Top Toys

Just in time for the holiday season, here’s a stress-free shopping guide to some of the hottest playthings of the year. These kid-tested and parent-approved toys are all engaging, unique and – most importantly – fun! From toys that invite discovery and build creativity to toys that expand the imagination and even get kids moving – you’re sure to spot something for the kids on your list.

  • Fill the pond with “fish,” hold the squeezable rod, and reel in fun and learning with every cast! The Fish & Count Game by Melissa and Doug offers unlimited opportunities for counting, sorting, matching, storytelling and all kinds of imaginative play. Great for hand-eye coordination, finger strength, cognitive skills and more. Ages 1+. $19.99. Available locally at Just Imagine Toys, Classic Toys or visit melissaanddoug.com.
  • Squigz stick to virtually any flat surface and leave behind no residue. Push them together then pop them apart. With a little imagination, these fun little suckers provide hours of creative building play. For ages 3 and up. $25. For local retailers, visit fatbraintoys.com.
  • Pull the bee and treat the senses to a symphony of music and motion! The Musical Pull Beehive Baby Toy captures attention on both tactile and visual levels, encouraging babies and toddlers to focus upward, then grasp, reach and pull to bring the bee toward them. Ages 0+. $16.99. Available locally at Classic Toys or visit melissaanddoug.com.
  • Roll & Play is the first game ever designed specifically for toddlers! To play, simply toss the big plush cube and identify which colored side faces up. Choose a matching color card and perform the simple activity shown, like “Make a happy face” or “Moo like a cow.” Designed to help your child shine and celebrate success. Ages 18 months+. $19.99. For local retailers, visit thinkfun.com.
  • These fanciful Rainbow Fairy Wings with Glitter are beautifully hand-painted in an intricate design with a rainbow of colors. They are made of the softest, silkiest, filmy fabric light enough to fly to a land of make believe and encourage imaginations to run wild! Ages 3+. $16.99. Available locally at Classic Toys, Grizzly’s Gifts, or visit douglascuddletoy.com.
  • The X-treme Sticker Maker Set is a versatile and easy to use machine that includes 40’ of sticker tape, 80+ sticker designs, color-in markers and a sticker book. You can even turn your artwork and photos into stickers! Ages 6+. $29.99. Available locally at Classic Toys, Just Imagine Toys, or visit fabercastell.com.
  • Deluxe Build-A-Road can be constructed an infinite number of ways with 240 pieces that stretch over 15 feet. Includes ramps, a road divider, an elevator, a turnaround, an overpass and a huge amount of track. Ages 3+. $49.99. For retailers, visit fatbraintoys.com.
  • Baby will love to interact with La-Lee, a sensationally silly monster. He’ll learn cause and effect by simply brushing over La-Lee’s spots to reveal fun sounds. This charming sensory toy also incorporates different textures, a rattle, springy arms, high-contrast colors and patterns, and lots of fun places to chew on. For ages 0+. $10. For local retailers, visit sassybaby.com.
  • An oversized Puppet-on-a-Stick inspires dramatic play with silly faces, movable mouths and endless possibilities! Ages 4+. $25 (set of 3). For local retailers, visit educationalinsights.com.
  • Encourage active play with this Kickin’ Putt Toss and Kick Game. Simply toss the scoring disc to set the hole, and player one gets started by kicking towards the goal. Get multiple game sets for backyard tournaments. Ages 3+. $30. For local retailers, visit beginagaintoys.com.
  • Unlike most games, Feed the Woozle encourages kids to work together to feed the Woozle so he won’t be hungry. A cooperative game eliminates stress, builds self-esteem and teaches kids that playing together can be fun! Ages 3-6. $19.99. Visit peaceablekingdom.com.
  • Help your budding scientists begin to explore, experiment and discover their world with My First Super Science Kit. Use the giant magnifier to examine insects, crystals, fabric – or anything they want, grow a GIANT crystal ball then make it “disappear” in a bowl of water, and more. Ages 4+. $43.99. Available through Just Imagine Toys, Classic Toys or visit beamazing.com.
  • Zingo! Sight Words is a fun and interactive word game that brings fast-paced excitement and learning to the classic game of Bingo! Players learn to quickly recognize and read sight words, which are words with spelling that is not always straightforward. Learning and mastering sight words is a key step in becoming a successful, fluent reader. Ages 3-7. $19.99. For local retailers, visit thinkfun.com.
  • Critters enjoy shopping for yummy, healthy food in the Calico Critters Supermarket. With over 100 pieces including fruits, vegetables, bread, fish, canned food, drinks, cookies, ice cream, shopping cart, check-out counter with cash register, display stands, and much more! Ages 3+. $69.95. Available locally at Classic Toys or visit calicocritters.com.
  • Take to the skies with the Cargo and Passenger Aircraft. Load cargo by folding up the front of the aircraft, remove the roof of the plane for easy play with the figures, or rearrange seating for up to five passengers. Seat pilots in the cockpit through the hinged roof, then wait for the “all-clear” from the air traffic control tower before taxiing down the runway for takeoff. Ages 4-10. $109.99. For local retailers, visit playmobil.us.
  • A hand trampoline for balls: throw, catch, bounce! RAQ combines the ease of the other OgoDisks with the added power of a handle. Features the new Flux ball, with adjustable speed, for tailored fun. Ages 4+. $8. For local retailers, visit ogosport.com.
  • This Workbench built by local toy maker, Orca Woodworks & Design, is the ideal play setup for your little one to experience the joy of building. Ages 5+ years. From $110 (kit without tools) to $160 (assembled with tools). Visit orcawoodworks.com.
  • The Sunflowers Master Kitz includes all the tools your child needs to create their own “van Gogh” masterpieces and the learning materials to deepen their understanding of van Gogh the artist and the time he spent in Arles. Ages 5+. $29.99. Available locally at Classic Toys, Enchanted Forest Toys or visit kidzaw.com.
  • Create five Pulsar Powerballs that bounce and soar to amazing heights. Place colorful crystals in the mold, submerge it in water and let it sit for five minutes. Open the mold and your brand new Powerball is ready to play with. Place the special lights inside the larger mold to create a Powerball that lights up when it bounces! Ages 6+. $14.99. For local retailers, visit fatbraintoys.com.