Read More. Play More. Learn More.

Noodle on this Holiday Shoppers!




We’re pleased to share in today’s announcement that Noodle Education, the website helping parents and students make better decisions about learning, has published nine exclusive Parents’ Choice holiday gift lists.


 “Childhood interests can drive our passions and talents as adults,” said Suzanne Podhurst, Editor-in-Chief of Noodle. “And parents can help foster these interests with age-appropriate educational toys and games, like the ones found on our Guide to Educational Toys for Kids.”


Here’s what you can find in the Parents’ Choice/Noodle Holiday Guide:

Future Architect — Toys for Kids Who Love Building
Future Artist — Toys for Kids Who Love Art
Future Chef — Toys for Kids Who Love Cooking
Future Engineer — Toys for Kids Who Love Engineering
Future Filmmaker Toys for Kids Who Love Movies
Future Novelist — Toys for Kids Who Love Reading and Writing
Future Scientist— Toys for Kids Who Love Science
Future Stunt Double — Toys for Kids Who Love Action and Adventure
Future Veterinarian — Toys for Kids Who Love Animals


Hope this gives you something to think about – and share.

Happy Holidays!





Parents’ Choice Holiday Give Away


Parents’ Choice Holiday Give Away Begins Friday, December 4th!

Parents’ Choice is saluting the 2015 Holiday Season with Mindy Thomas of SiriusXm’s Kids Place Live  throughout the first weekend of December. Claire Green (Parents’ Choice) and Mindy Thomas (Radio Host Extraordinaire) will be talking about seven Parents’ Choice Award® winners that earned a spot on the “No Batteries Required” list.

The seven give-aways begin Friday, December 4th and run through Thursday, December 10th. To be eligible to win one of these Parents’ Choice Award winners, all you have to do is to Like, Comment, and Share. That’s it. But you must do all three.

Just pay attention to the Parents’ Choice Facebook page from December 4 – 10, choose which product(s) you’d like to win (yes, you can participate in all give-aways) and Like, Comment, and Share the post. Remember – you must complete all three steps for each product you’re interested in winning.

Here’s what we’ll be talking about and giving-away.



Micro Mini 2 Go (pink)   Ages 1 +




alex tub


Alex USA Map in the Tub Ages 3+




auto engineer


Kids First Automobile Engineer Ages: 3+






Guidecraft™ PowerClix® Organics 74 Piece Set Ages: 5+





Air Pogo Blue Xtreme Ages: 5+







Leaps and Ledges Ages: 8+




unbored treasure hunt


Unbored Treasure Hunt Ages: 8+




 Follow the Parents’ Choice Facebook page and Like and Comment and Share for each product you’d like to win.



Announcing the Fall 2015 Parents’ Choice Book Awards


Page turners, unite!  Love-books-image

From engineers to wordsmiths and dinosaurs to astronauts, the Fall 2015 Parents’ Choice Book Awards list offers stellar suggestions for readers from preschool to high school.

Parents’ Choice Book Award winners include a debut novelist, a legendary author/illustrator, and a big bear in a little chair. The game of baseball, a cherished bicycle, and poems at sea keep those of varied interests asking for more. There’s pointing and counting and taking a bath, voices of freedom and big storm aftermath.

Tougher topics like depression – both economic and emotional – are treated with perspective, warmth and even some humor. Bullying is addressed with unlikely friends, a nature-loving new girl and a young champion of education who made history as the youngest Nobel Peace Prize Winner. Acceptance and friendship take shape as a ghost story.

Readers can solve brain puzzles and practice yoga, follow a magical harmonica through history or help a young apprentice of a master apothecary in 17th-century London solve a mystery.

In making our selections, we’ve laughed, we’ve cried, and scratched our heads. We’ve travelled through time both historical and fictitious, bookmarking pages a plenty along the way. We hope our list serves as an open invitation to curl up – with a good book.

Congratulations to all the winners, and happy reading to you.



Don’t we deserve better?


You’d think with all the new ways we have to view content that content would be getting better. And overall, it is. Netflix and Amazon now regularly come up with Emmy-winning original programming to compete with previous standard-bearers HBO and Showtime.

But our plethora of platforms and the pressure to stand out this fall season seems to mean that envelope-pushing and shocking shows are what are rising to the top.

Scream-queens_teaserTake Scream Queens, for example. There has been a lot of buzz about the Fox series, starring Emma Roberts as a sorority girl on a campus where sorority girls are getting murdered.

Yes, it’s a spoof, a satire, a send-up of slasher movies, but I didn’t think it was funny. Calling girls “sluts” and “bitches” and making vulgar sex talk set to a backdrop of bloody killing just doesn’t make for healthy viewing for our teens – or for anyone.

The series is rated TV-14, and it’s from edgy Ryan Murphy – who gave us Glee, but if teens in your house are watching this, you need to watch it too. There’s nothing gleeful about it.

oscar_s-hotel-for-fantastical-creatures2Oscar’s Hotel for Fantastical Creatures is another example. This new Vimeo series came highly touted. Lots of anticipation on the web.

It stars Chris Kendall, a U.K.-based YouTube comedian with a big following. YouTube star Grace Helbig is also part of the cast. Patrick Stewart and Alfred Molina voice two of the characters. But getting the most buzz were the “fantastical creatures” made by Jim Henson’s Creature Shop.

Sounds good, doesn’t it?

I invite you to watch the first episode. It’s just plain weird. Titled “The Party Nightmare,” it’s all about Oliver trying to get more business into his uncle’s hotel. He hires a “demon horse clown” to get a party started. The horse clown starts shooting people with a gun that explodes with glitter, until – spoiler alert! – he reveals himself to be an alien. Oliver grabs the gun and shoots the horse clown, reducing him to a sugar cube. A write-up of the party in a local magazine the new morning deems the hotel “cool” and Oscar’s uncle is pleased. He hands Oscar a name badge that says “Oscar’s Ass” – which he says is short for “assistant.”

It all had the vibe of some kind of strange, psychedelic drug trip. Worth your tween’s time? Nope.

Is it too much to ask that no matter what the platform, the programming should enlighten, entertain and engage with underlying positive messages for everyone in your family?

We don’t think so.


The 2015 Fall Parents’ Choice Toy Awards!



homeimage_toyawards_f13What a day!

The sun is out, the weather is cool and crisp, and the Fall 2015 Parents’ Choice Toy Awards have just been announced.

There are space movies to be made, bears on a mission, and mysteries to be solved. Check out the remote control machine-building sets and kits for engineers as young as three. A videogame spawned a playset, walls have stories to tell, and a pogo stick bounces on air.

There are games for all ages and puppets and experiments for young scientists to conduct on a kitchen counter lab. Uh oh. Bugs in the Kitchen? No worries here. Take this scooter for a ride and get a bite to eat in a diner.

There are building sets for architects and those who gravitate to more organic structures. A kit of LED light stickers makes working circuits. You’ll see why the Android-based EPIC is true to its name, and how GenDX-ers are learning to tell time.

The extra-long Fun Stuff winners list includes plenty of craft kits for making snow globes or bracelets or puzzles or customizing crayons.

We hope you’ll enjoy browsing this list even half as much as we did creating it.