The count down has begun! Kids all over the country are impatiently awaiting the dawn of Christmas morning and what lies under the tree.
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Here are some of our favorite gifts for kids sure to win make it a memorable Christmas.
YULU Spy Code Hackathon
This interactive game is a fun alternative for kids that love video games. Hackathon is just one of the many Spy Code games that YULU makes, and it pulls kids in with a heart pounding backstory that will make players eager to decode the console. Villains have stolen your identity, and players must decode the console to recover it. One player works on the console with a Spy Squad of up to eight players help give hacking instructions that will unlock the secret information in the console and regain their identity. Players must work together to hack the hidden information before time runs out. Made for ages eight and up.
AtGames has announced the “Blast!” family of products. These “plug & play” products include an HDMI dongle and wireless controller bundles and feature eight to 20 classic video game titles per model. These new hardware products are now available at major U.S. and Canadian retailers and retail for between $19.99 and $39.99. The Blast! family includes the Atari Flashback Blast! Vol. 1, Atari Flashback Blast! Vol. 2, Activision Flashback Blast!, Legends Flashback Blast! and Bandai Namco Flashback Blast!, all of which come with a USB-powered HDMI dongle that plugs directly into the TV and an ergonomic six-button wireless gamepad. The Atari Flashback Blast! Vol. 3 swaps the wireless gamepad for a pair of wireless game paddles, which are specially optimized for its selection of classic paddle and ball games.
Every year for Christmas, my son asks for more toy cars. We literally have a giant storage tub of every kind of car you can imagine. When I had the chance to review Modarri Cars, I was immediately intrigued by the fact that they have interchangeable parts for kids to take apart and rebuild. I loved the idea of having a toy that was more hands on and promoted hand eye coordination, but I wasn’t sure if my four year old could do it. I was surprised at how easily he picked it up! There are built in screws so I don’t have to worry about losing any pieces, and parts can be taken off and switched with other cars for hours of entertainment. Kids can mix and match wheels, suspension, chassis, fenders, hood, and frame to make their own ideal cars.
Modarri cars are finger driven (no batteries needed!). There is a bucket seat that is finger sized for driving. The turn radius and suspension is very impressive. I was surprised by the smooth ride and how fun they were to zip around the track. The real steering and suspension paired with the rubber makes for an authentic design. Modarri also make a foam track that can be transformed into multiple configurations.
This is the kind of car I was looking to get my boys for Christmas. They are a whole new take on toy cars. They are very well made which is an important since my two boys seem to love to smash their cars. Modarri has twice received the prestigious title of Toy of the Year from Popular Science. If your kids love cars, you need to make sure Modarri Cars are under your Christmas tree.
Flying Sushi Kitchen
Kids love it when toys have a totally new element that is different than anything they have seen before, and the Flying Sushi Kitchen is just that. Sushi balls float above bamboo sticks, and players have to use chopsticks to pluck the sushi out of the air in order to fulfill sushi orders. This game of skill helps develop hand eye coordination and will challenge players. It is made for kids ages six and up and four can play at a time.
This 45 piece set features the twins Ruffnut and Tuffnut Thorston, and their double headed dragon known as Barf and Belch. The twins come with a variety of accessories as well as a viking boat. With easily moveable pieces, kids can play out their own dragon taming. It also comes with sheep that are perfect to combine with the Gobber the Belch with Sheep Sling to slingshot sheep into the marked basket. There are also a variety of other Playmobil® dragon sets to collect. Playmobil® makes toys that inspire imaginative play and gets them away from all those screens! (Check out out review here)
Encourage kids to learn their alphabet with this colorful puzzle made from linden plywood. It has easy to grasp knobs and fun pictures to correspond with the letters. It is never too early to start learning letters, and this fun puzzle will help them get a jump on those ABCs.
Toyk Flying Ball
This flying UFO is remote controlled and easy for kids to use. It has sensors that help it move intelligently and avoid crashing into other objects. The ball will also turn off automatically if it does hit anything. Kids will love flying this light up drone.
YULU Cut The Wire
I will be the first to admit that it can be painful to sit and play board games with my kids sometimes. Trying to get them to follow rules and take their turn at the right time makes it drag on forever. This is why I love games like Cut The Wire. Made for ages eight and up, it is designed for two to ten players. This game is all about the thrill and strategy. Players must find the right wire that will defuse the bomb while reading clues that pop up on the screen. It can be set to classic mode or a timed mode which gives players only 15 seconds to try one of the wires or the bomb will go off. It is a fast moving game that keeps kids engaged and on the edge of their seat. This is one of the few games I don’t grow tired of playing with my kids.
Thomas and Friends Big Loader by Tomy
Retail Value $39.99
Made for ages three and up, the Thomas and Friends Big Loader track spans over eight feet, and it has one chassis that easily transforms from one train body to the next with self sustaining movement. It comes with a bunch of “rocks” that the trains haul around the track from one location to the next. Once a train is loaded with rocks, Thomas takes the haul up the incline track where he dumps them into the loading zone. Then, he makes his way back down the track and over to the transformation area where the moving engine actually unhooks from Thomas and connects to Percy. From there, Percy makes his way to the next loading zone where he collects the rocks and moves on to Terrence. He scoops the rocks up and puts them back at the beginning for Thomas to pick up again. Train enthusiasts will love watching Thomas and Friends work on the track. (Check out our review here)
YULU Pace Maker Extreme
You can’t go wrong with games when it comes to gifts for kids. Games are always a wonderful idea to encourage learning, fair play, and family time. The Pace Maker Extreme is recommended for ages 14 and up, and it is a test of coordination and rhythm. Players have to keep pace and try to outsmart other players to avoid a shock! It is an exciting game that will keep players engaged and give them a break from all of those screens.
Playmobil® NHL Take Along Arena
My kids love how awesome the Playmobil® toy sets are and how much comes in each one. Our family loves hockey so the NHL Take Along Arena was a spot-on gift idea for my son. The fold up arena set comes with three figures, a goal, a bench, railings, a First Aid Kit, play strategies, jersey numbers, dumbbells, sticks, pucks, and other accessories that make it an authentic play experience. If you have a little hockey lover, they will be thrilled to open this on Christmas morning.
Kids Claw Machine
Do you remember going to the arcade as a kid and wasting a pocket full of quarters on the claw machine trying to win a prize? There was nothing better than when that claw finally made contact with a prize and dropped it into the slot. Now, your kids can have the same experience. Fill this authentic claw machine with the prize of your choosing and let them try to claw their way to victory.
Smooshy Mushy Bentos
These squeezable, squishy friends are a great gift idea for kids especially if you aren’t sure what to buy. The adorable little Bentos figurines are brightly colored and some are even scented! It also comes with a tray to display these fun smooshies, stickers, and a poster that has a Smooshy name game for kids. It does have some small parts so it is recommended for ages 6 and up. There are a variety of collectible sets that kids will love to find under the tree this year.
HABA Kullerbu Sprial Track Set
Let your kids build their very own racetrack with HABA’s Kullerbu Spiral Track Set. These tracks are easy to snap together, and it comes with blocks, an arch and a bell for kids to design a variety of paths. The racetrack balls will zoom around the obstacles of the track and keep little ones happy for hours.
Serve It Up! Play Restaurant
Teach kids about everything from the food groups to counting money with the Serve It Up! Play Restaurant. This set comes with a serving tray, two plates, 10 food pieces, a $5 bill, five $1 bills, and 13 coins. There are also 2 placemats, a menu and check that are all write-and-wipe. It’s a sneaky way to keep kids learning while they play.
Retail $29.95 to $34.95
The Spin ‘N’ Sort Spout is battery operated, and it creates an endless water stream by pumping water right from the water in the tub. This spout comes with gears and bath cups that are meant to encourage creative play and inspire STEM learning. The Submarine Spray Station is also battery operated, and it pumps water from the tub. Kids can use the spray handle to engage the mechanical station for fun water effects.
The Playmobil® Ski Lodge is a snowy two story house that comes equipped with a variety of amenities from seats and serving hatches to meals, drinks and even ski racks and a terrace! There are furnishings for the lodge like beds, a fireplace and a bathroom to turn the lodge into a functional resort. Kids can spend hours playing with the lodge and skiers that are complete with skis, hats, scarves and even removable gloves. The skiers can use the snow shovels to clear off the terrace and enjoy lunch at the picnic table or relax in one of the lounge chairs. (Check out our review here)
This Petting Zoo matching game for ages two and up supports tactile learning during playtime. It has six textured animals, a barn, and a spinner with textures that match each animal. Players use the spinner to determine which animal they must find inside the barn using only their sense of touch. It is a great game for little ones. There is no reading involved, and it moves quickly as to keep their attention.
Seasons Magnetic Box
This cardboard carrying case is perfect for road trips. The Seasons Magnetic Box comes with 4 backgrounds each with a different season as well as a seasonally appropriate sheet of decorative magnets for every background. Kids can create a variety of landscapes and take them all in the carry case – no muss, no fuss. I made this carrying case a staple car toy, and it remains in the backseat to keep little hands busy regardless if it is a quick ride to the store or a long vacation trip.
Here is a perfect game for your next family night! Draw a card and use the Playfoam to create a sculpture of the word on the card. You will have to race against the timer, and do your best to create something your teammates will actually recognize. Sculptapalooza is a fast paced games the whole family will enjoy playing.
Botely the Coding Robot
Ages 5 and up will go crazy for this coding robot! There is no phone, tablet or apps required to get this guy going. It will teach your kids the basics of coding and give them hours of entertainment. Botley can detect and avoid objects, navigate obstacle courses your kids have created, follow hand drawn lines, and even loop around objects! Program up to 120 moves for Botley to perform and even unlock hidden moves! The Activity Set comes with 77 pieces including codes cards, detachable arms, interactive obstacles and coding games to keep kiddos constantly trying new tricks with this awesome robot. Botley can be programmed in five easy minutes, and it will keep kids entertained and learning without them even realizing it. This is a fantastic way to encourage STEM basics in a fun and exciting way.
Splash Box Kit
This lunchbox set is completely plastic free! It comes with a stainless steel food container, a bamboo spork and an organic cotton lunch bag. It comes in four different choices of nautical wildlife on the cotton bag. Kids can help the environment and take their lunch in these fun bags.
This LifeStraw bottle is BPA and BPO free and filters water while drinking. Kids can take it everywhere and filter water on the go. The kids design is sturdy and leakproof with a 2 stage filter straw in order to filter water from the great outdoors and even urban sources. One of the best parts about LifeStraw is that product purchases help give kids all over the world safe drinking water.
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