Gift-shoppers searching for quality and value this holiday season will not have to look far--they can find the best toys for kids right around the corner at their neighborhood toy store. The American Specialty Toy Retailing Association (ASTRA) is excited to share our 2014 Best Toys for Kids Award Winners!
Drawing upon their expertise, experience, and commitment to fulfilling play, ASTRA retail members hand-picked the most engaging, unique, open-ended, fun, and safe toys for your children. The 2014 Best Toys for Kids list features toys that deliver exceptional value and expand a child's imagination, toys that invite discovery and exploration, toys that get kids moving, toys that build creativity, toys that fascinate babies, and even toys that delight hard-to-shop-for pre-teens.
With their understanding of how kids play, specialty toy retailers can guide shoppers in their quest for the perfect gift. Visit your local toy store to purchase the Best Toys for Kids Award Winners and get expert advice on the best gifts for the children in your life.
By RingStix - System Enterprises LLC
RingStix is a simple and innovative variation of the most common game in everyone’s childhood, catch. It uses two Stix shaped like inverted swords to propel a ring at ones partner, who catches the ring and throws it back using his Stix. The game is easy to learn and can be played from 30 yards away. Hours of fun awaits you with this awesome game. Each game contains a full set for two players: 4 Stix, each different color 1 Red Ring Simplified instructions are on the back of the packaging for a closer look check out the “How to Video”. RingStix is played with the slightly curved 21 inch sticks and a 5 inch ring. With a stick in each hand - crossed, and the ring over both sticks, players simply flare out their arms to propel the ring spinning forward toward the other player. That player then uses the point of one or both of the sticks to catch the flying ring and sends it back again in the same manner. The faster and harder a player flares the sticks the farther the ring will fly, sometimes up to 30 yards or more. This unique sport offers an entertaining new form of exercise improves agility and hand-eye coordination, gets kids and adults off the couch and away from sedentary technologies like computers, TV and video games. RingStix can be used in yards, parks, at the beach and more. The patent-pending RingStix product line is made of light yet durable material that meets all CPSC standards. Both the Stix and the Rings float, and one ring even glows in the dark adding a fun twist for night time play.
By Joint Merchant
Incredibly bouncy, super, soft. Safe fun for kids 3+!
Q-BA-MAZE 2.0 Mega Stunt Set
Not your ordinary addition to the marble run family! These ingenious pieces interlock in endless configurations, while double-exit cubes keep you guessing on which way the marbles will go. Includes 108 cubes, 2 cascade stilts, 2 coaster tubes, 1 marble vortex, 1 pivot trampoline, 2 universal connectors, 30 steel marbles and instructions.
By Fat Brain Toy Co.
This toy really sucks! Push them together then POP them apart. Squigz stick to virtually any flat surface and leave behind no residue. Using "Suction Construction" and a little imagination, these fun little suckers provide hours of creative building play . Squigz are made from high-grade silicone, feature eight intriguing shapes and are available ONLY to the specialty toy market! Creativity like no other toy!
By Harrisville Designs
Everyone loves making Potholders and now there is even more to love! PotholderPRO will allow you to weave a potholder that is more practical and even more beautiful. Our 100% custom-sized cotton PRO Loops and large metal loom, combined with your creative skills, will result in a potholder that is more professional, large enough for adult hands and more useful in the kitchen. The dynamic colors of our cotton PRO Loops are sure to bring excitement to the culinary corners of your home. Sturdy metal loom. Custom cotton loops. Made in USA 2-year warranty.
X-treme Sticker Maker Set
By Faber-Castell USA Inc.
The X-treme Sticker Maker Set is the BEST sticker maker on the planet! A favorite among crafts; this high quality machine is versatile and super easy to use. It includes 40' of sticker tape, 80+ sticker designs - including velvet, metallic and glitter, color-in markers and sticker book. You can even turn your artwork and photos into stickers!
Green Toys Seaplane
By Green Toys Inc.
Float, fly, and find Good Green Fun™ no matter how you travel! The Green Toys™ Seaplane is ready for earth-friendly excitement in the sky or out at sea. Made in the USA from 100% recycled plastic milk jugs that save energy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, this buoyant yellow and green floatplane features a spinning propeller and chunky, oversized pontoons perfect for coasting into any port. Specially designed to float when taken into the bathtub or pool, young captains can easily navigate from water to air and back again. No BPA, phthalates, PVC or external coatings, and also meets FDA food contact standards. Dishwasher safe for easy cleaning. Packaged with recycled and recyclable materials and printed with soy inks. Dimensions: 9"L x 9"W x 5"H. Recommended for ages 1 and up.
#SEAA-1031, SEAG-1029, SEAY-1030
Tatoo Xylo Roller
By Juratoys US Corp (JANOD)
The xylo roller is music in motion! A fabulous wooden pull toy, the xylo roller allows children to play xylophone on the go. The 2 sticks store conveniently in the front of the pull toy. Great open packaging for full exposure to the quality and design.
Bunny Peek A Boo
By Smart Toys and Games, Inc.
Bunny Peek A Boo is the first game from Smart Toys and Games, Inc. for children as young as two years old. Three sturdy wooden blocks and a fun rabbit character allow children to develop spatial perception skills as they “pull a rabbit out of the box” with this 3D puzzle. Sixty challenges prepare children ages 2-5 for more difficult single player logic games. Children can solve the challenges or just play with it as a toy for endless hours of fun.
Zingo! Sight Words
By ThinkFun, Inc.
Zingo!® Sight Words is a fun and interactive word game that brings fast-paced excitement and learning to the classic game of Bingo! Players learn to quickly recognize and read sight words, which are words with spelling that is not always straightforward. Sight words are the most frequently used words in the English language and make up about 50 - 75 % of all written material. Learning and mastering sight words is a key step in becoming a successful, fluent reader. The sight words used in this game have been specially selected by leading educators as the most fundamental for reading development.
By ThinkFun, Inc.
Lights and mirrors may make it feel like magic, but it’s really science and a good dose of brain power that’s needed to direct the laser beam through this series of mind challenging mazes. Get ready for a satisfying mental workout as you flex your strategic thinking muscles and ignite the light both on the grid and in your mind!
By Asmodee Editions
The invention of the tank, the 1st appearance of a Superhero, and the invention of the coffee maker… Can you put all these events correctly on the timeline? With Timeline, learn the answer to this question and thousands more. Each card has a different event and on the opposite side its associated date. To begin, one card is randomly selected from the draw pile. This is placed in the middle of the table, date-side up and is the starting point of a chronological line which will slowly be built by players. The first player then chooses one of their cards and places it before or after the initial card. The player's card is then turned date-side up. If the player was right, it remains on the table. Otherwise, the card is discarded and a new one must be drawn to replace it. The more cards which are correctly played, the harder it is to correctly place new ones! The first player to get rid of their cards wins. CONTENTS: 110 Diversity cards; and 1 rule book.
Curiosity Kits® Pulsar Powerballs
By The Orb Factory
Create 5 Pulsar Powerballs™ that bounce and soar to amazing heights. Place colourful crystals in the mold, submerge it in water and let it sit for five minutes. Open the mold and your brand new Powerball is ready to play with. Place special lights inside the larger mold to create a Powerball that lights up when it bounces!
Super Magnetic Tidal Wave Thinking Putty
By Crazy Aaron's Puttyworld
Crazy Aaron's Puttyworld is the maker of the world's only true magnetic Thinking Putty. Our brand new Tidal Wave is a deep iridescent blue and comes with a large ceramic magnet that is safe for children 8 years and older. It can be used as a toy and a stress reliever and is great for learning and science experiments. The best part--no batteries required! Our new Super Magnetic Thinking Putty is softer and more pliable than our original, making it easier to stretch, squeeze, and shape. The larger magnet makes for a more rapid and stronger magnetic response and is easier to use for magnetic tricks. When Super Magnetic Thinking Putty is stretched, molded, or shaped, the putty has no magnetic charge and behaves like any other Thinking Putty. However, in the presence of a magnetic field, its magnetic forces begin to align. All Made in USA by individuals with intellectual and physical disabilities, each metal tin is hand packed with 1/5 lb of Thinking Putty and a new large ceramic magnet for endless hours of Thinking Putty fun and creativity!
Calico Critters Supermarket
By International Playthings
Critters enjoy shopping for yummy, healthy food! With over 100 pieces including fruits, vegetables, bread, fish, canned food, drinks, cookies, ice cream, shopping cart, check-out counter with cash register, display stands, and much more! Supermarket measures 11.5"x9"x6".
Rainbow Fairy Wings with Glitter
By Douglas Cuddle Toy
These fanciful fairy wings are beautifully hand-painted in an intricate design with a rainbow of colors. They are made of the softest, silkiest, filmy fabric light enough to fly to a land of make believe and encourage imaginations to run wild! …also sprinkled with glitter for that shimmery enchanted look! These fairy wings are just one of 14 styles of “Dreamy Dress-Ups” by DOUGLAS designed for both boys and girls. The wings are just the right size to span a child’s arms outstretched and come in every style from bats to butterflies! …certain to encourage dreaming, dancing, and creativity! Size is approximately 20" x 44"
Cargo and Passenger Aircraft
Take to the skies with the Cargo and Passenger Aircraft. Cargo can be loaded by folding up the front of the aircraft, and the roof of the plane is removable, making it easy to play with the figures and rearrange seating for up to five passengers. Two figures can also be seated in the cockpit through the hinged roof to wait for the “all-clear” from the air traffic control tower before taxiing down the runway for takeoff. Set includes five figures, plane equipped with a sink and toilet, cargo container, air traffic control tower with equipment, and other accessories. Dimensions: 23.2 x 24.8 x 9.4 in (LxWxH). Recommended for ages four to ten.
By Thames & Kosmos
Build a working hovercraft that glides across smooth floors or flat water on a cushion of air. Learn how even though air is invisible, it still has mass and can support very heavy objects under the right circumstances. Experiment with propellers and impellers to learn about air pressure and air flow. The models in this kit use a unique blower motor and a safe, soft-bladed fan to drive a series of models. The blower motor uses an impeller to increase the air pressure under the hovercraft. The fan creates a stream of air to push the vehicle forward. Using these components, you can build and investigate the hovercraft and other machines that rely on air and air pressure to function. Construct a batting machine that tosses a ball upward on a stream of air. Assemble a basketball launcher and practice shooting hoops with air power. Make a fan-driven car that drives forward, propelled by a stream of air. Experiment to see how much weight your hovercraft can support. Full-color, 32-page experiment manual. 59 building pieces.
Snap Circuits SOUND
By Elenco Electronics
Snap Circuits SOUND offers more than 185 exciting projects and over 40 parts along with a colorful illustrated instruction manual. Make exciting projects including: Sound Energy demonstration, Voice Changer: record voice or music and play it back at different speeds, Echo Effects, Keyboard with Optical Theremin: Sound-activated color changing light. Connect to your smart phone and analyze sound with apps and much more! Enjoy hours of educational FUN!
Three decades ago the innovative Skwish was born - and this springy concoction of rebounding elastic and cheerfully jumping wooden beads has entertained babies ever since. Skwish provides hours of infant entertainment by introducing the concept of cause and effect while encouraging the development of grasping and reaching skills for baby as well. Manhattan Toy anticipates that this wooden award-winning rattle will remain a classic for a many decades to come.
Original Spirograph® Deluxe Kit
By: Kahootz Toys
The classic way for aspiring artists to create millions of amazing designs is back and better than ever! The Original Spirograph® Deluxe Set features all the iconic wheels and rings of the original, re-engineered and updated for today. The kit features a high quality, durable carrying case with snap-in storage and a built-in drawing surface. The precision engineered Spirograph® gears work with the 3 retractable ballpoint pens included in the set as well as with most standard pens, markers and pencils. The new Spiro-Putty holds the Spirograph® pieces securely on the paper so that you can create intricately beautiful designs with no holes in the paper! The set also comes with 20 sheets of design paper and a full color design guide, which explains the fundamentals of drawing with Spirograph® as well as step-by-step instructions for creating your own designs! Product Features: • 19 Spirograph® Precision Wheels • 2 Spirograph® Precision Rings • 1 Spirograph® Precision Rack • .053oz (1.5g) of Reusable Spiro-Putty • 3 Retractable Ball Point Pens • 14 Page Guide Book • 20 Sheets of Design Paper • 1 Carry-Along Storage Case with Built-in Work Surface.
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