Holiday Shopping List for All Kids
Scroll Through Hi-Quality Toys That Any Kid Will Love
You want to be sure each of your holiday dollars is well spent. Following are tried and tested toys that appeal to both girls and boys of every age. TDmonthly has compiled this alternative holiday shopping list for you to take the guesswork out of finding unique, fun toys for your favorite kids. Keep this page on your SmartPhone when you shop. Click on any item to learn more about it, or simply scroll down to learn more—please be sure to double-check age recommendations:
No manufacturer paid to be included in this article. All products listed were designated by editorial staff without regard to the company's relationship with TOYDIRECTORY.com/TDmonthly Magazine.
Edible Veggie Crayons by WEE CAN TOO
My First Piano II by SCHOENHUT PIANO CO. INC.
Yummy Dough by PLASMART INC.
Fruit Set by HABA USA/HABERMAASS CORP.
Playsilks by SARAHS SILKS
Villetta Building Blocks by LEARNING MATERIALS WORKSHOP
FolkMonsters - Twickety Puppet by FOLKMANIS INC.
PlasmaCar Pink by PLASMART INC
Rody - Brown by TMI TOYMARKETING INTERNATIONAL INC.
Ages 4 to 7
GeoMag Kids Color - 44 pcs by REEVES INTL. INC.
Christmas Tree Mini Microbe Box by GIANTMICROBES
Chimalong® by WOODSTOCK CHIMES
Fire Station Play Box by BOX-O-MANIA
Bedtime on Safari Storybook and Puppet Theater Play Set by CLOUD B
Silly Bandz Gulf Shapes by BCP IMPORTS LLC
Wooden Music Maker by EUROPEAN EXPRESSIONS
Wall Coaster by ACTIVE PRODUCTS INC
Spot It by BLUE ORANGE GAMES
BANANAGRAMS® by BANANAGRAMS
Secret Agent Headquarters with Alarm System by PLAYMOBIL INC.
Laser Pegs 4-in-1 Kit by Laser Pegs Ventures, LLC
Super Sports OgoDisks Set by OGOSPORT, LLC
Hexbug Nano Glow in the Dark by INNOVATION FIRST LABS, INC.
Ladybugs Scramble Squares® by b. dazzle, inc.
Block Builders by FAT BRAIN TOY CO.
Ages 8 and Up
Ant Farm Revolution by UNCLE MILTON INDUSTRIES INC.
Giant Scrabble by WINNING SOLUTIONS
Buckyballs™ by Zoomdoggle by MAXFIELD & OBERTON
Air Swimmers Flying Fish - Shark by WILLIAM MARK CORP
Find out more about each toy below:
Wholesale Price: (Log in to view)Dropship Available?: (Log in to view)Ships From: (Log in to view)Terms: (Log in to view) MSRP: $12.00Age Range: 1 and upSpecialty: Yes (as of 2011)Made in: United StatesSKU or Item #: 609456840699Gender: Boys And Girls
Crayons made from edible ingredients are hand to mouth safe. Crayon nuggets tuck into baby's palm, or can be used for stacking and building. Don't worry about petroleum or other toxic additives in our crayons; they are made with organic fruit and vegetable powders. VEGAN, no wheat, no sugar, no preservatives. Please supervise children at all times. Not intended as food. Comes in 5 organic colors: Green, Yellow, Orange, Red/Pink & Purple. Launch date: February 2011.
Awards: 2011 Dr. Toy Green Product Award
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 32985 (added 10/5/2011)
MSRP: $59.95Age Range: 3 and upLaunch Date: January 2005Gender: Boys And Girls
Schoenhut's bright red, wooden, 25-key tabletop is the perfect choice for a toddler's first piano. Both fun and educational, it is an ideal instrument for developing eye-hand coordination and encouraging musical creativity. Chromatically tuned, the lovely chimelike notes are produced by little hammers striking precision-ground, German steel music rods. The tone never changes nor will the piano ever need tuning. Schoenhut's patented Learning System, with its play-by-color teaching method, makes playing simple and fun. A removable color strip fits behind the keys to guide small fingers from chord to chord. The chart also works on adult keyboards, since keys on Schoenhut toy pianos are of corresponding width. This teaches children proper finger placement from the very beginning. The accompanying Songbook contains a collection of familiar tunes. This Learning System has been specially designed to build a child's confidence and develop basic playing skills. It comes in red and white. Launch date: 2005.
- This model was Schoenhut's best seller for 2010. It was also the model given away by TDmonthly's Charitable Kid, Kimberly
(then 14) of South Carolina -- 100 times over! As a reward for her charity and careful selection of institutions to receive the toy pianos, Kimberly was given a number of other high-quality Schoenhut instruments, many of which she shared with her younger sisters.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 13823 (added 6/29/2007)
An apple a day keeps the dolly doctor away! Especially a wooden apple, made in Germany. Load that cart with fresh wooden fruit.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 27234 (added 2/19/2010)
Wholesale Price: (Log in to view)Minimum Order: (Log in to view)Minimum Reorder: (Log in to view)Dropship Available?: (Log in to view)Ships From: (Log in to view)Terms: (Log in to view) MSRP: $14.50Age Range: All AgesSpecialty: Yes (as of 2011)Made in: China; United StatesSKU or Item #: 5018Gender: Boys And Girls
Playsilks are simply pieces of beautiful colored cloth that are used to make capes, skirts, and doll carriers, over and over again in different combination. Blue silks can be spread on the floor to "sail" boats on; green can be grass for horses to "graze" on. These toys are sustainable, eco-friendly and reusable so moms feel good about having them around the house. Sarah's Silks is proud to be Green America certified. Launch date: July 2011.
Awards: 2011 Green America
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 32984 (added 10/5/2011)
Wholesale Price: (Log in to view)Minimum Order: (Log in to view)Minimum Reorder: (Log in to view)Dropship Available?: (Log in to view)Ships From: (Log in to view)Terms: (Log in to view) MSRP: $29.99Age Range: 3 and upSpecialty: Yes (as of 2011)Made in: ChinaGender: Boys And Girls
Inquisitive hands will transform Villetta into a village of colorful cottages, a tower of balancing prisms, or an abstract sculptural masterpiece. This artful open-ended building toy expands the possibilities of building ideas never before imagined. The color, form and sheer beauty of Villetta will attract young children as well as artists, designers and playful adults. "With a beautiful array of vibrant colors, this block set combines the function of an open-ended classic wooden toy to be played by generations of children, yet also has the aesthetic appeal to attract designers, artists, architects, and playful adults," Karen Hewitt, president/designer of Learning Materials Workshop, told TDmonthly. Launch date: September 2011.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 32975 (added 10/5/2011)
Gymnic Line’s Rody Horse, a favorite with children to learn balancing and coordination while hopping on their Rody. (Base is available for transforming to a Rocking Rody Horse). Used in Therapy for special needs children due to its softness and ride-on qualities. Made of super strong, latex-free vinyl, inflates according to size and weight of child with a hand or foot pump. Maximum inflated height to “saddle” is 12 inches. Recommended for 3 years and up, with adult supervision.
— Six of 37 specialty retailers named Rody as a best-selling ride-on in March 2010. Amazing Toys
in Great Falls, Mont., sells about four Rodys per month, Owner Dave Campbell told TDmonthly
— 2 of 15 specialty toy store owners said Rody was their top ride-on in 1Q 2011
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 26648 (added 1/12/2010)
Includes 24 blue and turquoise magnetic rods & 20 chromed steel spheres. Magnetic rods combined with non-magnetic spheres transform into thousands of geometric forms.
Awards: Dr. Toy 100 Best Products For Kids
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 32992 (added 10/6/2011)
Wholesale Price: (Log in to view)Minimum Order: (Log in to view)Minimum Reorder: (Log in to view)Dropship Available?: (Log in to view)Ships From: (Log in to view)Terms: (Log in to view) MSRP: $24.95Age Range: 3 and upSpecialty: Yes (as of 2011)SKU or Item #: GMUS-BX-0003Gender: Boys And Girls
Merry Christmas Microbes! Tree Ornaments: Trim your tree with Common Cold, Brain Cell, Kissing Disease, E. coli and the limited-edition Red Amoeba, festively adorned with a Santa hat, reindeer antlers, winter scarf, candy cane, and mistletoe.
Launch date: November 2010.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 32490 (added 6/24/2011)
MSRP: $40.00Age Range: 3 and upLaunch Date: January 1986Gender: Boys And Girls
Tuned to a C Major scale, the Chimalong is an 8-note metallophone that can be played by number, color or notes. The youngest children will use the included 15-song songbook to play by color; older children can play by number. As they progress, they'll learn to read the music and play by note. Additional songs are available on the Woodstock Chimes website. Packaged in a 4-color window box. Comes with 2-mallets, 15-song songbook and an extra #7 tube, which changes the B (for key of C) to B flat (for key of G), giving greater musical flexibility. Chimalong is "recommended for its educational value by many professional musicians, including John Sebastian, Marilyn Horne, André Watts, Peter Schickele and the late Jim Henson," Peggy Daniel, Web Development Director of Woodstock Chimes, told TDmonthly
. The Chimalong has received the following awards: 2003 Parent's Choice Top 25 Toys in 25 Years; 1995 Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Classic Toy, Blue Chip Award; 1995 Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Best Toy Award, Platinum; 1995 Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Best Toy Award, Gold Seal; and 1987 Parent's Choice Gold Award. Launch date: 1986.
― Karen Park, owner of Zaks Gifts
in Manchester-by-the-Sea, Mass., only recently began selling Chimalongs, she told TDmonthly
in 4Q 2010; she sells about four per month.
— Patti Tepper-Rasmussen, owner of Learning Tree Toys
, Games & Books, Inc. in Oklahoma City, Ok., told TDmonthly
in a January 2015 survey that the Woodstock Chimalong is their store's best-selling musical toy.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 25789 (added 10/28/2009)
This box can be decorated with the custom stickers to look like a fire station. They can also be drawn on and erased using washable markers. The play box consists of six (6) pieces: a front panel, a back panel, two side panels, the roof and the floor, which locks everything into place. The play box weighs approximately 16 lbs. Once assembled, the play box's dimensions are 55.75" L x 36" W x 57.5" H. Once stored, the play box and carrying case's dimensions are 53.25" L x 20.5" W x 3.5" H. The play box is 100% corrugated plastic, made of High Density Polyethylene (HDPE).
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 32971 (added 10/5/2011)
Dropship Available?: (Log in to view)Ships From: (Log in to view)Terms: (Log in to view) MSRP: $19.95Age Range: All AgesTarget Age Range: 3 to 5Specialty: Yes (as of 2011)Made in: ChinaSKU or Item #: 6103-TTLaunch Date: January 2011Gender: Boys And Girls
Vacations are fun and exciting, but when day turns to night, being in an unfamiliar, dark environment can be scary. Read Bedtime on Safari to learn about how relaxing lights and familiar sounds can comfort kids and show them that there’s nothing to fear in the dark. Set features a fully illustrated book that helps children overcome their fear of the dark. Includes two fun finger puppets (Twilight Turtle and Gentle Giraffe). Gift box transforms into an interactive puppet theater with fully illustrated Safari scene. Gift set lets children play while they learn. Launch date: 2011.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 31985 (added 3/22/2011)
Containing the shapes of a dolphin, sea turtle, crawfish, and other creatures native to the habitat affected by the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill, this special pack of Silly Bandz is designed to raise awareness for creatures threatened in this environment. A portion of the sales from every pack will go to helping rescue affected wildlife. In addition, this pack features “thermo activated” technology, causing a change in temperature to change the Silly Bandz's color.— Two of 44 retailers listed Silly Bandz as a best-seller for tweens, reporting sales of approximately 100 per month during a September 2010 survey.
— "We've sold 2,300 this year at all three stores,” Marc Holcomb, owner of of Toys & Co. in Greensboro, S.C., said in autumn 2010. ''Silly Bandz is trending down, and they are selling their excess to stores in California, Washington and Texas,'' he added.
--Christine Osborne, co-owner of Wonder Works in Charleston, S.C., sells about 3,000 to 4,000 per month.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 30998 (added 10/28/2010)
Children can easily make music on this solid wood instrument by sliding a song sheet under the strings and plucking the string above each note. It comes with tuner pick, a spare wire and 12 songs, including “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star” and “Rock-a-Bye Baby.”
— “The Music Maker is really popular,” said Steve Ellerhoff, manager at Finnegan's Toys and Gifts
in Portland, Ore. Ellerhoff was part of a January 2010 survey of 48 retailers concerning their best-selling musical items.
— “The Music Maker, made by European Expressions, is popular because it's a no-brainer musical instrument,” Steve Shelton, owner of Magical Moon Toys
in Logan, Utah, told TDmonthly
in early 2010. “[Kids] can follow along right out of the box.”
― “One day we got in six, and sold three the first hour they were in the store,” said Mary Sisson, co-owner of Kazoodles
in Vancouver, Wash. (see her talk about the Music Maker in the attached video).
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 14531 (added 8/8/2007)
Wholesale Price: (Log in to view)Minimum Order: (Log in to view)Minimum Reorder: (Log in to view)Dropship Available?: (Log in to view)Ships From: (Log in to view)Terms: (Log in to view) MSRP: $19.95Age Range: 5 and upSpecialty: Yes (as of 2012)Made in: China; United StatesSKU or Item #: #1, #3, #101, #105Gender: Boys And Girls
The Wall Coaster is NOT an ordinary marble run. Kids can just stick it to the wall and let their imaginations soar. The Wall Coaster uses the basic laws of physics and gravity to enable hours of fun and imaginative play. Plus, it is super easy to use. What makes the Wall Coaster different? The Wall Coaster can be applied to almost any vertical or horizontal surface. The new add on parts allow the user to build all kinds of crazy contraptions.
— Dean Smith, owner of JaZams
in Princeton, N.J. told TDmonthly
in late Spring 2011 that he sells between eight and 10 Wall Coasters each month.
— Want this? As of 05/10/2011, this product was available for purchase at JaZams
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 26990 (added 2/9/2010)
Spot It is a party game for two to eight players. It's played by laying a random assortment of cards on the table and all players racing to find one image that matches between two cards. This fast-paced game is designed to never be the same twice, and though it has very few rules to remember it requires a sharp eye to master. The set of 55 round cards transports in its own carry tin. Watch Spot It: Top-5 Video, Toy Fair 2010
— Spot It has been been a top seller for retailers surveyed by TDmonthly
since early Spring 2010.
— In a March 2012 survey, 3 out of 12 retailers told TDmonthly
that Spot It was their overall best selling product, and had been for more than a year.
— Dean Smith, Co-owner of JaZams
in Princeton, N.J., told TDmonthly
in a Summer 2011 survey that he sells 50-60 copies of Spot It each month.
Awards: 2010 TDmonthly Top Seller,
Dr. Toy 100 Best Children's Products - 2010Where to buy: SOUTH NORTH EAST NORTH WEST
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 27018 (added 2/11/2010)
The fast-moving word game consists of 144 ivory-like letter tiles in a zippered banana pouch. Players place the tiles face down on the table and randomly select 21 tiles. They turn their letters right-side up simultaneously and proceed to form as many intersecting and interconnecting words as possible, rearranging their own letters as many times as desired throughout the game. Awards: TDmonthly Top Seller 2007
; 2009 TOTY Game of the YEAR, 2006 Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Gold Seal; 2007 iParenting; 2007 Parents' Choice Recommended; 2007 Dr. Toy Best Products. (Read Review
— This product has been making the TDmonthly
Best-sellers lists since 2007.
— As of 05/13/2011 this product had 4.8 out of 5 stars from 456 reviews on Amazon.com.
— Eight of 66 retailers vouched for its best-selling status in May 2008; seven of 63 did in Sept. 2008. Shani Watmough of Planet Toys in Rockland, Maine, said her store sells 60 per month. Fifteen of 38 named it a top-selling game in Feb. 2010.
— As of April 5, 2010, Bananagrams had spent 570 days in the top-100 best-selling toys and games on Amazon.com.
— According to owner Brett Sommer of Figpickels Toy Emporium in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, “It was the 2009 game of the year. The brilliant packaging definitely helps this product."
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 8301 (added 6/19/2006)
The well-disguised Secret Agent Headquarters contains covert features, such as a trapdoor leading to the jail, a jet ski hiding place for an emergency escape, and a secret command center with LED board. The Secret Agent Headquarters also contains plenty of equipment for the agents. The multifunctional vehicle can be converted for deployments on land, water, and air, the speedboat can be upgraded with the Playmobil Underwater Motor (#7350), and the LED super weapon can also be used against attackers. The set comes with five figures, including a double agent with a changeable face. Another exciting feature is the functional alarm system that can be placed in rooms at home to warn of "intruders." Dimensions: 20.1 x 15.7 x 8.5 inches (L x W x H). Recommended for ages seven to twelve.
— Joe Beradoni, owner of Pun's Toys
in Bryn Mawr, Pa., told TDmonthly
in a Summer 2011 survey that "We do not sell action figures in our store. The closest products to them are Playmobil and Papo figures."
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 31538 (added 1/21/2011)
MSRP: $44.00Age Range: 3 and upSKU or Item #: SD001Launch Date: May 2007Gender: Boys And Girls
This 18” sports disk features a foam ring with a high-strength elastic membrane, and can catch and throw balls up to 150'. It is a safe, high-quality sports activity device that adapts to volleyball, tennis, baseball and other sports, and can be a blast at the beach or pool. A 12” size is also available. Suggested retail price for the two sizes ranges from $15 to $40. “The Super Sports Disk products are fantastic as confidence-building, motor-skill activities for young children, but are also great for more advanced users,” Kevin Williams of OgoSport told TDmonthly
. This product received a Spring 2007 Parents' Choice Award. Launch date: May 20, 2007.
— Quality materials and a super bouncing effect earned the classy OgoSport a TDmonthly Innovations 2007
award. Its broad appeal and correlation to other sports make the disk applicable to a variety of fun and healthy activities, and its bright color and sleek packaging grab attention.
— “OgoSport is a good line for us,” Eric Masoncup, owner of Gepetto's Toy Box
in Oak Park, Ill., told TDmonthly
about his best-selling gift for boys in summer 2009.
— Joe Beradoni, owner of Pun's Toys
in Bryn Mawr, Pa., told TDmonthly
in a Summer 2011 survey about best-selling toys that "during the summer, we sell 5-7 a week."
Past videos: WTHRA 2007
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 11557 (added 2/21/2007)
MSRP: $7.99Age Range: 3 and upGender: Boys
The regular Hexbugs and the HEXBUG Nano Hive Habitat Set won the Specialty Toy of the Year Award at the 2012 American International Toy Fair. This glow in the dark version features the same motion sensors and scuttling capabilities that made the original version so popular. Glow in the dark habitats are also available. Batteries included.
— Jamie Merlavage of Tree House Toy Shop
in Cumberland, Md., told TDmonthly
in a Summer 2011 survey that they sell about a dozen HEXBUG Nanos each month.
— Mary Porter Green, owner of The Curiosity Zone
in Ashburn, Va., told TDmonthly
in a Summer 2011 survey about best-selling toys that she sells a dozen HEXBUGS each month.
— In a March 2012 survey, 2 out of 12 retailers told TDmonthly
that Hexbugs were their best selling product. Mike DiAndrea, manager of Hardware Toys
in Paoli, Pa., said that they sell dozens of different styles of Hexbugs each month, and that the line has been a best seller for more than a year now.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 31716 (added 2/18/2011)
MSRP: $9.95Age Range: 4 and upGender: Boys
Scramble Squares® are nine-piece puzzles that feature original art and only one solution. They're designed for everyone from age 4 to 104.
Ladybugs are small oval or round beetles whose scientific name is “Coccinellidae” They are known as “ladybirds” in the United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia, Pakistan, South Africa, New Zealand, India, Malta and in some parts of Canada and the United States. “Ladybirds” are known as “ladybugs” elsewherre throughout North America. Scientists increasingly prefer the names “ladybird beetles” or “lady beetles,” because these insects are not true bugs. Lesser-used names for these insects include “ladyclock,” “lady cow” and “lady fly.”
Awards: Dr. Toy's Best Picks Children's Products for 2011.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 32988 (added 10/5/2011)
Kids can transform, configure, and manipulate Block Builders for endless building and perpetual design. Fold and unfold the six distinctively hinged blocks to create skyscrapers, modern art sculptures, geometric marvels - just about anything imaginable. Includes 50 puzzle challenge cards. Block Builders puzzle challenge cards range from beginner to expert. Look at the design on the front of the card and recreate the shape using the indicated number of blocks. The solution is provided in an exploded view on the opposite side of the card.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 33045 (added 10/14/2011)
Kids can watch ants create 3-D tunnels in nutrient-rich, translucent gel with the brand new Ant Farm Revolution from Uncle Milton. Ant Farm Revolution is the next generation in ant farm technology, with integrated LED light and projecting lens. This new ant habitat not only provides a home for ants, but also illuminates from within and projects GIANT ant shadows onto the wall or ceiling. Ants need to be ordered online.
— As of 10/14/2011 this product had 5 out of 5 stars from 3 reviews on Amazon.com. Pros: "Feels more like art than a toy;" interesting to all ages.
— As of 10/14/2011 this product had 1 out of 5 stars from 1 review on ToysRUs.com. Cons: Reviewer said the ants got out of their container.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 33044 (added 10/14/2011)
Players of all ages and abilities will enjoy the new BIG scale Scrabble, which is 50 percent larger than the original version, making the print easier to read and letters easier to manipulate for older (and even younger) players. The Giant SCRABBLE game features an oversized, rotating wooden game board. The tiles and rack are also made with wood and the gold-foil raised grid keeps letters in place during play.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 33087 (added 10/24/2011)
This set includes 216 powerful rare earth magnets that can be molded, shaped and snapped together in an endless variety of configurations. Each Buckyball has two poles — one repels, one attracts. Not intended for children. Watch video
— ''Pun's has sold about four dozen in the last month alone,'' Joe Berardoni, Sr., owner of Pun's Toy Shop
in Bryn Mawr, Pa., shared with TDmonthly
in the fall of 2010.
—Jeanette Lauture, owner of Aunt Jean's Toys & Treats
in Montclair, N.J., sold nine of 24 units in two days after opening a box for display, she told TDmonthly
. Two of 39 retailers named Buckyballs as a best-selling travel toy in March 2010.
— Dean Smith, Co-owner of JaZams
in Princeton, N.J., told TDmonthly
in a Summer 2011 survey that he sells "probably 50" sets of Buckyballs each month. — May 27, 2010 RECALL
of 175,000 sets (prior to March 2010) with 13+ labeling violating a federal standard that powerful magnets not be sold to children under 14.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 26179 (added 11/25/2009)
These helium-filled shark balloons are remote controlled to "swim" through the air. The infrared remote functions include climb, descend, and tail fin control. Up to a 40 ft range. 57 inches long, 36 inches high.
— As of 10/14/2011 this product had 2.8 out of 5 stars from 19 reviews on ToysRUs.com. Pros:
Visually striking. Cons:
Difficult to assemble; flimsy; does not stay inflated very long.
— Mike McCollum, owner of Learning Express
in Hoover, Ala., told TDmonthly
in November 2011 that Air Swimmers are becoming one of his best selling flying toys. He said that since September 2011, he has sold 16 of the sharks and 7 of the clown fish.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 33041 (added 10/14/2011)
ALISON MAREK is an award-winning writer, director and cartoonist whose work has been published by Fairchild Publications and DC Comics (Piranha Press), broadcast on Showtime and other cable networks, and viewed worldwide in film festivals. See her short films and print work on www.alisonmarek.com. Watch her nefarious villains in the web series www.MuggsMovers.com. Get inspired by her cartoons "Daily ARFFirmations to Unleash Your Inner Fido" at www.ARFFirmations.com. Phew! And then ... Read more articles by this author
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