Best Toys for Kids Award Winners

The American Specialty Toy Retailing Association (ASTRA), recognized nationwide for its prestigious annual awards program, has announced its 2017 Best Toys for Kids Awards.

The Best Toys for Kids Award honors the new and improved toys that promote open-ended or creative play, incorporate innovative design features and maintain exceptional safety standards.

The winners of the 2017 ASTRA Best Toys for Kids Awards are:

Active Play

Laser X

Laser X is a Real Life Laser Gaming Experience. Set includes everything you need for 2 Laser X players. 2 Laser X Blasters with 2 Receiving Vests, 1 Sports Bag and 6 Duracell Batteries.


Playvision – Smart Bot Robot

  • 50 Programmable Mode Actions Always Keep Things Interesting
  • Standing At 10″ Tall This Toy Even Makes Different Robot Tech Sounds
  • Control With Remote Or Hi-Tech Infra-Red Transmitters That Detect Gestures
  • Charge Up By USB – Meaning No Batteries Required
  • Smart Bot Makes All Different Facial Expressions, Making For A More Interactive Play Time (click image for pricing)

 Choose Your Own Category

Zipes Speed Pipes Performance Pack 

  • First ever toy, where vehicles speed inside pipes instead of on tracks.
  • Crazy Builds; the pipes can be configured and reconfigured with one or more loops or they can be built to go up the walls
  • Defying Gravity Speeds; the vehicles are so fast that they can climb up the pipes
  • Remote controlled and Illuminated vehicle adds excitement, creating an awesome light show when the room is dark. Also, includes a cosmic strobe ball.Zipes Speed Pipes is the first ever toy where vehicles speed through pipes instead of on top of tracks. See Image for more info.

Classic Toys Age 0 -7

Topanifarm  – Under $30

Djeco Cubanimo Cubes for Infants is a set of small boxes, ramps, roofs and characters that are colorful and bright for lots of open-ended play. Made with soft, easy to clean PVC. An adorable collection of brightly animated miniatures with names to interest all kids. (click on box)

Classic play age 8+

Doinkit Darts – Magnetic Dart Board – Under $30

  • Magnetic Dart Board: All the fun of darts, but with magnets enclosed safely inside that are powerful holding darts in place but won’t harm walls (or hurt children) Great for all ages and skill levels.
  • Family Fun: Learn the game of darts, play alone, with a friend or the family, in a safe way that’s safe for the house. Improve coordination & encourage sportsmanship. A fun way to spend a family game night.
  • How it Works: Same characteristics of the classic, right down to the faux cracks on the board, size, style & targets. Dartboard comes with a hook to easily hang in any room.
  • Durable: Strong, balanced neodymium magnets with our space age Doinkit® material that is light, virtually indestructible keeping the dart always flying accurately for optimal dart performance.
  • Includes: 1- 16″ Magnetic Dart Board, Set of 6 – Safe Magnetic Darts (3 Each of 2 Colors) Doinkit® Darts Magnetic Dart Board is the finest, well designed, dart set made. Recommended for Ages 6 & Up

Constructive Play


  • Geometric, the innovative building toy that enhances the imagination and improves understanding of geometric shapes
  • Constructed with amazing rare earth Neodymium magnets, the world’s strongest magnets commercially available. The Geometric rotating magnets combine freely for unlimited creations
  • The Neodymium magnets rotate to find the correct polarity, and multiple magnets per shape create an ultra-strong bond. Build models easily while using your creativity, thinking and design skills
  • Includes instruction for a balancing game. Who can build the tallest structure? the player that adds the last standing piece is the winner!
  • Our 15Pc set includes 2 yellow pyramid shapes, 5 green triangles, 5 blue squares, 2 red rectangles and 1 orange hexagon. Recommended ages 3+


Remote Control Machines

Construction Vehicles

  • Build your own motorized vehicles and machines
  • Unique six button infrared remote control
  • Three motors can be combined to make complex vehicles and machines in numerous configurations
  • Assemble up to 10 models
  • Kit comes with everything you need.

Creative Arts Play 7+ Years

Linkt Craft Kit Bubble Loops

  • First Ever Chainmaille Kits for Tweens based on the historic art of chainmaille, used by knights and kings as protection and adornment, re-invented by Neat-Oh! and Rebeca Mojica, chainamaille guru.
  • Make 5 Stunning Necklaces or Bracelets by linking hundreds of colorful rings.
  • Everything you need in one kit; Hundreds of metal rings, crystal clear instructions, videos to go along and a magic patent-pending tool.
  • Artisan Design; Together, Rebeca Mojica, world-renowned chainmaille artisan & Neat-Oh! created Linkt(TM) Craft Kits.
  • Magic Patent Pending Layout Tool included, which help transform pieces of metal rings into a stunning piece of jewelry.

Creative Play Toys under  7 Years

The Ultimate Brick Maker

  • Launch Your Dough Play to a new level: The Ultimate Brick Makers give kids of all ages a new way to create and build with the award-winning Mad Mattr compound. Children and adults alike can now make their own buildable, stackable bricks and use them to build their own custom constructed brick creations.
  • Stretch Creativity: Mad Mattr is an addictive, super-soft modeling compound that shapes easily. Press it, mold it, knead it, stretch it, squeeze it, paint it, sculpt it, float it, sink it, or just pull it slow and watch it flow! And clean up is a breeze since it sticks to itself and not to you.
  • Unique, Non-toxic: Mad Mattr’s unique, non-toxic formula is gluten-, casein- and wheat-free, and available in 6 colors that can be mixed together, too! Plus, Mad Mattr never dries out no matter how long it is left out. So, it can be used over and over again, providing endless, fun-filled hours of stretchy, open-ended play. For Ages 3 and up.


Rahel from Ethiopia Doll

  • Rahel – a girl with a giving heart, is a courageous and caring 10-year-old girl who dreams of one day becoming a doctor
  • She is determined to help her village fight the terrible illness Malaria. Read her mini book included to learn how Rahel bravely ventures to out to bring back medical supplies for her friends and neighbors
  • Hearts For Hearts Girls mission is to inspire girls to celebrate diversity, be agents of change in their lives, and positively impact the lives of those in their community, and ultimately the world!
  • For each doll purchased – Hearts For Hearts Girls donates $1.00 to World Vision to support their humanitarian programs that better the lives of those in each dolls represented country
  • Rahel is a 14″ 100% vinyl doll with an abundance of curly black hair, a bright shirt, woven skirt, and authentic jewelry. She comes with a girl-sized friendship bracelet, comb and a storybook about her life

Early Years Toys

SmartMax My First Safari Animals

  • Magnetic discovery for ages 1-5.
  • Easily click together pieces to create animals.
  • Safe, strong, oversized pieces.
  • 18 pieces, build a lion, hippo, giraffe, rhino, crocodile and elephant.
  • Parts are compatible with all smartmax sets.

Family Game Night


  • Who can match the fastest?!
  • Contains 120 Picture Cards & 65 Clue Cards
  • Simple instructions and instructions for alternative gameplay
  • Develops dexterity, quick thinking, interaction

Games Ages 2-5

Cha-Cha Chihuahua

  • Jump, Jive, and Wag your tail with the game of dancing Doggies!
  • Draw cards to join your doggy dance-a-thon
  • Fun for ages 3 and up
  • Reading is not required

Games Age 5 -8

Go Go Gelato!

  • Use logic to become a gelato-mixing master!
  • Pass the scoops between the cones to match your customer’s orders first
  • Think fast and Plan ahead, it’s a race!
  • Perfect beginner logic game for little minds
  • Includes 16 cones, 12 Gelato scoops, 54 challenge cards, and illustrated rules


Games Age 8+


A family-friendly fun variation on Dominoes. Attempt to expand your Kingdom by laying matching terrain tiles The more matching terrain you have the more points you score;  Suitable for 2-4 players, aged 8 and up with a playing time of around 15 minutes; Nominated for the Spiel des Jahres – Game of the Year award 2017
Blue Orange Games

Logic Skills Toys

Roller Coaster Challenge

  • 50% logic game, 50% roller coaster building set, 100% awesome and educational
  • Single player with four levels of play from Easy to Super Hard
  • Includes: one game board, 36 posts, 39 tracks, one roller coaster car, and forty mind challenging cards with solutions
  • Enjoy endless hours of free-form coaster building
  • As seen on Kickstarter, for ages 6 to adult

Pretend – Role Playing – Fantasy Play

My Magical Sound & Lights Unicorn

  • Gund is proud to present this beautiful plush white unicorn with rainbow and sparkle accents. Newly released in 2017.
  • Wings light up and unicorn makes magical sparkling sounds when back is stroked or petted
  • Appropriate for ages 3 and up. Surface-washable. 2017 Winner of the Australian Toy Association Award.
  • Generously sized at 17 inches tall making this an impressive toy for children and adults of any age

Scientific Play

Snap Circuits Stem Kit

  • No need for batteries! Deluxe Bundle Includes Snap Circuits 
  •  Contains 45 Snap-Together parts. Build over 85 exciting and Educational Projects. Build a Radio, Doorbell, burglar alarm and more
  • Clear and concise Illustrated Manual Included and Available Online
  • AWARDS: The National Parenting Center-Seal of Approval, Dr. Toy 100 Best Children’s Products, Dr. Toy Best Educational Products
  • Simple, Fun Projects Let Kids Learn While They Play!

These award-winning toys make great Christmas gifts for 2017.

Top STEM Toy – Code and Go™ – Mouse Robot

Toys that Make Leaning Math Fun



Joan McCray

Joan McCray is a travel writer living in NYC. Her work has appeared in the NewYorker,Travel & Leisure, Town & Country, Condé Nast Traveller, Food & Wine,and many local publications.She has published travel anthologies in and Lonely Planet. McCrayHot topicKid FunAges and Stages,Christmas Gift Ideas,Elementary School Age Children,Family Fun,Preschool,Teens and ‘Tweens,ToysBest Toys for Kids Award Winners The American Specialty Toy Retailing Association (ASTRA), recognized nationwide for its prestigious annual awards program, has announced its 2017 Best Toys for Kids Awards. The Best Toys for Kids Award honors the new and improved toys that promote open-ended or creative play, incorporate innovative design...Parenting Advice| Family Fun Activities for Kids