FAMILY Magazine editor, Amy Bevins, shares her favorite “Must Have” holiday toys, along with the help of a few elves.
Amy Carney Bevins: Hi! I'm Amy Bevins. I'm an editor for FAMILY Magazine. I'm a writer and educator and I'm also a mom with two kids and a closet full of choice. This time of year when you're walking down the toy aisle, it can be absolutely overwhelming; bright colors, creative packaging, playful music, all there for your attention and your toy purchasing dollars. One way to get passed all of the hype and find toys of long term playing power is to choose toys that are award winning toys. Just like the celebrities have awards, the Grammys, the Emmys, the Tonys. Toys also get awards. Organizations like Oppenheim Toy Portfolio, Dr. Toy, Mensa Select, ASTRA, Tody, AblePlay. All of these organizations give awards to toys that have meant their criteria for standing out among the crowd. These toys are evaluated and reviewed on many different aspects from safety, value, playability, durability and over how much fun they have for the kids to play with. Today, I'm going to show you some of my favorites that I found this year and with the help of some, we're going to make your holiday shopping a little easier so that when you do take a trip to the overwhelming toy store, you're going to have some ideas in your back pocket to pull out and maybe some great things to choose from because many of the toys can be enjoyed by multiple age groups. We have divided this video into ways that children play with toys. Some of the toys are active toys that can enjoyed either indoors or outside. Others are creative toys that are faster, imagination, music, artistic talent. So of the toys are great on the go travel toys and we're also going to be looking at some different games that your family might enjoy playing either for a preschoolers all the way up to adults. Since I'm a mom, safety is really important to me. When you're looking at toys, be sure to choose something appropriate for your children by looking at the age range on the box. Another important thing is remember that toys with small pieces are not appropriate for children under three. You want to keep them out of the way so there is not a choking hazard. Lead in children rises a big concern this year and most of the toys that we're going to be looking here today, the company are certifying are lead free. However, as a consumer you want to make sure that you have the most accurate information. So if you do have question about lead in this products, please be sure to talk to the, to a company directly or contact the US Consumer Product Safety Commission and get the most accurate information on each of these toys. Before we get started, I like to share a little bit about myself. I have degrees and education and I've years of teaching and writing experience. But when it comes to choosing great holiday toys that the kids are going to play with my 100, 10,000 hours of veteran mom experiences is really what comes into play. And I know what my kids play with, I know what sits and collects dust on the shelves and so what we're going to look at today is some of my favorite toys for this year. I hope that you have a very happy holidays and hours and hours of family playtime fun.