Today I’m taking a look at some of the top toy gifts to give to kids this year, and there’s a whole lot to cover, so lets jump right in starting with the Osmo Coding Starter Kit for iPad. This cool toy is recommend for kids ages 5-12 and requires the use of a tablet (not included) to work. It features the fun character called Awbie and a variety of educational games, including three app-based games that teach kids the basics of computer coding and programming. These games are Coding Awbie, Coding Duo, and Coding Jam. Also included in the kit are special character blocks and a collectible game card, along with the stand that holds your iPad. If you want to give your kid(s) a STEM head start, the Osmo Coding Starter Kit is a great way to do it!
Another cool toy is the Roybi Smart Educational Robot. This tiny robot, which is intended for children ages 3-7, teaches kids the basics of STEM education (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) as well as some useful language skills across a variety of common languages. Through games, stories, and songs, Roybi entertains your child while also teaching them valuable lessons. In fact, there are over 500 lessons across 70 distinct categories, and Roybi even knows 70,000 different words that he can help your kids to learn. He’s fun, educational, and he comes with 3 different hats that allow kids to occasionally change up his look. I reviewed Roybi very recently myself. Check out the full details of this little guy right HERE.
The Shifu Orboot Augmented Reality Globe is another toy that I recently reviewed right here on the blog. It too is both fun and educational, and I was really impressed with it. Suitable for kids ages 4-12, this toy works in conjunction with the Orboot App to provide cool augmented reality (AR) games and activities that teach kids all about the exciting world around them. With more than 400 educational opportunities covering six different categories, including culture, cuisine, monuments, inventions, maps, and animals, this globe provides a whole wide world of fun possibilities. But what’s really cool is the way the AR animals, landmarks, and more pop right up off the globe when viewed through the Orboot App. It’s so much fun, kids won’t even realize they’re learning!
Another very cool toy is the WowWee CHiP Robotic Dog. This fun dog moves and behaves just like a real, live pet—right down to his ability to follow kids around (when they wear the special, included smart-band) and play fetch with his ball. CHiP is also highly affectionate, does all kinds of special dog tricks, and helps to teach kids about the responsibility of having their own pet. If your kids have been asking for a dog but either they’re not ready for the responsibility for a living, breathing pet just yet, or you simply prefer to give them all the best aspects of pet ownership without the possibility of finding an unexpected mess on your floor, CHiP is your go-to pup!
If pets aren’t your child’s thing but clever robots are, the same toy manufacturer also has the WowWee MiP Arcade Robot. This robot not only has self-balancing technology, but he can also roll around on his own, has GestureSense Technology that responds to your child’s hand gestures, and he includes the special MIP Arcade App with more than 20 educational games that your child can play and learn from. These “brain training” games test your 6+ child’s memory and reflexes in a way that’s fun, engaging, and will keep them playing for hours. MiP connects to your smart phone via Bluetooth, and his app even includes multiplayer games that are fun for the whole family.
Another extremely popular item this year is the new LEGO Super Mario: Adventures with Mario Starter Course. With 231 pieces of Mario themed fun, this set provides kids and other LEGO and Super Mario enthusiasts the opportunity to build a course for Mario to try and navigate as he does his usual thing—collecting (virtual) gold coins! Featuring built-in LED lights and sounds for the Mario figure himself, as well as 7 special action bricks that allow for Mario to encounter different (though classic) interactions, this LEGO kit is effectively a three-dimensional version of the classic Super Mario video games. If you loved those games as a child, you and your kids will probably both enjoy this set!
Not too long ago I reviewed a classic arcade gaming cabinet from the good folks at Arcade1Up. The one I had was the NBA JAM cabinet, but there are others available as well, like the Arcade1Up X-Men Vs. Street Fighter Arcade Machine with Riser. This particular cabinet features 4 built-in games: X-Men Vs. Street Fighter, X-Men: Children of the Atom, X-Men: Mutant Apocalypse, and Marvel vs. Capcom: Clash of Super Heroes. The great thing about these gaming cabinets is their retro arcade feel; it’s a very nostalgic thing. You do have to assemble the cabinet yourself, but it doesn’t take all that long, and once it’s built you’ve got yourself one cool retro gaming setup. Imagine the fun you and your gift recipient could have with one of these machines!
For the more artistic types, there’s the 3Doodler Create+ 3D Printing Pen. If your child doesn’t have a creative bone in their body, I would give a mild recommendation to avoid this one. Luckily, almost all kids are creative and enjoy activities like colouring and painting. The 3Doodler takes that concept to the next level by allowing users (with some artistic ability) to create their own three-dimensional artwork with this large pen that dispenses melty plastic in a variety of different colours. The plastic hardens fast though, so some skill/technique is involved. Just load whichever colour plastic rod you want, give it a minute or two to melt, and begin 3Doodling!
Finally, let’s take a look at the Intelino Smart Train Starter Set. This too is something I have reviewed myself, and it’s probably at least in my top 3 favourite toys on today’s list. And why is that? Well, it is a cool train set after all! It features a track that kids can assemble themselves into a variety of different configurations, 2 train cars that run around the track under the control of the Intelino App, and a world of educational possibilities in the field of coding and programming. And that’s because kids can program their train to perform different actions based on colour-coded tiles that they can install on the track in block coding sequences. It’s a really cool way for kids to learn some important STEM concepts, and I can definitely recommend it from personal experience!
And there you have it—some of this year’s top toys that can be given away as gifts. For more great Toys, Games, & Educational products for kids, visit Best Buy Canada today either in store or online!