When it comes to this year’s most popular toys, Santa has his work cut out for him to decide on what’s the very best for each child.  There are a ton of great toys out there!  So while we cannot possibly list every single toy that are topping the list of kids in each age group, we have found a few of our favorites to share with you.

Ages 6 mos – 6 yrs

1. Furby.   I cannot believe this one is showing up again.  After the obsessed swarming that happened in the late 90s over these toys, Hasbro has “rebooted” the babbling stuffed animal and just released them again – this time with new features and expressive eyes.  It responds to voice and music, even dancing if music is played. And the toys are unpredictable in their response, have specific likes and dislikes, and behave certain ways depending on how their owner treats them.  They also respond to other Furbys.  But the funniest (or perhaps scariest) part is that it can be run in”evil” mode.   Ages 6 mos – 8 years.  $50-$80.

2. LeapFrog Shapes and Sharing Picnic Basket.  With a musical basket and colorful pieces shaped like food and eating utensils, this will definitely keep young, curious minds enthralled as they “picnic”.  Ages 6-36 mos.  $18-$22.

3. Elf on the Shelf.  Most families of little ones already own this book and small elf.  But if not, it’s never too late to get on the bandwagon.  Learn more about it HERE, and see what kind of mischief other families’ elves are getting into.  Around $30.

Ages 6-10 yrs

4. Perplexus.   I love that this game is showing up on top lists everywhere.  This was actually created by one of our local teachers, and has become quite popular among kids and adults alike that enjoy a good challenge.  There are several different versions to choose from, all of them sure to test your focus and agility.  Recommended for kids 6-14.  $15 – $30.

5. Qwirkle Board Game.  This is a game of strategy that will have the whole family puzzled.  Games typically last around 45 minutes, and consists of laying out tiles depending on shape and color.  Perfect for 2-4 players, ages 6-plus.  Around $18 – $35.

6. Nerf guns.  This made my son’s gift list, a well as every other kid who enjoys pelting their siblings with foam darts.  This year’s favorite gun is the Nerf N-Strike Maverick, allowing your little schemer to fire off darts with rapid launching action.  That should make the sibling rivalry a little more interesting….  Plus, the never-ending lost supply of darts your house will swallow gives you plenty of stocking stuffer opportunities.  Or things to bribe your kids with.  Ages 6 & up.  Not for kids under 3.  $10-$15.

7. Snap Circuits.  With color coded circuit components, kids can create working electronic circuits and devices – like burglar alarms and doorbells.  But it does have a lot of small parts, so keep out of reach of the little ones.  Ages 8 & up. $24 – $50.

8. LEGO Walkie Talkies.  I still remember how cool walkie talkies were when I was a kid.  And they still are – except I think they might be more powerful than any device I ever used in the old days.  These ones work up to 1 mile away, and have one push/talk button so that even young kids can use it easily.  Recommended for kids 7-15 years old.  Around $25.

Ages 10 & up

9. LEGO Minecraft.  This game has snuck into the gaming world, both on PCs and game consoles.  My 11 year old is obsessed, as are all of his friends.  It’s basically a game where player work together to create elaborate lands, everything made from cubes that are pieced together.  It’s actually quite impressive.  With Legos, gamers can take their building offline and have something they can hold in their hand.  Ages 10 & Up.  Lots of small parts, not for kids under 3.  Prices vary depending on kits.

10. Apples to Apples.  My family LOVES this game.  The adults in our family have even played it without the kids around, it’s so fun.  It’s perfect for families with preteens and teens, and can vary in hilarity with each game played.  Based on the phrase of “apples to oranges”, this is a game of comparisons.  Each person is dealt a number of cards with the name of an item, person, place, etc.  They are then given a topic to compare one of their card items to.  Their example:  people might match “Awkward” with “Oil Spills,” “My First Kiss,” “Dandruff,” and “Gold Chains. ” Or: “Painful” with “High School Reunions” and “Regis Philben.”  Ages 12 & Up.  $18-$27.