Elevate Playtime: Our Top 10 Picks for Educational Summer Toys

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Summer is here, and it’s the perfect time for kids to explore, play, and learn in exciting new ways. At the Children’s Museum of the Upstate, we believe that the best toys are those that spark curiosity, creativity, and a love for learning. We’ve curated a list of our top 10 educational summer toys that are not only fun but also packed with learning opportunities. Whether your child is a budding scientist, a little artist, or an aspiring engineer, our picks are designed to make their summer break both enjoyable and enriching. Get ready to dive into a world of playful discovery and educational adventures with our favorite summer toys!

1. Outdoor Bingo

Bring back the glory days of childhood games with an exciting round of Outdoor Bingo! Perfect for summer road trips, this engaging game keeps kids entertained by encouraging them to interact with the passing scenery.

As you travel, challenge your little ones to spot various items from the beautiful outdoors. Slide the “finger tip” shutter cards to mark the space when they find something on their Bingo card. The first to get five in a row wins! It’s a fun and educational way to keep kids occupied and connected with nature during your travels.

2. GO! Play Pro Ball Set

a box with three different types of balls in it

Introduce your kids to the joy of sports with the Get Outside GO! Pro-Ball Set, specially designed for little hands to enjoy. This fun-filled set includes a 5-inch soccer ball, a 6.5-inch football, and a 5-inch basketball, all perfectly sized for children. Suitable for both indoor and outdoor play, these game balls are made from durable, nontoxic plastic that resists stains and fading.

Whether your child is practicing their soccer skills, tossing the football, or shooting hoops, this 3-pack of sports balls is the perfect way to keep them active and entertained. Ideal for kids aged 3 and up, the Get Outside GO! Pro-Ball Set promises endless fun and healthy playtime.

3. Wingman Discs

a person holding three frisbees in their hand

Discover the perfect blend of art and play with the Waboba Wingman flying discs! These disks aren’t just visually stunning; their design and performance make them a standout choice for fun. With a 5.91-inch diameter, these disks can soar over 130 feet, making them ideal for outdoor adventures and indoor fun.

Choose from seven unique patterns: cheetah print, bird, tumbleweed, wave, twisty cactus, seaweed, and a simple “Keep Life Fun!” design. Crafted from foldable silicone, the Wingman discs are ultra-portable, allowing you to take the fun with you wherever you go.

Adding to the charm, the special Waboba Wingman collection features hand-drawn illustrations by artist Chris Kemp from Charleston, SC. These 6-inch silicone flying discs are perfect for kids aged 5 and up, though they are not designed for water play as they do not float.

4. Pirate Ship Beach Set

Embark on a sandy adventure with the Toysmith Pirate Ship Beach Toy Set! This exciting set features a 14-inch blue ship-shaped plastic bucket brimming with 9 assorted sand toys and molds, perfect for a day of beachside creativity. Designed with tiny wheels and an anchor on a pull string, the bucket is easy for kids to transport to the beach and pull along on their own.

Inside the bucket, you’ll find everything needed for endless sandy fun: a shovel, a sand sifter, a rake, a watering can, and five unique sand molds shaped like a fish, anchor, skull, starfish, and shell. Ideal for children aged 18 months and up, the Toysmith Pirate Ship Beach Toy Set promises hours of imaginative play and outdoor enjoyment. Dig, mold, and create your own pirate-themed sandcastle paradise!

5. Mr. Ray’s Dive and Catch Game

Make a splash with your little Disney fan this summer with the Mr. Ray’s Dive and Catch Game! Featuring beloved characters from Finding Dory, this set turns pool time into an underwater adventure. Simply toss the dive characters into the pool and let your kids swim to retrieve them with the Mr. Ray net. Each character floats at different depths, making the challenge of catching them even more exciting.

Perfect for everyday play, pool party games, and encouraging the learn-to-swim process, these toys help kids build their underwater swimming skills without even realizing it. Ideal for children aged 5 and up, this game guarantees hours of aquatic fun and skill-building. Dive in and watch your little ones discover the joy of swimming with their favorite characters!

6. Maxi Butterfly Kite

Watch your child’s face light up with joy as this giant 37″ by 24″ colorful butterfly kite soars higher and higher in the breeze! Perfect for adding extra magic to days at the park or beach, flying this kite creates memories that will last a lifetime. Plus, running to launch it provides great physical activity!

This kite is easy to assemble with just six pieces and can be stored neatly in its handy pouch. Keep it in your beach bag or car all year long for spontaneous fun. Ideal for kids aged 5 and up, the pastel butterfly kite is your go-to for every outdoor adventure!

7. Maxi Airplane Kite

Enjoy a perfect summer day with this giant 48″ by 34″ yellow airplane kite! Perfect for adding extra excitement to days at the park or beach, flying this kite creates unforgettable memories. Ideal for children aged 5 and up, it’s a fantastic way to spend time outdoors and enjoy the fun of kite flying.

8. Lanard Dlx Liqui-Fly Hydro Rocket

The Lanard Dlx Liqui-Fly Hydro Rocket is an exciting, hands-on STEM toy perfect for kids interested in science, physics, and machines. This liquid-fueled hydro rocket set utilizes air pressure and waterpower for an exhilarating outdoor launch experience. The set includes three space-style rockets, two funnels for easy filling, a fill-and-pump launcher, and comprehensive instructions for assembly and launch.

Designed for ages 8 and up, this toy encourages exploration and understanding of scientific principles through interactive play.

9. Jump Rope

Experience the joy of skipping with Floss and Rock’s vibrant and colorful Jump Ropes! These ropes are designed to make skipping extra fun, featuring hand-painted wooden handles that are both durable and delightful. Whether you’re jumping solo or with friends, these ropes promise to bring a splash of color to your outdoor playtime.

10. Neato! Balloon Car Racer Kit

Discover more about physics and motion with the Neato! Balloon Car Racer kit. This engaging STEM toy includes everything you need to build and race your own colorful car: 2 latex balloons, a 6.25-inch-long solid-colored car, and fun decals for customizing your racer.

Simply attach the latex balloon to the car’s jet port at the rear, inflate it by blowing air through the opening, and pinch it closed to keep the air inside. Then, watch as your car zooms forward powered by the balloon’s propulsion! It’s a fantastic introduction to STEM concepts making it ideal for science teachers and curious minds alike.

Recommended for ages 8 and up, the Neato! Balloon Car Racer kit guarantees hours of educational fun while sparking creativity and exploration.

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