Are They Making Their Lists? Are You Checking Them Twice?

Holiday catalogs started arriving at our house last week. My kids are pouring over them, and their little minds are clicking with ideas of what they want for Christmas. I, like most parents, want to shout, “Can’t we get through Halloween first?!” But no, kids and toy companies have their eye on the prize, which seems to be a big pile of wrapped gifts at the end of the year. 

I “help” my kids edit their lists. If they’re trying to put, say, an iPad Air on there, I jump in and say that Santa doesn’t build those. And I try to make sure that the toys they’re picking out aren’t total junk. We have SO many toys already, we don’t need anything if it won’t really get played with!

Fortunately I get a sneak peek at all new toys by running the Parents Best Toys program. Each summer Parents, American Baby and Family Fun test some hundreds of toys. So if you want to match up what your child is circling in those catalogs with what we found to be great, take a look! Parents Best Toys includes 50 ideas divided up by babies, toddlers, preschool kids, school-age kids, and big kids. Family Fun’s Toys of the Year names a top-ten list of 2013 toys, plus twenty other faves. American Baby’s Best Baby Toys list hones in on fifteen great gifts for babies, especially those 12 months and younger. There’s some crossover in our three lists (great minds think alike!) but all in all, a huge range of ideas. You’re bound to find things your kids want, you can afford, and that tested well with one of our mags.

Are your kids already talking about holiday gifts? Let us know what they’re asking for! And just for fun, here’s a short video about our toy-testing. It’s a lot of work, so we hope you find our guides helpful!


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