Christmas is one week from today and, if you still have shopping to do, it’s almost crunch time. To help you find great gifts for the kids on your list this year, I asked Learning Express Toys to let us in on their hottest holiday gift items for 2010. Learning Express has stores in both Barrington and Lake Zurich and the local owner, Rick Derr, says the toys you’ll find at their stores are for more than just play time. “Well-designed toys are fun to play with and they also develop creativity and important life skills like strategy, cooperation, and collaboration.” So grab a pen, paper, your coat and your wallet and head out to Learning Express to check out their “12 Toys of Christmas”.
Be not afraid of monsters wearing magical blue gloves; they come in peace to tickle your funny bone! Cheerful drawings and silly poetry tell the story of a monster’s mission to spread joy while readers wear the furry blue mitts that make the tale come alive. Kit includes mitts and book. Ages 12 months+ $34.95
Ten monkeys may jump on their bed, but kids would be better off using this fully functional trampoline! Constructed with weatherproof tubular steel, use it indoors or out. Safe and fun trampoline folds for easy storage. Holds one child up to 150 pounds. Ages 3+ $99.99
From the quirky cast of the Uglyverse comes this new, limited edition Learning Express Nandy Bear™. Now that we’re all special, let’s get down to some fun! While supplies last. Available only at Learning Express. Comes in three sizes—keychain miniature, classic, and two foot oversized. Ages 3+
Back to school fun for everyone! Fun starts from the very first hour with this fully-functional two-story school. Stocked classrooms, science lab, art studio, and music room make for delightful learning. Functional bell and chalk board. Exceptional quality and play value. Ages 4+
Oh, what a wonderful world! Use the wireless Intellipen to learn amazing information from this raised-relief globe. Accompanying 48-page book uses the same updateable technology to teach about our amazing Earth. Includes games, geography, history, ecology, and more in four languages! Ages 5+ $129.99
A best seller! Fantastic frogs in a carefree aquarium! You just need to feed them two times a week, change there water ever 6 months! And that is all there is to it.The “living” gravel in this small tank keeps it clean, leaving you more time to enjoy the amusing antics of the resident aquatic frogs. Ages 5+ $24.99
Catch the latest craze! Just put the ball into the Squap mitt and open your hand as quickly as possible. The ball launches, then soars through the air to a friend who catches it by snapping the Squap mitt closed around the ball. Play it with friends or by yourself against a wall – indoors or outside. Includes two snap launchers and four balls. Ages 6+ $24.99
There is always one, and only one, matching symbol between any 2 cards in this party game. Spot it and you win! There are only 8 symbols on each card, but 2 matching symbols may be different sizes. This challenge increases as new cards are quickly revealed in this fast-paced game.A sharp eye and a little bit of speed is all it takes to become a Spot it! 2 to 8 Players Ages 6+ $12.99
Awesome accessories abound! Use your fashion flair to design and decorate beautiful bracelets, headbands, and more. Stick and peel jewels are eye-catching, easy-to-use and a great way to punch up your style with intense color and sparkle! Only available at Learning Express! Ages 5+ $24.99
Fun for old and young alike! Bean bags are back and more fun that ever. Grab these games in their handy carry bags and take them to picnics, parks, sporting events, or simply set up in your family room. Includes eight bean bags and one board. Teams will vary by store. Available only at Learning Express! Ages 8+ $29.99 each
This super self-propelled scooter surpasses all others! Two-scooters-in-one, riders can quickly switch from traditional kick scooter mode to a unique rocking technology that propels you with a gentle movement of the knees. Rear spring suspension makes for a smooth ride anywhere. Folds for travel. Colors may vary by store. Ages 8+ $199.99
Time-changing trends! Simple, dynamic, balanced, freakishly flexible watches that produce negative ions, which help eliminate all the protons that your body is exposed to on a daily basis. Keep your look up to date with interchangeable Popocho watch face accessories! Ages 6+
There are two Learning Express stores nearby. One is in the Ice House Mall at 200 Applebee Street in Barrington. The other is at 315 S. Rand Road in Lake Zurich. You can reach the Barrington store by calling (847) 381-9559 and the Lake Zurich store by calling (847) 540-4566. You can check out the store online by visiting LearningExpressToys.com.