An Independent Guide to the "Bestest" Kid-Tested Toys

Holidays 2017 Toy Guide

Snow is in the air and holiday shopping is in full swing. If you’ve a tot on your shopping list, check out these 2017 testing family favourites for a quick and easy shopping guide through the toy aisles.

Little People® Caring for Animals Farm

Fisher-Price/Mattel (1+)

Classic Little People fun with an appealing theme – animal rescue missions and a special farm to take good care of them.

“Play never dwindled, the toy was out and my kids (M3, F9m) used it on a daily basis.” Marcy Jefferson

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Thomas & Friends™ Super Station™

Fisher-Price/Mattel (3+)

A great alternative to a train table. The motorized Thomas train was a huge hit, and the long racing ramps at the front were great fun, too. Our testers loved that the tracks in this set work with all their trains, and even Hot Wheels cars. Plus, it’s easy to add your own tracks to make a really big rail yard.

"My kids (M3, F6) attached their wooden railway sets to make a giant track. They especially love the big long ramps that run up and down from the second level." Rebecca D'Silva

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Kid K’NEX®

K'NEX Industries, Inc. (3+)

These jumbo-sized K’Nex pieces are easier to manipulate than the original toy, and projects build up fast — perfect for the preschool crowd.

“I liked building creations with the help of my big brother (7). We would play with our creations after and create our own monsters. “ Noah (M4)

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PLAY-DOH KITCHEN CREATIONS SIZZLIN' STOVETOP

Hasbro, Inc (3+)

Sizzling sound effects add a fun touch of realism to this food-making Play-Doh set.

"My son (3.5) has a play kitchen, but actually creating the food items themselves--adds another dimension. He played the toy every day for nearly two weeks, then a few times a week as the newness wore off a bit." Marcy Jefferson

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Chubby Puppies Vacation Camper Playset - Jack Russell Terrier

Spin Master Ltd (4+)

A fun little doggie playset. What particularly caught our play tester’s attention is the battery powered gait of the big dog, and how it can also propel the car Flintstone-style.

“I like that it comes with a car and the big dog can move the car. And, I like the baby seats for the little dog and when the dad dog makes toast for the baby.” Siobhan (F6)

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FURREAL ROARIN’ TYLER, THE PLAYFUL TIGER

Hasbro, Inc (4+)

With its wide range of endearing interactions, the playful tiger pet is a FurReal fan favourite.

"He's cute and fuzzy and his roar sounds exactly like I sound when I roar." Autumn (F8)

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Silly Scents Marker Maker

Crayola (6+)

We love the simplicity of this marker making set. Our testers loved mixing the primary colours to create their own unique shade. No matter the combination, the fruit scented colours always smell good.

“It's so cool that I can make my own markers, and the ink smells really yummy.” Raina (F6)

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Fluffables™

The Orb Factory Limited (6+)

Adding the fur is easy. Just drape a tuft of strands around the punch tool, then push it into the form. Our testers loved that they could create their own unique critter: spotted, stripped or patchy; with fur styled in a neatly trimmed, stylish coiffure, or a casually uneven, scraggly look.

“It is really fluffy, like a stuffed animal. I like that you get to use a tool to make it, and that you get to make the stuffie from the very start.” Tiago (M8)

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Stitch & Style Pouches

Klutz/Scholastic (8+)

A super fabulous activity. Our testers loved that they could style the pouches to look uniquely their own creation. Best of all was crafting something functional and durable enough to use. Fun to do, and kids were proud to learn a basic life skill.

“I liked that I did a really good job sewing and it is still together. This is better than most crafts because we made something I can use and not just put on the shelf.” Ian (M9)

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K'NEX Thrill Rides Web Weaver Roller Coaster Building Set

K'NEX Industries, Inc. (9+)

Looping six times round the tower, this is a pretty spectacular build - especially with the propeller-powered car zipping along at a speed almost to fast to catch.

"More fun than the other K'NEX roller coaster I built, as it was more well put together and this one had an engine in the car itself and traveled really fast." Kyle (M10)

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Meccano Micronoid

Spin Master Ltd (8+)

A fun and challenging build, plus our testers loved playing with the robot afterwards - asking it questions and playing little word games with it, as well as, programming its movements and using the voice recording feature.

"It's fun to create your own monster. I like the sound it does, and how it moves once you put the battery in." Andrew (M10

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THE NOISE ON TOYS

The Noise on Toys play testing program is unique, both in giving voice to the kids' perspective on the toys as well as offering readers easy access to the original feedback posted by each family - parent and child comments. TNOT is privately funded to ensure complete editorial independence: manufacturers pay neither an administration fee to participate, nor licensing fees to use earned award logos.

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