Top Toys, Ages 4 and Up

Don't hit the stores until you've checked out some of our favorite toys for kids.

Girl Gourmet Cupcake Maker

These cake mixes only need 30 seconds in the microwave before they're ready for the froster machine (it helps you create that cool swirl effect) and sprinkles. Jakks Pacific, 8 years+, $30.

Photo courtesy of

Recycling Studio

Kids get a hands-on lesson on recycling by grinding up old newspapers or magazines into a pulp and then forming them into new, pretty sheets of paper. Use the shape molds and stencil to make custom stationery (might make those thank-you notes actually happen!). Discovery Kids, 8 years+, $25.

Photo courtesy of Discovery Store

Top Pick: Bunny Hop

The rules of this memory game are simple, and it encourages kids to take turns and be patient. Educational Insights, 4 years+, $28.

Photo by Bryan McCay

Rok Jr. Beginning Builder Play Set

This awesome playset has an easy-to-use remote-control dump truck and a neat sorter that separates balls by color. Rokenbok, 4 years+, $110.

Photo by Bryan McCay


Not only is this TV game interactive and fun, but -- shhh! -- it also helps kids with their basic spelling skills. LeapFrog, 4 years+, $40.

Photo by Bryan McCay

Florina Arranging Game

A cross between a puzzle and blocks, kids can create a new design every time. Haba, 4 years+, $40.

Photo by Bryan McCay

Skate Park

Playmobil usually has lots of pieces and can be a bit overwhelming. But this one is a breeze to build, and the fact that it's a half-pipe just adds to the cool factor. Playmobil, 4 years+, $30.

Photo by Bryan McCay

Top Pick: Kidizoom Camera

With this kiddie cam, shutterbugs can do everything from editing funny hats into digital photos to playing games on the LCD screen. VTech, 5 years+, $60.

Photo by Bryan McCay

Jam Pack Jam

The idea is to load the trunk with all the items shown on your cards before time's up, which is surprisingly tricky -- but much more fun than packing the trunk of a real car. Cranium, 5 years+, $20.

Photo by Bryan McCay


Make spelling fun! Spin the ball to play word games like Hangman, in English or Spanish. Learning Resources, 6 years+, $45.

Photo by Bryan McCay

Hyper Dash

Need to burn off energy? This active tag game combines the Memory with a foot race. Wild Planet, 6 years+, $25.

Photo by Bryan McCay

Flippin' Frogs

This is one Mom and Dad will get into, too. Just try not to get too competitive over who can catapult the most frogs onto the tree. Mattel, 5 years+, $24.

Photo by Bryan McCay

Operation Rescue Kit

This classic is new and improved with a self-contained, first-aid-like kit that keeps all those little pieces from getting lost. What hasn't changed: the scare you get when that buzzer goes off. Hasbro, 6 years+, $25.

Photo by Bryan McCay

Bump and Chuck RC Bumper Cars

Try to knock your opponent's car out with these remote-controlled bumper cars. The driver even "ejects" if it's a hard hit. Kid Galaxy, 6 years+, $40.

Photo by Bryan McCay

Top Pick: RoboQuad

This remote-control robot can see in the dark, walk, make sounds, and do a funky little dance. WowWee, 8 years+, $100.

Photo by Bryan McCay


This flashy neon set comes with a music player that lets your kid mix beats as the shiny magnetic balls roll, bounce, and slide over the tracks. Mega Brands, 7 years+, $80.

Photo by Bryan McCay

I Can Play Guitar

Rock-stars-in-training will have a hard time putting down this guitar, which plugs into the TV and uses games to teach chords. Beware of blisters! Fisher-Price, 7 years+, $100.

Photo by Bryan McCay

Fly Fusion

A cool electronic pen can do it all -- it's a Spanish translator, calculator, MP3 player, writing tutor, and more. LeapFrog, 8 years+, $80.

Photo by Bryan McCay

Designed By You Fashion Studio

This crafty kit has everything kids need to sketch and make their own clothing line. Creativity for Kids, 9 years+, $35.

Photo by Bryan McCay

LEGO Creator Ferris Wheel

You can build three different structures from each of the Creator sets. For example, the motorized Ferris wheel transforms into a working drawbridge using the same blocks. Lego, 8 to 12 years, $70 each.

Photo by Bryan McCay

Hyper Slide

After this game gets going, it can be really tricky. You have to slide the right color through when it's called out. To keep it interesting, there are three different versions. Hasbro, 8 years+, $25.

Photo by Bryan McCay

Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?

Kids love it when their parents get a question wrong -- and who doesn't love to embarrass themselves by not knowing the answer to a first-grade geography question? Hasbro, 8 years+, $20.

Photo by Bryan McCay

Newton's Apples

Once kids get the hang of this strategy game, they won't be able to get enough of it. Move the apple crates to get all of your apples to the ground first. Briarpatch, 7 years+, $25.

Text by the editors of Parents magazine and, photo by Bryan McCay. Originally published in the November 2007 issue of Parents magazine.

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