Toy name: Snap Circuits Jr. SC-100 Electronics Discovery Kit
Price range: $20-$30
Suggested age range: 8-13 years
Needs batteries? Yes
I was a geeky kid and loved educational toys and kits. I had bug collecting bins, a junior microscope, and a gyroscope. But the electronics kits could frustrate even the geekiest kids!
There were lots of little bits and pieces, and the directions were on flimsy paper in minuscule print, and were hard to follow. When I could figure out the project and build it, about half the time it didn’t work. I decided early on that engineering was not my calling in life!
If only I had had something like the Snap Circuits Jr. Electronics Discovery Kits! No soldering, no wires, no fiddly bits. All the wiring and connections are embedded into sturdy plastic pieces that snap together and stand up to repeated use. The basic set, the Snap Circuits Jr. SC-100 Electronics Discovery Kit, comes with 100 projects to build. Continue reading
Manufacturer: PlayMonster (formerly Patch Products)
Price range: $12-$15
Suggested age range: 4-15 years
Needs batteries? No
Yeti in My Spaghetti is a game for pre-schoolers and up that will provide a nice break from endless repetitions of Candyland and Chutes and Ladders. It is simple to play but amusing and suspenseful enough that it can be fun for a game with a group of friends the same age, or with older siblings, or as part of a family game night.
Yeti in My Spaghetti comes with a red pasta bowl, 30 yellow noodles, and the white and blue yeti figure. All pieces are made of plastic. To set up the game, put the bowl in the center of the table or other playing area, lay the noodles across it (it’s easiest to hold them in a bunch and let them spread over the top of the bowl randomly, replacing any that roll too far and fall off) and then perch the yeti on top of the noodles. Continue reading
Monster High is a line of dolls and related products that first appeared in 2010 from Mattel. It has become tremendously popular with girls and teens as well as adult collectors. The dolls are very creative in design with full articulation and lots of neat little details. Along with the toys, a series of animated webisodes, specials, and movies have shaped the Monster High universe with various adventures, and lots of new characters and locales added along the way!
Monster High is a high school just for monsters, and the main characters are all the children of famous and legendary monsters like Dracula, Frankenstein, and the Mummy. Unlike other “monster schools” the different species intermix at Monster High. The hope is that all the various monsters will eventually learn to get along with each other, and one day even the “normies” (humans) will be able to join in as well. Continue reading