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2010 Best Toy Awards announced

Sarah Caron is a Connecticut-based freelance writer and editor. She lives with her wonderful husband, two adorable kids and two funny beagles. Check out her food blog at Sarah's Cucina Bella.

Great toys to gift

Looking for the right toy to buy for Christmas? The 2010 winners of the Best Toy Awards were just announced. Check out this year's picks for best toys.

Kids wtih toys

The results are in from the annual Best Toy Awards by the Good Housekeeping Research Institute.

The 2010 toy awards don't just assess what toys will be most popular with kids. The Research Institute first looks at toys to assess their quality and safety, ensuring that the toys meet their standards -- and also don't pose a choking hazard, among other qualifications.

Engineers and scientists check out new toys in four categories: ages 3 to 5, ages 5 to 8, ages 8+, and board games. The top 75 toys are then put to the test by nearly 100 kid testers who range in age from 4 to 16. Once the toys are narrowed down more, they are also evaluated to ensure they meet industry safety standards.

"With an increasing number of recalls in the children's product category, our readers are concerned about buying safe, quality products for their families," said Rosemary Ellis, editor-in-chief of Good Housekeeping. "Parents can feel confident that our Best Toy Award winners are safe and fun, and encourage their kids' creativity, too."

The winners of the 2010 Best Toy Awards are published in the December issue of Good Housekeeping.

Some of the winners

  • Fisher-Price's Dance Star Mickey ($70; ages 2+): This fun Mickey walks, talks and dances. And the folks at Good Housekeeping say that although it's for ages 2 and over, it can be fun for all with games Mickey Says and Freeze Dance.
  • iPlay's Shop 'n Cart ($35; ages 3+): Remember that shopping cart you played with as a child? Well this one is all that and more. It comes stocked with food, packages, cans and money, and even has a spot for a favorite stuffed animal or doll -- perfect for an awesome make-believe adventure.
  • Leapfrog's Leapster Explorer ($70; ages 4+): Leapster gets a bit cooler, now with eBooks where kids can turn the pages with their finger on the touch screen. It still has that easy-to-use stylus and also plays more than 40 games.
  • Jakks Pacific's Toy Story Mania ($50; ages 5+): If your kid is a Toy Story fan, then they will love this awesome game. It plugs into a TV and then kids use 3-D glasses and a motion controller to help the toys of Toy Story through all sorts of course and little games.
  • Spy Gear's Lie Detector Kit ($15; ages 6+): Kids love pretending, and toys like Spy Gear's Lie Detector Kit gives that game a let's pretend sense of realness. This awesome toy "reads" the moisture of the suspect's skin on two fingertips as they answer questions, determining if they are being truthful or not.

More winners

  • Learning Resources' Primary Science Set ($30; ages 4+)
  • Playmobil's Wildlife Care Station ($70; ages 4+)
  • Crayola's Model Magic Presto Dots ($12; ages 5+)
  • Real Construction's Deluxe Tool Set ($25; ages 5+)
  • Silverlit Toys' Iron Man 2 Iron Trike ($40; ages 5+)
  • Bandai's Harumika ($10 to $40; ages 6+)
  • ThinkGeek's Electronic Guitar Shirt ($30; ages 6+)
  • Creativity for Kids' Wind-Up Workshop Robots ($15; ages 7+)
  • Wild Science's Perfect Perfume Laboratory ($15; ages 8+)
  • Hasbro's Bop-It! Bounce ($20; ages 8+)
  • Jakks Pacific's Spy Net Video Watch ($50; ages 8+)
  • Tonka's Garage Ricochet RC ($80; ages 8+)
  • Air Hogs' Hawk Eye ($65; ages 12+)

Do you have any great toys suggestions that didn't make the list?

Want more gift ideas for kids?

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