Children's Toy & Media Reviews Since 1978



Pretend Play

Kids Place Live and Parents’ Choice salute pretend play. Here are 3 suggestions for the big pretenders on your list.




Ages: 6 & Up
Manufacturer: Thames & Kosmos
Price: $29.95

Ready to dabble in sleight of hand? The Magic Hat kit from Thames & Kosmos spotlights 35 magic tricks with props and an illustrated manual. Click here for full review.





Folkmanis® Narwhal Puppet

Ages: 3 & Up
Manufacturer: Folkmanis, Inc.
Price: $27.99


Storytellers will have a whale of a time creating tales both tall and true with just about any Folkmanis puppet, including the Narwhal, aka the unicorn of the sea. Click here for full review.




Fin Fun Swimmable Mermaid Tail

Ages: 6 & Up
Manufacturer: Fin Fun
Price: $110.00


And speaking of “tales”, strong swimmers with active imaginations will dive into the Swimmable Mermaid Tail. This advanced foot-to-waist monofin keeps swimmers’ legs together to mimic a mermaid. Click here for full review.






Want to put a spark in the tech savvy and even the tech weary?



Cozmo by Anki

Ages: 8 & Up
Manufacturer: Anki Inc.
Price: $179.99


Shaped like a tiny bulldozer, the very clever Cozmo robot is packed with personality. He can talk, play games and challenge his owner to teach him new tricks. Click here for full review.





Beasts of Balance

Ages: 7 & Up
Manufacturer: Sensible Object
Price: $99.00


The Beasts of Balance game takes physical and digital play to new heights. It’s like a world class Jenga match being played simultaneously at home and in a Virtual Reality Zoo. Click here for full review.






Smart Letters & Numbers

Ages: 3 – 6 yrs.
Manufacturer: Marbotic
Price: $59.99


And for young techies ages 3-6, the aptly named Smart Letters & Numbers games pair wooden shapes with a whimsically educational app. Click here for full review.




Off the Beaten Path

When Kids Place Live asked for a few suggestions from “off the beaten path” we didn’t have far to look!



The OffBits

Ages: 6 & Up
Manufacturer: Fat Brain Toys
Price: $14.95


Meet The OffBits – sets of special nuts, bolts, and springs, a SuperTool, and membership to the Offbit building community where “Everything can be anything” – depending on how you look at it.” Click here for full review.




Moveable Paper Dolls of Unusual Kind

Ages: 8 & Up
Manufacturer: Of Unusual Kind
Price: $28.00


The Moveable Paper Dolls of Unusual Kind are not like great-grandma’s. Each Made in America hand crafted kit includes a decidedly 21st century doll, wardrobe, accessories, and a storage envelope to fill with imaginations at play. Click here for full review.




Sidewalk Chalk Tagging Kit by Renegade Made

Ages: 8 & Up
Price: $24.99


To help kids follow the path of kindness, the Sidewalk Chalk and Flower Kits by Renegade guide young makers to deliver messages of kindness and goodwill – while nobody’s watching. Click here for full review.






Uh oh. Did you check the Games Aisle? We did! Problem solved.


Despicable Me 3™ Linked Up Game

Ages: 6 & Up
Manufacturer: Wonder Forge Inc.
Price: $14.99


For Despicable Me Fans of all ages, the Linked-Up Game by Wonderforge is more than meets a Minion’s eye. It’s a fun strategy game of making connections – without crossing the line. Click here for full review.





Ages: 6 & Up
Manufacturer: MindWare
Price: $24.95


‘Twangled isn’t easy to say, but it is fun to play.  This mentally and physically challenging game requires communication and collaboration as teams try to un”twangle” the maze they’ve made. Click here for full review.





COOP Scatter Dodgeball

Ages: 5 & Up
Price: $19.99


Coop Scatter Dodge Ball puts a new spin on an old ball game. Players try to tag each other and collect the most colored wristbands. More players = more fun.  Click here for full review.





Books are wonderful. Here are three oversized page turners to give and receive.



Hooray for Birds!

Ages: 2 – 5 yrs.
Author: Lucy Cousins
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Hardcover Price: $15.99


Hooray for Birds Author Lucy Cousins invites readers to be a bird for a day. “Flap your wings and you can fly,/higher and higher,/ up, up in the sky.” “Scratch the ground with your feet. Catch a fly with your beak.”  (Ages 2-5) Click here for full review.





The Wallbook Timeline Collection

Ages: 6 – 14 yrs.
Hardcover Price: $54.95


The Wallbook Timeline Collection puts events of history, science and nature on a 6-foot foldout timeline. Readers will be glued to the glossy pages scouring for the next fascinating tidbit.  (Ages 6+) Click here for full review.




Under Water, Under Earth

Ages: 7 – 9 yrs.
Author: Daniel Mizielinski
Illustrator: Aleksandra Mizielinska
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Hardcover Price: $35.00


Under Water, Under Earth opens vertically. Half of the book’s pages, are dedicated to what’s beneath the Earth’s surface; the other half explores what’s below the ocean.  (Ages 7+) Click here for full review.