School’s out for summer, but that doesn’t mean that kids can’t keep their minds sharp while having fun. Toy Insider Senior Editor Marissa DiBartolo stopped by ABC’s World News Now to show off some of the best new toys designed to beat the “brain drain” of the summer. For more on the products featured in this segment, check out the notes below, and for more on the hottest new toys of the season be sure to view our Spring and Summer Toy Guide.

VTech Pull & Sing Puppy (VTech)

  • Perfect for the earliest learners, especially kids getting ready for preschool.
  • Pull the puppy to activate music and sounds, see the puppy’s legs move and watch the keys swing.
  • Press the colorful buttons to introduce numbers, colors and parts of the body.
  • The buttons also play songs, playful phrases, melodies and cute puppy sounds.
  • The puppy’s nose flashes along with the sounds and music plays when the puppy rolls.
  • Ages: 6 mos.+
  • MSRP: $12.99
  • Available: Amazon, Walmart

Pick Up with Horse Box (Schleich)

  • Imagination is key to creative thinking, problem solving, and more!
  • Keep imaginations active with beautiful horse sets from Schleich.
  • Perfect for taking horses along on days out, this playset contains a vehicle and trailer with a pretty design, as well as a horse figurine and female groomer with accessories.
  • Ages: 5-12
  • MSRP: $59.99
  • Available: Amazon, Target, Walmart

kurio-watch_kd-group1Kurio Watch (KD Group)

  • This real, working Bluetooth smartwatch is made specifically for kids, and is perfect for acquainting kids with technology at a young age.
  • Kurio Watch combines all the basic watch functions with music and video players, a front-facing camera for taking selfies and videos, an activity tracker, and even mini games played with wrist action.
  • Kids can message friends watch-to-watch and and share voice recordings, photos, drawings, emojis and text messages, just like teens and adults do.
  • When connected to a parent’s smartphone, Kurio Watch also becomes a hands-free way for kids to take phone calls.
  • Parents can also enter vital ICE (In Case of Emergency) information, including blood type, any allergies and an emergency contact for their child.
  • Kurio Watch includes 256MB of internal memory, expandable by microSD card.
  • Available now in blue, purple, pink, black and white.
  • Ages: 6+
  • MSRP: $59.99
  • Available: Toys “R” Us, Walmart, Amazon

vex-robotics-zip-flyer-by-hexbug_hexbugVEX Robotics Zip Flyer (Hexbug)

  • The VEX Robotics Zip Flyer is a re-envisioned take on airborne adventures. Kids build the entire robotic gadget, and then shoot propellers more than 30 feet in the air.
  • Pull the zip-cord stick to release, the faster you pull, the higher they’ll go.
  • VEX Robotics is dedicated to promoting the rewarding and exciting hands-on learning that comes from its STEM-based construction kits.
  • Kids will even learn the basics behind phsyics, engineering, and more!
  • Ages: 8+
  • MSRP: $9.99
  • Available: Target

3Doodler Start Robotics Pen Set (WobbleWorks)

  • The perfect toy set for your budding roboticist and engineer!
  • With the 3Doodler Start Robotics pen set, kids can build the future. Create simple robots, vibrating robot walkers, two legged, four-legged and six-legged walking or crawling robots!
  • Includes: Special edition 3Doodler Start 3D Printing Pen, a motor and battery pack, themed activity guide (with over 12 projects), themed DoodleBlocks, Doodle Sheets and Eco-Plastic packs.
  • The motor and battery pack is also available for purchase separately.
  • Ages: 10+
  • MSRP: $69.99 (Themed kit without pen: $24.99)
  • Available: Barnes and Noble

Happy Atoms (Thames & Kosmos)

  • Thames & Kosmos partners with Schell Games to bring kids Happy Atoms to teach kids about chemistry, atoms, and molecules.
  • Happy Atoms is a physical construction set that incorporates the latest in augmented reality, delivering a digital teaching tool that enables kids to discover the world of molecules in an intuitive, hands-on way.
  • Kids create molecules from plastic atom models that connect easily with magnets, and then can discover the identities of the molecules they built by scanning them with the app.
  • Kids can then explore the molecules they discover thanks to the guided chemistry lessons in the educational app.
  • Age: 10-17
  • MSRP: Intro Set: $59.95; Complete Set: $159.95
  • Available: Amazon, Toys “R” Us, Barnes & Noble

About the author

Bill Reese

Bill Reese

Bill Reese is Business Operations Manager at Adventure Media & Events, where he's worked since 2014. A former editor at Playbill and graduate of SUNY–Purchase, he spends most weekends rooting for the New York Red Bulls pro soccer team and making subway systems out of Brio trains with his little boy Jonah.