The Hottest Toys for the Holidays
As the holiday season rolls around this year, we have taken the time to go through all the information out there and compile a list of the most popular toys of 2015. Happy shopping!
Baby Toys (6 months and up)
Created by parents for children, these little creatures help your babies adjust to those times when you can’t be with them. You can record your voice to say something special to your little one, even including a three-minute story or narrative. All your baby has to do is squeeze the feet of the Bed Bug to activate the sounds.
This little dog has brilliant colors that are sure to enthrall even the youngest of babies. In addition, it helps to develop gross motor skills and hand eye coordination. This product was noted by the Toy Industry Association as being a great item for infants and toddlers, and it even has a few accessories, including a ball and a bone.
Toddler Toys (1 year and up)
This toy is listed as one of Walmart’s Top 100, and for good reason; it helps set the stage for the eventual transition to preschool. A great, imaginative toy, little ones are able to take their Little People figures and put them in a variety of real life situations, like circle time. The rug plays music and there are over 35 sounds, songs and phrases.
While this is not an actual toy per say, parents and loved ones can pick up a gift card or subscription to pley.com, recommended for children over the age of two. This is a great gift idea for the child that already has a lot of toys, and it was created by a parent. Hailed as the “Netflix of Legos,” kids are able to set up a pleylist, which includes toys of their choice. These sets come in the mail, and then they are exchanged when the child is ready to move on to a new toy. The company takes care of cleaning the toys, using an economically friendly cleaning solution. As long as you have a subscription to the service, they will then send another toy from your child’s list for them to enjoy. This is a great way for kids to experience many different toys without adding to the overwhelming amount of items in your playroom. It is also a great way to discuss sharing with young children. Finally, it is good for the environment as well. Pley says they have kept more than 150,000 pounds of plastic out of the landfills, and each toy that goes out to a home is responsible for saving one tree. Parents will find a wide variety of toys are available, including Lego Minecraft sets.
Preschool Toys (age 3 and up)
This WiFi messaging toy is reminiscent of walkie-talkies of the past, and it helps children stay in contact with loved ones that may live far away. Toymail has an app, which both Android and IOS users can access, that allows you to tape a voice message to the child of your choice. That message is played through the child’s mailman; one option is Buck the Deer. Your child can respond to the message, and the exchanges are saved to the app, allowing you to go back and access your conversations whenever you feel like reminiscing.
Bring the outdoors inside with this play tent, which allows your children to pretend that they are camping under the stars. With awnings and curtains that appear to be real, this playhouse helps children’s imaginations to run wild. The play tent is made and stitched by hand, and there is even a license plate and a patchwork tire. Have a family night and cook up some s’mores around your family’s indoor “campsite.”
Rue, a stuffed monster, arrives with his book, entitled “The Nose that Didn’t Fit.” This sweet story helps kids learn about feeling proud of themselves, how to deal with insecurity and what it means to like yourself just the way you are. It has won several awards, including one from iParenting and Creative Child. There are a number of other “WorryWoo” monsters in this series, including Nola, who tackles lonliness, Twitch, who touches on frustration, and Wince, who assists with feelings of worry. The stuffed animals are soft and safe, and the books are created with soy ink, which is good for the environment.
It wouldn’t be a holiday list without some mention of Frozen! This CD includes 16 songs, eight with words and eight with just music. Sing along with family and friends, and bring the movie into your house this year!
Preschool Toys (ages 4 and up)
Art activities are great for both boys and girls. This set is a little unique in that the beads combine with water. The toy is very popular, and manufacturers are having trouble keeping up with the demand. Whenever a store, either online or at a physical location, gets this item in stock, it is quickly sold out again. Parents love this design station because it does not make a mess and it is a great way to encourage creativity and fine motor skills. There are 500 beads included in this set, as well as two trays, a spray bottle, six design templates, and fan that helps the creations dry.
Heroes in a Half Shell – Turtle Power! You may remember these Ninja Turtle toys from your youth, but they have changed a bit (in a good way). This version of Leonardo features stretching arms; when pulled, Leonardo’s voice goes up in pitch. A favorite on many toy lists, Leonardo also lets loose with several battle cries.
Are you looking for a stocking stuffer for your pony-loving princess? Many girls have difficulty selecting which My Little Pony they want to put on their Christmas list. The beauty of this toy is that the Pop kit lets your little one design their own pony. They can decide on everything from the pony’s outfit to the way their hair is styled. Rainbow Dash’s kit is popular this year, and it comes with stickers, wings, a tail and one body hair. Purchase multiple kits and allow your girl to really get creative!
Elementary Toys (age 5 and up)
Only found at Toys R Us, this kit includes beautiful electronic butterflies. As your child interacts with the toy, the butterflies wings move faster and faster to indicate their pleasure at the attention.
For those days when your kids just can’t get outside, this craft box has it all. Included in the pack is a book that features 100 crafts that kids are sure to enjoy, along with all the supplies needed to make various art projects.
Elementary Toys (age 8 and up)
1. My Monopoly
My Monopoly is a Hollywood favorite, allowing you to make your memories and pictures part of the game. You can change up the properties, tokens and even the Community Chest and Chance cards. There is a My Monopoly app or users can go online to www.mymonopoly.com to make the alterations.
Toy Industry Association listed Bounce-Off as a finalist for their Game of the Year, and it has a number of features that will appeal to both young and old. Challenge cards display various patterns, and players must compete to bounce balls into those patterns.