We tested so many amazing new games this year! These were the kids’ top picks, but keep an eye out in our future issues for the many runners-up....
Help your kids discover their inner maker with these crafty gifts — just the thing for icy-cold snow days!
Dodoland Dragon Kit
$9.99 | 6 and up
Why we love it: A lot of the cardboard crafts on the market leave you with less-than-sturdy items that could go directly into the recycle bin. This little guy, named Eugy, is part of a series of really cool-looking, excellent-quality miniature creatures. Assembly requires the use of glue, but our 10-year-old tester had no trouble assembling the 24 pieces without any adult supervision.
Good to know: Dodoland kits are designed in New Zealand and made from recycled cardboard and rice-based inks.
Juicy Fruits Scented Dot Markers
$16.99 | 3 and up
Why we love it: Freshen up your craft drawer with these markers from Do-A-Dot Art, featuring bright colors and sweet but-not-too-strong scents.
Good to know: Online you can find an endless array of free printable dot-art coloring pages in black and white and full-color.
Where to buy: ABC & Toy Zone
Djeco Drawing Dry Erase
$12 | ages 4 to 7
Why we love it: Kids can easily learn to draw simple objects using step-by-step instructions with this tidy boxed set from Arthur and Co. One Nana said: “So fun. Grandma loves it. I think it’s a great way to connect to art.”
Good to know: Nearly the all of the drawings are vehicle- or Renaissance-related.
Smarts + Crafts Sparkle Stash
$15 | 8 and up
Why we love it: Kid Made Modern’s latest bling box turned many heads in the Official Toy Test Craft Room with its nicely packaged — and very glittery — papers, beads, pom poms, string and more for making art projects, including jewelry, all in a handy little briefcase.
Air Blast Cannon
$24.99 | 8 and up
Why we love it: Despite having 125 other things to choose from in the toy test, our 10-year-old tester stopped exploring to build this dart shooter, designed to teach concepts of physics and engineering. Younger testers (like Jonah, below) loved operating the blaster when it was done, moving it up and down, left and right, and finally launching the dart through the air.
Good to know: This Maker Lab Series from KLUTZ also includes a gumball machine kit (which teaches building and engineering) and a circuit kit that tackles electricity.
Where to buy: Scholastic
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