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Golden Apple Awards 2010 (ages 8-10)

Whether your kid likes DIY perfume kits or division drills, these toys are sure to please.

By GreatSchools Staff

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Ages 8-10, $49.95

Our 2010 Wild Card Winner — a toy not formally submitted but nominated by our kid testers and experts — lacks the gloss and glamour of many new learning toys. No matter. As the inventor Chuck Resor told us, “Electronic learning aids are more useful when they focus on accomplishing a limited number of critical objectives, as opposed to when they try to accomplish, in a less than focused manner, a wide range of objectives of varying importance.” Translation: Slick it ain’t, but FlashMaster delivers crucial learning.

Even better, it manages to make practicing math facts addictive. With timed and untimed settings for addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division in a GameBoy-size gadget that keeps track of kids’ progress for parents and teachers, FlashMaster can be enjoyed by grade schoolers any time, any place. (Hello car trip!) When children are required to master their multiplication tables, it will be more than just another gadget — it may transform their math experience.

Bottom line: No bells and whistles here, just multiple ways to master math facts.

Comments from readers

"Beats flash cards hands down!"
"all business, but kids love it"