With Thanksgiving just a few weeks away, the clock is ticking…I noticed in Disney Family Fun’s November issue an interesting resource to pass along: their 18th annual Toy of the Year (T.O.Y.) Awards. The report lists the top toys each year according to an independent market survey by families nationwide. So…who made the list this year?

You can watch a video of the Top 10 toys in action at Family Fun’s website.

Here are the top 5:

1. Invasion of the Bristlebots (Klutz, $20)

2. Pyramid (4240) (Playmobil, $105)

3. Recycling Truck (Green Toys, $25)

4. RipRider 360˚ (Razor, $130)

5. Feeding Zoo (5634) (Lego, $50)

Here are some additional tips for you:

–> This is a GREAT time to clean up & donate to those less fortunate. Encourage your kids to fill some boxes with toys, and deliver with you to a nearby homeless shelter. The gift of giving is way more rewarding than anything else!

->  Get your kids to write a wish list, and repurpose/trade/be creative!

–> And I can’t resist a small plug for our Mom-Tastic Savings Report – all of our subscribers get a list of discount links & codes for free – check it out, and see if there are some holiday savings in there for you!

What toy tips do you have for this year?


I was recently asked along with other Mommy Bloggers to review a new product from the Lego line of Duplo toys – the Light & Sound Fire Station, so I decided to print this in conjunction with some holiday tips. As for Lego Duplo, despite my 4 decades of toy experience, I’m the first to admit that I’m the least qualified to truly evaluate small toys that require hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills. So, I enlisted the real experts, my kids, and have to admit, I was fascinated by how quickly they created and recreated different scenes with the box of small interconnecting plastic pieces! My first response, “Was there a map that showed you how to do that?” was met by a quick, “No, I just thought it would be cool!”

I have to agree – creativity, and a toy that lets kids run their own show, is always a good thing. The age range on the box says “2 to 5,” and I do think at the younger ages, that Mom or Dad would need to help, but luckily, the pieces are larger/chunkier for little hands. My only tip would be to make the box more “re-closable” – maybe with a velcro attachment so you can keep the set’s pieces all together. As always, with small plastic toys, safety first, and I suggest cleaning up after each use.

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