Finding what makes for a great toy is no easy task. Is it fun? Is it made well? Is it something that the kids won't get bored with too quickly?
Fortunately, the editors at Parents magazine have done all the work for us, choosing the “Best Toys of the Year,” with the help of (picky) kids and (even pickier) parents.
There are 58 winners for everyone from little ones to big kids. We’ve narrowed it down here to nine favorites, but you can find the entire list at Parents magazine. (And, if you register on their site you can see all of the slideshow on one page.) Happy toy hunting!
Twilight Buddies Fox, from CloudB, is a cuddly friend by day and projects soothing stars on the ceiling at bedtime. "It's great to use at night, and easy to take to Grandma's," says Dawn Savas, mom of Kira, 1. $30, available at CloudB.
Age: 1 year+
Age: 2 years+
Hand Sign Alphabet: A-Z tiles feature letters on one side and American Sign Language pictures on the other. The wooden tiles, from Plan Toys, are made in an eco-conscious factory that strives for zero waste. 2 years+, $30, available here.
Deluxe Roominate kit: Kids put circuits to work when they use the Deluxe Roominate kit. It comes with all you need to make a simple room, but encourages kids to scour the house for pieces they can repurpose so they can build even more. 6 years+, $50, buy it here.
Lego Friends Jungle Bridge Rescue Set makes for wild story lines! The set comes with people, animals and vehicles. "My friend and I built the helicopter with the people inside. It was cool," says Madelyn, 7. 7 years+, $30, available here.