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Naper Wow Pow: 20 brainy toys for less than $20

Mia Tischer, director of Naperville's Learning Rx brain training center at 630 Ogden Ave., offers her expertise and has compiled a list of 20 toys for less than $20 suitable for kids of all ages and learning goals. |  Daina Saleh~For Sun-Times Media

Mia Tischer, director of Naperville's Learning Rx brain training center at 630 Ogden Ave., offers her expertise and has compiled a list of 20 toys for less than $20 suitable for kids of all ages and learning goals. | Daina Saleh~For Sun-Times Media

Toys en masse is a seasonal hazard we deal with once the holiday dust settles. Are they fun? Sure. Are they educational? Possibly. Mia Tischer hopes her suggestions might help that last one.

Since last year Tischer, executive director of the brain training center Learning Rx Chicago-Naperville, compiles a toy list simply called Smart Mom’s Toybox — 20 brainy toys for less than $20.

“There are plenty of great toys for children that help develop complex learning skills,” Tischer says. “These toys build a diverse set of skills like memory, logic and reasoning, processing speed, attention, and auditory and visual processing.

“As a culture, we value physical fitness. I want to build a culture of brain fitness.”

The toy list ­— also available as a Pinterest board at www.pinterest.com/lrxnaperville/smart-mom-toy-box ­— assists parents in choosing toys based on the child’s age and abilities, from emerging readers to those struggling with ADHD.

If forced to pick one from the list, Tischer highly recommends Show Me the Kwan by Griddly Games, available for $19.99 on Amazon.com. At LearningRx, Tischer sees many children who struggle with reading. The fast-paced game, suitable for 8-year-olds and older, is different than most slow-moving reading games and is fun for the whole family, Tischer says.

Other items on the list sound a little familiar, including a portable version of Simon and Battleship, 4 In A Row and a light-up Rubik’s Cube.

Learn more about Tischer’s program at http://www.learningrx.com/chicago-naperville.

Share your product with the community by emailing Daina Saleh at dainasunbiz@gmail.com

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