Children's Toy & Media Reviews Since 1978

10 “Fun Stuff” Ideas for Gifts

fun_medWant to add an extra dose of fun to your holiday gift lists? Check out these Parents’ Choice “Fun Stuff” award winners!

 

Blankie Tails™ Mermaid and Shark Blankets

Ages: 1 & Up
Manufacturer: Blankie Tails
Price: $34.95

The machine washable mermaid and shark blankets are soft, cozy, and like a sleeping bag so kids can crawl in to rest, read, and relax. No, these are not educational per se. But they did promote reading, quiet time and storytelling/listening, prompting our parent testers to agree that as blankets go, these were pretty educational. As for the kids? The “funnest” blankets they’d ever had.

Click here for the full Parents’ Choice Awards review and click here to purchase.

 

Make It Creative!™ Fairy Wing Design Kit

Ages: 3 & Up
Manufacturer: Creative Education of Canada, Inc
Price: $17.99

This kit includes a set of wearable wings and about 200 pieces like satin ribbon, beads, gems and sparkly stickers to decorate them. Once personalized to the fairy’s liking, the wings can be worn for imaginative play.

Click here for the full Parents’ Choice Awards review and click here to purchase.

 

Play-Doh Firehouse Playset

Ages: 3 & Up
Manufacturer: Hasbro, Inc.
Price: $19.99

This playset comes with four small tubs of Play-Doh, an unassembled two story plastic fire house with three walls, a bed, a water cannon, fire hydrant that “extrudes” water, an axe, a dog and small firefighter figurine. The firehouse door opens and closes and has casts on the front to create firehouse equipment, such as a fire helmet, axe and a fire hydrant.

Click here for the full Parents’ Choice Awards review and click here to purchase.

 

Wet Head

Ages: 4 & Up
Manufacturer: Zing
Price: $14.99

In this entertaining water roulette game, players take turns wearing the included helmet, pulling out pegs, and trying (or not) to stay dry. Its a simple-to-learn and easy-to-play game that will entertain children of many ages while also encouraging good sportsmanship. Testers took the game on vacation, to block parties, and to Grandma’s. And fun was had by all.

Click here for the full Parents’ Choice Awards review and click here to purchase.

 

Happy Salmon

Ages: 6 & Up
Manufacturer: North Star Games LLC
Price: $14.95

This is a high-fiving, fist-bumping, fast-paced simple card game that’s nothing short of total fun. The game consists of 72 action cards, a rulebook and a whimsical happy salmon carrying case.

As soon as the game begins, a crazy orchestra of action-yelling, players high-fiving, fist-bumping and flipping their fins ensues; add in players switching positions and the chaos is undeniably fun. Spectators enjoy watching people play this game as much as the players like playing!

Click here for the full Parents’ Choice Awards review and click here to purchase.

 

Bunchems Alive

Ages: 6 & Up
Manufacturer: Spin Master Toys
Price: $24.99

This pack includes one Bunchems motorized Stick’em ball and 300 Bunchems in five colors (blue, green, purple, black, and white), thirteen accessories (e.g., googly eyes, wings, a tail, etc.), and an easy-to-follow guide book that includes instructions for building several animals including a puppy, a chick, a crab, and a dragon. The kit’s open-ended nature lets children personalize the guidebook creatures and build creatures of their own design.

Click here for the full Parents’ Choice Awards review and click here to purchase.

 

Yvolution NEON Street Rollers

Ages: 6 & Up
Manufacturer: Yvolution
Price: $29.99

These wheels  attach to shoes and convert them to roller skates. With initial adult assistance, the wheels snap onto the shoes, the adjustable strap conforms to different shoe sizes, and best of all – the wheels light up via LEDs when they roll. No batteries required.

Click here for the full Parents’ Choice Awards review and click here to purchase.

 

SIMON AIR Game

Ages: 8 & Up
Manufacturer: Hasbro, Inc.
Price: $19.99

This is the latest twist on the classic memory game, Simon. You will still find the characteristic lights and sounds of Simon, but in this iteration, no tapping of buttons is required; players simply wave or hover their hand over the various colors. The game features three play modes: classic in which one color/pitches plays at a time, single-player in which up to two colors/pitches play at a time, and two-player in which up to all four colors/pitches play at a time. All of the games progressively difficult modes are terrific for sequencing, working memory, attention, concentration, and hand-eye coordination – for building skills in the young and retaining skills in the not-so-young. The two-player mode hones these skills as well, but also encourages cooperative play as two individuals work together to beat Simon.

Click here for the full Parents’ Choice Awards review and click here to purchase.

 

Meccano Micronoid

Ages: 8 & Up
Manufacturer: Spin Master Toys
Price: $39.99

These interactive robot toys are for children aged eight years and up (although our younger testers were quite at ease with the form and function). Children use the kit’s 120+ pieces and included tools to build the robot before experimenting with basic programming. Right off the bat, they help teach and hone important developmental and coding skills such as following of instructions, sequencing, spatial awareness, fine motor skills, and hand-eye coordination.

Click here for the full Parents’ Choice Awards review and click here to purchase.

 

 

Crayola Crayon Factory

Ages: 8 & Up
Manufacturer: Crayola, LLC
Price: $34.99

What parent doesn’t have broken crayons swimming around their “junk” drawer? The Crayon Factory turns those broken bits of crayon into new fun-shaped crayons and comes ready to use with everything required: the crayon maker, three molds (heart, dog, and car), a paper scraper for removing crayon wrappers, an AC adaptor, eight full-sized crayons, and easy-to-follow, illustrated instructions. Children simply drop the crayon pieces into the machine and wait for them to be melted and molded into new creations. This is a fun, hands-on way to encourage children to reuse and repurpose.

Click here for the full Parents’ Choice Awards review and click here to purchase.

 

 

 

 

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