Dolls and Pretend Barbie Game Developer: Career of the Year 2016 (Mattel $12.97) Hooray. Barbie is coding. Dressed in faded jeans, knit shirt and field jacket, Barbie has a computer and handheld tablet. Her dark hair has a bright layer of red streaks. Of course, she is wearing a headset and glasses to do her all important job, creating the latest computer game. This is not your mother's Barbie. Ages: Preschoolers, Early School Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Platinum Award 2016 Click
Finding the best toys for this age group was the most challenging this year. Too many of the toys were just off the mark for the developmental needs of babies and toddlers. So the products on this list really came through. We also encourage you to review our Blue Chip Award winners in these age groups. North American Bear Mosie Puppy (North American Bear Co. $25) A 14-inch black and white knit puppy with plenty of eye catching pattern for newborns to focus on. Mosie has all s
STEM Toys Guidecraft Grippies Builders - 30 Piece Playset (Guidecraft $47.99) Even the younger builder can explore magnetic attraction with this set of pastel colored sensory Grippies and magnetic balls. The Grippies come in two lengths, four colors, and interesting textures. Combined with the big white magnetic balls, these are an open-ended building material for older toddlers and young preschoolers. A 20-piece set is also available ($32.99) Marked 18 months and up. We thin
(eeBoo $11.99) We're usually not big on flashcards, but this is a really playful set that can help open the conversation with your kids about social situations. For example, if there's a group of kids already playing a game -- how can you join in? For certain kids these types of prompts will be very comforting as they start navigating school and the world on their own. Ages: 5 & up Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Gold Seal Award 2016
(NeatOh! $28.10 each) We really love this new series of magnetic activity playsets that are engaging and meant as a starting point for discussing feeling and moods with your kids. Each set includes over 100 play pieces that have thick foam backing (so that they're easier to pick up), two play boards and a magnetic easel that is cleverly designed to sit in the box. In Make a Pet, kids love creating their own pets with various moods. There is also Make a Dino -- which will be a
Construction Goldie Blox Invention Mansion (Goldie Blox $59.99) Goldie’s back and this season she’s fashioned an amazing Invention Mansion that is what her creator, Debbie Sterling calls the “anti-dollhouse” that looks like no other mansion around. In fact, since there is no right or wrong way to build it horizontally or vertically, each young builder will likely be creating a unique mansion. It has 350+ pieces that kids can assemble in endless ways. Like any mansion it can i
(Hasbro $137.99) R2D2 had us at the first iconic beep. Our tween testers loved that they could program him to move in a certain way. R2D2's grey and blue top moves back and forth just as it does in the movies. He lights up and makes the entire range of sounds (we challenge you not to smile as he goes through his routine). As the title suggested, this beloved droid is controlled by an APP that our testers felt was easy to navigate. This will be a big hit with tweens, teens a
It's hard to believe that there was a time when there were no Rubik's Cubes, Monopoly Games or Easy Bake Ovens, right? Play our game of Who's Older? - Today Show edition. (1) Savannah Guthrie or Easy Bake Oven? (2) Al Roker or Slinky? (3) Kathie Lee Gifford or Monopoly? (4) Hoda Kotb or Etch-a-Sketch? (5) Carson Daly or Star Wars Action Figures? (6) Dylan Dreyer or Cabbage Patch Kids? Answers: 1. Easy Bake Oven is older. First Oven sold in 1963. Savannah was born in 1971. 2.
(Jakks Pacific $59.99) We're not usually fans of big plastic toys, but we do have to say this one will likely be a huge hit with the Disney Princess crowd. The very pink tea cart has a musical component that will be a crowd pleaser - Mrs. Potts and Chip (of Beauty and the Beast fame) spin as the song "Be Our Guest" plays. Very cute. However, we do need to point out that the toy comes with a warning that the tea cups are not meant to be used with real liquids (no drinking!).
(LEGO $79.99) If you're looking to make a huge hit with a LEGO STAR WARS fan, this rebel space ship will likely due to the trick. The cockpit opens as do the side of the craft so that figures can emerge. Also pleasing to fans, it comes with five minifigs: Bistan, Rebel Tropper, U-Wing Pilot, Cassian Andor and Jyn Erso. Comes with 659 pieces so this is not for a beginner builder. Be forewarned, there are small projectiles - so be careful with younger siblings. 8 & up. Age: Ear