Best Toys of the Year

Best School-Age Toys of 2013

Learning Resources Mental Blox

Learning Resources Mental Blox

One person describes a setup and the other builds; it takes cooperation and critical thinking, but it's all fun! 5 to 13 years, $30; learningresources.com

 

Spin Master Zoomer

Spin Master Zoomer

The robo-dog from Spin Master will sit, roll over, and play dead on command. He responds to petting and, left to wander, may pretend to mark his territory. 5 years+, $100; target.com

 

Bendastix

Bendastix

No glue needed: Bend the shapes around each other to easily create funny hats and glasses, little people, jewelry, and more. 6 years+, $7 to $20 plus $7 shipping; getbendastix.com

 

Spin Master Flutterbye

Spin Master Flutterbye

Spin Master's fairy doll levitates off her base. With practice, your child will be able to fly her by guiding her with a hand. 5 years+, $35; toysrus.com

 

Lego Treehouse

Lego Treehouse

Lego's innovative Creator series includes three different designs in one box; this has instructions for a treehouse with a trapdoor, a lakeside hut, and a barn. 7 to 12 years, $30; legostore.com

 

Monster High Justice Fighters

Monster High Justice Fighters

Adding Power Ghouls to your child's lineup of dolls lets her play at keeping things fair at Monster High. 6 years+, $20; target.com

 

Hasbro Magic Jinn

Hasbro Magic Jinn

Hasbro's hilariously voiced little robot plays Twenty Questions; your child thinks of an animal, and then Jinn does the guessing. Trying to stump him is irresistible! 6 years+, $20; hasbrotoyshop.com

 

Activision Skylanders Swap Force

Activision Skylanders Swap Force

Now Skylanders split in half and can be mixed and matched for power combos. The new portal is needed for swapability, but old figures work on it. 6 years+, $75 for starter pack; gamestop.com

 

Cra-Z-Art Lite Brix

Cra-Z-Art Lite Brix

This brick-building set from Cra-Z-Art has a battery, so when your child is done, you can literally light up the place. 6 years+, $40; toysrus.com

 

Leapfrog Leappad Ultra

Leapfrog Leappad Ultra

Download more than 800 apps and games to boost your child's understanding of virtually any subject in a fun, engaging way. 4 to 9 years, $150; leapfrog.com

 

Vtech InnoTab 3S

Vtech InnoTab 3S

VTech's newest version has games, Wi-Fi, and a kid-safe Web browser. It even allows your child to send messages to your phone. 3 years+, $100; target.com

 

Polaroid Kids Tablet

Polaroid Kids Tablet

It has a stellar photo studio, and the high-res screen makes this an ideal e-reader. Comes with ten books; use a Nook app to buy more. 3 years+, $150; toysrus.com

 

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