2016 Specialty Toys of the Year Nominees

2016 Specialty Toys of the Year Nominees

The 2016 Toy Awards are upon us, and the contenders have been unveiled for voting. For this post, I specifically looked at the contenders for the Specialty Toy Awards.

This Mama’s Winners:

1. Boogie Board Play’N’Trace Doodle Pad  by Kent Displays, Inc. – I love the endless possibilities of this toy. From imagination-to-pad doodling, to practicing homework, tracing favorite drawings and shapes, to outlining their BFF’s face… there are so many things to be done with this. Major kudos for the easy, quick erase feature and sustainability of this product; lots of imagination and creativity, with no waste!

2. SuperMax the Turtle by Cloud b – the portability, easy-cleaning, super-adaptablility, and scientific accuracies make this one a win. Inspired by and created for the real-life Super Max, an amazing 8 year-old boy battling brain cancer who happens to be a litle afraid of the dark, this awesome little turtle lights up the room with real constellations in several calming colors. Auto shut-off, compact, and adorable to boot – this one’s great for kids of all ages.

3. TumbleTrax Magnetic Marble Run by Learning Resources – an excellent toy for developing problem-solving and critical thinking skills. Magnetic and hence very versatile in location choices, this gig requires kid to really use their noggins to get the marbles to do the things they want them to do. Included activity cards help get kids inspired to challenge themselves and take their marble tracks to increasingly difficult levels. Easy-clean foam pieces that can stick to the fridge or any other magnetic surface you can think of make this a versatile winner.

The Biggest Loser:

Worry Eaters by The Haywire Group – This just seems like a profound waste of money. Sure, they’re cute and funny looking, but I’m all about toys being constructive, educational, and/or imaginative. This toy does not inspire creativity, provide anything educational, or teach problem-solving of any kind. Instead, it basically teaches your kid to bottle up their worries and fears instead of learning to deal with them. If you’re gonna go that route, save yourself the $23 and stick some googly eyes on a mason jar you’ve already got lying around the house.

Tell us: what are your top picks?