Toy guide 2014: School-aged



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Stumped for what toys to buy for your little ones? Fear not, we conducted our third annual toy testing event at Toronto’s Hospital for Sick Children and had kids put the latest toys to the test. After all – they are the real experts!

Check out the stellar collection of toys for toddlers in the thumbnails below.

 

KRE-O TRANSFORMERS: AGE OF EXTINCTION GALVATRON FACTORY BATTLE SET

Transformers and Kre-O are a winning combination. First, kids can create their environment; then the imagination can really kick in. This set includes Kreon figures of Bumblebee, Optimus Prime, Galvatron and others. While this set contains 388 pieces, you can also look for smaller sets to enjoy. $45 6 years + Available at toy retailers.

BOP IT! BEATS GAME

Bop It is back, but it got a whole lot cooler. Now kids can put their DJ skills to the test as they scratch it, reverse it and flip it. Includes tracks from Nicki Minaj and Avicii. tracks. Requires three AA batteries, demo batteries included (Powered By Duracell). $25 8 years + Available at toy retailers.

HEXBUG VEX ROBOTICS STRANDBEAST

The build-it-yourself line of VEX Robotics kits fosters creative STEM learning through hands-on play by allowing children to construct their very own jumbo-sized HEXBUG and customize its programming. With VEX Robotics, kids as young as eight years old can jump right in and snap these colorful robots together using the intuitive, tool-less components. $90 8 + years Available at toy retailers across Canada.

360 EVERSION: 4CH REMOTE CONTROL UFO

This quadcopter takes a little finesse when it comes to maneuvering, but once you get the hang of it, the flying ability is really impressive. Kids can make it swerve and drift, but warn them about sticking their fingers near the blades–ouch! $60 8 years + Available at Canadian Tire.

NANOBLOCK

These micro-sized building blocks are perfect for older kids (and some adults, too!). They are fun not only to assemble, but to keep on your dresser or desk once your masterpiece is complete. Model kits include Animals, insects, musical instruments, and the new motorcycle and hot rod. $12–$70 8 years + Available at Target, Toys R Us, Mastermind, Scholars Choice.

DOH VINCI STYLE & STORE VANITY

Plah-Doh is kicking things up a notch with their new doh “gun” that releases a special modelling compound to create 3D art. The compound then hardens for a lasting art project. Various kits and refills are available. $25 6 years + Available at major retailers.

AIR HOGS ZERO GRAVITY LASER RACER

Driving this car is as easy as pointing a laser. Where the laser beam goes, the car goes–including upside down and even up walls! Kids will be amazed by its climbing technology. Actually, parents will be, too. $40 8 years + Available at Walmart, Target.

SEW COOL SEWING MACHINE

This kid-safe machine comes with pre-cut patterns and shapes to create nine art projects – without the use of thread! The machine only works with Sew Cool fabrics, so keep an eye out for additional kits. $35 6 years + Available at Target, Walmart and other major retailers.

FURREAL FRIENDS POM POM, MY BABY PANDA

The latest in the FurReal line, this cute baby panda walks, makes adorable noises and responds to a rattle and bottle. Get ready for a bear hug. $60 4 years + Available at toy retailers across Canada.

DOC MCSTUFFINS WALK ‘N TALK MOBILE

Teddy bear with a cold? Rubber duck with no squeak? Doc McStuffi ns is ready for a house call! Watch Doc walk and pull her mobile clinic to help toys in need everywhere. Includes Doc, Lambie and doctor tools. $60 3 years + Available at Toys R Us, Walmart, Target.

LITTLE LIVE PETS TWEET TALKING BIRD

This little guy whistles tunes and even repeats phrases. He’s just as fun as a real bird without all the mess. Look for the bird sold separately, or with his cage. (His Little Live butterfly friend is a cutie, too!) $15 –$30 5 years + Available at Toys R Us and other toy retailers across Canada.

TEKNO PUPPY

This robot pup is almost as good as the real deal. Kids can teach their robo-canine to walk, react to hand gestures and do tricks. Multiple puppies will actually interact with each other. Look for his buddy, Tekno Dino. $74.99-$79.99 5 years + Available at Canadian Tire, Target, Walmart.

JUMBO 14 FOOT PLUSH SNAKE (MELISSA & DOUG)

Sure, a 14-foot snake might seem like an odd choice of gift, but it’s amazing how much kids really do love it. And he’s no ordinary snake; this guy is sssssuper sssssnuggly. $60 3 years + Available at neighbourhoodtoystores.ca, cooltoysfortots.ca and melissaanddoug.com.

TRANSFORMERS BATTLE MASTERS

The classic battle of Optimus Prime versus Megatron. The winner is determined by who can pull their trigger faster, creating a boxingstyle battle. Lose your head, lose the match. It can be tough for little hands, but older kids will have a blast. $30 5 years + Available at toy retailers across Canada.

LITE-BRITE

Lite-Brite is back with a twist on its old, classic design. It has returned with fun peg shapes, a more compact set-up (that doesn’t have to be plugged in) and a storage container for the 200 included pegs. Let the illuminated creativity begin! $22 4 years + Available at Toys R Us.

LALALOOPSY COLOR ME

This doll is a blank canvas for your child’s fashion imagination. It includes four markers to create funky hair and wardrobe. When it’s complete, simply wipe clean and start again! Look for the chalkboard version, too. $40 4 years + Available at toy retailers across Canada.

CRAYOLA DOODLE MAGIC COLOR MAT

Save money on colouring books and art paper. This huge colouring surface provides hours of creativity on the floor, wall or on the go. Kids can doodle (with special markers included), then swipe away to colour again and again. $24 3 years + Available at major retailers.

LEAPBAND BY LEAPFROG

Are screens keeping your little one from being active? Leapband uses technology to inspire kids to get moving. The more active they are, the more points they earn to unlock games for their virtual pet. Oh, it also tells time. $50 4 to 7 years Available at major retailers.

LITTLE TIKES CLEARLY SPORTS HOCKEY

Hockey is part of Canadian kid culture. This starter set comes with two sticks and two pucks (that roll for easier shooting). The pucks store easily in the sticks for safe keeping. Get started on those fundamentals! $30 3 years + Available at Walmart, amazon.ca, clubjouet.com.
KRE-O TRANSFORMERS: AGE OF EXTINCTION GALVATRON FACTORY BATTLE SET
BOP IT! BEATS GAME
HEXBUG VEX ROBOTICS STRANDBEAST
360 EVERSION: 4CH REMOTE CONTROL UFO
NANOBLOCK
DOH VINCI STYLE & STORE VANITY
AIR HOGS ZERO GRAVITY LASER RACER
SEW COOL SEWING MACHINE
FURREAL FRIENDS POM POM, MY BABY PANDA
DOC MCSTUFFINS WALK ‘N TALK MOBILE
LITTLE LIVE PETS TWEET TALKING BIRD
TEKNO PUPPY
JUMBO 14 FOOT PLUSH SNAKE (MELISSA & DOUG)
TRANSFORMERS BATTLE MASTERS
LITE-BRITE
LALALOOPSY COLOR ME
CRAYOLA DOODLE MAGIC COLOR MAT
LEAPBAND BY LEAPFROG
LITTLE TIKES CLEARLY SPORTS HOCKEY

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