Elaina is a Phoenix-based freelance writer, blogger and co-founder of the Kidlee baby book app. Check out her blog, Fun Finds For Mom, for product reviews, recipes and fun activities for moms and kids.
Looking for a gift the whole family will enjoy? Check out this assortment of toys and games that will get families talking, laughing and playing. You know what they say... A family that plays together stays together!
Families will love getting active with these outdoor toys.
Super Fun Stilts (HearthSong, $48)
Stilts have come a long way from the splintered boards we remember using as kids. These Super Fun Stilts from HearthSong are designed with traction rubber tips, nonskid footrests, angled shoulder supports and adjustable legs. Want more of a challenge? Add extra boost and bounce to your stilt-walking experience with an extension set ($20). The extension set adds an extra 5 inches of elevation with spring cushioned extensions, and is recommended for ages 6 and up.
Twizzler II (Fatbraintoys.com, $36)
Described by one reviewer as "hands down the favorite toy in my neighborhood for everyone," the Twizzler II is a handled bar attached to a rope that lets kids of all ages (up to 225 pounds) hang, twist, turn and spin. If you can find a good spot to hang this dizzying device, it can be used both indoors and out.
Zip line (Amazon, $140)
Always wanted to try a zip line? Here's your chance! With the Spring Swings Super Z Fun Ride, even Mom and Dad can get it on the fun. This trolley cable system was designed for kids and adults to zip through the air like birds.
Games and puzzles
Too cold to be out playing in the backyard? Here are our top picks for gifts the family can enjoy indoors.
Remember when the reward for putting together a puzzle was... well, finishing the puzzle? With Ravensburger augmented reality puzzles, a downloadable app lets you animate the completed puzzle by pointing your iPhone or iPad at the scene. Tropical fish begin to swim, Paris comes alive with lights and music and African animals roam the safari. Family puzzle time will never be the same.
Domino race set (HearthSong, $50)
Little kids can use this Domino race set of 255 colorful dominoes to build and play. Older kids and adults can line up the dominoes, and then give a tap and watch the exciting show as the domino effect unfolds before their eyes. For even more domino fun, purchase an add-on set ($25), which includes a pyramid step set, tunnel set, ramp, stairs/bridge set and balls.
Sorry! (Amazon, $20)
No family game night is complete without a rousing round of Sorry! Families with kids ages 6 and up will love this board game where it's never over until it's over. Just when it seems certain Big Sister is going to trot all her pieces around the board to the safety of Home, a card is flipped and... "Sorry!" Little Brother is back in the running.
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