Yikes! Did you know that it’s only 41 days until Christmas? If you are like me, you try to wait until the day AFTER Thanksgiving to shop and decorate, but the fact is, there are often great deals and sales BEFORE Thanksgiving these days. I’ve been traveling all year to various conferences and toy showcases and have found the best of the best in the world of toys. Below are my top picks for this holiday season.
Top 10 Toys for the Holidays
ColoradoMoms.com Gift Guide 2011
We love the LeapPad so much, we now have two of them. My seven year-old loves the games and videos, while the three year-old loves to take pictures and playing with the animated pet. At $99 (MSRP) it’s the most expensive on our list, but definitely worth the money. Kids want to play with the tablets many adults love, but adults don’t like the chance of destruction by tiny hands to their expensive tech items. The LeapPad takes the tablet look and feel and puts it in a kid friendly package. You can track your child’s growth and learning as well as download a variety of games, books and videos with their included software. I have a feeling stores are going to be selling out of this hot toy during the holidays. Suggested Ages: 4+ MSRP: $99.99
If you’ve read this blog before, you know we have a bit of a problem with pets. We can’t seem to stop “adopting” them. Fish, Frogs, Hamsters, Hermit Crabs and even a Tortoise all live in or around our house. The one pet my husband won’t budge on is a dog. Enter Cookie! The kids get to play with her (although they’ve changed her to a “him” and call him Puppy) and I don’t have to worry about feeding, walking or picking up doo-doo. Win-win! I love that Cookie has an off switch too, so when the kids go to bed I don’t hear the animatronic pup barking all hours of the night. Now to just figure out how to get an “off” or mute switch for the neighbors dog. Suggested Ages: 4+ MSRP: $59.99
I remember playing and collecting My Little Pony toys back when I was a little girl. Now my nieces are enjoying the revamped line of toys and cartoon series on HUB. Pinkie Pie’s RC Car is a great remote controlled car with sounds and an controller that fits perfectly in tiny hands. The controller has to buttons, forward and turn. It comes with Pinkie Pie herself and can hold one other ponies as your child drives them all around your house. You can easily attach other My Little Pony cars to carry even more ponies! This is one your child will get hours of entertainment out of. Suggested Ages: 3+ MSRP: $19.99
Have a budding superstar in your house? Voice Rockerz are more than just a microphone. Each mic comes with a bracelet and ring. Tap them to the microphone and you can change the sound of your voice. Change your voice to a high pitch tone or echoooo-oooo-ooo with a quick tap. Kids can sing along to their favorite tunes by plugging in their MP3 player as well. Get ready to hear your kids belt out Bieber songs! Suggested Ages: 4+ MSRP: $24.99
Perfect for toddlers, this Sesame Street toy keeps their attention. Pull the lever to hear Elmo ask to help him find one of his friends. With a push of a button, flip of a switch and slide of a lever, you child can open up three different windows to see Ernie, Big Bird, Abby Cadabby and Cookie Monster all hiding. Close the windows and they each tell you good-bye. Suggested Ages: 18 months to 4 years MSRP: $19.99
Transformers have been a hit in my house well before the new movie series. My children love the cartoon movie from the 80′s and loved to watch the old cartoon series online. Playskool had introduced a new line of bot, the Rescue Bots, Transformers for a younger age group. Recommended for ages 3 and up, both my preschooler and seven year-old enjoy playing with the Fire Station Prime as well as the smaller sets. If you have a young Transformers fan in your house, this is a must have. Suggested Ages: 3+ MSRP:$49.99
I cannot stop playing with this RC car. If I do happen to put it down, instantly the boys are picking it up and racing around the house. Not only does this car go incredibly fast, it also can do jumps and flips on the ramp provided as well as our stairs, some books, the wall, anything! It works well on low pile carpet and can even switch surfaces with ease. Concrete, grass, wood floors, all work with this car. It’s “lazer” guided and has a turbo button to go even faster. I have a feeling I’ll be buying quite a few of these for my nephews and friends. Suggested Ages: 4+ MSRP:$39.99
I cannot tell you how many times I’ve whacked one of these hexbug nano toys with a shoe thinking its a real bug. These tiny toys vibrate and run about mimicking their real bug counterparts. This Hive Habitat at least keeps them contained. There is a ramp so the bugs can go to the 2nd level, as well as tons of parts for your kids to build their own course for the bugs to run. Everything folds up into a nice and neat storage/carrying case. You can even attach other sets in the nano line to it to create a giant playset. Suggested Ages: 3+ MSRP: $39.99
The starter set of Prisma, a pod and lite wand is kind of genius. Kids can change the color of their “sprite” by tapping the wand to any color and then point it at Prisma. The wand has a built in library of colors you can cycle through with a push of a button. It can also store up to 50 different colors. Touch just about any surface to capture it’s color. Watch your kids eyes light up while they try to figure out how it works and what colors it can change to. Suggested Ages: 6-9 MSRP: $29.99
This will be THE hot stocking stuffer this year. Such a simple concept and design, yet you can do a variety of moves, tricks and light shows with it. Kids as young as 5 on up to 105 will enjoy this toy. Fun in daylight and even better in the dark, there are a few different models. Some with changing lights, some with flashing lights, some with two different lights, we have them all and love to play with them day and night. FyrFlyz are the new yo-yo. They just launched this year and already considered a timeless classic. Suggested Ages: 8+ (although my younger children caught on and loved the toy as well) MSRP: $10
disclosure: I received many of the toys listed in this guide to preview. All thoughts and opinions are mine and honest.