These are independent reviews of the products mentioned, but TIME receives a commission when purchases are made through affiliate links at no additional cost to the purchaser.

SPECIAL MENTION: A new twist on a classic toy aims to teach kids the principles of coding. The Intelino Smart Train ($119) features a traditional train track with a twist; colored track tiles that control the train’s movement, steering, speed, stopping, wagon coupling, and more. The set helps kids as young as 3 understand the basics of computer programming—without the aid of a screen. As kids grow older they can program the trains using Scratch, the block-based visual programming language for kids, and the Python programming library. —Jared Lindzon

Buy Now: Innokind Intelino Smart Train

More Must-Reads from TIME

Contact us at