toys.jpgWhen I was a kid we’d patiently wait for the day the Christmas catalog would hit our doorstep. When we finally got our hands on it, we’d spend hours pouring over the pages and circling our favourite toys – from dolls, models, and cool board games to RC cars, we poured over that catalog until it was ratty and falling apart. It’s one of my favourite Christmas memories, and sitting down and dreaming about Christmas toys is something I looked forward to when I had my own kids.

Fast forward to today – times have definitely changed, haven’t they? Instead of a toy catalog we’re pouring over a tablet, but the feelings you get are the same. There’s just something about sitting down with the kids and dreaming about the hottest holiday toys that puts you in a holiday mood. An even better reason to sit down and check out the top toys of 2014 right now? You can get a head start and pick them up before they sell out.

So let’s do a little Holiday dreaming, shall we? Here are the top toys of 2014:

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Billy Beats Dancing Piano 

Some toys just get better over time, and that’s never been truer than when you look at the Billy Beats Dancing Piano. My kids had a similar MegaBlocks toy and they loved it, but this time Billy is preprogrammed to sing songs, dance, and teach kid’s how to play with light up keys. When they’re not playing, they can dig into the top of the piano and get to the MegaBlocks.

Lego-mindstorm.jpgLego Mindstorms

When we first looked at the Lego Mindstorms EV3 my 11 year old yelled out, ‘That’s what I want!’ I can’t say I blame him. With this set you can create a robot that walks, talks, and thinks, and it comes with the EV3 Brick, ARM9 processor, a USB port for Wi-Fi, and micro SD card reader. That’s a lot of tech built into the Lego, but they’ll need it because this robot works with the included remote or their smart phone.

You can build 5 different robots with this set, so when they have Lego Mindstorms, you definitely won’t be hearing the ‘I’m boreds’ right after the holidays.

Leapfrog Leap PadLeapFrog-LeapPad.jpg

It’s got tons of apps, a 5” touch screen, and kid-friendly learning games that make the LeapFrog LeapPad3 Learning Tablet one of the best holiday toys of 2014. There are over 1000 games and apps to choose from, and you can download everything from educational games to e-Books and videos.

Parrot-jumping-sumo.jpgParrot Jumping Sumo

Want a toy that will keep them happy for hours? The Parrot Jumping Sumo is the one for you (or your kids, if you want to share). This speedy little number will roll around your house, zig-zag, circle, and jump up to 80 cm while still landing on its wheels. With an embedded camera, it’s one of those toys that encourages imagination because of all the cool ways they’ll think up to drive it.

 

Zoomer Dino Zoomer-Dino.jpg

When you have boys, they always go through a dinosaur phase. This year dinosaurs are even cooler because of the Zoomer Dino. He can spin, chomp, and roar while he rolls through your house on two wheels, but don’t pull on his tail! He might sink his teeth into you (in the nicest way possible of course).

Interactive toys like Zoomer Dino are great because the more your kids play with him, the more Zoomer will interact with them. This is one hot holiday toy to get your hands on early.

10319728.jpgCrayola Paint Maker

Do you have a budding Picasso at home? They’ll love the Crayola Paint Maker. You can create your own custom colours with it just by adding paint strips to the base paint and giving it a shake. It’s a great way to teach kids about colour combos, and they’ll come up with some unique shades to paint with.

Just add the paint strips to the base paint, then crank the handle to shake and mix up the colours you want.

M&D Car CarrierMelissa&DougCarcarrier.jpg

Wooden toys never go out of style, and they’re something your kids will go to play with again and again. Melissa & Doug’s Car Carrier is cute, colourful, and the truck has an easy-load ramp that will encourage your kid’s imaginative play. Put this one at the top of your little one’s holiday list.

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Skylanders Trap Team Starter Pack

Skylanders have been popular in my house for over 2 years, so the latest release Skylanders Trap Team has been on my son’s list since we first heard about it in the summer. This time around, you can fight the dark Skylander’s and turn them good with Traptanium.

The starter pack gives you everything you need to get started with Skylanders Trap Team, and you can pick it up for the Wii, Wii U, Xbox 360, Xbox One, and Playstation 3.

Thomas Up and Down Roller Coaster10300706_2.jpg

This is something little ones will absolutely love, especially if they are a Thomas the Tank Engine fan. The Thomas the Tank Engine Up & Down Coaster from Step 2 has nine feet of track and is the perfect indoor or outdoor toy for 2 to 5 year olds. It’s got that wow factor that makes it the perfect Holiday gift, and has built in safety features so mom and dad will love it too.

power-wheels-barbie-car.jpgPower Wheels

Girls, boys, young or old – I don’t know anyone who doesn’t love Power Wheels. This ride-on toy has been the must-have Christmas gift for years and years, and the latest Power Wheels are the perfect toy to put under the tree. Choose from a hot pink Barbie corvette to a Power Wheels Hot Wheels Dune Racer – the sky’s the limit and the world’s their oyster when they cruise down the street in their brand new Power Wheels.

I don’t know about you, but after going through the top ten toys of 2014, I’m definitely getting into the holiday spirit, and with only weeks left until Christmas, it’s time to start tackling those lists.

You’ll find thousands of cool toys available this year on the virtual shelves at Bestbuy.ca.

Toy image from howtolearn.com