by Ruckus & Glee
Shop local this holiday season at Wauwatosa’s toy retailers, who are stocked with toys for the young and young at heart. Shopping local is good for the local economy, a great way to connect with your local community, and just plain fun.
Read on for some of the toys that we are most excited about this holiday season!
Toys to Move You
These toys will get your kids up and moving, building balance, coordination, strength and speed.
The Watchitude Indoor/Outdoor Kids Pickleball Set comes with two kid sized paddles, 2 quiet rubber silicon balls which will bounce on floors and most carpets.
The Bilibo needs only your child’s imagination to be so many things: a turtle shell, a sand scooper, a water bucket, a Martian helmet. A wobbly, spinning seat. A stool. A steppingstone. A cradle for dolls. A snow mold. You get the gist. A must-have for any playroom.
The Rody Horse ride-on toy builds balance and strength. It has a perfectly contoured shape for balancing and his ears are easy for little ones to hold as they bounce along.
Micro Scooters have been rated the number one kids scooter by the New York Times’ Wirecutter website. These three-wheel adjustable scooters use the rider’s body weight, balance, and core strength to turn. It’s the perfect first scooter for your kiddos.
Light up the night with a Tangle NightBall Basketball. This actual size LED lite-up basketball is perfect for shooting hoops after dark.
Pretend play is one of the most important play “tools” in the play toolbox. It uses the imagination and enhances communication, social, and emotional skills. These toys allow kids to pretend play to their heart’s content.
The Veggie Board from Plan Toys adds a healthy serving of fruits and veggies to pretend food play! This beautifully crafted set develops coordination, concentration, and imagination. Kids love to slice the food in half with the wooden knife. We love that it is sustainably made.
The Play World Tree House, a high quality 31-piece wooden playset, will bring hours of imaginative play and storytelling to your toddler. The adorable wooden figures can take rides on the 3-car train, have a snack on top of mushrooms, climb the ladder into the treehouse, or take turns on the tree swing! Packaged in a beautifully designed box, it’s an heirloom quality playset that promotes creativity, hand-eye coordination, and spatial understanding.
The intricately designed Dragon Mask, Tail, and Wings by Creative Education are sure to fire-up imaginary play in fantastic worlds of wonder. They’re made from high-quality, rubberized foam, making them comfortable for hours of wear and durable for years of pretend play. The texture makes it feel like real dragon scales!
Yes, Barbie is hot this year with the release of the Barbie movie, which introduced a whole new generation of kids to the wonderful imaginative world of Barbie.
What is magic but the ultimate pretend play? Marvin’s Treasured Magic Tricks are perfect for any budding magician. This wooden set includes impressive tricks that are easy to master with step-by-step learning. This is the ultimate beginner’s magic set to entertain, amaze and astonish!
Building toys bring together fine motor schools with problem solving. These toys help kids think sequentially and plan ahead, and also to build imaginative new worlds.
SMARTMAX My First People is a wonderful introduction to magnetic building and discovery for toddlers. The 4 expressive heads click easily onto the 4 chunky colorful bodies. Match them with the 4 magnetic hats to create a gardener, chef, construction worker, or firefighter… or mix for silly imaginative looks!
The Magna-Tiles Downhill Duo 40 Piece Set takes on new levels of creativity and imaginative play by adding vehicles to the well-loved Magna-Tiles universe. Free play or create racetracks using Magna-Tiles sets in your collection.
New in 2023 is Oppi Piks, a construction toy designed to stimulate children’s development, concentration, and creativity. Kids will love to stack the silicone cones in three different sizes and colors, and balance the solid beech wood boards into towers on top. It’s an open-ended toy that is ideal for competitive or cooperative play, or even solo building.
Teens and adults who love complex, detailed builds will enjoy the thrill of constructing this mechanical Harry Potter Knight Bus by UGears. No glue, staples, or screws required! The completed bus has a knob to magically change it from its compressed state to its expanded one! A secret winding key sets the motor in motion. Seriously cool.
Games bring friends and families together. They challenge our minds and wits and give delight in play and in winning. A pack or two of the classic and collectable Pokemon Cards is a perfect stocking stuffer!
Animal-loving preschoolers will have a wild time learning planning, problem solving, and visual perception skills with Safari Park Jr.! The goal is to follow the challenges to move the animal figurines into the correct spots for a photo op.
Add Sloth in a Hurry to your family game night! This fast-moving improv game combines imagination and a little silliness. Draw a WHO card, a WHAT card, then spin for HOW… and act away! Develops creativity, imagination, and self-confidence.
From the makers of the award-winning card game Sleeping Queens comes a brand-new adventure: Sleeping Queens 2, The Rescue! Use strategy, quick thinking, and a little luck to save the kings from a parade of perilous predicaments.
Castle Panic will be your family’s new favorite cooperative fantasy game. The easy setup and group play makes it easy to learn and jump in midway through a game! Your goal is to work together to defend your castle from the monster horde attack. You either win or lose together, but only the player with the most victory points is declared the Master Slayer!
The toys in this category strengthen skills in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.
Let your kiddo turn their room into outer space with the Astrolight Bluetooth Speaker and Projector projects a field of green stars across the room, along with three different color projections: earth, stars, and nebula. Soothe stargazers to sleep with the included white noise, or connect music via Bluetooth speaker.
Bring the snow inside! We know, why do that when we live in Wisconsin? Because kids enjoy experiments with snow, and the Instant Snow Station lets kids make instant snow and use it to build snowmen, make a snow globe, and more.
Kids can extend into mechanical engineering by building a giant Cyber Hand they can wear over their own hand and use spring loaded controls to pick up small items, pet the family dog — the kid is in control! No motors, water, or electricity required!
Combine intense STEM building with boxing and you get Hydraulic Boxing Bots! Future engineers will enjoy the focused work of this challenging 327-piece build that teaches them about the physics, design, and mechanisms of hydraulics. Once built, two boxing robots are ready to rumble!
This new toy category was created out of the many challenges that children faced during the pandemic. These toys focus on mental, emotional, and social health.
Virtual pets teach kids about caring for others. Virtual pets like Pet Rocks are still around, but Bitzee is a newcomer to the scene that is a digital pet that responds to a touch! Kids grow their Bitzee baby to an adult through feeding and playing with them and rocking them to sleep.
Help your little ones learn empathy at an early age with the companionship of an Adora Adoption Doll. To encourage nurturing and pretend play, Adoption Dolls come with a Certificate of Adoption, pacifier, hospital bracelet, diaper, grey blanket, and crib.
Meet the next generation of sculpting doughs which keep little hands busy, and minds focused. The Cupcake Sensory Dough Play Kit includes a super silky dough that’s made with non-toxic food-grade ingredients (free of nuts, soy; vegan), making it taste-safe for curious kids! This kit comes with 0.5 lb of cake-scented dough; half white funfetti sprinkle and half brown cake batter. It also includes pretend play items to inspire imaginations: silicone baking cups, dough extruder, candle, cupcake pick, 2 bottles of sprinkles, and a cherry.
Paint a painting. Mold with clay. Make a friend a bracelet. Arts and crafts inspire kids to create with their hands and minds.
Cereal-sly? For a serving of arts and crafts that’s an excellent source of fun, Check out the Kellogg’s Froot Loops DIY Bracelet Kit. Inside this realistic cereal box-style package are a bowl, spoon, and 2 dissolvable pouches. Creative tweens and teens can place each pouch in water and watch as it dissolves to reveal mystery bags – just like magic! The bags contain everything needed to make 4 cereal-sly cute cereal-themed bracelets.
Discover a BFF bonding activity for birthday parties, weekend hangs, or sleepovers: the Friendship Bracelet Maker! Crafty tweens and teens get creative as they learn different weaving patterns.
Manga fans can master the traditional art skills of Japan’s most influential anime styles with Manga Art Class Ink & Paint The Anime Way. It’s a next-level watercolor kit that teaches aspiring artists using interactive lessons.