Holiday Toy Guide 2017
We reviewed the coolest gifts for your kids this holiday season. Here are our top picks for each age.
Atlanta Parent Favorites
Automoblox Mini Rescue cars have wooden bodies and wheel parts, which can be built or mixed to form different car shapes. The three emergency vehicles are a fun addition to any kids’ car collection. Ages 4 and older. At Kazoo Toys and Barnes & Noble. $34.99-$39.99.
Weave bracelets, headbands and bookmarks with the WowWee Digiloom Starter Kit. Using the Digiloom app, design your own looks, or choose from pre-made designs, even add your name or sayings. Ages 8 and older. At Michaels. $49.99.
BeginAgain Safari Bowl starts with rolling a ball down the wooden elephant’s trunk to try and hit the targets. These include wooden monkeys, giraffes and round targets. Ages 2 and older. At beginagaintoys.com. $25.
Kids can learn how to match in a fun way with the Leap Frog Scoop & Learn Ice Cream Cart. Make different ice cream orders and the cart will say them out loud, including colors and numbers of scoops or toppings. Ages 2-5. At major retailers. $39.99.
Testers ages 6, 9 and 11 took turns using the glove to move the KD Interactive Aura Drone above their heads, no remote controller needed! The drone can safely be used indoors, and easily bounces off any object. Charge the drone and controller separately with the USB charger included. Ages 6 and older. At Target and Toys R Us. $99.99.
Let the kids fix a healthy dinner with the 52-piece Melissa and Doug Slice & Toss Salad Set. Testers liked the variety of ingredients and the salad dressing bottles with “squirt” strings. Ages 3 and older. Available at Brilliant Sky Books & Toys, Sprouts Tucker and Decatur and Learning Express Atlanta. $29.99.
A fun upgrade to drawing on a cardboard box for play, eeBoo Pretend Play Stickers easily turn a box into a play kitchen, spaceship or car. Peel the stickers off the sheets and attach to an empty box for an instant playset. Ages 3 and older. At Treehouse Kid & Craft, Richard’s Variety Store. $13.99.
Turn a bathtub or kids’ pool into a slime-filled fun zone with Zimpli Kids Ooze Baff. Our kid testers liked the sticky green slime and the cleanup was easy. Ages 3 and older. Just wash it down the drain. At Walmart and Toys R Us. $8-$12.99.
The Fisher Price Coffee Cup Teether is a teether and rattle all in one. The soft material of the lid is made for teething and the colorful rattle beads inside make noise. Ages 3 mo. and older. At major retailers. $5.
The WowWee Fingerlings hook onto your finger and interact. If you tap the head or hang them upside down they laugh, blink or make cooing sounds. The monkeys can make 40 different sounds and even sing. Ages 5 and older. At most major retailers. $14.99.
Baby and Toddler
The reversible, space shuttle-shaped Seedling Galaxy Rocket Adventure Cape is perfect for pretend adventures. Testers liked strapping on the backpack cape and decorating with felt patches and rocket flames. Ages 2-4. At seedling.com. $29.99.
With a squeeze of the wing Lamaze Repeat Petey records words and phrases and then repeats back. Made of different colorful textures, patterns and crinkles. A squeaker is also found in the nose and a chime goes off when he is shaken. Ages 6 mo. and older. At Amazon.com. $29.99.
The Tonka Mighty Builders Fire Tuff Truck Play Set-Light & Sound makes real siren sounds, has a moveable bucket and ladder and firefighter figure. The 25-piece set comes with take-apart pieces to build the truck, fire hydrant and figures. Ages 1 and older. At Toys R Us. $29.99.
VTech Zoo Jamz Stompin’ Fun Drums light up and teach counting with different number cues. Follow along with melodies and songs and watch the elephant trunk move up and down. Ages 18-48 mo. At major retailers. $39.99.
The Melissa and Doug Animal Stacking Cars are wooden, brightly-decorated cars that can be stacked on top of each other and rolled around. Ages 9 mo. and older. At Learning Express Alpharetta. $9.99.
Our little tester liked chasing after the Fisher Price Zoom ‘n Crawl Monster as it tumbles balls out of the front and wheels around the room. It also plays 15 songs and silly phrases. Ages 9 mo.-3. At major retailers. $35.
The magnetic x and o figures of the Guidecraft Grippies Stackers interlock to encourage balancing and matching. The round figures have a variety of facial expressions, and the set comes in different colors and patterns. Ages 18 mo. and older. At guidecraft.com. 16-and 24-piece sets $39.95-$59.95.
Tomy Toomies Foam Cone Factory makes for a bath time full of bubbles. Place soap or bath wash into the top cone and then pull the lever to make foam come out of the bottom into a small, plastic ice cream cone. Our testers didn’t want to get out of the bath. Ages 18 mo. and older. At Amazon.com. $24.99.
Based on the preschooler app, Peekaboo Barn, kids can spin farm animal pieces around the barn with Educational Insights Peekaboo Barn Game. When animals land by the barn door, kids can make the animal noise and put them to sleep. Take turns waking and putting animals to sleep until all are inside the barn. Ages 2-4. At Treehouse Kid & Craft. $24.99.
Use the markers provided to color in the shapes of the Great Pretenders Colour-A-Cape Princess – a castle, hearts, unicorn and more. The lining is pink silk, and is machine washable so you can color again. Ages 3 and older. At Learning Express Atlanta locations. $22.
When playing Thinkfun Spin-a-roo a race begins to match the most colors and numbers on each card. More advanced learners can race to collect the most tokens by counting up and down from one to ten. Our testers loved spinning for numbers and playing both versions of the game. Ages 4 and older. At Kazoo Toys. $19.99.
Green Toys Dough Sets are made from organic flour and soy inks, and they come in themes such as Race Car Maker, Flower Maker and Meal Maker. Each set comes with colored dough and plastic tools. Ages 2-8. At greentoys.com. $19.99-$24.99.
Preschoolers can play doctor to baby dolls with Just Play Doc McStuffins Baby All-in-One Nursery, which includes a play stethoscope, laptop, scale, thermometer and rocking cradle among other pieces. Ages 3 and older. At most major retailers. $79.99.
This teddy bear comes to life – Parker: Your Augmented Reality Bear by Seedling activates augmented reality effects to create an interactive world of doctor play. Our testers liked playing with Parker through the app to check temperatures, decorate band-aids and take x-rays. The app also includes games and puzzles. Ages 3 and older. Available at seedling.com. $59.99.
A new spin on the doll is here with Wonder Crew Dolls, and he comes in boy form. The Superhero doll comes with cape and mask for child. Extra outfits are available in themes like explorer and builder. Ages 3 and older. At most major retailers. $29.99.
Continents are puzzle pieces on Learning Resources Puzzle Globe, and each is labeled by name. All seven puzzle pieces fit into the globe to help teach world geography. Ages 3 and older. At Toys R Us. $29.99.
The Melissa & Doug Beauty Salon is great for pretend play without the mess. Our testers liked using all the wooden accessories for pretend manicures, hair styles, makeup and more. Ages 3 and older. At Learning Express Atlanta, Salon Red Kids and Bloomingdales. $49.99.
LEGO fans will like building and playing with the LEGO Friends Snow Resort Chalet set. It includes a LEGO hot tub, kitchen, log fire, snowmobile, husky and two mini-doll figures. Ages 7-12. At most major retailers. $39.99.
When playing Blue Orange Games Go Go Gelato! use cones, scoops and a challenge card to fill customers’ orders as fast as you can. Fill the order exactly like it looks on the card, or you will lose the race. Ages 6 and older. At Kazoo Toys. $19.99.
Learn counting and reasoning when playing Educational Insights Wiggle Waggle Whiskers by building fences for your cat or dog. To win, build more fences than the other players. Ages 4-7. At educationalinsights.com. $21.99.
Go back in time with the Playmobil Pharaoh’s Pyramid. The set comes with five chambers and puzzles, which include mummies, skeletons, treasures, fire pots, spiders, hieroglyphics and other accessories. Ages 6 and older. At Treehouse Kid & Craft and Richard’s Variety Store. $69.99.
The Funrise TONKA Rescue Response Station is a playset built just for TONKA trucks in mini pocket size, including helicopters, tractors, trucks, cars and other vehicles. Ages 3 and older. At most major retailers. $24.99.
Make your own mini-balloon animals using Moose Toys Oonies Inflator Starter Pack. You don’t have to build animals; the small balloons stick together to form many different shapes and creations. Ages 5 and older. At most major retailers. $19.99.
The Educational Insights Geosafari Jr. Walkie Talkies are perfect for outdoor adventures. Our testers loved not having to hold the button to talk and being able to speak while exploring the house and yard. Ages 4-7. At educationalinsights.com $29.99.
Guide toy cars inside of Neat-Oh! Zipes Speed Pipes instead of on top of traditional racetracks. The loop pieces can be built in several different ways, and the light-up cars shoot through the pipes and pipe connectors. Ages 5 and older. At Brilliant Sky Books & Toys and Kazoo Toys. $19.99-$99.99.
Pillow Pets are a favorite, and now they come in scented varieties. The Pillow Pets Sweet Scented Pets Cookie Pup is the one we picked, but also try the Milkshake Cow, Cotton Candy Unicorn or Popcorn Panda. Ages 3 and older. At mypillowpets.com. $19.99.
Build the challenging, eeBoo Biodiversity 500 Piece Round Puzzle and learn about a wide variety of organisms along the way. The puzzle is covered in pictures of animals, plants, insects and more. Ages 8 & up. At Treehouse Kid & Craft. $17.99.
Kids can build their own working, wooden roller coaster with the Play Monster Marbleocity Mini Coaster, and watch marbles roll down and around by the twist of a lever. Ages 9 and older. At Barnes & Noble and Toys R Us. $29.99.
Explore lands and expand your kingdom with Blue Orange Games Kingdomino by connecting dominoes, and making sure each one matches at least one side. Ages 8 and older. At store.blueorangegames.com. $19.99.
Cornhole has become a sensation at tailgates and backyard barbecues. This miniature version of the large game called Coinhole can be played on any table top or flat surface using use the boards and coins. Ages 8 and older. At most major retailers. $15-$30.
Plug the Atari Plug & Play Game into your TV and play more than 10 classic games using the joystick on top. Games include Adventure, Breakout, Missile Command and Asteroids among others. Ages 8 and older. At most major retailers. $19.99.
Our 11-year-old tester enjoyed coloring with dry erase markers to complete codes while playing with the Thinkfun CODE: Rover Control. Get ready for a brain workout; there are over 40 challenges, with the game becoming more difficult as it progresses. Our tester was busy for more than an hour and made it through three levels. Ages 8 and older. At Target for $14.99.
Decorate the Seedling Design Out Loud! Cardboard Speakers with markers, paint and more to make them your own. After decorating, plug into a microphone jack and hear your favorite playlist. Ages 8 and older. At seedling.com. $24.99.
Reviewed by Felicia Barman, Becky Cooper, Teresa Farkas and Laura Powell. Shop early and check with stores on availability. Prices listed are MSRP.