, kids have to figure out which blocks go where by either listening to the instructions given to them by a partner or studying the included activity cards. The various blocks come in a range of different shapes, sizes, colors and patterns. This is not only a great way to improve children’s color, pattern and shape recognition skills, but it also helps them learn how to focus as they complete their tasks. Mental Blox is recommended for children ages 5 and up.

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Sometimes the best way to build a child’s critical thinking skills is to give them the tools and space they need to figure things out on their own. The IQ Builder construction kit gives them a lot of parts to explore, including various types of rods and connectors. Guide books at different challenge levels are provided to help children learn how to put these pieces together. Kids can start by learning how to assemble basic shapes and progress until they are able to build complex structures such as buildings and helicopters. In addition to helping with critical thinking, this kit also promotes creativity. Kids don’t have to stick to the provided guides and can instead come up with their own unique creations. This kit is recommended for children ages 3 and up.

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There are plenty of deduction and reasoning games out there. ThinkFun Clue Master is unique in that it combines deductive reasoning with other skills, such as math. Kids must arrange magnetic shapes on a board using both the clues they are given about color and shape and their own critical thinking skills. Plenty of problem-solving is involved, helping children learn to focus as they think through each puzzle. This game is recommended for children ages 8 and up.

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The Learning Resources magnet kit is great for the classroom as well as for experimentation at home. The kit comes with 119 different pieces — including chips, marbles, wands and more — and by sticking them together and pulling them apart, kids can learn about the basics of magnets, including magnetic fields and polarity. This option is especially great for encouraging kids to work on their own to identify different results. It also encourages them to ask questions and be inquisitive so they can learn why certain items stick together and others are forced apart. This set is recommended for children ages 5 and up.

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Is it really possible to get kids to enjoy math? With Shifu Plugo Count, the answer is a resounding yes! Caretakers simply download the Shifu app to their tablet, place the tablet on the included game board and put the magnetized count spike in place. After that, kids work through various stories, solving problems related to the storylines. It’s a great way to make learning important STEM skills more exciting and fun. Not only that but providing challenges in the context of a story helps children learn the real-world applications of arithmetic, and the inclusion of word problems helps children work on their reading comprehension and spelling skills. The game offers five STEM games at over 250 different levels, allowing kids to continue playing the game and progressing as they build on their skills. This game is recommended for children ages 5 to 10.

Expert Commentary

“These toys are so much fun — just don’t tell your kids that they are called ‘critical thinking’ toys! It’s paramount that children learn problem-solving and logical reasoning at a young age to build the foundation for success as they mature. These toys make STEM riveting and disguise the fact that these are actually educational. Who said logic puzzles should be boring and dry?”



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