Here are some more cool childrens toys that you might consider for your kids as Christmas draws near!
Crayola Town Activity Set
Crayola and Wild Planet have teamed to offer one of the coolest multi-purpose (education and fun) toys for children this holiday season. The Crayola Town activity sets combine coloring, construction and creative play.
Your child can color different scenes and pop-up structures, then turn worn or broken crayons into animals, trees, street signs and other props in your 3-D town. Designed for kids ages 3 and up, Crayon Town sets are new for this holiday season in Neighborhood, Airport and Horse Ranch themes for $9.99 – $14.99 and larger Zoo and Construction Site themes for $19.99 – $26.99. Free coloring mat refills are available online at http://www.crayon-town.com, further extending the value of each set.
My five year old really loves the Crayola Town. He enjoys playing with the animals more than the coloring, which emphasizes why, for the money, this is a good value. To each his own. One challenge we have is that our child gets frustrated with broken crayons and he has accidentally snapped some in the crayola animal pieces. This is supposed to be part of the process of using the town, but it could present a challenge. Still, Crayola Town is a great holiday toy.
- Crayon Town play demo here: http://tiny.cc/CrayonTown38
- Instructional video here: http://tiny.cc/CrayonTown
Crayola Digital Camcorder
While your child plays with the Crayola Town activity set, they might want to capture some of the memories with the Crayola Digital Camcorder with a 1.5″ color preview screen. Easy to use with cool sound effect buttons, the digital camcorder can take digital photos and includes Video Genie video editing software for hours of fun and learning. You can add music, credit and special effects to the videos your child comes up with.
The Crayola Digital Camcorder is designed for ages 5 and up!
Marvel Super Hero Squad Mini Racer
Pint sized and packed with power, Super Hero Squad Mini I/R Controlled Racers will dominate the road. Available in four different classic Marvel Minis: Spiderman, The Hulk, Wolverine and Iron Man, these mini cars come equipped with a cell phone size infrared remote delivering precise turns at all speeds and working headlights. They retail for $16.99 each.
Captain America, Wolverine and Iron Man Marvel Universe Remote Control Whip-it Racers are full function R/C vehicles equipped with working lights and a swivel chassis that allows sharp turns at super high speeds. They retail for $39.99 each.
Eye Can Art Printmaking Kit
Eye Can Art is an award-winning line of art kits. Currently, there are four kits in the Eye Can Art line: Printmaking, Sumi-e Painting, Wax Drawing (encaustic), and Book in a Box. Each kit introduces an authentic art technique, with beautiful, unique results.
Eye Can Art is a small company based in Seattle. Eye Can Art’s founders are art educators and mothers. In response to a call for high-quality, at-home art activities, combined with empathy for everyone’s busy schedule, they designed Eye Can Art: All-inclusive, repeat-use art kits that spark creative play.
Everything needed is included in each kit, right down to scissors and glue. And the kits always include enough materials to enjoy the projects multiple times, so they can be done several times by the same child, or the experience can be shared with a friend, parent, or sibling. At $24, Eye Can Art makes them a great value!
Here is a two minute video showing a boy demonstrating the Printmaking Kit, which we sampled and also enjoyed: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T0DlT5lt5FQ
All of the Eye Can Art kits are ideal for ages 5 to 12 (though adults enjoy them too), and retail for about $24. They can be found in specialty stores and museum shops around the country, and also online.
I mentioned that Eye Can Art is an award-winning company. The Printmaking and Sumi-e kits won Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Gold Seal awards, 2009, and the Book in a Box Kit won Creative Child Magazine’s Toy of the Year Award for 2009! These are on top of the Parents’ Choice awards our kits won last year.
Established 176 years ago, Bachmann Trains is the leading provider of electric train sets. Two of their best sellers that you can get for under $100 this holiday season on Amazon include:
· The Yuletide Special by Bachmann Trains ($96 on Amazon.com) is perfect for under-the-tree fun and features Bachmann’s E-Z Track snap-fit track and roadbed system plus a steam locomotive and tender with an operating headlight, gondola, box car, old-time combine, body-mounted E-Z Mate couplers and snap-fit E-Z Track with 12 pieces curved track, straight track, and plug-in terminal retailer, power pack and speed controller, and illustrated instruction manual
· The Sante Fe Flyer by Bachmann Trains ($54 on Amazon.com) is a great train to haul freight across the deserts, mountains, and cities of the American landscape. Powered by a mighty Sante Fe FT Diesel locomotive with its distinctive “war bonnet” pain scheme, this sleek and powerful train deftly handles the every-changing terrain of the Southwest U.S. The Sante Fe Flyer ready-to-run train set includes diesel locomotive with operating headlight, open quad hopper, gondola, off-center caboose, body mounted E-Z Mate couples, snap-fit EZ Track including 11 pieces of curved track and one curved plug-in terminal retailer, power pack and speed controller, and illustrated instruction manual
We had a chance to try out the Santa Fe Flyer, which really is an awesome value train set for the money. This is a perfect toy for an older child who is starting to express interest in toys with a bit more capability than figures and non-mobile toys.
Moon Sand Castle Starter set
Moon sand activity tables continue to be one of the most popular recreational activities in childcare centers nationwide. Now, you can bring the fun home with this Moon Sand Castle Starter Kit from Glammatoys.com, a leading provider of quality toys in a variety of product categories.
Made by Delta of Sweden, the Moon Sand Starter Kit includes an mat, which inflates in less than a minute, a large bag of starter moon sand, and several cool toys that your child can use to shape sand castles and figures.
A neat secondary benefit of Moon Sand is that it offers a nice sensory toy for children with autism who requires extra sensory stimulation.
Spin Master Toys
Spin Master Ltd., the 3rd largest toy maker in the US. Here are some of their most popular and talked about toys for this holiday season!
Bakugan – This Fall, the most incredible Bakugan yet is introduced. The 7n1 Maxus Dragonoid. It combines 6 Bakugan Trap and 1 Dragonoid Bakugan to create the ultimate monster! Package includes 1 Gate Card and 1 Ability Card.
Air Hogs has two great new products:
Air Hogs Zero Gravity Laser – the all surface r/c car that can drive on any flat surface including the floor, up walls, even upside down on the ceiling. The Laser Zero Gravity has an innovative new type of control too – a laser. Just point and shoot the laser and the Zero Gravity Micro will follow it wherever it goes.
The Air Hogs Switchblade is a 2n1 flyer that takes off like a hovering UFO and can be transformed in-flight into a high powered jet.
Glodoodle – the new drawing toy that allows you to make incredible pictures with light! Simply turn on the Glodoodle and use either your finger or the simple drawing tool and watch your pictures come to life. Has three different colours.
Flick Trix is a new fingerbike line by Spin Master that gives BMX enthusiasts real authentic licensed replica BMX fingerbikes to ride and show off as collectables. It’s like Tech Deck for BMX.
Paperoni – the all new arts and crafts activity that uses simple rolls of paper to make incredibly creative works of art!
PixOs Ultimate Design Station – Create a huge variety of cool PixOs 2D designs and 3D creations and add on new moving parts like wheels and hinges for even more fun! Built with a fan and suction tool, the PixOs Deluxe Designer comes with everything you need for a total PixOs experience.
Magic Reveal – the new line of magical kitchen toys that provides hours of safe, make-believe cooking and baking fun using only water! Simply wet the sponge, place the Magic Reveal food item on the surface and it magically cooks just like in a real kitchen.
ChixOs Design-A-Luxury Loft – Introducing the latest addition to the PixOs family – ChixOs – a new line of dolls and play sets that let you create, accessorize and play with alongside your favorite PixOs creations. The ChixOs Design-A-Luxury Loft is the ultimate party palace with four rooms to explore and three dolls to make, there’s so much to decorate and create. Use the glitterator shower to magically cover your dolls with glitter for a fun night on the town.
The loft house is my son’s favorite of the Spin Master toys. He has been using it to recreate scenes from one of his favorite movies of the moment – Up!
Organic Bug My Best Blocks-Advanced Builder set
Organic Bug is a self described company that offers “Sustainable Products Promoting Healthy Lifestyles”. They truly do make great products and we have had the pleasure of trying several of them.
This holiday season you can give your child the gift of building blocks while supporting an organic, ecologically and environmentally sound company.
The 78 piece (lots of variety for creativity) MY Best Blocks Advanced Builder set has pieces made from rock maple that are sanded smooth (no splinters) with no finish. The set was a 2005 winner of the Top Toy of the Year Award from Creative Child Magazine.