Babies and Toddlers                                

Loopy Ball

Baby can enjoy hours of playtime with the safe, soft Loopy Ball from Sassy. Its colorful patterns and chiming sounds will attract Baby's attention, the loops make it easy for Baby to grab and hold, and its soft construction makes it a cushy choice. (0-12mos, $8.99; sassybaby.com)  

Chicco 4-in-1 Ride On Car

This nifty little car evolves as Baby grows going from a rocker with a stable rocking base and safety bar, to a push and walk toy with a parent-sized handle and a lower one to encourage Baby's first steps, to a sit and ride toy using foot-powered propulsion. Comes with removable electronic activity center and footrest. Requires 2 AA batteries (9mos-3years, $79.99; chiccousa.com)

Servin' Surprises Kitchen & Table:

It's time for cooking… no, coloring… wait, kids can do both! This transformable table by Fisher Price quickly converts from kitchen to activity table that can be height-adjusted as kids grow, sings songs that correspond to the food being served, and encourages cleanup. Includes convertible stovetop, removable oven, pizza & tray, cookies & sheet, place settings, and cups and plates. Requires 6 AA batteries. (2+ years, $79.99; fisher-price.com)  

Jake and the Never Land Pirates Jake's Musical Pirate Ship Bucky

Bring the world of pirates home with Jake's musical pirate ship, Bucky, featuring characters from Jake and the Never Land Pirates. This fun-filled ship comes ready for battle with a crow's nest, working cannon, water balls, Tick Tock Croc, and two action figures. This isn't a water toy but uses a rocking mechanism to simulate ocean waves. Requires 3 AA batteries. (3+ years, $45; fisher-price.com)  

Kinderfeets Push Bike

For little ones itching to ride but not quite ready for a pedal bike, this handmade wooden balance bicycle bridges the gap with its clever design, low step-through frame, No Air tires, washable seat, and foot pegs for cruising. Comes in natural wood finish or 6 chalkboard color finishes for kids to personalize. Limit 70 lbs. (2+ years, $99-$109; kinderfeets.com)

Smarcks Smart Blocks

These colorful blocks cleverly combine building structures with learning educational concepts. The latest set will be available in December and includes 70 standard blocks plus 4 talking Smarter Blocks that teach color, counting, nursery rhymes, math, music, puzzle solving, spelling, ABC's, and manners. (1-6 years, $69.95; talkingbuildingblocks.com)

School-Age Kids                                      


Yes… Furby is back with even more tricks up its fur! Completely interactive, Furby speaks fluent Furbish and English and responds to other Furbies! Kids can talk to it, tickle it, play music for it, and even feed it! An optional, free downloadable "app" to translate Furbish works with iPod Touch, iPad, and iPhone with iOS 4.2 or later. Requires 4 AA batteries.  (6+ years, $59.99; furby.com)

Cutie Pops

Little girls will have hours of fun collecting, swapping, and styling hairpieces and other accessories for their colorful Cutie Pop dolls! Choose from Candi, Chiffon, Cookie, Carmel, and Movie Night plus their adorable pets S'mores, Dott, and Lolli. Contains small parts. (4+ years, $19.99; cutiepopsdolls.com)

WrapStar Microphone

Kids can be the star of the show with their very own electric mic! Whether it's used for making music, a speech, or just silly sounds, the WrapStar Microphone promotes creative play and imagination with a flexible mic that can be twisted into any shape. Requires 1 AA battery. (4+ years, $19.99; firstactdiscovery.com)

The Global Game Changers Book

Beyond entertaining, The Global Game Changers by Jan and Rachel Annette Helson features fictional superheroes Global Girl, Little Big-Heart, and Pixel who inspire kids to Ignite Good! by fighting hunger, bullying, and poverty and to join the GGC Alliance to be catalysts for change. (4+ years, $16.99; theglobalgamechangers.com

HEXBUG Warriors Battle Stadium

Get ready for the ultimate HEXBUG battleground! It comes with 2 HEXBUG Warriors, 8 Battle Stadium Pieces, and 12 standoffs. These rough and ready micro robots are futuristic fighters that use the physics of vibration to propel forward and challenge competitors. (6+ years, $7.99 for robots, $29.99; hexbug.com/warriors)

Golden Nugget Dig Kit

Rock hounds and treasure hunters unite, it's gold diggin' time! With this hands-on science kit, kids can excavate 3 genuine pyrite specimens, known as "fool's gold" by miners of old, buried inside the golden brick. Kit includes an excavation tool, brush, magnifying glass, and full-color gold information guide. (6+ years, $14.95; discoverwithdrcool.com)

Big Kids                                

DJ Rock Dock

For kids who love music and learning how things work, this toy combines both! Kit comes with everything needed to build a working speaker dock for your iPod, iPhone, or MP3 player and features an audio plug, speakers, 2 pre-printed foldable paper housings, and circuit board. No tools needed. Requires 9v battery. (8+ years, $19.99; smartlabtoys.com) 


Players use curved sticks to propel rings to each other with accuracy even in wind. Game pieces float, and one ring glows in the dark for night time play. RingStix encourages outdoor exercise and builds hand-eye coordination. (10+ years, $19.99 regular, $29.99 pro edition; ringstix.com)  

Multiplication Master Electronic Flash Card

Math can be fun with the handheld Multiplication Master, perfect for learning times tables! Problems are displayed in a vertical format. Players choose between 2 skill levels of timed or untimed games with fun sound effects for right or wrong answers. Requires 3 AAA batteries. (7+ years, $16.99; learningresources.com)


Craft-loving tweens and teens will love working with the Loopdedoo spinning tool complete with colorful embroidery thread to make twisted friendship bracelets in minutes! Design possibilities are endless for creating necklaces, belts, and more! (8+ years, $34.99; annwilliamsgroup.com/loopdedoo)

The Greatest Dot-to-Dot Adventure: Book 1

Not your typical dot-to-dot, this mind-bending activity book is the 17th in the Greatest Dot-to-Dot series by David Kalvitis featuring amazingly complex interactive puzzles. Book 1 follows a boy searching for clues as the story unfolds. Includes a super-challenging four-page foldout puzzle comprised of 2,600 dots! (8+ years, $8.95; monkeyingaround.com)

4D Cityscape Time Puzzle

three layer puzzle design that is both fun and is both fun and Four-dimensional puzzles use 3 layers to bring history, geography, and architecture together to build a city from the ground up. Kids and grownups alike will be challenged, as they learn how a city has evolved over time. Puzzles available for various cities including New York, Chicago, London, Paris, Tokyo, Hong Kong, and Toronto. (12+ years, $39.99; 4dcityscape.com)

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Tags: Featured Story, Infant & Baby, Preschool, Toddler, Tweens & Teens

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