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

Ask Nancy B: How can I get my child interested in science?

Nancy B Science and Math Expert at Educational Insights

Question: How can I get my child interested in science?

Nancy B’s Response: Most children are naturally curious about science. Many adults assume kids will find nonfiction boring, but in fact, the opposite is true. I would suggest checking out a variety of children’s nonfiction books out from the library. Topics might include: space, sharks, earthquakes, the body, baby animals, etc. (If possible, have your child help with making the selection at the library.) Read the books together and see what sparks his/her interest. Then, plan other activities or trips to museums with those interests in mind.

Depending on the age of your child, you can do some fun experiments that follow naturally from your conversations. For example, you’re picking out paper towels at the grocery store. If your child asks which is better, then buy two brands and do a test (an experiment!) at home to find out for yourselves which is more absorbent. The process of designing the test is an excellent way to teach science skills, and the measurements involved reinforce math skills. Many people mistakenly think that science is not creative, but in fact, designing an experiment (in this example, a fair and accurate test of the paper towels) is a very creative endeavor. And your child is likely to be motivated by an interest in the results.

Have questions of your own? Email Nancy B at