Toy Time

November 15, 2012

Hot Toys and Books for the Holidays

By: Kayt DeMerchant, Publisher
top image

The holidays are approaching at an alarming rate! It seems only a short time ago I was writing about the end of summer vacation and the start of a new school year. Now I am thinking of Thanksgiving, sending out Christmas cards, holiday shopping and (gasp!) the start of 2013.

My children have already started holiday wish lists even though this mama is not yet in the holiday shopping spirit. It seems the older my kids get, the more complicated their wish lists get.

I turned to our Macaroni Kid National office and some “toy experts” (kids) for some ideas on the hot toys and books of the season.  Over the next several weeks, we will be highlight our finds.

We would love to hear what is on your child’s wish list this season. Leave a comment below or email us at 

We had an opportunity to host a Toy Time party last week and had many of our readers and their children attend. Some of photos below are from that party. You can see more on our Facebook page by clicking here. We had a blast and look forward to hosting more Toy Time parties in the future.   

Glo Glo Inkoos 

My kids have always loved stuffed animals. As the kids get older, though, it is harder to find “cool” stuffies to delight them. Enter GloGlo Inkoos from The Bridge Direct. These adorable stuffed animals encourage creativity and drawing and certainly have the “cool” factor: they glow in the dark! Like the original Inkoos, kids can draw designs on the Glo Glo Inkoos with the 3 clip-on, washable markers. When the lights go out, kids will love the fun glow in the dark patterns that are revealed. Even better, with the included light pen, kids can make their own glowing drawings and patterns. Just toss the plush friend in the wash to start the creative fun all over again. Check out the video to see how it works.

Glo Glo Inkoos will no doubt be one of my go-to gifts for sleepover birthday parties and holiday giving.

Each GloGlo inkoos includes 3 clip-on, washable markers plus the GloGlo light pen. Choose from 3 styles. Inkoos are machine washable.  

Boy Made and The Crafty Princess Books

My kids love crafts. Downtown Bookworks has several books chock full of fun ideas for easy-to-make crafts. Boy Made makes building swords, hide-outs, monsters, games and more so much fun. The Crafty Princess  encourages the “girly girl” to go all out: make crowns, thrones, hair accessories, wands, party supplies, jewelry and more. I actually found that either gender enjoyed the crafts from both of these books. Each craft is easy to adapt and personalize. The books come with some supplies and the rest of the items you need are easy to find around the house. I love that the crafts encourage creative use of recyclable materials. My kids didn’t get their craft sense from me and even I can easily follow the craft instructions and build the fun creations. Kids of all ages will be able to follow the directions and then make the craft their own by adding personal touches.  

Appleletters and Pairs in Pears

You’ve probably heard of the game Bananagrams, maybe even own it. It won a slew of awards and is very popular among kids. The makers of Bananagrams now have two more games that feature fun with letters and words: Appleletters and Pairs in Pears.  

In Appleletters, players work as a team to build a “word worm” by attaching words to the head or tail of the “worm.” The game comes with directions for other ways to play the game, including solo play.

Pairs in Pears comes with directions for multiple games and activities. I love that each activity is geared toward a certain age range so the game is appropriate for all the kids in the household, regardless of their age and skill level.

There are endless ways to play with these games. Our family has made up our own games and built upon the fun of the given directions. We keep these games on the dining room table. Each game comes in a fabric fruit pouch so they look adorable sitting there. They are perfect to break out while I am cooking or for some after dinner family fun. Both games encourage letter recognition, spelling, vocabulary, fine motor skills and more. My daughter (seen here) loves to practice her spelling words with the game tiles. Any game that has my kids willingly learning gets a thumbs up from me!

Macaroni Kid was not compensated for this review. We did however receive several of these products for free in consideration of a review. We only endorse products we truly believe to be of value to kids and families.  

Have your say

More of this week's stories