Mamanista! » Hottest Holiday Toys for 2010

Hottest Holiday Toys for 2010

Here are some of our favorite Hottest Holiday Toys for 2010. We’ve included the deluxe and the moderately priced, the indie handmade and the mass-produced, and some new toys mixed with old classics.

We hope you enjoy–for even more ideas, check out our guides from 2009 and 2008.

And don’t forget to enter our 12 Days of Giveaways. If you would like up to two extra entries to each of our 12 Days of Giveaways, just scroll down or click here for instructions.

Creative Pretend Play

Two years ago my daughter found the KidKraft Red Retro Kitchen (Amazon – $154) under the Christmas tree and it is still one of the slickest-looking wood kitchens on the market. Two years later, my daughter still loves it and so does my two-year-old son. KidKraft Red Retro Kitchen
Playmobil once again makes our list, this time with the Dragon’s Land Great Dragon Castle (ARV $160). With Playmobil’s characteristic attention to detail, there are plenty of nooks and crannies for kids to explore. The set has a trapdoor and dungeon plus a spooky-looking hinged door, a falling stone, ballista, and a glow in the dark skeleton. And don’t forget the giant red dragon you can pose and use to lay siege to the castle. Playmobil Great Dragon Castle
Aeromax My 1st Career Gear ($11 – Amazon) is an affordable dress-up option for your kids. We were impressed with the quality, especially for the price. What do you want to be when you grow up? Aeromax My 1st Career Gear
Can I help? With the Guidecraft Kitchen Helper your Junior Chefs will have no problem joining you in preparing meals. Children who participate in cooking will be more likely to try healthy meals. Not to mention they will learn about measuring and kitchen science in the process! Most stores are sold out but will have stock again in early December. Kitchen Helper
We’ve been fan for a while of Safari’s figurines. The Safari Toobs ($10), tubes of themed mini-figureines, have been a hit in our house. We’ve used them as special rewards and as birthday party favors. They are even educational–with realistic features and themes that include biomes, like desert and arctic creatures, historical periods, or characters from mythology. Mythical Realm Toob

Push and Pull and Zoom

The Plan Toys Baby Car ($14) has a lovely, warm tactile feel and is a perfect first car for babies. The vivid colors are, of-course, non-toxic. Plan Toys Wooden Baby Push Car
Cars, a truck, and a loading ramp…what’s not to love about this Wooden Car Carrier from Melissa & Doug ($20)? Melissa and Doug Car Carrier
Up, up and away with the Schleich Airplane ($55) and off on global adventures. This airplane is one of my son’s favorite toys–he loves opening and closing the doors, stowing luggage, and imagining exciting travels. Schleich Plane
We love this unique wooden pull toy: a twirling dragon (Our Green House – $28.50), made in the USA. We are still also huge fans of the Alligator by Plan Toys (Kazoo Toys– $19), manufactured in Thailand from renewable rubberwood. It is a new classic that deserves a repeat mention. Dragon Pull Toy
The most sought-after bath time tub toy in our house is the Green Toys My First Yellow Tug Boat ($10- Amazon). Made from food-service quality, recycled plastic, this toy is safe for your kids and good for the environment, too. With a handle and spout, it is tons of fun for pouring water or sailing on the toddler-created waves. Green Toys My First Tug Boat
Etsy is the place to shop for wooden pull toys. I found some of the most darlingly terrifying dinosaurs at Happy Squash Toys (Stegosaurus, pictured – $12) and banished (Brontosaurus or T-Rex – $8). Stegosaurus
If you are looking for a classic push toy that will encourage your toddler to try out his new walking skills, then the Melissa & Doug Deluxe Drumming Bear Push Toy should fit the bill perfectly! Melissa and Doug Push Toy

Easy Rider: Ride-On Toys

The PlasmaCar (Amazon – $47) is kid-powered and well-designed for years of enjoyment. So easy a three year old can drive and so sturdy even an adult can ride–you know you want your own. Plasma Car
When it comes to plastic ride-around cars, Little Tikes sure knows that it is doing. Last year’s pick, the Cozy Coupe 30th Anniversary Car ($50 – Amazon), is still most-sought-after toy at our play dates. They’ve upped the ante with the Little Tikes Black Pick Up Truck ($102). What kid doesn’t love trucks? Little Tikes Black Pick-Up Truck
Nothing says active fun quite like Radio Flyer and I am digging the retro detailing on the Radio Flyer Sport Coupe Red ($100- Amazon). With three modes, adult push (perfect for walking off your baby weight), kid push, and kids scoot, this ride-on will grow with your child. Daddy will be jealous, he misses his convertible. Radio Flyer Sports Coupe

Educational Toys and Puzzles

Plan Toys Beehive ($30) is a delightful toy that will encourage toddlers and preschoolers to practice fine-motor control and color matching. Plan Toys Beehive
Fat Brain Toys Inchimals ($30 – Amazon) is a great manipulative for teaching simple mathematical operations, counting, relative size, and measurements. The Inchimals come with a write-on / wipe-off book with 100 puzzles. Inchimals
Jishaku ($14 – Amazon) is the hot new strategy game kids can’t resist. Our teen testers love this clever magnetic board game. Jishaku
It is hard to pick just one offering from LeapFrog’s variety of educational toys. Our newest favorite is the LeapFrog Tag Maps: USA ($20 – Amazon). Use the interactive map with your LeapFrog TAG to unlock a world of knowledge about U.S. Geography. LeapFrog TAG Map USA
The PlanToys Animal Domino Memo is a classic memory game that helps build logical thinking as children try to remember where they last saw an image. The chunky, convex blocks are easy for little hands to grab and turn over. Learn colors, animals, and patterns, or turn the blocks on their sides to practice balance, line them up, and knock them down like dominoes. animal_memo_sq

Musical Instruments

Music is a great investment in your child’s future but not every family has a baby grand in its budget this year. A simple wind instrument is perfect for learning about pitch and musical notation. Skip the plastic recorders and get this Suiling Flute ($19 – Rosie Hippo), made from Bamboo in Indonesia. Suling Flute
The PlanToys Plan Preschool Clatter ($20 – Amazon) is exactly what it sounds like–a joyously noisy toy for your little one’s music making. Plan Toys Clatter
Guitar Heroes will jam and rock out with this guitar from First Act Discovery ($30). With a smaller scale, lighter weight, more pliable strings, and protective plastic covers over the sharp machine heads, children learning proper posture and hand position with less frustration. first-act-childrens-guitar
The family that plays music together has fun together. The Sun, Moon, Star Drum from Jamtown ($29) now has a DVD with the fun ways this instrument can teach rhythm and cooperation. Sun Moon and Star Drum Jamtown
This trio of musical instruments, castanets, guiro, and maracas, from Plan Toys (Kangaroo Boo – $4-7) is making a re-appearance from our 2008 list because we haven’t seen anything quite like them anywhere else. Sure to keep your kiddos shaking, grooving, and rocking to the beat. Like all Plan Toys creations, these are kid-safe and eco-friendly. Perfect stocking-stuffers! Stocking Stuffer Musical Instruments

Cuddly Friends

I like the Sing A Ma Jigs against my better judgment. Squeeze these funny little critters and they sing. Squeeze them together and they form a quirky little a capella group. Sure to amuse your favorite toddler or desk-bound executive. Sing A Ma Jigs
Your baby will love the Giraffe Baby Mat by Bestever ($36) well past infancy. From tummy time to book breaks to just hanging out, this will be a friend your child will enjoy for years. Baby Mat Giraffe
The Zoobie Pets make great cuddly pals and traveling companions: they are plush pets that unfold into a pillow and blanket. Zoobie Pets comes it dozens of cute animal styles and are perfect for trips to Grandma’s or even sleepovers for older kids. One of the newest for 2010 is Poco the Pup Zoobie ($31 – Amazon). Zoobies Poco the Pup
Generously-sized, psychedelically-vivid attract attention from adults and kids alike, Color Zoo ($20) is available at Allen Ave. Designer Plush Animal

Shake, Rattle and Chew: Teethers and Rattles

Babies and moms agree, Sophie the Giraffe, a Teether from Vulli ($18 – Amazon) is still hard to beat. For a safe, calming teether you can put in the refrigerator, try the Cool It Apple Teether by Natursutten ($12 – Kangaroo Boo). Sophie the Giraffe
Or, avoid plastic and latex entirely and opt for these Käthe Kruse Rainbow Baby Teethers ($16 each – Rosie Hippo). Rainbow Baby Teether
We’re big fans of the Oball. One of our editors gushed like a schoolgirl at a rock concert when she met the creator at Toy Fair. He showed her the awesome new Oball Rattle ($10). Babies love the Oball with its easy-to grip geodesic-like shape so adding a rattling sound was a natural fit. The Oball is easy to take along because it squishes flat. Plus, if you step on this toy in your sleep-deprived state, it will just collapse and then spring back into shape. oballrattle
In 2008, we recommended the Skwish for your future molecular biologist or geodesic dome designer. Manhattan Toy added the Natural Skwish in 2009 and it is a new classic ($ 15 – Amazon). skwish

Arts and Crafts

The Alex Toys Magnetic Tabletop Easel ($50) is the perfect easel for space saving families and folds for easy storage. Place the easel on any tabletop where your child likes to make art and let the creativity flow. The easel holds a 12″ roll of paper and has a magnetic dry erase board on one side and a chalkboard on the other. Alex Table Top Magnetic Easel
We love the new craft kits from Artterro–open-ended and made from sustainable or recycled materials. Our kid-testers were huge fans of the Jewelry Collage Kit. Arterro Jewelry Collage Kit
Fuzzoodles ($14-22 – Amazon) is one of those clever products you can’t believe no one thought of before. Giant fuzzy chenille noodles can be twisted and sculpted into any shape and accented with plastic eyes and other features and accessories. Make a creature, decorate a pencil, create a bracelet–there’s no limit to the wacky fun. Fuzzoodles
Remember fashion plates? Choose three plates and then use your crayon to create a stylish rubbing. Back-to-Basics has the exclusive Fashion Designer ($23). We featured this last year and the kits sold out during the Holidays but they are back in stock! fashion-plates

Dolls and Doll Houses

Each year we recommend the Melissa & Doug Fold & Go Houses. They withstand pint-sized landlords but are still portable enough for a visit to the grandparents’. In 2008 we liked the Fold & Go Dollhouse by Melissa & Doug (Kazoo Toys – $57, with accessories) and in 2009 we featured the Melissa & Doug Fold and Go Mini Castle (Amazon – $35). This year, kids who like the critters will adore the Fold & Go Woodland Treehouse ($36 – Amazon) or the Melissa & Doug Fold and Go Mini Barn ($63 – Amazon) Fold and Go Woodland Treehouse
Boys like to play with doll houses, too. If you want one that even Dad will think is cool, we love the KidKraft Fun Explorers Rocket Ship ($80- Amazon) we spotted at Toy Fair in 2009. Especially with the price-drop, it is worth a repeat mention! Kidkraft Rocketship House and Playset
The Corolle Red and Fuchsia Carriage ($67) is a great addition to your little one’s doll nursery. A lift-out carry bed extends the play possibilities for hours of interest. Corolle Carriage
We’ve highlighted Manhattan Toy’s Groovy Girls before as a soft fashion doll that is stylishly funky while still being age appropriate. We love the fantasy additions of dolls like the Groovy Girls Lana Ladybug ($18 – Amazon) and the Beneath the Leaf Fairies ($12 – Amazon). Beneath the Leaf Fairy and Lana Lady Bug Dolls from Manhattan Toy
If your child likes to take a baby doll everywhere, then you will appreciate Last year, the Corolle Les Cheries Chloe Ballerina Doll danced her way into our hearts. This year, we predict the Corolle Camille Equestrienne Doll ($38 – Amazon) will ride away with the big prize. If you have another favorite Corolle Les Cheries doll, like Cecile or Chloe, you can purchase the Corolle Les Cheries Fashions Equestrienne Set ($20 – Amazon) as an accessory. Les Cherries


Fat Brain Toys continues its streak of innovative building toys with the Dado line, now including Fat Brain Toys Dado Planks. Notched, plastic planks allow for a wide variety of construction possibilities. Dado Planks
There are dozens of cardboard stacking blocks on the market but I am a fan of the My Stack & Play Castle Building Blocks ($20 – Amazon) by WJ Fantasy because they are lined inside (easier to wipe-down) and turn into the rooms of a “castle” for children who are ready to move beyond simple stacking. This is a great follow-up to their similarly designed Dollhouse blocks. WJ Fantasy Castle Building Blocks

To enter any of our 12 Days of Giveaways, just leave a comment on the specific sweepstakes post. You can receive up to three extra entries:

  • Share the Hottest Holiday Toys: Link to the Hottest Holiday Toys for 2010 in a post on your blog or on any publicly visible web page where you are allowed to do so and/or use the social media icons (StumbleUpon, Kirtsy, Twitter, Facebook, etc.) below to share the Hottest Holiday Toys for 2010. Please contribute to the conversation by sharing your favorite toy from our guide or telling us about your child’s favorite toy!
  • Then Leave an Additional, Separate Comment on the Contests You Enter: You can share up to twice per giveaway and remember to leave additional comments on each of the individual contests you enter so your entries will count!

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