Gift-shoppers searching for quality and value this holiday season will not have to look far--they can find the best toys for kids right around the corner at their neighborhood toy store. The American Specialty Toy Retailing Association (ASTRA) is excited to share our 2014 Best Toys for Kids Award Winners!
Drawing upon their expertise, experience, and commitment to fulfilling play, ASTRA retail members hand-picked the most engaging, unique, open-ended, fun, and safe toys for your children. The 2014 Best Toys for Kids list features toys that deliver exceptional value and expand a child's imagination, toys that invite discovery and exploration, toys that get kids moving, toys that build creativity, toys that fascinate babies, and even toys that delight hard-to-shop-for pre-teens.
With their understanding of how kids play, specialty toy retailers can guide shoppers in their quest for the perfect gift. Visit your local toy store to purchase the Best Toys for Kids Award Winners and get expert advice on the best gifts for the children in your life.
By Fat Brain Toy Co.
Whether they rock it, roll it, sit in it or stand... kids want to move with Teeter Popper! “POP-POP-POP... POP-POP-POP!” Senses go for a ride every time they play. A cinch to maneuver - stand, sit, rock, tilt, wobble, wiggle, spin. How children play is however they choose. Hand kids a TeeterPopper and walk away... but don't look away. Seeing the curiosity, the surprise, the concentration on their faces as they attempt new movements is something you don't want to miss. Teeter-popping excitement is catching, (so are their giggles).Kids find themselves teetering on the brink of perfect physical play. No special skills needed. In playful exploration, Teeter Popper improves core strength, stability, leg strength, balance, coordination and gross-motor skills. Curiosity wakes up, senses come alive, imagination engages, and creativity gets moving!
By Brand 44 Colorado
Slackers Balance Blox is a popular Slackline concept. It improves kids' motor skills, concentration and body control. It is fun and challenging and builds self-confidence. It is perfect for the playroom, classroom or backyard. It has an expandable Blox Program. Great for kids 3+ and hours of funtime!
Sands Alive! Deluxe Set
By Play Visions Inc.
Sands Alive! Irresistible new moldable sand compound! Mold it! Squish it! Anti-Bacterial, water soluble, never dries out. Educational. 100% All-Natural. Hours of fun. Easy Cleanup. Set contains 1 large sand tray, 4 pounds of sand, 12 geometric shape molds, 3 sculpting tools and one smooth roller.
Mini Micro Classic kickboard scooter
By Micro Kickboard
The Mini Micro is the quality choice in children's scooters. The kickboard design features 3 wheels, gentle steering and a low-to-the-ground deck, all of which make the Mini exceptionally stable for young children. Smooth-gliding wheels and a strong, yet flexible deck combine to give the Mini its unmatchable ride - sleek and quiet - you won't hear any rattle when it rolls. But it's the Mini's unique lean-to steering that makes it fun; kids direct the Mini by shifting their body weight to curve right and left, learning balance and coordination as they go. Smooth gliding, durable and lightweight, the Mini Micro scooter is recommended for young children up to 44lbs.
#MM0001 Blue (other colors available)
By Basic Fun, Division of the Bridge Direct
Distributed by Schylling
The popular classic 80's memory game now has a sleek new look. Updated design with new LCD counter that keeps track of high score. Features 3 original games from the classic Simon. Measures 9" x 9" and 3 AA batteries are included
Remote Control Machines DLX
By Thames & Kosmos
A souped-up version of the best-selling Remote-Control Machines kit! Build your own motorized vehicles and machines and control them with a wireless remote control unit. A unique six-button infrared remote allows you to control three different motors simultaneously, moving each of them forward or in reverse, with easy-to-activate touch sensors. The three motors can be combined to make complex vehicles and machines in numerous configurations limited only by your imagination. Assemble 20 models demonstrating different ways in which the motors can be used including a three-wheeled car, bat-bot, stag beetle, robot, battle car, ball collector car, forklift, tunneling vehicle, truck, drilling machine, crane, robotic arm and more. After you have built the models in the instructions, you can design your own remote control creations! The kit comes with three motors, remote control unit, battery holder, and 155 building pieces. 128-page, full-color instruction book.
Architetrix Constructor Set
This set from Hape's Architetrix line has all you need to get started building in mind-expanding, unconventional ways! Architetrix Constructor Set includes 33 green bamboo building rods along with 14 translucent nodes for anchoring and connecting your constructions and contraptions. Architetrix is all about thinking differently about building while at the same time creating a strong foundation of spatial-reasoning, critical-thinking, and problem-solving skills. The moment you open your first Architetrix box, you'll be thinking outside of the box. For aspiring architects and builders four years and up.
LoopDeLoom - Weaving Loom Kit
By Ann Williams
Weaving just got fast and fun! Loopdeloom is an ingenious new loom design with spinning pegs that speeds up the weaving process and makes it super simple. It’s simple to set up, it’s simple to use, and it’s surprisingly fast. Make anything from small basic potholders to large complex items with intriguing patterns. Weave purses and cell phone cases, scarves, wraps, baskets, throws and more. You can weave items any length, and up to 7” wide using one loom. Connect two or more looms together to weave wider items with no seams – genius! Say goodbye to traditional looms, we’re putting a new spin on weaving! Kit includes 1 spinning peg loom and 120 yards of yarn.
Grow N' Glow Terrarium
By Creativity for Kids
Grow 'n Glow Terrarium: • Two hot trends in one complete crafting kit. Turn this plastic mason-style jar into your own little habitat with real plants and tiny figurines • Set includes a 5” h x 3 1/4” w jar, decorative lid, potting mix, organic chia and wheat grass seeds, garden figurines, decorative sand, river stones and a plant mister • Add dimension to your garden with translucent and glow-in-the-dark stickers – hold it up to the light and watch the fireflies glow
By Fat Brain Toy Co.
Playful colors, fun sounds, fresh tactile experiences and super suction make the perfect toy! Meet pipSquigz, they're Fun Little Suckers! Simply push pipSquigz down on any smooth surface and watch baby interact with this high-quality silicone suction toy. Sensory integration is a crucial developmental milestone for every infant. pipSquigz is a toy that combines touch, auditory processing, visual stimulation, and kinesthetic learning all in one toy. Three bright shapes invite little hands to explore using vision, hearing, touch and movement. Watch as baby pulls, shakes and pushes pipSquigz, finding delight in physical and cognitive play. Compact and sized to take anywhere, pipSquigz are easy to clean and dishwasher safe. Tested to the highest safety standards, pipSquigz provide peace of mind for parents of teething babies.
Roller Derby keeps youngsters busy for many an afternoon of obstacle course fun! Release one of the brightly-painted wooden balls at the top of the Roller Derby course and watch as it makes its way down the mountainous course, jumping through holes and making pleasant noises its entire descent down. Little ones will be mesmerized and parents will be pleasantly surprised at how much fun they're having. For ages twelve months and up.
The most backed board game in Kickstarter history sneakily teaches preschoolers the fundamentals of programming, from coding to functions, while making silly turtle noises! Takes seconds to learn, minutes to play and provides endless learning opportunities. Before you know it, your little one will be writing computer games rather than just playing them!
By Fat Brain Toy Co.
Can You Rule the Roost? The object is simple - just collect all twelve eggs and return them to the crate. Choose carefully, little farmer. Keep an eye on your fellow farmers and where they are moving chickens. One wrong move could really ruffle your feathers... a series of wrong moves and crack! You’re out of CLUCK! Peek-A-Doodle-Doo is a charming and delightful game designed to improve concentration and memory skills. Unlike other memory-based games, with Peek-A-Doodle-Doo the game pieces are in constant motion which adds challenging, fast-moving fun! Cluck! Cluck! What an “egg-cellent” memory you have!
This gravity powered logic maze is sure to put your visual perception and reasoning skills to the test. The colorful, translucent towers can be arranged in a plethora of visually stimulating structures but, for each challenge, you'll have to think carefully to build a path that will successfully carry your marble to its target. 60 challenges, ranging in difficulty, will give you plenty of creative building time while you maneuver the maze in your mind!
Timeline - American History
By Asmodee Editions
Which happened first, the Salem Witch Trials or the foundation of Harvard College? Was Watergate before Woodstock? Sure, it’s easy to know whether the discovery of America came before the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, but how well can you remember everything that happened in between? In Timeline: America – History, players have hands of cards and take turns attempting to place the cards correctly into the growing timeline. Easy at first, but rapidly growing more difficult, Timeline: America – History will test your knowledge and help you learn the history of the nation. CONTENTS Timeline America – History contains 110 double-sided cards and a rule book. FEATURES Fun and educational. Beautifully illustrated cards. The sixth in the popular Timeline series.
KEVA Brain Builders
By MW Wholesale/Mindware
Approach KEVA from a whole new angle! Full-color cards include a 2-D building challenge on one side and the solution on the other. Manipulate your KEVA planks to successfully duplicate the balance, proportion, composition and geometry featured on each card. Includes 20 KEVA planks, 30 double-sided cards and instructions in a zippered carrying case.
Royal Princess Playhouse
By International Playthings
Easy to assemble castle is generously sized to fit 2 or more little princesses. Flap front door, 2 mesh windows, sturdy material to withstand hours of play. Carry case included.
HABA Doorway Puppet Theater
By HABA USA
Raise the curtain and ignite the imaginations! This ingenious doorway fabric puppet theater has a telescoping rod to accommodate the doorway size. Ingenious details: a round peep hole at top to introduce the performance, a oval pocket for children to insert their own hand made play title, tie back curtains and three lightweight wooden slat bars easily slide into the sewn slots to give the fabric some weight so it will remain straight and steady for the performance. Dimensions 67"L x 31"W
Snap Circuits Motion
Snap Circuits Motion makes learning about electronics and its effect on motion…a SNAP! This all-new kit has everything you need to build over 165 amazing projects with more than 50 parts and pieces, including a lighted fan that changes colors as it spins, an air fountain, motion detector, a multi-use “merry-go-round”, mini car, tilt and vibration switches, siren sounds, spinning hypnotic pattern wheels and a detailed instruction manual. Snap Circuits Motion is the third in a series of specialized Snap Circuits that teaches kids – of all ages – the science of energy through physics and electronics. Requires 4 AA batteries (not included).
By Thames & Kosmos
Explore the fascinating world of chemical reactions that produce light, called chemiluminescence. Mix up a magical blue light in a test tube using the glowing chemical luminol and other substances. With some cool chemical reactions, even coins and radishes begin to glow. You will discover how the natural world is full of luminous mysteries: bright spots on bananas, fluorescent chestnut bark, and glowing creatures in the sea. Experiment with the special ultraviolet lamp to reveal things that would otherwise be invisible. Learn about the electromagnetic spectrum, including visible and invisible light. Experiment with glow-in-the-dark plastic. Build a fun glowing puppet theatre to play around with glowing pigments and discover real-world applications for glowing chemistry. A 48-page, full-color manual guides you through 22 experiments in light chemistry and provides scientific explanations and examples.
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