Tools

Best gifts for kids

Stuck for what's Popular for Kids Ages 2-4? This age bracket can be a little tricky when trying to find great ideas for the best toys this Christmas, as you don't want to buy them something they'll outgrow in 3 months and you want to make sure what you do buy will get their attention. This list is a great start to find the best toys this Christmas for hard to buy for kids.

• The Stomp Rocket Junior Glow Kit is not only a ton of fun for kids but it also one the Top Toy of the Year.

• LeapFrog Leapster Explorer Camera and Video Recorder an exciting educational toy that children will have an amazing time with learning and having fun. Leapfrog...

• Leapfrog Leapster Explorer Learning Game System was designed to teach kids the basic concepts, such as letters and numbers, while having fun!

Once kids hit 5 or so, it can get tricky as this is the one age bracket where what was hot last year might not be this year, and so can often be frustrating especially for Grandparents to decide what can be the best Christmas toy. Here are some of the best selling toys this year, for this age group.

Do you like Scrabble but get hung up trying to use those special point squares, are bummed when someone "steals your spot", or dragged down by Debbie Dictionary ("just let me look up this one word") or Slow Joe (who takes 20 minutes for each turn)? Well you would love Bananagrams, because it solves those problems.

My Lego-loving son has recently discovered the original Star Wars trilogy, so he used his allowance to purchase this Snowtrooper Battle Pack. This set is essentially a collection of four minifigures — an AT-AT Driver, two Snowtroopers, and an Imperial Officer — with a few accessories

As a parent of a six-year old, I have been trying to introduce him to all facets of science and this is a wonderful tool. He immediately created a circuit— a combination light/fan circuit — in parallel and in serial — and he understood the difference between them.

It was just amazing. He always appreciates what we get him, but he fell in love with this toy instantly. The Toughest Age to Find a Great Toy 8+ This is where you really have to put on your thinking cap in order to find the best toys for Christmas. Once kids hit 8 a lot of toys are no longer "cool" and you need to know what is hot and "In"! Here are the most popular toys this year for kids Ages 8 and up and should give you some great Christmas Gift Ideas.

HedBanz Game

We bought this game for our son's 10th birthday--not knowing what to expect, but the entire family (including our eight year old daughter) really enjoyed it. The concept is incredibly simple. Pick a card, place it on your (supplied) head band so that everyone except you can see it and begin asking questions as to what you are.

Mindflex Game

So why am I recommending this toy? Because studies have shown that if you can increase frontal lobe activity through exercises like this, you can increase objective measures of concentration (e.g., amount of time engaged with a task) and decrease measures of impulsivity. And not just for the task where the skill was trained. So a child who got adept at playing this game should also pay better attention in school, likely increase their reading comprehension, do better on homework, etc.

LEGO Harry Potter Hagrid's Hut

I purchased this set for my grandson who is an avid Harry Potter fan. My grandson has been building LEGO sets for some time now (mostly Star Wars), and he has invented many sets on his own, which I believe enhances his cognitive development. He and I were excited when we found the two Harry Potter sets I purchased.

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