Best toys for ages 6 and up

The importance of movement in play

Best developmental toys for grade schoolers
According to pediatric occupational therapist Angela Hanscom in the Washington Post, the fact that our children are being deprived of enough time for real physical activity is affecting their ability to learn, and in some cases leading to improper ADHD diagnoses.

“We will continue to see… rise in obesity, decrease strength, and poor body awareness if we don’t start allowing for adequate time in which children can get up and out of their seats to move.”

Kids are being forced to sit for too long while they are in school, and this is a big part of the problem. According to Hanscom, authentic play experiences that get kids moving in many different directions stimulate hair cells found in the vestibular complex of the inner ear. This type of experience, (on a regular basis and for a significant time) will lead to better attention and learning in the classroom.

“Over the past decade, more and more children are being coded as having attention issues and possibly ADHD.”

Pediatric occupational therapists like Hanscom say that 15-30 minutes of recess is not enough, and recommend at least 60 minutes during the school day; unfortunately, teachers have to settle for squeezing in just minutes of movement where they can. Thus, it is even more important that children have opportunities for active play at home.

Active play fosters a child’s emotional, physical, and social development. It’s a necessity for development.
(Source: The Washington Post – The right — and surprisingly wrong — ways to get kids to sit still in class)

See our recommendations here:

Top 10 Toys for Physical Development – Age 6+

#10 – Spooner Board
From the manufacturer:
“Stand, sit, rock, spin, slide, tilt, flip, wobble – You’ve got all the action you can handle with Spooner! Simulate skateboarding, surfing tricks, or fine tune snowboarding techniques, all with this amazing balance board.”
Why we love it:
Builds core strength, stability, leg strength, balance, coordination, and gross-motor skills.
Buy Spooner Boards

#9 – Ultra Stomp Rocket
From the manufacturer:
“If a child is able to stomp- they can give this projectile power.”
Why we love it:
Learn aerodynamics and propulsion, and just launch and chase rockets for hours! Foam tipped rockets keep kids safe
Buy Stomp Rocket

#8 – Kinetic Sand
From the manufacturer:
“It’s kinetic – meaning it sticks to itself and not to you! It oozes, moves and melts right before your eyes. ”
Why we love it:
It’s relaxing, addictive and stimulates creativity, but best of all – it’s easy to clean.
Buy Kinetic Sand

#7 – OgoDisk
From the manufacturer:
“A hand trampoline for balls: throw as a flying disk OR catch and bounce balls”
Why we love it:
The included ball is soft enough to keep kids active indoors without damaging anything. It’s not competitive, but it will build hand-eye coordination and encourage exercise without anyone even realizing it.
Buy OgoDisk Mezo

#5 – Slackerz Zipline
From the manufacturer:
“A zipline kit is one of the most exciting items you can put in your backyard – Ziplines help improve strength and balance, all while riding a just a few feet off the ground.”
Why we love it:
Great backyard play that keeps kids active and excited, while the strong & durable steel trolley and hardware puts parent’s mind at ease.
Buy Slazkerz Zipline

#5 – Diggin Wobble Deck
From the manufacturer:
“An electronic balance board that features four fun balance games that challenge the mind and body!”
Why we love it:
Builds core strength, stability, leg strength, balance, coordination, and gross-motor skills.
Buy Wobble Deck

#4 – Indoor-Safe Magnetic Dartboard and Darts Set
From the manufacturer:
“Enjoy all the fun of darts, but with magnets completely enclosed safely inside.”
Why we love it:
A classic, guaranteed-fun game that won’t mess up your wall. Helps improve coordination and encourages sportsmanship, and a fun way to spend family game night.
Buy Magnetic Darts

#3 – Squap
From the manufacturer:
” Just put the ball into the Squap mitt and open your hand as quickly as possible. The ball launches and then soars through the air! ”
Why we love it:
Easy to learn but encourages active play – can be used indoors or out. Teaches the basics of throwing and catching and hand-eye coordination.
Buy Squap

#2 – Big Time Toys Moon Shoes
From the manufacturer:
“Super-fun original mini trampolines for the feet feature a self-centering shoe platform with nonskid grip surface for sure-footed and high-bouncing thrills.”
Why we love it:
Cool anti-gravity effects, while developing balance and coordination – and they work up to 180 lbs (shoe size Men’s 9).
Buy Moon Shoes

#1 – Jungle Jumparoo
From the manufacturer:
“Taking jumping to new heights – A New Way to Jump! Zero reported injuries over 30 years (compare to 100k+ hospitalizations due to trampolines each YEAR.)”
Why we love it:
Proven to be much safer than a trampoline, but still encourages exercise both indoors and out. This is a great addition to any playground, or as an inside activity that gets kids moving!
Buy Jungle Jumparoo

Top 10 Toys for Mental Development – Age 6+

Ages 6+ (Concrete Operational Stage)
Hypothetical thinking, logic, and problem solving skills grow. Children make generalizations and draw inferences from observations (inductive reasonsing) but are still developing deductive reasoning skills.

What’s important:
-construction involving orientation, comparison, patterns, and spacial relationships
-toys that promote language skills and basic mathematical concepts
-toys that engage active participation (rather than passive viewing)

#10 – Perplexus
From the manufacturer:
“Mind bending turns, brain-thrilling twists and jaw-dropping stunts.”
Why we love it:
This 3-d labyrinthe challenges hand-eye coordination, reflexes, and patience. Not to mention once you pick it up, you won’t want to put it down until you succeed!
Buy Perplexus

#9 – OgoBild Pod
From the manufacturer:
“Activate your imagination with OgoBild Pod, the only construction set you can kick, spin, and throw!”
Why we love it:
The flexible attachments don’t break, so you can create a fort you can actually play with. Great for building large geometric sculptures.
Buy OgoBild Pod

#8 – Spirograph
From the manufacturer:
“Create millions of amazing designs – all the iconic wheels and rings of the original, re-engineered and updated for today.”
Why we love it:
Conceived over 50 years ago, it has experienced a re-birth. Great for creative kids and nostalgic parents!
Buy Spirograph

#7 – MindWare KEVA Contraptions
From the manufacturer:
“Young thinkers can build unbelievable ball track structures with this simple stacking plank system. Create ramps, funnels, chutes and crazy contraptions.”
Why we love it:
Builds creativity and experimentation skills as well as understanding of physics, proportion and balance- great for budding engineers.
Buy KEVA Contraptions

#6 – HexBug VexIQ
From the manufacturer:
“Take advantage of the unmatched versatility of the VEX IQ system to build colorful robots using the intuitive, tool-less components.”
Why we love it:
C’mon, build your own, working, fully customizable robot? You can follow the step-by-step instructions to learn the basics, then use your imagination. Included VEX IQ Curriculum fosters STEM learning.
Buy HexBug VexIQ

#5 – OgoBild Animate It
From the manufacturer:
“Teaches the basics of stop motion animation and allows kids to make their own animated movies”
Why we love it:
Easy to learn software helps kids master stop-motion animation. Inspire the budding director or filmmaker in kids and let their imagination run wild.
Buy OgoBild Animate It

#4 – Ozobot
From the manufacturer:
“Ozobots are programmable robots designed to entertain while delivering life skills through creative play and gamified learning.”
Why we love it:
A truly engaging robot – since it can see colors, follow lines and detect intersections on shapes, there are hundreds of possible tasks that you can challenge your Ozobot to complete.
Buy Ozobot

#3 – littleBits Starter Kit
From the manufacturer:
“Start designing and prototyping your own interactive creations.”
Why we love it:
Kids can learn the basics of electronics without any soldering, wiring or programming. With over 150,000 possible circuit combinations, the Base Kit is a good place to start, or you can upgrade to the Premium or Deluxe kit
Buy littleBits Starter Kit

#2 – K’Nex Thunderbolt Strike Roller Coaster
From the manufacturer:
“Create this motorized storm that sends the coaster cars hurtling through over 17 feet of heart-pounding excitement!”
Why we love it:
Like real life Roller Coaster Tycoon, kids can learn valuable design and engineering principles by constructing an awesome, working rollercoaster!
Buy K’Nex Roller Coaster

#1 – Extreme Stunt Wall Coaster
From the manufacturer:
“Various trick parts let you make the marble fly through the air, loop de loop , zig zag and twist.”
Why we love it:
Explore physics and build creativity. Endless possibilities keep kids entertained, and re-usable fun tack won’t damage the walls.
Buy Extreme Stunt Wall Coaster

Pro-tip: Follow our links to buy directly on Get FREE Two-Day Shipping on millions of items with Amazon Mom. You can try Amazon Mom FREE for 30 days here.

More articles you’ll love from Smart-Toys:
Best fort building kits
Best LEGO alternatives
Best bounce houses for home use
Best stilts for kids

No aggregators or algorithms – it’s all hand picked! Please make sure to confirm manufacturer recommended age and other warnings. We may receive commission from certain affiliate links, which allows you to support our site’s mission at no additional cost to you. You can read our full disclosure here. We strive to bring you the best!