The best educational toys for kids

It’s tempting to get your kid every shiny new toy they ask for. But some toys are better than others when it comes to actually stimulating your child’s brain while also keeping them entertained. The parents on the Engadget staff know this well, and we’ve tried out a bunch of educational toys with our kids, with various results. These are some of the ones that have had staying power with our children — and even we adults have to admit we found them pretty fun, too.

Smart Lab: Smart Circuits

Smart Lab: Smart Circuits for Engadget's 2021 Back to School guide.

Will Lipman Photography for Engadget

When it comes to introducing kids to electronics there are a ton of options, but I personally like the Smart Circuits kit. It can take a kid from simple blinking lights to complex motion-controlled games. The snap-together baseboard can lie flat on a table like a regular breadboard, but it can also be folded

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Northern Indigenous Games returning to Winona Aug. 13 | Education

Children in Winona will have another opportunity to participate in traditional games originally played by various cultures throughout North America.

The Northern Indigenous Games Play Day will return to Winona Middle School, 1570 Homer Road, on Friday, Aug. 13. Children in Grades K-2 can participate from 9-11 a.m., while children in Grades 3 and up can participate from 12:30-2:30 p.m.

The American Indian Parent Advisory Committee of Winona Area Public Schools is sponsoring the event.

The event is free and open to the community. Transportation can be provided if needed.

Event organizers are asking people to register to participate. Contact Karla Winter, Director of Learning and Teaching at Winona Area Public Schools, at [email protected] or call 507-494-0866.

Among the games, people can participate in include longball, which is similar to modern-day baseball, and shinny, a sport comparable to field hockey. Other events include lacrosse — still widely played today —

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Ohio education dept. employee had conflict of interest

An Ohio Department of Education employee had outside employment that conflicted with his job and misused state resources to do that job, the state’s top watchdog found.

Michael Troper, a former Worthington city councilman, has been an area coordinator for the education department since 2018, a job advising and assisting school districts with policies and guidelines related to state school funding. But the Ohio Inspector General alleges that he maintained his employment as a treasurer for three community schools that he oversaw in his state role.

Troper’s job application to the education department made no mention of his job as a treasurer, said the report. When asked why, Troper was vague with investigators, saying his work with charter school management company Educational Solutions Company was part time, and that he disclosed it during the onboarding process.

Investigators noted that Troper was aware of the department’s policies and procedures on outside

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‘Destination Marfa’ science fiction film has red carpet premiere in Lubbock | KLBK | KAMC

LUBBOCK, Texas — A new movie coming out next month has ties to West Texas, and it has premiered at films festivals in New York City, Athens, Greece, and now right here in the Hub City.

It’s called “Destination Marfa,” and it was written, directed and produced by Lockney native Andy Stapp who hit the red carpet at Premiere Cinemas to talk with fans ahead of the screening, along with the film’s stars Stelio Savante and Tony Todd.

The science fiction film was shot on location in the titular Marfa, TX, in addition to Plainview, Valentine and Lockney. It follows four friends who come to West Texas to see the mysterious Marfa Lights, and once they arrive, they sense something is very off about the small town and the residents who are not what they seem.

Stapp said he was extremely grateful he got to share his movie with the

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