The Best Toys of the Year Are Sure to Delight Your Children!
Ages 0 – 2
Life’s About Exploration!
This six-sided activity center is a super gigantic version of the little ones you see at the doctor’s office and covered with fun. Made of brightly colored durable wood, this toy is a perfect investment for years to come. Two can play with it at once and not get in each other’s way. It’s a great piece to keep in the living room when you want all the other toys to be in your child’s room.
Ages 1 – 5
< Flip *Editor’s Pick*
by Wishbone Design Studio | wishbonedesign.com (up to 55 pounds) | $149.99
If your child likes to rock as much as he likes to roll, then this is the perfect ride-on toy for him. This three-in-one wooden rock and roll toy allows kids to glide across smooth surfaces or push it around with ease. Flip the wheels over for rocking action.
< CAT Tough Tracks by Toy State (toystate.com; $10) are construction trucks — each sold separately — great for pushing around and digging in the dirt. Made of durable plastic, they comes as a dump truck, bulldozer or wheel loader. Ages 2 and older.
< Cluck & Learn Barn by Bright Starts (brightstarts.com; $24.99) clucks, moos and oinks with lights and music while teaching your growing one counting, animals and more. With four balls to drop in the top, you never know which door or hole they’ll come out of! Ages 6 – 36 months.
< Mix ‘N Max by ALEX, Jr. (alextoys.com; $27.95) is a soft, chewable toy that stacks together with velcro-like features. Baby can stack it which ever way he likes. Ages 6 months and older.
< Grow With Me Sit to Stand Scooter by Fisher-Price (fisher-price.com; $39.99) allows your child to kick along like a typical ride-on toy or test his ability as he learns to ride the scooter. It has wide front wheels for extra stability. Ages 18 months – 5 years.
< Monkey Animal Appetite Stroller Toy by Animal Planet Baby (animal.discovery.com; $9.99 at Babies R Us) is a cute, little soft chew toy that shows a banana in the monkey’s stomach to teach Baby that’s what a monkey eats.
< Wonderous Wedge by Manhattan Toy (manhattantoy.com; $30) is the perfect shape and size for tummy-time play. With a mirror on one side and little toys that rattle and crinkle on another side — all to engage Baby. Ages 9 months and older.
< Little Tikes Garden Bubblin’ Leaf and Lawn Blower by Imperial Toy (imperialtoy.com; $19.99) will have your young helpers ready when the time comes with this bubble maker. Tons of bubbles will have them laughing for hours. Ages 2 and older.
Ages 3 – 5
Preschoolers are thirsty for learning and fun!
This immaculate wooden dollhouse is the perfect one for girls. With 16 beautifully crafted pieces of furniture and a gliding elevator, your little dreamer is sure to spend hours playing. It stands 47.5 inches tall, 16 inches wide and 34.75 inches long — so your child is sure to have room for her doll to explore each of the four rooms.
< LeapPad Explorer Learning Tablet *Editor’s Pick*
by LeapFrog; leapfrog.com | Ages 4 – 9 | $139.97 (starter bundle with $40 App card)
Your child will find fun playing qualities and can learn all the while, too. It has a built-in camera and video recorder, can turn vertically and horizontally with the adjustable touch screen and it has 2GB of memory to hold loads of apps, games and more.
< Imaginext DC Super Friends Batcave by Fisher-Price (fisher-price.com; $55) will keep your little one defending Batman’s turf with imaginative play through a mechanical claw, a secret entrance and more gadgetry. Ages 3 – 8.
< GeoTrax The Batcave RC Set by Fisher-Price (fisher-price.com; $49.99 at Toys R Us) is a cute, little remote control car, a push car and racetrack that are pint-sized for tiny hands. This set also connects to others that are sold separately. Ages 2 – 7.
< Cars 2 Pop-o-Matic Trouble Game by Hasbro (hasbrogames.com; $14.99) takes the well-known Trouble game and gives it a new twist with the new Disney•Pixar movie Cars 2. The pop-o-matic dice rumbler is Mater and fans of the movie are sure to enjoy this game, too. Ages 5 and older.
< Hot Wheels Wall Tracks Starter Set by Mattel (mattel.com; $29.99) takes race tracks to an all new height — UP your wall! Easy stick-on and removable strips set your track to race your cars while on the wall. Ages 4 and older.
< Lalaloopsy Silly Hair Dolls by MGA Entertainment (lalaloopsy.com; $27.99 at Target) is all the craze with little girls. Style their bendable hair! Includes styling tool and hair accessories. You can even style the pet’s hair, too. Ages 4 and older.
< Joyful Jobs by ALEX (alextoys.com; $10.95) is an eco-friendly set of six puzzles that depict jobs from everyday life: police officer, postman, doctor, fireman, crossing guard and baker. The minimal shapes and amount of pieces make for easy puzzling time for little ones. Ages 3 and older.
< Barbie Sisters Go Camping! Camper by Mattel (mattel.com; $69.87 at WalMart) allows little girls to take their favorite Barbie girls on an imaginative camping adventure complete with a pull-out bed, pop-up second floor and more. Dolls sold separately. Ages 3 and older.
< Xia-Xia Hermit Crabs by Cepia (cepiallc.com; $12.99 at Toys R Us) are cute little hermit crabs that don’t need cleaning up after. There are many interchangeable shells to choose from, too (sold separately). Ages 3 and older.
Ages 6 – 9
This group wants action … and lots of it!
< Monster High Ghoul Spirit Action Figure Doll*Editor’s Pick*
by Mattel | mattel.com | $59.99 3-pack
Girls can’t live without ’em and the craze continues! If you can get your hands on this Monster High Fearleading Squad, you’ll have a merry Christmas, indeed. The collection includes Draculara, Cleo de Nile and Ghoulia Yelps. Also new from the Monster High line this year is the Gloom Beach set.
< Rockboard Scooter *Editor’s Pick*
by M.Y. Products | rockboard.com | $199.99
Here’s a great, new take on scootering that kids ages 8 and older will love! The Rockboard relies on a child’s rocking motion to propel it forward up to 10 miles per hour. It also has two-in-one technology so you can transform it into a regular kick scooter if preferred. Rear spring-enhanced suspension provides for a super smooth ride, and a aluminum alloy brake handle allows for control. Fold it up and take it anywhere!
< DISNEY/PIXAR CARS 2 – WORLD GRAND PRIX RACE SET by Carrera of America (carreraslots.com; $183.99) is a slot car racing set that includes Lightning McQueen and Francesco Benoulli, two speed controllers, straights, curves and more. It’s interchangeable with other Carrera Evolution tracks and cars as you add on. Ages 8 and older.
< K’NEXOSAURUS REX BUILDING SET by K’NEX (knex.com; $32.99) Kids who love to build will love K’NEX classic pieces, and this dino set makes a perfect gift. Including 200 pieces and a battery powered motor (batteries not included!), watch the bad boy come to life. Ages 7 and older.
< VORTEX NITRON by Nerf (hasbro.com/nerf; $54.99) An electronic scope with lights makes this disc shooter a blast for kids — literally. Includes 20 discs and disc storage and more disc acceleration than ever before. Ages 6 & older.
< LEGO HEROICA (lego.com) Join the quest to free Heroica of monsters and mayhem with Lego Heroica — four different Lego building games (sold separately) which you can play individually or combine with the others. The different sets are Castle Fortaan ($29.99), Waldurk Forest ($18.99), Caverns of Nathuz ($19.78) and Draida Bay ($14.97). Ages 8 and older.
< PRO GUITAR STYLE 1 by Paper Jamz (paperjamzpro.com; $24.99) There’s three ways to play with the new series of guitars from Paper Jamz. Play freestyle with real chords, control the rhythm of built-in tunes or just select one of the built-in songs and strum along. Requires four AA batteries (not included). Ages 8 and older.
Ages 10 & Older
This age group loves gadgets! Here are our top picks and a few other goodies, too!
< Nintendo 3DS *Editor’s Pick*
$169.99 | nintendo.com
By far the flashiest handheld game around, the Nintendo 3DS lets players experience real 3D without glasses! The built-in slider allows users to control the depth of the 3D graphics (or turn them off completely). An integrated motion sensor enhances game play, and the device also has a Web browser and camera that takes 3D photos. Available in three cool colors: aqua blue, flame red and cosmo black.
Your kids will have lots of fun with radio-controlled Air Swimmers — the year’s hot ticket! Choose the shark or clown fish, inflate with helium and have hours of indoor fun controlling the fish, making them “swim” through the air going forward, up and down, or left and right. Make sure you have plenty of room indoors; these fish are big! Note, you will need yours inflated for Christmas morning!
< ARIZONA KNIT ANIMAL HATS (jcpenney.com; $28) are the new craze for girls, boasting 26 festive options, including Rudolph for the holiday season!
< THE CYCO CYCLE by Dynacraft BSC (cycocyclecrazyfun.com; $119.99) is a three-wheeled combination of BMX bike, tricycle, unicycle and scooter (without handlebars) fun for boys and girls and sure to provide hours of outdoor fun.
< iCADE by Ion Audio (ionaudio.com; $99.99) bridges the gap between classic and cutting edge by integrating your iPad into its arcade-style cabinet, complete with a joystick and buttons. It’s compatible with 100 Atari classics.
< iCRYSTAL STEREO DOCKING STATION by Lanchiya Technology (speakal.com; $79.99) for the iPod and iPhone broadcasts your child’s favorite tunes in a sleek style featuring an illuminated teardrop design over the speakers allowing 360-degree sound.
< KINDLE FIRE by ($199 at amazon.com) is the newest tablet featuring thousands of apps and games, along with a Web browser (Wi-Fi connection only) and color touchscreen great for watching TV shows and movies. The best thing is the price!
< MY3D from Hasbro (hasbro.com; $24.99) is an awesome 3D viewer that works with an iPhone (3G, 3GS, 4 and 4S) or iPod Touch (2G, 3G and 4G). Attach your device to the viewer and enjoy 3D games, videos and apps.
< uDRAW GAME TABLET by THQ (worldofudraw.com; $79.99) is a wireless art studio that lets kids create their own masterpieces on the Xbox 360 (Wii and PlayStation 3 versions also available) and lets kids play games with motion features, direct touchscreen control and more.