As Top 10 lists go, here's the most valuable for this time of year: Geppetto's Toy Stores' choices for the coolest playthings.
"We've been observing toy-buying trends all year," said company President Brian Miller about compiling the list. "Toys that encourage children to 'make believe' and take charge of playtime are top picks this year; it's all about imagination and creation."
He recommends gift shoppers consider these playful items for the little ones on their lists:
- Twilight Lady Bug. This bedtime friend radiates a multi-colored starry sky onto the ceiling to help infants and toddlers feel "calm and peaceful" every night. The 14-inch plush ladybug includes a 45-minute timer, star guide, bedtime story and adoption certificate. From Cloud B.
- Tea Set. Made from recycled milk jugs, this "green" toy is perfect for eco-minded kids. All items are dishwasher safe. From Greentoy.
- Playmobil Pyramid. This 16-inch by 16-inch pyramid has removable sides, secret chamber, collapsible stairs, secret chute and tarp door inside.
- Automoblox. Engineer-sleek retro vehicles include interchangeable plastic body pieces, connectors, translucent roof and wheels. From Manhattan Toys.
- Sticky Mosaic Fairy Box. Kids can design and paint their own boxes with 1,000 foam and jewel pieces from Orb Factory.
- Magnatiles. The 32-clear shapes are magnetically engineered to attraction all sides for hours of building ingenuity. From Valtech.
- Doink-it. The powerful magnet darts are light, balanced and land on the 16-inch dartboard every time. From San Diego-based Marcy Sparky.
- Bananagrams. Fast-paced word game where by using 144 tiles, all play at the same time building, peeling, and dumping letters to create crosswords until someone yells,"Bananas!" From Bananagram.
- Qwirkle. This strategy game requires players to match colors and shapes in rows and columns to mix, match, score and win. From Mindware.
- Magic Science. Make fingers smoke, create Wizard Wands, cast color changing potions, while learning scientific principles. From Scientific Explorer.
— Source: www.geppettostoys.com.