Brought to you by Christina Nesslage of the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis" />

Kid-tested, kid-approved toys from The Children’s Museum

It can be challenging to pick out gifts for the children in your life. You want to make sure that you find something engaging that captures the child’s attention and helps them learn or develop skills.

The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis helps make these choices easier for parents, grandparents and other friends and family. Kid-Tested, Kid-Approved is a fun annual event in which children visit the Museum Store and test thirty of the year’s hottest toys. After the kids try out the toys, they vote on their favorites. At the end of the event, the votes are tallied and the top ten toys are announced. This list can help you pick out gifts that will be sure to delight.

This year’s top three winners are Stikball with Mitts, Stickbot Studio and Shout Out Hockey. Stikball with Mitts provides a unique way to play catch with flat pads that look like baseball gloves and balls that splat and stick on the faux glove. This toy helps kids develop their motor skills and coordination while having fun. If your kid loves movies or technology, Stikbot Studio will challenge their creativity and imagination. Kids can create a story with the Stikbots and make a movie with special effects and editing using a smartphone app. Shoot Out Hockey is a solid option for kids who love sports. With this table top toy they’ll take aim and shoot for a goal, but they’ll have to figure out how to get the puck past the goalie in this fast-paced game.

Looking for more ideas? Cathy Southerland, Museum Director of Early Childhood Education, suggests these things to consider when looking for age appropriate educational toys.
  • Newborn through 6 months: Infant toys should stimulate the senses of sight, sound and touch.
  • 6-12 months: Babies are starting to develop an awareness of cause and effect, so toys that offer this option are a hit.
  • Toddlers: Toddlers are mobile and full of energy; they like physical, active toys that can inspire their curiosity.
  • Preschoolers: These kids love toys that stimulate their imaginations and interactive games they can play with peers and adults.
  • Elementary age children: This age range is looking for toys that allow them to explore, invent, build, create and solve problems.

The Riley Children’s Health Sports Legends Experience opens in March 2018 at The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis, but the store already carries a number of sports and Indiana team logo’d products to help you start a conversation about health and fitness.

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