As Christmas quickly approaches, many people are scrambling to find some last-minute gifts for the children in their lives. Below are a list of the best five toys I have reviewed in 2018.
- Scout by Kid Trax—A startlingly lifelike robotic horse that responds to touch with realistic movements and sounds via an array of sensors, Scout is an amazing new ride-on by Kid Trax. The adorable pony is capable of interactive play thanks to fully motorized eyes, ears, head, and wheeled “hooves.” Scout comes with a plastic apple, carrot, and brush. Kids can hear munching noises as they “feed” Scout a tasty treat and watch his ears move when his mane is brushed. Scout makes over 100 sounds and even plays country music. He can be ridden at up to 4mph, taken for a walk (via a mechanism that enables him to follow behind his person), and can also be programmed to dance. Scout has two forward speed settings and one reverse speed. This toy melds the magic of animatronic technology with the fun of classic ride-ons. Available exclusively at Wal-Mart, this toy is easily the best offering from the toy industry in 2018 and is well worth every penny of the $398 price tag. To learn more, see here.
- STEMosaur by Elemental Path—The ultimate technological update on the classic dinosaur figurine, STEMosaur is an incredible toy created by technology startup Elemental Path. “STEMosaur” encourages children to both build the toy and then program certain aspects of it via a customizable app program. Moreover, the app is infused with content controls so the toy is unable to utter inappropriate phases. Parents can use the data system to monitor how their children are interacting with the toy and learning certain content such as science, math, and more. This toy can teach kids facts, play games with them, and recognize them as individuals. Children can form a friendship with this toy and even code it to shape its personality into one which they can easily get along with. For these reasons, “STEMosaur” is a top toy that is well worth its retail price of $115. To learn more, see here.
3. Crayon Melter by Crayola—The new Crayon Melter by Crayola offers kids a truly fun way to color their world by enabling crayons to melt, and subsequently create drip art, without using a hair dryer. This fun and easy-to-use crafting tool is a great way to add detail to your drawings, texture to your sculptures, or doodles to your pencil jar. It has a low-heat tip and dries cool, so it’s safe for kids ages eight and older to enjoy. Simply use the included wrapper-ripper to remove labels from crayons and insert a Crayola crayon only into the heated melter unit to get started. If you plan to change colors and wish to avoid color mixing, wait for the Crayon Melter to cool down and clean it between colors. For an even flow, make sure to give crayons the proper time to melt, and use small pieces of broken crayon to switch over colors faster. In addition to the eight crayons included with this starter set, you can always use your crayon boxes from home. The Crayon Melter retails for $19.99 which also makes this fantastic product very affordable. To learn more, see here.
- 3D Sand Painting by Faber Castell—Sand art and painting are long-held arts and crafts traditions and a company called Faber Castell put a truly unique twist on these practices by combing sand with paint to create a textured 3D art experience known as the “3D Sand Painting” kits. This fun art set offers quality art materials and step-by-step illustrated project instructions. The sand is already infused in the paint making it ready to be used right from the box. The set includes five different colors of sand paint, twelve watercolors, five art creation boards (three blank boards and two resist design boards), texture tool, palette knife, paint brush, loose sand and twist top containers to mix your own colors of sand paint. A fun, tactile art project with fully illustrated instructions, the kit works as advertised and makes 3D sand art pictures with guided and blank boards for a completely open-ended activity. It promotes creativity and retails for only $17.99. To learn more, see here.
- FurReal Friends MUNCHIN’ REX Pet by Hasbro—This is the latest release from the amazing FurReal Friends line that is a Hasbro original! Geared at children ages four and older, this $49.99 toy is an adorable baby dinosaur that comes with a caveman-shaped cookie, a dinosaur-shaped bottle, and a piece of broccoli. Rex can shuffle around ready to eat his next snack and drink from his bottle. He even makes slurp, burp, and other noises while he is eating his food. Depending on his mood, Rex sometimes will spit out his food or try to play with it…especially his broccoli! If he is nice and full after eating all his food, a pat on the head will make him roar or coo happily. Rex responds to sounds and touch and comes with over 35 audio and motion combinations. Batteries are included in the box, so he is ready to be played with upon being unpackaged. To learn more, see here.
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