The 22 Best Toys of 2015
Looking for the best toys on the market? This list makes it easy!
From classics to futuristic robotics, 2015 offers some of the best kids toys.
Here's a list of 22 of the best toys for children:
"Girls ages 5 to 10 are crazy for Shopkins collectibles from Moose Toys," says Marissa DiBartolo, senior editor of The Toy Insider. "There are more than 140 to collect each season. They look like a milk carton, hat, shoe ... and come in blind packages, so kids don't know what they will get. They are super affordable, making them a great all-around toy."
- Action Figures
"Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle Mutations Mix & Match Action Figures are in the top five in sales every year," says DiBartolo. "This year, kids pull apart arms, legs, heads and torsos and create new creatures. Great for imaginative play."
"Fine-motor dexterity is enhanced by working construction sets, and imagination takes off," says Dr. Stevanne Auerbach (a.k.a. Dr. Toy), author of "Dr. Toy's Smart Play, Smart Toys." Try the classic TINKERTOY Construction Set for hours of amusement.
- Elsa Doll
Good news if your child loves Elsa of Disney's "Frozen" and has been belting out "Let It Go." This year, Jakks Pacific released Sing Along Elsa, so kids can share the mic with their favorite queen!
- Iron Man Armor
If your kids prefer Iron Man, they can wear Hasbro's Iron Man Arc FX Armor that includes gloves utilizing motion-activated technology so kids can pretend to be Tony Stark, the Marvel Comics Iron Man.
- Spy Game
Patch Products' Chrono Bomb! is an imaginative spy game in which kids navigate a colored-string "obstacle" course to diffuse a make-believe bomb.
The VEX Robotics by Hexbug are fun and modular and programmable to develop STEM skills in a fun way.
With the Compose Yourself by ThinkFun, children remove notes from sheet music, turn it around and play something new.
- Video Games
The toys-to-life video game experience has exploded with companies launching their own lines of figures, says DiBartolo, noting that this fall, LEGO will release LEGO Dimensions. With it, video game enthusiasts can "build a portal and transport their favorite mini figures into the game," she says.
- Teddy Bears
Dolls provide kids with role-playing opportunities. Dr. Auerbach calls Bears for Humanity teddy bears the best "green toy" of 2015. "These bears are snuggly and hypo-allergenic with antibacterial organic fabric that gives parents the peace of mind they can't get from polyester plush toys," she says.
- Matching and board games
"Don't overlook games that offer a challenge, have staying power and require individual ingenuity," says Dr. Auerbach. "The Peaceable Kingdom games, such as the Dinosaur Memory Match Up Game & Puzzle, are noncompetitive and allow children to learn something and still have fun."
- Crafty Jewelry
For older kids, check out Strand Bands, a line of jewelry that takes rubber band bracelets to a new level. "DIY is huge with tweens -- and this kit is a take on a hot play pattern," says DiBartolo. "Kids pull apart thick strands of rubber band material and braid, weave and knot them to create really on-trend bracelets."
- Green-powered Robots
Dr. Auerbach recommends the Green Science 4M Salt-Powered Robot to instill green science knowledge.
- Engineering Toys
The GoldieBlox and The Spinning Machine inspires the next generation of female engineers, according to Dr. Auerbach. It's a book series plus a construction set starring Goldie, a girl inventor. This toy builds spatial skills, engineering principles and confidence in problem solving.
- Green Building Sets
Dr. Auerbach says the K'NEX Mighty Makers' Going Green Building Set empowers girls, is story-driven and was created by an all-female design team.
- Disney's Next Generation
Hasbro's full line of Descendants dolls and accessories is based Disney's "Descendants" movie about the children of Disney heroes and villains. "I expect this franchise will have the same level of popularity as 'High School Musical,'" says DiBartolo.
- Tech Play
Disney debuted Playmation, a Bluetooth and motion-sensor device providing interactive play.
- Smart Devices
The Moff Band is a wearable smart device that translates kids' moves into a tennis game, sword fight or air guitar.
These still are some of the best toys. Dr. Auerbach says the Green Toys Jump Rope "develops coordination, muscular strength, rhythm and timing."
A kite such as the Disney Frozen Elsa Breezy Flyer Kite "teaches about air currents and aerodynamics," says Dr. Auerbach.
- Art Supplies
Art supplies, such as Melissa & Doug's Stamp Set and Creativity for Kids' Fun Felt Masks, build creative art skills.
- Balance Bikes
The Kid Crave website calls Kinderfeets' bicycles perfect for kids because they "give children a sense of balance that trikes never could."
Looking for more age-specific toys? Check out 25 Popular Kids Toys for Ages 2 through 10!
Lisa Iannucci is a writer who has written for many national and local publications.
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