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Category Archives: Toys

The best birthday gifts of 2016: happy second birthday!

Play is how kids learn, and at age 2, kids are starting to explore how the world works through imaginative play. They’ll create silly and fun scenarios with play animals, action figures, costumes, toy cars and toy trucks, and other props, and they’ll love imitating what you do, including feeding a baby, or driving a car. (They’ll also develop their ... Read More »

The best birthday gifts of 2016: happy first birthday!

That first year zooms by quickly, although those sleepless nights of early parenthood can feel like they last forever. One minute you’re recovering from her birth and falling in love with her sweet little face, and the next minute she’s saying her first words and taking her first steps. (Shopping for toddler toys for a loved one’s kid? I know ... Read More »

The 5 OTHER best toy stores in Connecticut!

magic beans fairfield toy store interior

Toy stores in southern Connecticut have really stepped up their game since my childhood down there in the ‘80s!*  Of course, the number one spot for toys today is Magic Beans, nestled into the cute downtown shopping district in Fairfield (and a stone’s throw from the Metro-North stop, making it an easy trip for our fans in New York City): ... Read More »

Games and puzzles: Highlights from our Holiday Gift Guide

Puzzling over last-minute gifts? We may have a suggestion… or two… or ten… or more! The Games & Puzzles  section of our Holiday Gift Guide is loaded with a variety of jigsaw puzzles, logic puzzles, and head-to-head challenges to delight the entire family – and even some cooperative games too! Here’s a small sampling of terrific gifts that tend to ... Read More »

Baby & Toddler Toys: Highlights from our Holiday Gift Guide

Unlike shopping for older kids, shopping for babies and toddlers comes with one built-in problem: they can’t TELL you what they want. Luckily, as long as you select a gift for the right developmental stage, they’ll almost certainly enjoy it (and will learn key skills through play, as well). Here’s a brief cheat sheet to what to get for the ... Read More »

LEGO Star Wars and more: the best gifts with bricks!

Is there anything we can really say about the furor around Star Wars: The Force Awakens that hasn’t been said? The early reviews say it lives up to the hype – and even if it didn’t, nothing could possibly stop the marketing juggernaut that makes Star Wars toys some of the hottest gifts this year. And even without a new Star ... Read More »

‘90s Toy Flashback: Let’s Go Retro!

It’s a favorite hobby of the young adults of today: reminiscing about the stuff we loved from the ‘80s and the ‘90s. Buzzfeed definitely specializes in this kind of nostalgia, and even if we know exactly how manipulative this tugging at our heartstrings is, nobody is immune. So yes, when they posted a roundup of “45 Awesome Toys Every ‘90s ... Read More »

Need help picking the perfect present? Ask us! (VIDEO)

Last year, the Telegraph reported that the formula has finally been devised to determine the perfect holiday gift! According to Professor of Psychology Karen Pine, of the University of Hertfordshire, the problem can be solved with the equation (L x 2) + O + E2 – PD + EM = PP. The elements to consider in the equation are Listening, Observation, ... Read More »

STEM Toys: Highlights from our Holiday Gift Guide

“Make the vegetables themselves taste good, and you won’t have to bribe kids with chocolate,” writes Annie Murphy Paul, author and consultant, writing about educational games for kids. The right educational toy or game won’t appear “educational” to your kid – it will just look like good, compelling fun. These STEM toys (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) will all look ... Read More »

Going gaga for Jellycat (along with Princess Charlotte)!

WE HAVE THE FUDDLEWUDDLE PUPPY! Jellycat will be shipping more on December 7 – place your order now, because they’re selling out everywhere! With that said, to back up a step: not every toy craze makes a whole lot of sense in retrospect. Kids love Elmo, but was the Tickle Me Elmo worth rioting over? And while Ty Beanie Babies and their ... Read More »

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