Marbleocity Mini Skate Park$29.95 | 9 and upWhy we love it: It’s not every day you find a model-building toy that includes laser-cut birch wood parts...
Get your game on!
Leaps and Ledges
$29.95 | 8 and up
Why we love it: Setting up this game — a nearly 3-foot-tall tower of 15 colorful pieces — was almost as fun as playing it. Game play was basically Trouble without a popper. And instead of moving your pawns around in a circle, you race to the top of the tower (and can send players back down based on the cards you draw).
Of note: We think kids as young as 3 could enjoy this game.
Things I Know
$15.99 | 3 and up
Why we love it: Toys from eeBoo are always gorgeous, and this high-quality matching game is no different, featuring animals, objects and treats, vibrantly illustrated by London-based, Swedish-born illustrator Monika Forsberg.
Where to buy: eeBoo.com
$16 | 2 and up
Why we love it: Not in the mood to play creatively with your toddler? Turn off the electronics and break out this game, which includes a bean bag banana (win-win) and circular challenge cards that encourage parents and kids to do activities (sometimes solo, sometimes together): “Pretend to eat the banana.” “Wiggle your toes.” “Freeze like a statue.” “Make silly faces at each other.” Best of all? “Give a big hug.”
Where to buy: Kiddywampus
Snow White Deluxe Game
$27 | 4 and up
Why we love it: No toy in our test had a higher cute factor than this little cottage filled with pointy-hatted gnome-like dwarves. Kids try to figure out: “Where is Snow White?” by placing the characters (including Wicked Queen and Snow White figures) in the cottage as pictured. Kids can start with basic interior challenges and then move onto tougher exterior challenges that involve opening and closing the cottage shutters to reveal if they’ve found the correct solution.
Bonus: A small graphic novel, which tells the story of Snow White, is included to complement the game.
Of note: Kids age 3 and up (or maybe even younger) would love this toy and could probably play the game, too.
Where to buy: Creative Kidstuff
Roller Coaster Challenge
$29.99 | 6 and up
Why we love it: During home testing, this 77-piece “building game” — and its little red marble-bottomed coaster car — occupied our 9-year-old tester for hours. Though it looks and works a bit like a marble-run toy, we filed it under games because the roller coaster routes work best when you follow the preset designs on the 40 challenge cards (versus free building).
Where to buy: ABC & Toy Zone
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