Spread the magic!

We’ve been on the lookout for toys that will make you a hero at Christmas this year. We have found some gems. At the very least, they might make you want to be a kid again.

Let’s start with some that are going to be massively popular this year. Apparently fake pets are hot this year. I guess it makes sense with technology getting more and more advanced and the desire to take care of real pets not getting any more appealing to parents.

TekstaTeksta the Robotic Puppy is better than a real dog. It responds to voice, gestures, light, and sounds. But unlike a real dog, you can adjust its activity level on the iPad. It even knows what time it is and will go to sleep at night. (I’m assuming it won’t wake you up at 5am to go outside like a real dog either.) Robo-Fish-and-Sharks better

The Robo Fish is another great fake pet. When placed in water it swims like a real fish. When it is removed from the water, it automatically stops. They come in many colors so that you can make a whole aquarium full.  I personally think they would be super fun in the bath. Pretty much as low maintenance as it gets for a pet.

Furby BoomThe next pet is fictional and robotic. The Furby has been revamped into the Furby Boom. This well known little creature has more personality than ever before with twice as many responses as the last Furby. Supposedly, you also shape its personality by how you treat it. How does that work? And of course there is an app that goes with is that does all sorts of things, including hatch a little Furby that you can care for and play with. You can even give the baby its own room and decorate it. Sounds like fun to me!

So, those are some of the hot toys this year. We also found some hidden treasures that promise lots of fun. Imaginative play is so good for a child’s brain. Here are a few toys that won’t fail to inspire.

kardboard-kingdomKids will have endless fun with the Kardboard Kingdom. It is an indoor castle made of cardboard that kids can decorate, crawl through, and create their own little world in. It has a courtyard, tunnels, and four turrets. I want one. Rocking-Boat-offered-by-Heirloom-Wooden-Toys

Look at this Rocking Boat! When I look at it, I don’t just see a boat that rocks. I see fishing trips, pirate adventures, kids lost at sea, and every other creative thing a kid could do with it. You could even make (or probably buy) a little fishing pole and fish to go with it. Bon voyage! shaddow puppet theater

If that isn’t enough creativity for you, check this out. Every kid loves shadow puppets, but this takes it to a whole new level. This cloth Shadow Puppet Theater makes the perfect stage for any dinosaur shaddow puppet setsilhouette drama. You can hang it anywhere and put a light behind it. Then the magic starts. The stage comes with a forest, castle, dining room, and top-hatted gentleman. Castle, Circus, Dinosaur, and Paris Shadow Puppet sets are also sold. Endless possibilities! PicMonkey Collage Animal Collage

These next toys we love because they double as decorator items. Very important in our minds. These giant plush animals are one of our absolute favorite things. I’ve seen them up close, and they are truly beautiful. They look so real, and they are really soft. I fell in love with them instantly. All the big ones are made to ride on with a steal frame. (I think the weight limit is 100 lbs. on most of them.) So fun and romantic! They add whimsy to any room. There are a lot of them too. Pick your favorite, or try. I love them all: the lion, the horse, the bear, the elephant, the woolly mammoth, and the giraffe (not sure you can ride that one). I’d love to see any kid’s face when they unwrap one.

Pedal Car CollageAnother good decorator piece is a pedal car.  (Here are some more.) These babies are nothing new, but so stinkin’ cute. So many adorable ones out there to choose from. A perfect accessory for a kids room. What a fun present to get on Christmas too!  (Here‘s the best fire truck!)

Here are a few really cool educational toys. Weight Box

I have never seen anything like these before. The Sound Box is a set of little boxes that have different sounds inside. You then find the matching box with the same sound in it. You can also play the memory game with them. There is a very similar set called Weight Box. That is the same thing only with different weights in them. It must be so good for their little brains.

LeapPadOne educational toy that will be very popular this year is the LeapFrog LeapPad Ultra. It is very durable, has a big high resolution screen, a camera, and has 800+ games, ebooks, etc. that are educator approved. It also has safe wifi access, with websites specially picked out by LeapFrog. This device is a win-win for everybody.

Here are a few more we couldn’t leave out of our list. Kid-Trax-12V-Mini-Cooper

Every time I see it, I just gasp at the cuteness. Make the mini cooper even minier, and it is irresistible.  This Kid Trax 12V Mini Cooper is so cool that I want one. Of course when I was little, I was always super jealous of my friends who had cars to drive around their backyards. I guess some things never change. It has a rechargeable battery, real car doors, and cute little dashboard displays. I will say it again, irresistible. image_Trunki-Saddlebag-spec_480

If you are traveling anywhere with little kids this winter, this next present it a must have. Now that I know what these are I’ve seen them everywhere. I guess I never realized how cool they are until I watched the little video. The Trunki is a little animal looking suitcase that your child can ride on as you pull it by its “leash” through the airport. So cute, and so fun for kids. They can hold on to the horns and ride along anywhere you go. A good solution for the stragglers too.  I also like the little Saddlebag you can get for it. It turns into a little bag to carry on the plane. H-Racer

For the earth conscious family, the H-Racer 2.0 Hydrogen Powered Solar Race Car is pretty darn cool. It is a remote controlled car that doesn’t require batteries because it runs off of hydrogen energy that is powered by a solar device panel. The car has an in-board hydrogen storage system that allows it to run on an unlimited supply of clean energy.

PicMonkey Collage striped blocksThese tumbling pieces might be a little hard to wrap, but think of all the ways kids can use them. They are a great way for kids to take out their energy on something other than the furniture. They would be so awesome in a play room. 7512002529636-3

As a huge fan of Disney World, this one caught my eye. It is Cinderella’s Castle, just like in the park. It comes with the main prince and princesses, working lights in the castle, magical sounds, workable clock tower, and lots of magical little touches like Aurora’s spinning wheel, Genie’s lamp, Beast’s enchanted rose. Christmas book (1)

Last but not least, something to make a kid feel truly special. These are websites that put your child’s name into a book so that it is customized just for them. Some of them are so precious they make me cry when I read them. They have some really sweet ones at www.iseeme.com. They have a cute Christmas one at www.marblespark.com where the child’s name gets ripped from Santa’s list and a brave little mouse goes to great lengths to rectify the situation. There is a personal note from Santa at the end. There are also some I see me booksites that will put a picture of a child right in the book. What a magical thing to a kid. www.bookadoo.com also www.flattenme.com has some really cute ones. You can do a book with a child’s super hero in it too. They can also make wall art out of the child’s picture. Not sure flatten me bookwhy you would need that, but good to know it’s there.

There is something for everyone this year that will bring lots of smiles. I love that the biggest shopping season of the year is when people are shopping to give to others. Go humanity.

Happy hunting!  Please like and share our list of Christmas Toys 2013!

Desiree Cook and the Living Lullaby Team