Introducing Our New Experts: Lekotek – Special Needs Experts

Lekotek, Special Needs Toy Experts
What the heck is Lekotek? “Lek” is Swedish for play and “tek” means library. Hence the name, Lekotek.

Lekotek is a team of national play experts with over 30 years of helping children of all abilities. They’ve recommended unique ways to use some of our top products for learning development. Here are some of their top picks:

Robot Face Race™: Pre-readers relish this fast-paced game that calls on players to visually process and race to place the right face. Kids power up their matching skills, boost their concentration and build recognition skills as they search for a robot face match. The fast tempo of the game has been known to invent some silly social interactions ideal for all ages!

Marco’s Polos™: Marco’s Polos is an expedition of discovery to a land of turn-taking and good sportsmanship. Players are prompted to visually focus, mentally process and physically play this fast-action matching game promoting concentration and attention to detail. Color recognition is the master of this trunk load of social engagement!

The GeoSafari Jr. Underwater Explorer Boat lets imaginations float to undiscovered worlds where water rules. Scientific concepts like magnification, gravity, and the power of observation are all pouring in while little faces stay dry. No risk of losing this vessel with the handy wristlet! As voyagers learn to focus visually through the portal they pilot through a sensory exploration of uncharted waters.

See more top toys to support special needs in Lekotek’s expert hub.

Share Your Fun Back-to-School Moments for the Ahead of the Class Photo Contest

Laura Miller of Zionsville, IN shared a charming back-to-School moment for our Ahead of the Class Photo Contest:

“This year my little girl, Ava, started kindergarten. My son, Gavin, was so proud and excited that he got to help her on the bus and show her to her classroom. It definitely helped with the ‘mommy anxiety’ that I was feeling about her first day of school! As a parent you often question whether or not you are doing the right thing by your children….but watching them on their first day last week I’m CONFIDENT that I’m doing something right! They make me so happy my heart could burst!”

Share your moment too for a chance to win a $300 gift card. Get more details at

Best Back to School Gifts for Students

“Back-to-School” time is a great opportunity to provide your child with some new and educational fun. Use this list to find the perfect back-to-school present!

Back to School Gifts!

While most kids are sad to say goodbye to the fun of summer break, you can ease their transition back to school with awesome gifts perfect for students of all ages. We believe that education and fun should be combined. Our games and toys allow kids to practice communication, develop problem-solving skills, increase creativity, learn to collaborate, and build their basic reading and math skills. Here are few of our favorite toys, games, and tools that are both entertaining and educational, ensuring that your loved ones will start the school year off right.

“Back-to-School” time is a great opportunity to provide your child with some new and educational fun. Use this list to find the perfect back-to-school present!Hot Dots® Jr. “Ace” – the Talking, Teaching Dog®: Meet Ace, part learning companion, part magic wand, and part pen. This amazing pen works with the Hot Dots activity cards (sold separately, see below) to help teach kids basic math and reading skills. This toy is especially designed for younger students, and encourages fun learning by lighting, buzzing, and laughing as children move their way through the activity pads. The wand encourages independent discovery by cheering for kids for correct answers and gently redirecting children on more challenging questions. Great for home or the classroom, this toy helps review key learning topics and build new skills!

Hot Dots®: The Hot Dots books features an array of games and activities that encourage playful and interactive learning for children of all ages. Children answer questions using the electronic pen, then receive audible feedback as they progress through the math and reading activities. Activities are designed for children of all ages, so you can find the Hot Dots to suit your child’s specific needs.

“Back-to-School” time is a great opportunity to provide your child with some new and educational fun. Use this list to find the perfect back-to-school present!Dinosaur Puppet-On-A-Stick™, Set of 3: Teachers and parents alike love the educational and imaginative possibilities of Puppet-On-A-Stick! This trio of wacky Jurassic characters can be used by kids on their own or in groups. Create a dinosaur-inspired story using Crusher, Stomper, and Buster as they adventure through the prehistoric world! These toys are easy to clean-up, making them ideal for the classroom or at home. Watch as kids practice communication skills and further develop their imagination using these amazing and adorable dinosaur puppets!

Smencils®: Add some flavor to classwork and homework with Smencils. Smencils are gourmet-scented pencils, offered in a variety of colors and scents, including Gum-E Bear, Cherry Vanilla, Pom Paya, Blackberry, Juicy Melon, and many more! In addition, Smencils are made from 100% recycled newspapers, making them a green alternative to standard wooden pencils. We also have Puppet-on-a-Stick pens and Wacky Winderz™.

With so many options for fun and learning, your home or classroom will be buzzing with laughter! Check out these toys and more for some great ideas for back-to-school gifts for students on Your kids are sure to love the wonderful playtime additions, and you’ll love watching the children reap the amazing educational benefits.

Change It Up! Art of Elysium

jess donates to Art of ElysiumAs a creator of polished sketches with a penchant for calligraphy, Jess’ choice for Change It Up! this past month was easy breezy. Her goal was to raise money for The Art of Elysium for the Change It Up! program, where each month an employee chooses a worthy organization for which to fundraise and collect spare change.

Founded in 1997, The Art of Elysium is a non-profit organization that encourages actors, artists, and musicians to voluntarily dedicate their time and talent to children who are battling serious medical conditions.

The Art of Elysium allows children to be creative and explore a wide range of artistic mediums, such as acting, art, comedy, fashion, music, radio, songwriting, and creative writing, with the help of Volunteer Artists. The volunteer artists work with children, adolescents and families in both small and larger group settings for 90-120 minutes in various inpatient and outpatient medical environments.These activities were designed to:

• Help children cope with the difficult emotional challenges of illness and hospitalization
• Promote opportunities for growth and development
• Encourage socialization
• Provide exposure to various artistic skills and disciplines.

Find out how you can help Jess donate to The Art of Elysium, HERE.

Free Frankie’s Food Truck Fiasco Game™ Coloring Page

Make your little learner’s long weekend more exciting with this super cute coloring page inspired by Frankie’s Food Truck Fiasco Game™ coloring page! Coloring is a great way to enhance fine motor skills and sharpen hand-eye coordination.
Frankie's Food Truck Fiasco Game™ Coloring Activity
The page pictured above was colored by hand by one of our talented designers (Hi Chrissy!). So, parents this proves that coloring is still fun for big kids too.

Download yours here: Frankie Coloring Page