SOURCE: Kiddie Academy

November 15, 2010 13:21 ET

Kiddie Academy Reveals Top Educational Toy Picks for the Holidays

Educators Select Toys That Make Learning Fun

BALTIMORE, MD--(Marketwire - November 15, 2010) - If you have children on your gift list this year, your toy choices may seem endless. Toy mega-stores feature aisle upon aisle of brightly colored options, most of them touting the educational value of the toy in big letters. Kiddie Academy wants to help shoppers in their search for just the right toy. The educationally focused child care provider has created a list of Top Educational Toys for the holidays, and the toys that made the list are both popular and engaging, based on the toys' Amazon consumer ranking and the judgment of the Kiddie Academy® education team. 

"Our experts narrowed down the list to three choices in each of these categories -- Infant, Toddler, Pre-School and Kindergarten," said Claire Haas, vice president of education for Kiddie Academy. "Then, the entire Kiddie Academy Community selected their pick for the Top Educational Toy in each category, choosing the toy that best combines fun with learning. After all, the educational value of a toy is lost if the toy isn't fun to play with."

Here are Kiddie Academy's Top Educational Toy choices for 2010.

Infant Toys
The Winner! 

  • 2-in-1 Tummy Time Gym from Playskool. With 45 percent of the vote, this toy was our Kiddie Academy Community top choice. The sound effects, music and lights will stimulate and delight babies.

Toddlers
The Winner!  

  • Learning Home from Fisher Price. This play center teaches children numbers, letters, shapes and colors, and was our Toddler Top Pick with 62 percent of the vote.

Pre-Schoolers
The Winner!  

  • 60 piece Standard Unit Blocks from Melissa and Doug: A time-tested favorite, this classic block set stimulates creativity, teaches math concepts, organizational skills, sequential skill and spatial relations. It was our clear winner in this category with 71 percent of the vote.

Kindergarten
The Winner!  

  • Leapster Learning Game Scholastic Get Puzzled from LeapFrog. With more than 300 games, this toy teaches logic, reasoning, language and problem solving skills and was our Kiddie Academy pick with 50 percent of the vote.

"All of our toy picks have one thing in common," said Haas. "They make learning fun, which is what we do every day at Kiddie Academy. If you are shopping for a child this holiday season, look for toys that are visually engaging, age appropriate, and easy to learn. For children, play is learning, so it's important that the toys you choose for them have both play and educational value."

Learn more about Kiddie Academy, please visit www.kiddieacademy.com. To find out what the other top toy choices were, please check our website's News section.

About Kiddie Academy®
For more than 29 years, Kiddie Academy® has been a leader in education-based child care. The company serves families and their children ages 6 weeks to 12 years old, offering full time care, before- and after-school care and summer camp programs. Kiddie Academy's proprietary Life Essentials® curriculum, supporting programs, methods, activities and techniques help prepare children for life. Kiddie Academy is recognized by the AdvancED accreditation system, signifying its commitment to quality education and the highest standards in child care. Kiddie Academy is an official partner of the nonprofit organization, First Book, and is dedicated to supporting children's literacy. For more information, visit www.kiddieacademy.com.

About Kiddie Academy® Domestic Franchising, LLC
Kiddie Academy is based in Maryland and has 105 academies located in 21 states, including 101 franchised and four company-owned locations. Approximately 70 additional academies are in development, with 10 to 20 new locations slated to open each year. Kiddie Academy intends to reach 200 Academies by 2012, with all future growth coming via franchising. For more information, visit www.kiddieacademy.com/franchisewithus.