Top Toys for the Holidays: A Parent in Silver Spring on the News


This morning I had the pleasure of joining the hosts of WUSA 9’s Great Day Washington with some suggestions for high impact, sure to delight toys for kids … that can arrive by Christmas!

Check out the TV segment, read below for descriptions and links to the recommended toys and also learn about A Parent in Silver Spring’s charity partner, DC Diaper Bank.


Under the Tree Winner Toys 

For big squeals and even bigger memories, the Hot Wheels Ultimate Garage fits the bill. This massive Hot Wheels structure has ramps, a helicopter pad, gas station, and my favorite part: storage for 36 cars to keep those vehicles organized in the playroom!

imagesA new American Girl doll under the tree is a Christmas dream for many girls. American Girl’s newest BeForever doll from the 1950’s, Maryellen Larkin, is an energetic and optimistic girl who follows her heart instead of the crowd. She has strawberry-blonde hair and hazel eyes, and wears historically-authentic 1950s doll outfits, like an iconic poodle skirt and saddle shoes. The doll comes with the book by award-winning American Girl author Valerie Tripp, introducing Maryellen to readers ages 8 and up.

American Girl’s 2015 Girl of the Year, Grace Thomas, is also an incredible present for your modern girl with an entrepreneurial spirit. Grace is an avid baker (and Francophile) motivated to follow her dream of starting a baking business after an inspiring trip to Paris. Grace too has an accompanying series of books about her adventures, and the Grace doll comes with the first in the story set.


Build and Create Toy

16238355165_c80dc68ab1LEGO has launched new building sets that feature everyone’s favorite Marvel and DC Comics super heroes! For little LEGO lovers there is the DUPLO Superheroes Batman Adventure Kit with Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman for your little LEGO lovers, and the Juniors Spider-Man Hideout from the LEGO Juniors line which is the perfect transition from DUPLO bricks to regular bricks. For experienced LEGO builders, the DC Black Mantra Deep Sea Strike and The Hulk Buster Smash sets are the coolest new LEGO sets and are sure to surprise.

downloadKlutz book-based activity kits are always big hits for Christmas. I love how ech of the kits comes with all the quality materials kids need to get started and a book of detailed step-by-step instructions. The Klutz Charm Bracelet Studio and Glitter Clay Charms allow crafty kids to personalize and design their own on-trend bracelets. The Klutz Star Wars Folded Flyers will “awaken a new force” of paper airplane folding with your kids with these galactic vehicle papers and instructions.


Active Tech Toys 

Just_Dance_Disney_Party_2_coverMy kids love new technology, and I love tech toys that keep them up and moving, rather than passively parked in front of screens.  We all love getting up to  dance and the new Just Dance 2016 features more than 40 top hits and quirky favorites. Alice and Eve will especially love Just Dance: Disney Party 2, with dancing to hit songs from fan-favorite Disney Channel shows and movie like “Descendants” and “Teen Beach 2.” Both new Just Dance releases are available for your motion controlled game console like Wii, WiiU, PlayStation and XBox.

Tech toys that inspire kids to be movie makers with their siblings and friends are one of my best recommendations for parents. The VTech Kidizoom Action Cam can attach to your child’s bike, trike, skateboard or person and is durable and waterproof. The software that accompanies it makes for easy editing and fun effects. I am getting the GoPro HERO for my 12 year old, the entry-level GoPro which is packed with professional-level filmmaking tools. I cannot wait for him to use it in our neighborhood or on family travels.


Remember DC Diaper Bank at the End of the Year

Some of these toys are the actual items I am giving my children for Christmas, and others are samples generously sent by the toy companies for review. Those toys not purchased by me are being donated to the DC Diaper Bank who will distribute them to needy families. DC Diaper Bank is mainly in need of diapers, but they also collect all sorts of items to be distributed by their partners to local struggling families.

Of course, the #1 item that DC Diaper Bank needs are monetary donations in order to keep the lights on, the hard-working staff paid and purchase diapers at the lowest possible wholesale price from suppliers. That is why I am pledging to donate $24 a month in 2016 to DC Diaper Bank. That $24 keeps a local baby in need in fresh, clean diapers for 1 month, equaling about 200 diapers. $12 a month helps immensely too! Please join me in this easy, affordable way we can make a big impact for parents in our area, just like us, who need a little help. Donate today. 

Thank you to all the toy suppliers who provided samples, WUSA 9 Great Day Washington for having me on, DC Diaper Bank for the great work you are doing in our community, and all of you for reading and watching.

Merry Christmas!

In some places, affiliate links are used. 

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