Toy Guide

Best Finds for the Holidays

With the holidays approaching, it’s time to think about toys! The folks at National Parenting Product Awards (NAPPA) have had a fun year unboxing, testing and playing with lots of toys and other family products. Here are the best of the best for this year.


Fun & Learning


This smart device does it all: send texts, voice messages, photos and drawings. It’s also a multimedia player for music and videos. Includes more than 40 learning games and awesome apps. $99.99, ages 4-9,

Snap Circuits BRIC: Structures

Wire up your brick builds with lights, sounds, moving parts and 3D circuits to create almost anything and make it go. Teaches electricity, engineering, circuitry and more.  $44.95, ages 8+,

Really Rad Robots MiBro

Take control of this robo buddy through his Really Rad Remote and play, prank, spy and command. Plays music, dances and lights up, and kids can speak through him or put him into stealth mode to be an undercover agent. $39.99, ages 5+,

Itty Bitty Buggy

Fun, versatile and Lego-compatible STEM education toy that allows kids to build and program five different vehicles: buggy, sloth, ladybug, dodo bird and alien. $59.99, ages 8+,

Ooze Labs Chemistry Station

See how much fun chemistry can be as you do slimy, fizzy, colorful and bubbly experiments. Comes with lots of different vessels and lab equipment. All experiments use nonhazardous chemicals. $39.95, ages 6+,

Avengers Hero Inventor Kit

With their favorite Marvel Avengers, kids become their own superheroes by building and customizing high-tech hero gear and a unique identity. Comes with a companion app that walks you through the steps of creating circuits. $149.99, ages 8+,

GeoSmart Flip Bot

If you build it, it will flip, wirelessly! This 30-piece geomagnetic set boasts turbo motors to allow the remote-controlled vehicle to effortlessly zoom, spin, and of course, flip over! At home and in the classroom, this robot makes learning fun. The motors feature a rechargeable battery (Just add 3 AAA batteries for the remote control). Featuring bright colors, strong magnetic pieces and a patented double-safety system,GeoSmart offers unsurpassed safety and durability for endless creative play! Read our Reivew of GeoSmart Flip Bot • Ages 5+ • $59.99,

K’NEX THRILL RIDES: Bionic Blast Roller Coaster Building Set

With more than 800 parts, this roller coaster set includes rods and connectors, roller coaster track, coaster car, chain lift, cardboard VR viewer and the first Ferris wheel coaster car lift. Activate the K’NEX Ride It! app to ride this coaster in the virtual world.  $99.99, ages 9+,

Crayola Color Chemistry Lab Set

Equipped with STEAM-infused, playful experiments exploring color and packed with 50 colorful science activities. Enough Crayola supplies to do 15 experiments right out of the box. $24.99 ages: 7+,

LeapStart 3D Learning System

Magically bring activities and animations as you build math, reading and problem-solving skills and more. The LeapStart library of more than 25 books (each sold separately) covers a variety of preschool through first-grade subjects. A total of more than 400 activities across the LeapStart library. $49.99, ages 2-7,

PJ Masks Super Catboy Learning Watch by VTech

Put on the watch and save the day while playing four exciting games that explore shapes and early math skills. Includes nine different PJ Masks clock faces, an alarm clock with three alarm tones, timer, stopwatch and cuckoo clock. $14.99, ages 3-6,

My First Learning Tablet by LeapFrog

Tap, swipe and experience a learning light show with this kid-tough toddler tablet. Introduces letters, numbers, shapes, animals, colors and more. Five icons on the bottom of the tablet include phone, clock, Scout button, camera and music player for role-play excitement. $17.99, ages 1+,  


Surprise Collectibles

Disney Doorables

Behind every door, a surprise is in store. The Disney Doorables Multi Peek pack includes five, six or seven favorite Disney characters from favorites including Frozen, Monsters Inc., Tangled, Moana and many more. $29.99 (mega set), ages 3+,


These new surprise dolls combine fun, fashion and colorful hair. Every package is a surprise: Pull, peel and reveal 11 accessories that unwrap the unique style of the of the Hairdorables girl hidden inside. $12.99, ages 3+,

Pikmi Pops

Super soft and fluffy, Pikmi Pops include a jumbo reversible plush and one to two medium exclusive reversible scented plushes. The Super Flip also comes with eight different fun surprises like badges, gel pens, stickers, charms and more. 44.99, ages 4+,

Treasure X

Combines classic “you dig it” play with the trends of collectable action figures and “extreme” unboxing. Ten levels of discovery. Pack includes a treasure map, X-Marks coin, X-Cavator digging tool, a buildable figure embedded in “stone” and a treasure chest. $9.99, ages 5+,

Smooshy Mushy Babies

A magic baby bottle with a disappearing reveal. Pop the top to find out who the stork brought you. Tons to collect. $14.99; Ages 5+,

Hatchimals CollEGGtibles

With the all-new Hatch Friends Forever! You will hatch and discover best friends—two characters from separate eggs who come together to form special poses. Piggybacks, whispering secrets, Hatch-fives and more. For the first time, you also can hatch twins: two Hatchimals from one egg! $2.99-19.99, ages 5-8,



Game Time


A new crossword game that’s fun and challenging and will help develop word skills. $24.99; Ages 7+,

Beasts of Balance

Consider this Jenga for the 21st century! Players work together to stack beasts onto the augmented reality play base, which connects to an app. $99, ages 8+,

Laser Chess

A two-player laser chess-like strategy game where you must eliminate your opponent’s players by hitting his target before he hits yours. $39.99, ages 8+,

Shadows in the Forest

Play in the dark as you move the LED lantern around in search of Shadowlings—the mysterious creatures who avoid the light. $24.99, ages 8+,

Cat Crimes

A feline crime has been committed, and it’s your job to identify the culprit.  A deductive reasoning game with a lovable cast of characters—who may be up to no good. $12.99, ages 8+,


Imaginative Play

Rescue Runts

Adoptable puppies you rescue, groom and love. Includes grooming kit to remove fleas, wipe away tears, clean paws and comb fur to complete the transformation from ragged runt to sweet pet.  $19.99, ages 3+,

Wizard Training Wands

Harry Potter fans, it’s time to unleash your inner wizard. Interactive wands cast 11 different spells. Includes spell training guide. Wands recognize movement and provide sound feedback. Each wand includes five modes of play: two modes of stand-alone play and three modes to play with a friend. $24.99, ages 8+,

Crayola Silly Scents Sticker Maker

Transform any piece of paper into a scented sticker to decorate electronic devices, book covers, school lockers and more. $19.99, ages 6+,

Sing & Spin Minnie

Inspired by the hit Disney Junior series Minnie’s Happy Helpers. Tap Minnie’s signature bow and she will sing a catchy song while she scoots, twists and rides. $39.99, ages 3+,

Talking Fancy Nancy Doll

Press the interactive doll’s necklace to hear more than 35 phrases. Or sing the Fancy Nancy theme song together and watch Nancy’s dress change colors in a très belle light show. $39.99, ages 3+,

Fingerlings HUGS

Swing these cuddle monkeys for a silly reaction, shake them for a funny fart or pat their backs for a crazy burp. With the new KissTech technology, your cuddle monkey will give you a big smooch in return when you press your HUGS’ mouth to your cheek or skin. $29.99, ages: 2-8,

Jack-Jack Attacks

Poke his tummy to see and hear fiery flames, laser eyes, electric sparks, teleport and more. Includes Raccoon sidekick. $39.95, ages 3+,

Crayola Scribble Scrubbie Pets

Adorable, colorable and washable pet figures that kids can customize and collect. Design on the furry friends with the six included washable markers, clean them up in the included Scrub Tub. Expansion packs sold separately.  $19.99, ages 3+,


All new, jumbo-size squishy buddies—great pillows, bedtime buddies, travel companions and best buds to relieve stress and anxiety. $29.99; for all ages,

SharingLand Cardboard Playhouses

Pop-up playhouses made from cardboard. Five unique and playful models come ready-to-play. Select from Grand Palace, the Epic Castle, Space Odyssey, Ancestral Teepee or Windmill Farm. $99, ages 3+,

Disney Junior Doc McStuffins Pet Rescue Mobile

Race to save pets with this on-the-go set, equipped with lights, music, phrases, play medical tools and accessories. Comes with Doc’s pet friend Oliver. $49.99, ages 3+,


Hand-knit by artisans in Peru using sustainable, fair trade practices, these dolls have a mission. For every doll sold, the company gives 10 meals to children in need around the world. $50-$72, ages birth-5 years,

Disney Junior Vampirina Rock N’ Jam Touring Van

Rock out with the Ghoul Girls. The van transforms into a spook-tacular stage, and when Vampirina is ready to perform, she magically rises on a light-up platform. Vampirina and Poppy figures included. $39.99, ages: 3+,

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