13. Paper Jamz
Paper Jamz musicial instruments are made out of cardboard but they sound so incredibly real, you'll be amazed. Just touch the stringless guitars, for instance, and you can rock out to an already-programmed song or choose freeplay. There are even drums and an amp, also made out of cardboard. Now your kids will really be able to play air guitar, and even form a pretend-band! (For ages 8 and up.)
Boys young and older will love these cool cars from Manhattan Toys. They're stylish, sleek, and best of all, can be built by kids themselves (younger children will need a bit of help from older siblings or parents). Plus, the parts of different car models are interchangeable, so kids can easily mix and change to make their own creations. (For ages 3 and up.)
16. Hex Bugs
Speaking of creepy-crawly, these lifelike six-legged “bugs” from Desk Pets are designed to zoom around (as fast as 1 foot a second!), just like the real-life versions of the bugs they resemble just a bit too well-- namely, cockroaches. (Shudder.) Their red eyes light up, making them perfect for racing around in the dark. In fact, if you buy a few, you can actually watch them race and crawl around each other. (Double shudder.)
The coolest part: They can be recharged simply by plugging them into the computer (they come with a USB remote controller/charger). A mere 30 minutes of charging gives you 15 minutes of play.
Many older grade-school age kids begin to enjoy writing in a journal or diary (something they’ve probably practiced for when they wrote simple, and then later more complicated personal narratives and essays in school starting as early as kindergarten).
Give your child a diary with a key to write downs their personal thoughts. Most young children won’t have the interest or discipline to write daily entries, but a diary with a key can be a great place for your child to voice his or her personal thoughts. It’s greatly therapeutic for kids, as well as for adults!
20. Meowsic Keyboard
This fabulously fun keyboard by B. Toys plays 20 songs, comes with a retractable microphone, features 5 instruments and rhythm sounds, and lets kids play around with the beat and the tempo. Younger and older kids (and adults too!) will love goofing around and making all sorts of fun noises.
Another great reason to buy from B. Toys: their toys are all eco-friendly and the packages are recycled and recyclable.