Top Toys & Gifts for Kids 2016

Are you done with your holiday shopping? With the season in full swing, we’ve made a short list of fun toys and gift ideas for your child. We have researched everything from the latest in board games and arts & crafts, to STEM, and tech toys. Happy shopping!

Most Popular Toys

These toys won’t stay on the shelves for long! Get them while you can.

Hatchimals

Ages: 5 and Up

Hatchimals

2016’s Most Popular Toy, Hatchimals are magical creatures that live inside of eggs. Who’s inside? It’s a surprise! Each egg contains one of two interactive Hatchimals. Love and care for yours inside the egg and its eyes will light up as it makes cute sounds, telling you how it’s feeling! Once you’ve played with it enough, you’ll see rainbow eyes—that means it’s time to hatch! Hatchimals can’t hatch on their own. Your touch encourages them to peck their way out of the egg! It’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience! Now you get to raise your furry Hatchimal through 3 stages, from baby to toddler, to kid. Your Hatchimal sings “Hatchy Birthday” each time it enters a new stage! Teach yours to walk, dance, play games and more! It will even repeat what you say in its own voice! Hatchimals — who will you hatch?

Exploding Kittens

Ages: 7 and Up

exploding-kittens

The most backed project in Kickstarter history, Exploding Kittens is a card game for people who are into kittens and explosions and laser beams and sometimes goats. In this highly-strategic, kitty-powered version of Russian Roulette, players draw cards until someone draws an Exploding Kitten, at which point they explode, they are dead, and they are out of the game — unless that player has a Defuse card, which can defuse the Kitten using things like laser pointers, belly rubs, and catnip sandwiches. All of the other cards in the deck are used to move, mitigate, or avoid the Exploding Kittens.

Watch Ya’ Mouth

Ages: 8 and up

WatchYaMouth

Watch Ya’ Mouth is the AUTHENTIC, Hilarious, Mouthguard Party Game. In this laughter-inducing, competitive card-based game, teams of players, hampered by cheek retractors, attempt to read and interpret/speak out phrases and…. Hilarity ensues! Good for Ages 8+, with virtually unlimited players (when played using our “Alternate” rule set), Watch Ya’ Mouth is a must for any gathering, party, game night, or family night. Be warned: Stomach-Cramping, Eye-Watering laughter is a very frequent occurrence. “One of the funniest party games there’s been” Learn it in seconds, play it for hours, and create lasting memories with your friends and family.

Top STEM Toys

These toys will engage your child in science, technology, engineering, and math so they learn while they play! 

Barbie Stem Kit

Toy Insider STEM 10 Award 2016

Ages: 4-8

Barbie Stem Kit

The Annual Animal Shelter Gala is just hours away! Help Barbie and Nikki prepare for the party as you learn important STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) skills. The Barbie STEM kit includes a full-color storybook manual guides your journey as you explore physics and engineering. Construct 7 different models, including a spinning closet rack, washing machine, and greenhouse-all compatible with the Barbie Dreamhouse (sold separately). Then, conduct experiments to learn how and why your designs work! Create three unique types of dresses for Barbie and Nikki—an optical illusion origami dress, chromatography dress, and leaf-print dress—while learning important lessons in biology and chemistry. Follow along with the story and discover ways to use science to solve problems!

Circuit Maze Board Game

Techlicious Best of Toy Fair 2016
Ages: 8 and Up

Circuit Maze

Your logic skills and sequential reasoning will light up with Circuit Maze! Your goal is to arrange tokens and create a real circuit to light up the Beacons. Circuit building while solving challenges provides a boost of brainpower and a fun education in electronics. With 60 challenges, ranging in difficulty, this logic game will provide budding electrical engineers with hours of electrifying fun and intense learning.

Crayola Air-Dry Clay

Ages:  6 and Up

crayola-air-dry-white-clay

Engage in creativity with your child and try Crayola Air-Dry Clay. Crayola Air-Dry Clay hardens without the use of a kiln or oven. Its smooth, pliable texture softens easily with water. This natural, white earth clay hardens within a few days and can be painted with watercolors, tempera or acrylic paints when dry. The generously sized, 5-pound bucket is ideal for classrooms and groups.

Top Tech Toys

Virtual Reality is the latest trend in technology … and toys!

View-Master Deluxe VR Viewer

Ages: 7 and Up

View Master VR

View-Master Deluxe VR Viewer that Works With Google Cardboard has been designed to give you a more immersive VR experience. It features a headphone connector for a more immersive audio experience, wider lenses for expanded field of view and a focus wheel to bring images to focus without your glasses! Immerse yourself in 360-degree interactive environments and explore amazing virtual worlds.

Flybrix LEGO Drone Kit

Ages: 14 and up

Flybrix LEGO

The Basic Make Your Own Drone Kit Using LEGO® Bricks gives you the full Flybrix build-and-fly experience. With this kit, you can build quad, hex, plus octo airframe designs and fly them with the Flybrix Bluetooth Flight Control App. The kit comes with the all the components including LEGO® bricks, design plans, and software you need to get flying out-of-the-box.  No extra tools or supplies needed.  If you decide that you want a different flying experience, the optional Flybrix R/C Expansion Pack can be added at anytime. 

PlayStation VR

Ages: 12 and Up

playstation-vr

Discover a new world of unexpected gaming experiences with PlayStation VR. Redefine your expectations of immersion in gaming with moments so intense your intuition takes over. Step into incredible virtual worlds and overcome new challenges in extraordinary ways. With gamers in mind, PlayStation delivers a new world of unexpected gaming experiences through PlayStation VR.

Thanksgiving Table Talk: Expressing Gratitude DIY

Sitting around the Thanksgiving dinner table is the perfect time to ask open-ended questions that can help your children practice gratitude. Answering the basic question, “What are you thankful for?” might be hard for kids at first. Creating a conversation jar can be a fun way to break the ice. These questions make it easy for kids to identify and discover the things and people they really appreciate. In turn, a conversation jar also gives you the chance to inspire by example and express your own gratitude.

Use these questions as an example or write your own.

  • Who was the best teacher you ever had?
  • What is the best part of being a part of our family?
  • What is one of your favorite memories from a family vacation?
  • What is one thing you couldn’t live without?
  • What is your favorite thing to do on the weekend or after school?
  • What’s your favorite thing to do with your grandparents, aunts or uncles?
  • What is something someone did to help you today?
  • What’s your favorite thing about dinner tonight?
  • What is your favorite part about living in our town?
  • Who is your best friend in school? Why?
  • What book is your favorite to read before bed?
  • Who is the most generous person you know? Why?

Creating a conversation jar is a fun DIY to craft with your family. Turn these questions into conversations. When your child responds, make sure to point out how lucky they are to have those experiences, items and family members. Point out that not everyone in the world has access those things.

Thanksgiving is the perfect time to get kids to talk about what they are thankful for, and help them acknowledge and cultivate a feeling of gratitude and gratefulness. 

CREATE YOUR GRATITUDE CONVERSATION JAR

Supplies:

  • Glass Jar
  • Wooden Sticks
  • Sharpies
  • Ribbon
  • Burlap
  • Super Glue or Hot Glue
  • Scissors
  • #TableTalk printable
  • Puffy Paint (optional)

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Step 1:

Cut a 4” wide piece of burlap to wrap around the jar.

Use a hot glue gun or super glue to attach the burlap to the jar.

Cut a 2” wide piece of ribbon to wrap over the burlap. Glue to fasten.

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Step 2:

Print out the tabletalks-printable.

Cut out and glue to center of the jar.

Or use puffy paint and markers to decorate ribbon.

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Step 3:

Write your “Gratitude” questions onto the wooden sticks with a marker.

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Step 4:

Insert sticks into jar, and enjoy engaging Thanksgiving conversation starters with your family!

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Trick or Track Your Teen on Halloween

What is your family’s solution for keeping track of your children during this fun Halloween holiday?

Fall is in the air. Everything from lattes and candles to church yards has turned into a pumpkin. It’s time to plan for your Halloween parties, costumes, and trick-or-treat routes. Activities will vary based upon the age of your child. For those of you with teenagers, it’s the time of year where they are between childhood and adulthood. Are they trick-or-treating or attending a Halloween party?

Regardless of which activity they choose, parents are not always with their children. Teens especially will want to be with a group of friends. This may leave parents wondering is their child safe and are they located where they are supposed to be. Do you Trick or Track?

KNOW THE STATISTICS

Although mostly a ton of fun, Halloween can pose dangers for teenagers. This is the time of year when teens start attending parties. They are likely to be exposed to alcohol, drugs, and sexual behavior. Underage drinking is very common among teenagers. According to SADD, nearly three quarters of high school students will consume alcohol by the time they finish their senior year. Being on the road is also a hazardous place to be during Halloween. “In 2015, over half (52%) of all highway fatalities across the nation occurred on Halloween night between 6 p.m. Oct. 31 to 5:59 a.m. Nov. 1 and involved a driver or a motorcycle rider with a BAC of .08 or higher (Traffic Safety Marketing.gov).” Knowing these statistics, it’s hard to let your teenager go off by themselves.

GET A SAFETY TOOL

Luckily, there is a solution to help your family. With a location services application like the MamaBear App, you can give your teen the freedom they need, and have the peace of mind you deserve. The MamaBear app gives parents the ability to set up places so they will know when their child arrives or leaves a location. The app also allows you to watch photo uploads on your child’s Instagram and other social media platforms. Be sure to turn on your location sharing to offer your child the security of nearby response time.

Talk to your teen about Halloween safety. To feel good about giving the MamaBear treat of independence, there isn’t any need to trick your teen. Encourage them to share photos and communicate with you via MamaBear to get them comfortable using the app. Make it fun!

 

ABOUT: The MamaBear App is a leading-edge, mobile, all-in one parenting app that creates a private family communication hub. MamaBear allows you to track your teen’s location, set up boundaries of safe and restricted areas, know how fast they are driving, and monitor their social media messaging.

Grom + MamaBear = :)

BIG NEWS!

We’re excited to share that MamaBear App is now under new ownership!  Grom Social has acquired the company with big plans ahead.  You’ll be hearing from us more with fast response to customer support inquiries, attention on app updates and inclusion of features you’ve requested.

To help us celebrate, we’re giving you 30 days of premium service for FREE with promo code MamaGroms. If you already have a MamaBear account, click here (existing users) to add your free 30 days.  If you closed your account and you’d like to give it another try, register for a new account.

Grom Social is the safe social network created by kids for kids. Launched in 2012 by then 12 year-old Zach Marks, Grom Social is quickly becoming the leading safe social media platform for children worldwide. With more than 3 million users, Grom Social provides a positive, fun, and safe social media environment for children to network, discover original content and play games, all while allowing parents to monitor their activity through the parent portal.

Grom Social and MamaBear’s shared common values of bringing greater awareness of social responsibility and promoting good digital citizenship made this a perfect match.  Our commitment to connecting your family and protecting your children is stronger than ever.  You can stay in touch with us by contacting us at Support@MamaBearApp.com.