Deciphering Educational Toys: How Toys Can Be a Conduit for Learning


Presented on:

October 26, 2017


During this one-hour webinar, experts from The Genius of Play explore what makes an “educational” toy truly educational by highlighting recent findings from a new field called the Science of Learning – an amalgamation of psychology, education, linguistics, and computer learning, among other disciplines. The goal is to inspire toy companies to create high-quality play experiences that also achieve positive academic outcomes.

Target Audience:

All toy manufacturers and play professionals; particularly recommended for those in marketing and product development.

What You Will Learn:

Attendees will learn about the latest scientific findings to empower them to support healthy child development. The presenters will suggest ways that the toys of the future can harness additional educational potential to avoid being what is sometimes called “chocolate-covered broccoli.” The most effective toys will always be those (traditional or digital) that are platforms for learning rather than directive of learning.


Anna Yudina, director of marketing initiatives, The Toy Association


Jennifer M. Zosh, PhD, is an associate professor of Human Development and Family Studies at The Pennsylvania State University’s Brandywine campus
Zosh is also a play expert and contributor to The Genius of Play’s website. As the director of the Brandywine Child Development Lab, she studies how infants and young children learn about the world around them. Her areas of expertise and publication include playful learning, the impact of technology on children, working memory, mathematical cognition, and language acquisition. A major driving force in her career is the dissemination and translation of scientific discoveries to the public. She received a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Delaware and her doctorate in psychological and brain sciences from Johns Hopkins University.

Kathy Hirsh-Pasek, PhD, is the Stanley and Debra Lefkowitz Faculty Fellow in Temple University’s department of psychology and a senior fellow at The Brookings Institution
She is also a play expert and contributor to The Genius of Play’s website. As the director of Temple University’s Infant Language Laboratory, Kathy is the recipient of many awards including the American Psychological Association’s Bronfenbrenner Award for Lifetime Contribution to Developmental Psychology in the Service of Science and Society. Kathy has a strong interest in bridging the gap between research and application. She received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Pittsburgh and her PhD from the University of Pennsylvania. Her most recent book, Becoming Brilliant: What Science Tells Us About Raising Successful Children, was on The New York Times best sellers list.