It’s common for kids to lose their intellectual progress over summer break. I share my favorite educational apps and toys to keep your kids sharp while school is out.

Work, work, work!
When school ends and summer break begins, things can fall by the wayside. Use an app like Chorecheck to help put a schedule in place. Chorecheck is a free app that you can use to schedule chores and even reading goals. You can choose whether kids earn money from these tasks or not. I believe that reimbursement for “extra” work done can be a very good motivator.

Get Smart Online
Each day, schedule some time for your child to use a free educational site, like Khan Academy. Kids of all ages can learn about everything from subjects like math, history test prep, coding and storytelling in a fun and engaging way. Kids learn at their own pace, and you can keep track of their progress. Free at

Typing Skills
Epistory Typing Chronicles is a downloadable adventure game requires players to type words in order to guide and progress in the game. It’s a beautiful game that encourages kids to think (and type) on their feet. $19 at

Filmmaking 101
The Zing Toys Stikbot Studio Pro app, which was made famous on YouTube, allows budding filmmakers to create their own movies. This is creative and fun, but it also challenges kids to plan and strategize – while using technology – to create the most compelling content. To accompany the app, you can buy Stikbot kits that come with figures and a greenscreen and bluescreen. The figures can also be purchased separately.

Master Strategy
ThinkFun Rush Hour is an entertaining and exciting game that challenges kids to think their way out a traffic jam. Beginners to High Expert players will learn about strategy, patience and special relations – and who knows, maybe they’ll become expert drivers!

Making the most of Screen Time
Let’s face it, your kids will want to be on their screens, but screen time doesn’t have to be all about YouTube videos and Mario Cart. The Fire HD 8 Kids Edition from Amazon has educational content and games. You’ll get a year of Amazon FreeTime Unlimited, a subscription service that gives kids ages 3-12 access to over 15,000 age-appropriate books, videos, educational apps, and games. And you can use the Parent Dashboard and Discussion Cards to monitor activity and encourage conversations with your kids. I also love the protective case and a two-year “worry-free” guarantee. Free replacement if it gets broken! $129.99 at