Each fall, the museum store invites children to test the newest toys, then vote on their favourites for the upcoming holiday season.
Can you begin to imagine how much fun that would be for the staff? I’m so jealous. :)
Here is the list of this year’s winners — I’ve sorted them by recommended age group — all available from The Children’s Museum Store or online:
- Barbie “Jam with Me” Rock Star Guitar (Ages 3+)
Jam with Barbie with this toy electric guitar. Connect your MP3 player to jam along with your own tunes, take the guitar challenge and play along with Barbie, or just freeplay to create your own awesome songs!
- Water Wizard (Ages 3+)
The water wizard lets you draw and create over and over again using only water! As the screen dries the images disappear leaving it ready for another amazing creation.
- Barbie Giant Activity Floor Pad (Ages 3+)
This complete activity set includes crayons, marker, paints, paintbrush, scissors and gluestick along with 40 fun fashion activities!
- Flying Turtle (Ages 3-12)
The best toy for active play, kids have a blast zipping around on the flying turtle! But since it is entirely kid powered, they get a ton of great exercise at the same time!
- Playmobil Pirates Prison with Ship (Ages 4+)
This fun Pirate themed set from Playmobil includes large pirate ship, small row boat, island, prison, and all the people and accessories you need to create an amazing imaginary world.
- Darda Fireball Climb (Ages 4+)
The World’s Fastest Motorized Cars! This race car and track set is completely kid powered! No batteries or electricity required. Just wind the car and watch it zip through the loops and twists!
- OgoBild Pod (Ages 6+)
A brilliant combination of active and constructive play. Ogo Bild Pods lets your child build giant structures like bouncing balls and forts.
- Perplexus Original (Ages 6+)
Perplexus Original is a bendy, trendy, can’t put it down challenge! With plenty of twists, turns, and barriers between start and finish, this puzzle ball will leave you perplexed!
- Laser Pegs 3D Lite Board (Ages 7+)
This is the Ultimate Laser Pegs Kit – the world’s only lighted construction set! The 3D Lite Board gives you 40 power connectors on one board so you can build anything you can imagine.
- FyrFlyz (Ages 8+)
Create amazing light shows by spinning, swinging and twirling your FyrFlyz.
Adults in need of holiday gift ideas for the children in their lives can make purchases from the Kid-Tested, Kid-Approved list and The Museum Store holiday toy catalogue both in the store or online at www.childrensmuseum.org/kid-tested.
What I like about most of the toys on this list — and most of the toys you’ll find carried by most museum gift shops, come to that — is that they’re both fun and educational, and especially good for stimulating the creativity of young minds. And most of the toys on this list would be fun for siblings to play with together, even where there are a couple of years between the kids in age.
Also very cool for parents’ on-going expenses, a number of these items are totally kid-powered and run on imagination — no batteries required — like that awesome Darda Fireball Climb race track!
Of course I’d love to see a most-wanted toy list where and fewer of the toys that are pointed at a particular gender (I’m looking at you, Barbie!). A losing battle, there, do you think? Okay, okay, the politically-correct Grinch is moving on…
Stay tuned for more great out of the ordinary gift ideas for kids — and for us big kids, too!