We were really blown away by the Hasbro Play-Doh 3-D Flash Art. It wasn’t until I tested it with two high school students (both having just finished AP Physics) that I fully appreciated how cool this toy is and how useful it would be in any science class. Watch the video and you’ll see how art is a beautiful display of science! Read our complete review.
We sometimes get caught up with getting the latest novelty toy of the season…but sometimes the most enjoyed gifts are the products that get little air time and media buzz.
One of the best presents you can give any child is a basket full of art supplies. If you can remember how great a new box of 64 Crayola Crayons smelled…you know what I’m talking about. Whether it’s crayons, markers, a juicy pad of paper…all of these can spark a renewed interest in exploring their creative side!
If you’re looking for a high tech learning toy this season, we high recommend Leapfrog’s TAG and TAG Junior reading systems. Both marry technology with collections of award winning books. Do they replace reading a book with your child? Of course not–but they will encourage your kids to explore and “read” books on their own.
Full review and shopping info for both
We’d skip their My Pal Scout–this is designed to be an interactive pet for toddlers. We found him to be less than huggable and the skills he’s meant to teach are better taught with real life experiences. All of the current interactive, downloadable dolls on the market pale in comparison to the old Actimates from Microsoft. Their original Barney really became Barney for little children. It was truly magical to watch kids interact with this doll. This doll doesn’t compare.
Interesting video about the work they’re doing at Ohio State University Medical Center for children with special needs. They have a toy library where toys have been adapted to better suit the needs of kids that come to their center. Watch the video
To find out if there is a toy library in your area, visit the USA Toy Library Association website.
For a list of toys that need little or no adapting, see our list of SNAP (Special Needs Adaptable Product) Award winners on our site at www.toyportfolio.com.
Here are our some of favorites of the season– click on the name of the product to read our complete review at www.toyportfolio.com
For younger children:
Two great cameras for 3s and up to enjoy:
If you have a child totally into cars, you need to look at:
For kids 8 & up:
For really advanced builders:
I was driving home yesterday in the dark and as we got caught in traffic…I started thinking about one of my favorite toys that I wished I had in the car. There’s something about being caught in traffic that brings out my inner eight year old. Last year’s Platinum Award winner, the Crayola Glow Station. Read our complete review.
Love this activity table just right for toddlers! Read our full review.
I’m always looking for toys that work in the dark. Maybe because when I was little we would go to FAO in NYC and then on the way home in the car, my brothers and I were always disappointed that we couldn’t enjoy our new toys in the backseat.
As a professional toy reviewer, I’m also amazed by the number of toys that say they’ll work in the dark, but don’t.
So that brings me to the wonderfully novel and silly Ecotronic Mr. Robot Head from International Playthings. First, it’s red–an attribute that always does well here. We love red…so this deliciously red cube already had us smiling. CRANK up the back (no batteries required–hence the name Ecotronics) and then touch the stylus to the top….
Read our full review at toyportfolio.com.