There's a new take on kids toys this year, teaching toys!
Cristie Kaelin, St Joseph School, "A lot of the time the children are working the toys they're actually having a lot of fun."
So it's no surprise the multi-billion dollar toy industry is honing in on the success of educational toys. Leapfrog's multi-media learning system teaches children from pre-kindergarten age through second grade reading, mathematics, and critical thinking skills, but in a playful way.
"They think that they're just doing a game and a toy but actually they're learning and it shows through their work."
And for even younger kids there are baby-friendly props that encourage kids to join in and count.
"I think Baby Einstein is wonderful as well. They have a video and DVD series as well as books and puzzles and games to go along with those. Those are wonderful learning experiences."
For older kids Cranium is introducing a game called Conga that's geared toward bringing the whole family together. While it might not seem like these toys are as fun as some others available this holiday season, Kaelin says they have just as much appeal.
"Kids typically don't like things that don't have batteries and whistles and bells and so when they are making these educational toys with all of those bonuses it really interests kids and makes them want to learn."