Friday, November 21, 2014

3 Crayola Toys for Little Art-Loving Ladies & Gentlemen in 2014-2015

When Crayola first appeared on the scene – they were simple crayons in varying colors, and kids LOVED them. Over the decades, this gigantic, amazing company has flourished, finding their niche in creative, imaginative toys that make quite an impact in the lives of millions of artsy, crafty kids.

Because of these art-loving ladies and gentlemen, the brand has evolved into something more than simply crayon manufacturers – now they make entire artistic sets to inspire and motivate.

With this in mind, I have made a short-list of the best Crayola toys for those little lads and lasses. These are top-notch sets – THE BEST – and they are designed to inspire a long-lasting love and passion for arts and crafts.

The 3 most amazing, cherished Crayola toys are –


Crayola Dome Light Designer

This Crayola favorite, my dear readers, is a must-have dome of pure creative, imaginative fun.

Constructed from durable, versatile plastic, the dome is perfect for drawing on, and there are special markers that accompany each designer set.

Kids can draw anything they wish, and then the dome lights up from the inside, making the pictures and patterns move in a colorful array of 360-degree artistry.

Furthermore, the colors are especially vibrant, reflecting on the walls in a darker room with lighter surfaces. Kids will love the freedom of drawing whatever they can think of and then watching those drawings come to life.


Crayola Dry Erase Activity Center

The Activity Center is both a creative outlet and educational tool that kids can use to better their learning, counting, and drawing skills.

There are over 2 dozen games and activities to do – each on dry-erase surfaces, so they can be played and repeated over and over again. The dry-erase templates are interchangeable with a simple lay-over design that makes drawing, writing, and erasing easy.

Some of the games include 3-dimensional checkers, alphabet memorization, and basic math skills. Plus, on the Crayola website, there are hundreds of other dry-erase activities available for free printing.


Crayola Inspiration Art Case

One of my all-time, absolute favorites – this Art Case is a mega-artistic outlet that kids can use to express their uniqueness and flourishing creativity.

There are more than 150 pieces within the case, including crayons, colored pencils, colored pens, pristine white paper, multicolored markers, and plain pencils. The case itself is portable with a convenient, handy-dandy handle, making it easier to transport art supplies and artwork anywhere.

These are definitely must-have cases for the little dreamers and creative thinkers in your life.


Find this year's stellar top-picks among Crayola toys for kids:

The Best LEGO Sets for 3 Year Olds in 2014

LEGO is one of the most popular worldwide brands for building bricks, their products are creative, imaginative, and perfect for toddlers everywhere. While some LEGO sets have themes, there are those that feature a simple array of colorful, versatile building bricks, making creation and imagination overflow with opportunities and possibilities.

I have researched over and over again, attempting to find the absolute best LEGO sets for those hard-playing little lads and lasses. The following DUPLO sets are my findings, condensed into a handy-dandy, top-notch list of 3 from the best LEGOs for 3 year olds this year.

These building bricks are slightly larger than average LEGOs, making them perfect for small hands, easy grasps, and learning hand-eye coordination.


LEGO DUPLO My First Circus

Ringmasters, tightrope walkers, and clowns – Oh my! There are dozens of ways kiddos could pretend and play with the circus LEGO set.

Comprised of pillars, umbrella, fences, and over 60 colorful, chunky building bricks – this set is inclusive of your youngster’s favorite animals, such as elephants, horses, and lions.

Kids are the ringleaders, creating and urging their performers to perform daring, amazing feats that wow and delight the audience.


LEGO DUPLO My First Garden

When I and my sisters were kids, we would often assist our grandmother in her garden. She loved the fragrances of fresh-grown blossoms and vegetables, and she passed down the love of gardening to me.

Over the years, I have added fruits to my lengthy list of homegrown awesomeness, and my personal experiences with gardening are why the My First Garden set are awesome.

When I saw this set, my memories came flooding back, and they were some of the fondest memories I have. This set could do the same for your youngsters, giving them those fond memories to relive when they are well-into their adulthoods.


LEGO DUPLO Creative Ice Cream

There is nothing better than a waffle-cone brimming with the best ice cream on a warm springtime afternoon or a sweltering summer evening. For me, chocolate chip cookie dough is the absolute best – but your kiddo would probably have unique thoughts on the subject of ice cream flavor favorites.

This set gives little ladies and gentlemen the opportunities to create their own towering ice cream cones. The scoops snap onto the cones, growing in heights that are topped with delicious, decadent sprinkles and sauces. Yum!

Too bad these creative ice cream cones are made from plastic.


Here is a nifty little video for Christmas 2014 and into 2015 - top picks in LEGOs for 3 year olds:

Fantastic Kids' Toys that Make a Lasting Impression - 2014-2015 Top Picks

The "hot top 10" among toys for kids in 2014 have been a mash-up of tech-savvy, artistically creative, imaginative, and educational - the types of fantastic toys that make a long-lasting impression. These knickknacks and gadgets are beautifully crafted by experts in the fields of kiddo personalities and interests, as well as awesome toy composition.

And out of a list of the best - the top 10 toys for kids – I have compiled a shorter selection of 3.

Consider these 3 the best of the best – those that make the most positive impact while having the ability to outlast the usual duration of your youngster’s childhood. There are toys that make memories, as kids – when adults – are likely to look back and think, “I remember those and they were awesome!”

Without further ado – the 3 aforementioned fantastic kids’ toys are –


Sesame Street Let’s Imagine Elmo

Imaginative and creative – Elmo has always been one of the best from the Sesame Street crew (in my opinion). There are a trio of great hats that kiddos can use to spruce up their Elmo doll’s appearance, imagining him to be one of four amazing characters. He can sail the Seven Seas of imagination as a Sea Captain, wrangle your youngster’s creative thinking as a cowboy, and he can outshine the brightest kingdoms in a princely crown. Or kids can remove the hats altogether to make Elmo the best monster of all – himself.


LEGO Bricks and More Creative Bucket

There are over 600 building bricks in each of these tote-around Creative Buckets. I simply love the concept and name of these LEGO buckets because there are so many things a youngster can do with just a few hundred bricks. Additionally, these blocks are multicolored in true LEGO fashion, and there are at least 300 bright blue, rare bricks that kids will love. The cool thing about the tote-around bucket is it looks like a gigantic LEGO brick itself, leaving no doubt of where kiddos put their building blocks when they’re finished playing.


Zoomer Dino – Boomer

Zoomer Dinos are intriguing because they combine tech-savviness with the prehistoric awesomeness of archeological finds. In other words – T-Rexes are naturally amazing, but robot T-Rexes are twice as brilliant. This one is named Boomer, and he has a knack for learning new tricks, chasing his friends, and fetching his bone. Beware though – this adorable dinosaur hates when his lengthy, powerful tail is pulled. Plus, Boomer loves making new friends, and he can roar with the best of them.


Here is a video - the "hot list" overall of toys for the kiddos - Christmas of 2014 and into next year:

Under $20: Awesome Toys on a Budget in 2014-2015

I have talked with thousands of parents, guardians, older siblings – everyone who has or would ever need to purchase an awesome gift for a little girl or boy in their lives. And one of the biggest pet peeves I have encountered has been this – some toys are simply too expensive and kids never play with them long enough, or are happy enough with those expensive toys, to warrant the expense.

Lucky for all of us facing the approach of Christmas – I have hand-chosen a triple threat of the best toys under $20. These are all AWESOME toys, as their quality is amazing, but they are less expensive than what would usually dominate a kiddo’s holiday wish list.


Creativity for Kids Fashion Headbands

These headbands are some of my favorites for a number of reasons, such as being fashionable and trendy, wearable, and perfect for unleashing the creative ingenuity of your cool kid.

There are several plain, multicolored headbands with sleek, smooth surfaces, and gentle bristles that keep hair back while being comfortable.

Youngsters can adorn these headbands with dozens of smooth, colorful ribbons, sparkling gemstones, flourishing flowers, and soft feathers. Plus, they are super-durable for long-lasting wear with any ensemble.


Melissa & Doug Reusable Sticker Pad – My Town

Imagine being the creator of your own town! That is exactly what kids can do with this reusable sticker pad.

Dubbed the ‘My Town’ edition – there are several sleek, smooth surfaces that feature drawn backgrounds of different buildings and areas that you would see in a typical town.

There are also over 50 reusable stickers – decals, really – that stick perfectly to the surfaces, creating awesome scenes where imaginary townies can roam.

Additionally, the stickers never lose their “sticky,” as they are mostly cling-style for simple placement and removal.


LeapFrog Fridge Phonics Magnetic Letter Set

This set is a great way for kids to be in the kitchen with you while you’re cooking or preparing dinner, but without being underfoot. Simply stick the Phonics bus to your fridge magnetically.

There are 26 interactive letters and a tile reader that teaches kids – out loud – how to say and sound out each letter.

The awesome little frog sings the Alphabet song, as well – and there are lessons for early vocabulary, getting kids interested in reading from a young age.

This set also teaches little ones how to be self-motivated and independent when it comes to their studies.


Find a wonderful list of the top 10 toys for kids under $20 - updated yearly:

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Boy Toys for Energetic, Sometimes Hyper 5-Year Olds

Little boys are notorious for often being mischievous, energetic, and super hyper (sometimes) on astronomical levels. As a matter of fact, my mother has been known to say that if my little brother (who is the last in a line of 5 girls before him) were born first, then he would have been the last because he was a mega-handful growing up.

Personally, I think that little lads aren’t quite THAT rambunctious, especially when they have something to occupy their time and suck up their energy.

Which brings me to this short list – the top 3 among the best toys for 5 year old boys.

I have pondered and researched to the best of my abilities, scouring to find the perfect toys to keep your energetic pint-size fellas busy, happy, and active.  =)

My fantastic top 3 picks are –


Zoomer Dino – Boomer

Boomer is a dinosaur that you simply want to take home. Strange – I know, but he is adorable, and he knows so many tricks that it gets hard to resist his T-Rex charm.

This misunderstood reptile is massive – in a kid-friendly, remote-controlled way – and he has the usual composition that makes up a T-Rex, meaning the teeny-tiny arms, powerful jaws, and strong legs.

However, his legs end in wheels that he uses to play chase, learn new stunts, and follow friends around.


Razor A Kick Scooter

The Razor Scooters are must-have classics that you see on almost every stoop in big cities. They are perfect for anywhere riding, and the smooth-rolling wheels ensure no bruises, bumps, or topple-over booboos for your babies.

Their overall composition is sleek and streamlined, comprised from high-grade, high-quality aluminum that provides lightweight storage and carry-everywhere capabilities.

In addition, these cool scooters come in a variety of customizable colors, and they are easily personalized with stickers and decals to match your kiddo’s unique personality.


Power Wheels Hot Wheels Jeep Wrangler

Power Wheels and Hot Wheels have combined to make the perfect ride-around for your youngster. Modeled to resemble a Jeep Wrangler – these smooth-riding vehicles are all-terrain for “off-roading” in any backyard, park, or neighborhood street (with parental permission and supervision, of course).

The tires are thick, rugged, and voluminous with deep treads to grip and grasp the roughest ground, and the interior features a driver and passenger seat for double-the-fun riding.

Where colors are concerned, these Jeep Wranglers are accented and polished with traditional Hot Wheels tones.  Sweet.  =)


More on toys for boys 5 years of age - here is a cool little vid for the top picks for Christmas 2014 and into 2015:

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Educational Toys That Make a Difference

What are the most important qualities of educational toys? Other than the obvious (educational) – I would think the next best, most important quality would be entertainment. Youngsters would rather play as normal and secretly boost their intelligence than slave away at a desk all day with nothing fun in front of them. This is why I am such an advocate for homeschooling and continued learning anywhere – because kids can learn, flourish, and grow anywhere!

For those who think in similar ways, I have hand-picked a top-notch 3 of the best educational toys for little boys and girls. These toys make a difference because they positively impact a kid’s intellect and overall learning experiences. Plus, they encourage giggling, imagination, creativity, and fantastic fun!


Perplexus Epic

For starters – I want to explore the complex, awesome name of this toy, because (to me) it makes the biggest impression right out of the box. Epic, of course, can mean amazing, unique, and super-cool. Combine these attributes with perplexing – a word that means challenging, exciting, and difficult – and you have a labyrinth-style puzzle of mind-bending fun and curious amusement.

Kids twist, turn, and flip the see-through sphere, pinging and ponging a silver ball across the walls, through stairways, and within the inner workings of an ever-changing maze. The objective is simple enough… solve the puzzle.


Scientific Explorer My First Mind Blowing Science Kit

I have said it before and I shall say it again… Science is AMAZING!

There are dozens of Mind-Blowing Science sets, but this one focuses on all the awesome, unique, inventive firsts of exploring science for the first time.

Eager, creative thinkers can complete projects that cause chain reactions, produce sparkling, cave-style crystals, and uncovers the ins-and-outs of nature’s most miraculous events. Additionally, youngsters learn basic concepts, simple theories, and what makes science tick.


LeapFrog Fridge Phonics Magnetic Letter Set

When I was a kid – the refrigerator was the end-all, be-all of everything we strived to be. If artwork or good grades were magnetized to the fridge, we knew we had made it – and that was something to be proud of. This fascination has continued for decades after that, as it did decades before, and LeapFrog has taken it one step further.

Now kiddos can learn while standing in the kitchen! The scenario? Someone is fixing dinner and a youngster is bored, but then they see the magnetic reading system on the fridge.

Through phonics, your child learns letters, basic reading, and writing in minutes of waiting for you to get done with supper preparations.


Find more top picks in educational toys for kids - updated each year:

The Best Transformer Toys from Age of Extinction

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One of the best movies this year (in my opinion) was Transformers: Age of Extinction. There were action-packed, powerful moments, brimming with what-happens-next excitement that kept me entertained from beginning to end.

I have, admittedly, found the other Transformers films slightly lacking, but the dinosaurs and robotics were simply too amazing not to love in Age of Extinction.

For this reason, it should come as no surprise that I have picked the best Transformers toys to commemorate the best Transformers film of the year.

These toys are action-packed and close to the movie characters:


Transformers Age of Extinction Stomp and Chomp Grimlock

Grimlock is a mighty, loyal, fierce Tyrannosaurus Rex that also happens to be a robot. This edition of Grimlock has been dubbed the Stomp and Chomp because of his powerful stomping abilities and strong chomping skills.

He is guaranteed to vanquish the enemies of his friend and master, Optimus Prime, tenfold, and his robotic composition is similar to that of a realistic T-Rex.

For when times get tough and rivals have the Transformers surrounded, Grimlock transforms into a gigantic, towering warrior with a bronze-toned blade.


Transformers Age of Extinction Mega 1-Step Bumblebee

In the movie – Bumblebee was a little jealous of his likeness being displayed in museums and science facilities. Scientists and admirers called the new cars “cooler than Bumblebee” and said “Bumblebee who?” which hurt his feelings, and he transformed, taking on a new, more elaborate design with vivid, gorgeous colors.

Additionally, he evolved his weaponry, becoming faster, fiercer, and quicker witted than ever before.

This Bumblebee, of course, morphs and shifts effortlessly from his sports car form to his robotic mode. He also knows when to be a joking, adorable friend, and when to prepare for an epic Decepticon battle.


Transformers Age of Extinction Voyager Class Evasion Mode Optimus Prime

You are probably growing tired of me saying the phrase “well…in the movie…” but bear with me, because here is another great moment from the film.

Optimus Prime is driving along the highway, evading the federal agents and government officials who seek to do him harm, and he must hide his current appearance. He chooses a semi-truck on the road and takes some of their components, upgrading his look with new colors, chrome accents, and epic weaponry.

His shifting ability is flawless, as he goes from brand-new semi-truck to capable robot and leader of the Transformers in no time.


Find more great Transformers toys - the top picks - updated yearly:

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

The Three Best Toy Boxes for Your Kiddo's Playroom 2014

When I was a youngster, I had a playroom dedicated to all my toys at my grandmother’s house, and I was convinced that this was the same everywhere, for every kid. And as I grew up, I did discover that many children have their own playrooms, or similar areas in their home where they stow-away toys – not always in their designated bedroom.

While other kids strew their toys everywhere, throughout the house – something that may drive some parents loopy.

Regardless of where your youngster decides to play, there is always the chance of a toy pile-up, which brings me to my nominations for the 3 best toy boxes for your cutie’s ‘playroom.’

And those toy box nominations are:


KidKraft Austin Toy Box

I love the Austin Toy Boxes because they are so classic, timeless, and perfect for any d├ęcor in your youngster’s playroom or bedroom. Or really, anywhere in the house!

Their sleek lines are expertly carved, sanded, and stained or painted a variety of enticing, intriguing colors. Plus – the most important fact – they are the go-to in depth capacity for any kid that has a room brimming with too many toys.

Furthermore, these toy boxes feature no-pinch safety hinges, connecting the slabs of wood together without risking a boo-boo on your baby. My rating? 10 out of 10 for sheer awesomeness, function, and classic practicality.


Sunny Safari Storage Bench

Perfect for matching a central theme of your baby’s bedroom or playroom, these toy boxes double as sitting benches with a high-back for comfort and stability.

Their uniqueness comes from hand-paintings of adorable monkeys, happy giraffes, and jumping zebras – and there are birdies and butterflies everywhere in the warm meadows and blue skies.

The interior has a deep, lengthy capacity that offers perfect storage protection for a variety of your kiddo’s favorite playthings.

These boxes are definitely the cutest on my list, and they are guaranteed to be long-lasting.


Step2 Lift and Roll Toy Box

As I mentioned before, most kids’ ‘playrooms’ are wherever they please, and those locations may change on a day-to-day basis. These toy boxes are convenient and handy for toddlers, as they can lift and bring them wherever they want at any given time.

Each box features a spacious depth of 3-feet for knickknacks and favorite toys, and the entirety of each box is uniquely lightweight – despite overflowing with stuffed animals, building blocks, or action figures.


Find this year's "hot top 10" list - the best toy boxes for kids:

Train Sets for Youngsters & Kids-at-Heart

In my experience – train sets for kids are also perfect for kids-at-heart. Those who have always loved the idea of trains and have collected different sets for years. These range from toddler-sized to G-gauge realistic, and they work beautifully with well-oiled wheels and run-around tracks from sleek black or handcrafted wood.

There are literally hundreds of trains to choose from every year, and train-lovers at heart know their ideal train set whenever the feeling strikes them.

I have compiled a short-list of 3 from 2014's best train sets for kids – each great for youngsters and kids-at-heart. These sets are innovative and unique, providing a soothing, stress-relieving, creative outlet to little boys, girls, and grown-ups alike.


Lionel Polar Express G-Gauge Train Set

Polar Express was indeed an amazing, animated movie, and one of my Christmas favorites – however, the book was even better!

Dubbed the Polar Express because of adventurous travels throughout the world with Santa Claus, this train is extremely detailed with intricate steam locomotive features. There are genuine train sounds, such as a whistle and bell, and the headlights really work.

Plus, the Polar Express is remote-controlled, perfectly weaving around an elaborate, sleek track.


KidKraft Ride Around Train Set and Table

This train set is one of my personal favorites because it features a spiffy table where kids can lay out their tracks and scenic landscapes.

There are grassy, green knolls, beautiful, blue lakes, awesome bridges, and a large, wooden track that can be renovated with new twists and unique turns.

There are also over 100 colorful pieces that allow instant customization to any track or scenery, and these sets are compatible with both Thomas the Train wooden trains or Brio wooden tracks.

Additionally, there are two bins beneath the table for convenient, quick storage.


Ginzick Super Fun RC Classic Electric Train Set

This classic, electric train set is beautifully sleek and handcrafted with a durable, smooth, remote-controlled composition. There are 12 curvaceous tracks that weave perfectly, and these dozen tracks are all a massive part of the 21 piece train set.

So – what makes this train set unique and innovative?

While kids (and collectors) can still use their imaginations to make the most out of their train experience, the actual train adds real sounds, smoking stacks, and working headlights.

Each locomotive is made up of 4 5 cars, including a passenger car, oil car, and caboose. Plus, the transmitter is high-quality enough to reach from several feet away.


For 2014, here is a fun little video with the listed "top 5" among train sets:

Friday, November 14, 2014

3 Toys that Every 3-Year Old Girl Will Love in 2014

Imaginative and creative little ladies are guaranteed to love the perfection and innovation of this year’s top toys for three year old girls. There are a grand total of 3 – each one more exciting, educational, and awesome than the last. Okay…maybe one is no better than the other, but they are ALL amazing!

Think back over this past year for a quick line-up of which toys would have been the most popular. Disney Frozen knickknacks were a shoe-in, as well as My Little Pony, and Fisher-Price had all of the brands on the ropes. Below you will see each of these toy types, perfect for little girls who have simply fallen in love with notable movies and brands this year.

The 3 lucky winning toys among the best toys for 3 year old girls in 2014 are –


My First Disney Princess Frozen Snow Glow Elsa Singing Doll

You may remember Elsa from the awesome Disney film, Frozen – only this is her dolly form.

She is sparkling, shimmering, and gleaming in silvery-white with shining snowflakes galore across the expanse of her beautiful, luminous gown. Her hair is done-up in a signature braid, and she has the sweet, knowing smile of a peaceful snow queen.

Her composition is plush and huggable, while she beautifully sings ‘Let it Go’ while her snowflake necklace lights up brightly.


My Little Pony Friendship Rainbow Kingdom Playset

My Little Pony has been around for decades, but recently, these ponies got a beautiful, awesome makeover that brings out their individual personalities and unique styles.

This particular set is all about friendship, love, and fun, as Twilight Sparkle has invited her best pony friends over for a Rainbow Kingdom party.

While waiting on her guests to arrive, she uses the accommodating tiara, bracelet, skirt, and shoes to gussy up, and she takes a spin down the rainbow slide for an extra dose of party excitement.


Fisher-Price Power Wheels Girls Camo Ford F-150 Ride-On Truck

Gorgeous in allover purple camouflage – this Ford F-150 is perfectly designed to mimic the awesomeness of a realistic F-150.

Created in the likeness of Hot Wheels, these ride-ons are roomy with a working tailgate, real FM radio, and high-speed lockout that allows new drivers to learn the ins-and-outs of driving before taking their ride-on to top speeds.

The rough terrain wheels are rugged and perfect for anywhere riding, and the lowest reverse or forward speeds are 2.5 miles-per-hour. While the highest speeds are 5 miles-per-hour.


More?  Yep!  Here is a top 5 list for this year - the best rated toys for girls age 3:

2014 Toys to Make Your 4-Year Old Boy Happy

I have discovered after years of research and scouring every available resource that the best toys for boys age four are those that double as both something they can learn from and a creative outlet. These types of toys, knickknacks, and gadgets usually get the best reaction from youngsters, and they are designed for long-lasting display and play wherever your kiddo chooses.

This year was like any other where toys are concerned, as hundreds of brands are vying for the best of the best. However, after well-researching every available option and gathering first-hand experience of most of these toys, I have come up with a top 3 list of what I would consider the aforementioned best of the best for little boys.

These 3 awesome, entertaining and educational picks among the best toys for 4 year old boys are –


Radio Flyer Glide & Go Balance Bike

Sometimes kids need to be reminded that they can have fun without indulging in the too-much technology of today’s world. What better a way than bike riding?

Only this is a balancing bike, specifically designed to teach kiddos how to balance before they begin riding a real bicycle.

The large wheels help kids stay upright and safe, and a gentle kick-off will send them gliding along so they can get the hang of bike-riding and balancing at the same time. However, instead of pedals, youngsters can stop themselves with their feet. A real ringing bell on the handlebar makes this bike even better!


Sesame Street Let’s Imagine Elmo

Elmo has been a must-have for Sesame Street lovers for decades, as he is one of the most memorable, sweet monsters to ever grace that wholesome, educational television show.

He is also one of the biggest collectables ever, and toy companies are constantly making new toys from his visage.

This one is slightly different though, as Elmo can become a sea captain, king, or cowboy with the simple shift of a few hats.


VTech Innotab Max Tablet

For those times when tech-savviness comes in handy – these tablets are educational, fun, and perfect for rainy days indoors.

They take learning to new levels, as the combination of entertaining AND educational apps are abundant and easy to download with the simple press of a touch-screen icon.

There are over 650 downloads – each kid-friendly and exciting with a kid-oriented, parental-controlled WiFi network.

Additionally, a wrap-around, rubber bumper makes for easy-gripping protection against the usual bumps and booboos that could accompany accidental drops.


Find more in this video - 2014-2015's "best of" toys for four year old boys:

2014-2015 Fashion Toys That Your Little Fashionista Would Love

Opinion-wise, today's fashion toys for kids are trendy, creative, and encouraging of flourishing imaginations. While these toys are commonly marketed toward little ladies, there are those strapping beaus with a desire to design, and these toys are perfect for every age of any gender. These are top-notch knickknacks for the fashionista-to-be in your household, and they provide the creative outlet that youngsters need.

Most of the following three fashion toys are perfect as go-to travel sets, as the portfolios allow kiddos to take their designing ideas anywhere. The only limits to these toys are your cutie’s own imagination and creative flow.

My picks among the best fashion toys this year are:


Fashion Angels Sticker Stylist

There is so much color in this set!

Fashion Angels are known for their fashion-fantastic trends and unique, vivacious styles. This is a portfolio of fabric samples, style boards, and garment swatches, and there are over 700 stickers that can go toward accessorizing, patterning, and designing fashionable artwork.

There are several pre-drawn models per page, making it easy to model fashions after the creative process is completed. Furthermore, because there are so many stickers and design options, kiddos can draw their own models and accessorize on separate sheets of paper when they have exhausted their options for existing models in their portfolio.


Monster High Draculaura Doll

As the daughter of Dracula – Draculaura has a fashionable, trendy, ghoulish image to uphold and a creepy reputation to protect.

Her beautiful hair is lengthy in black with striped streaks of neon pink, and she dons a super-cute ensemble of a mini-skirt, Victorian blouse, and knee-high, lace-up boots.

This ghoul is a fashion-fabulous icon for her peers at Monster High – and she knows it! She comes with several awesome accessories, including a personal journal, pet bat, hairbrush, and petite umbrella/parasol.


Melissa and Doug Fashion Design Activity Kit

Sketch-rubbing is an old-school method of transferring an image onto paper, and the concept of this set has been around for at least 3 decades. However, the new, revamped version from Melissa and Doug is overflowing with brand-new templates for brand-new styles.

Kids can mix and match their favorite trends, place a sheet of tracing paper over the transfer station, and rub the new image onto the paper with a few colored pencils. The process takes less than 2 minutes, and youngsters can color or pattern their designs when they’re done.


More on toys for fashionistas - Here is a fun little video - the top 5 picks among kids' fashion toys for 2014-2015:

LEGO Sets for Boyish Pint-Size Builders and Creative Thinkers

Once a LEGO fanatic – always a LEGO fanatic!

The best LEGO toys are those that can be enjoyed for generations, from father to son, from son to sibling, and from siblings to friends – and basically every which way you turn the family tree. LEGO is perfect for everyone and anyone of all ages, but the best LEGO sets for boys are often mingled with themes.

They range from Minecraft to Ghostbusters and a mash-up of colorful building bricks with endless creative and imaginative possibilities.

I have short-listed 3 favorites of myself and millions of others – each one perfect for delighting, exciting, and encouraging pint-size, boyish builders and creative thinkers.


LEGO Bricks & More Creative Bucket

The Creative Bucket is one of my favorites because there are over 600 colorful, vibrant building bricks to encourage a kiddo’s imagination. Kids can make absolutely anything they can think of, from animals to buildings and super-cool robots – and each structure is solid, vivid, and beautifully constructed by your expert little craftsmen.

For anywhere playtime, these building bricks fit conveniently into an accommodating tote-around storage container. Plus, an instructional, inspirational booklet acts as your youngster’s muse when he needs a boost in a creative direction.


LEGO Minecraft The Village

Since beginning in 2012, Minecraft has become one of the most popular, best video games for young children. Why? Because it promotes deep-thinking skills and problem-solving.  Now, the same kids who love a good game of Minecraft on their video game systems can bring those moments to their play areas.

This LEGO set is pint-sized for easy-grasping by smaller hands, and there are over 100 colorful bricks for remodeling, rearranging, and constantly rebuilding The Village from Minecraft.

Included are 2 mini-figurines! One is, of course, a villager, and the other is a roaming, wandering zombie from the nearby cemetery.


LEGO Ghostbusters Ecto-1

From an early age, I taught my kiddo that if there is something strange in the neighborhood, Ghostbusters were the ones to call. Wink!

Ghostbusters was EPIC when I was younger, because the idea of ghost-hunting was relatively new and unique. Now, our youngsters can get in on the ghpst-busting action with a buildable Ecto-1 – the ghost-busting car that the Ghostbusters use to get from one mission to another.

There are proton packs and workable features galore, and each of the Ghostbusters (in figurine form) is along for the ride. This would also be an awesome play-set for those kids-at-heart (like me)!


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