We’re on TV! This year KARE 11 hosted — and filmed! — our 2019 toy test at the TV station’s Golden Valley studios. Be sure to tune in to KARE 11...
These small but mighty gifts will delight and amaze parents and kids alike. Promise.
Schylling Snow Ball
$3.99 • 3 and up
Why we love it: Squeeze this super-flexible, totally durable ball and you’ll gasp in wonder at how reminiscent it is of real crunchy snow. Our kids loved it. We think it also would make a fun holiday gift for relatives in warmer climes.
$9.99 • 3 and up
Why we love it: Yes, it’s yet another textural toy. But our kids couldn’t get enough of these shapeable little clumps of microspheres. They reminded the grownups of Dippin’ Dots. But instead of melting, they stuck together for endless hours of molding fun. This 8-pack package is too big for a stocking, but it’s worth wrapping it up for the fun packaging and colors.
Mozi Flow Ring
$12.99 • 5 and up
Why we love it: OK, so it’s not under $10, but this thing is a steal. Kids were transfixed and adults oooohed and aahhhhed over this marvelous set of 13 interconnected steel coil rings that move along your arm like a wearable, living Slinky. This literally delightful toy, which moved best on bare skin, was tough, too, even among the toddler set who accidentally squished it a few times.
$6.95 • 5 and up
Why we love it: Aww, it’s a card game of tic-tac-toe donuts — chocolate versus vanilla — in which the donuts with the sprinkles can be played anywhere, even over other donuts! D'oh!
Kids said: “Super fun!” “I’d buy it.”
$9.99 • 6 and up
Why we love it: During the toy test, after our test and during home testing, these miniature plastic jigsaw pieces received hours of play from multiple kids, who loved both free building and using the included patterns. These are a positively addictive must-have item for 2019.
Good to know: They stay together really well, so you have to break them down piece by piece if you want to build something new.
L.L.A.M.A. Card Game
$10 • 8 and up
Why we love it: Think UNO, but with different rules. Cards include numbers 1–6 and llamas, which can be played only on 6s or other llamas. When one opponent runs out of cards, he or she “quits” the round. Then all the cards the other players weren’t able to play are added up and counted against them as points, which are tallied using little black and white tokens — 1 point for white, 10 points for black. (This is good for math practice!) Play ends when one opponent loses by collecting 40 or more points.
Kids said: “I want to play again!”
Parents said: “Way more fun than it sounds.”
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