WESTFIELD—In anticipation of the hustle and bustle of the holiday shopping season, Learning Express of Westfield is giving local parents the inside scoop on toys that will provide kids with more than just fun this year.
“The great thing about our gift suggestions is that they manage to combine fun and learning,” said Elaine Jordan, owner of Learning Express of Westfield. “Whether it’s a craft project that encourages creativity or a game that teaches strategy, these toys allow children to express themselves and interact with their families and peers.”
Jordan notes that the following list of top toys is categorized by age to help shoppers find the perfect toy for that special young person on their list.
Learning Express Top Toys of 2009
Ages Birth +
Gentle Giraffe on the Go™ by Cloud B – Take the comforts of home on the road with this travel-sized pal. Four timer-controlled soundtracks sooth the senses and help a child feel right at home no matter where they are. Velcro straps are included for easy attachment. $24.99
Crocodile Rocker by Original Toy Co. – Rockin’ reptile! Your child can climb on this low rocking crocodile for a gentle, stable ride. Smooth, safe and sturdy; kids love the motion. Suitable for indoor or outdoor use. $54.99
Wooden Cupcake Set by Melissa & Doug – Junior bakers, tie your apron strings! Tea time is more fun with individual cupcakes to frost and decorate. Gentle magnets hold frosting onto the cakes and candles onto the tops. Decorate with icing markers, which are easily wiped away for fun again and again. $19.99
Twinkle Tiaras Sticky Mosaic Kit by the Orb Factory – It’s anything but a sticky situation when young royals sit down to create their own personal tiaras! One thousand fabulous foam pieces with foil, jewels and plenty of sparkle create a palette fit for a princess. Kit makes six different tiaras, which makes for six times the fun or a great party activity. $19.99
Dodge Tag by Diggin – Dip, dodge, run and throw! Get the kids moving with a new kind of fun! Don a mesh vest and grab three balls, then try to hit your opponent before he hits you. Balls that stick are considered a hit. A great get-up-and-go activity. $19.99
Groovy Scrapbook Kit by Alex – Capture the moments that mean the most! This kit contains everything you need to make a groovy album, including a 48-page hardbound spiral scrapbook, stickers, frames, borders, scissors, glue sticks, fabric flowers, easy instructions and more! Available exclusively at Learning Express. $19.99
Magformers Carnival Building Set by Rainbow Products – Magical magnetic models! This colorful construction set includes powerful geometric magnets encased in jewel-toned plastic. Pieces rotate to attraction position upon contact, allowing for easy and elegant building. $54.99
Pentago Game by Mindtwister – Do the twist! It’s harder to create a row of five marbles than you think in this fast and fun strategy game. Each turn also includes a twist of one of the board’s individual panels. It’s simple, yet sophisticated. $19.99
Cap it Off Jewelry by Alex – Put a cap on it with our exclusive bottle cap jewelry-making kit. You will be able to make oodles of “bling” including earrings, necklaces and bracelets from bottle caps! The kit includes bottle caps, stickers, bracelets, buttons, beads, cords and more. $16.99
The Dangerous Book for Boys Classic Chemistry Kit by Thames and Kosmos–Here’s a kit that will teach kids everything their parents never learned about basic chemistry. From atoms to elements and on through the periodic table, they’ll experiment with compounds, mixtures, solutions and suspensions. $36.99
Jordan says by using this list as a guide, shoppers can think outside the box and explore a unique product mix at Learning Express of Westfield, where they will find toys that can please parents and children alike.
After all, Jordan adds, play should be more than just a way for kids to spend their time. “The toys you play with as a child help shape the person you’ll become,” says Jordan. “Playtime should be carefree and fun, but it’s also an opportunity for development that shouldn’t be missed.”
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