As summer comes to a close and the first brisk gusts of wind swirl through the towering New York City skyscrapers, we pull out our coziest flannel pajamas from storage and huddle under our fleece throw blankets. We guzzle down warm apple cider and eat oven-baked cookies, delighting in the splendor of the upcoming holiday season. At this time of year, New York City kids start spending more time indoors as the temperatures outside continue to plummet. And as their afternoons at the playground begin to dwindle, parents scramble to find this season’s best toys in desperate attempts to keep their children entertained within the confines of their small NYC apartments. But with a market super saturated with toys and children’s items, it can be overwhelming to sift through all the options. I’m so thrilled to have partnered with Walmart, America’s Best Toy Shop, to share with you this Fall’s newest and most highly coveted toys.
I’ve never seen more excitement in Evan’s eyes than when I presented him with this Play-Doh Popcorn Play Set. He loved twisting the crank, watching the “popcorn” fall into the basket below, and utilizing his imagination to mold Play-Doh Oreos and chocolate candies. Like most Kindergartener’s, he loves the feeling of Play-Doh between his fingers and was so enthusiastic about creating these make-believe tasty morsels.
When frigid temperatures prohibit trips to the playground, why not bring the playground to your kids?! Both Evan and Chloe loved using the figurines in the PLAYMOBIL Park Playground to re-enact their favorite playground activities, even including going down the slide head first. It can be difficult to find toys that interest both a 3-year-old and 5-year-old, but this toy kept them both engaged and encouraged them to play alongside each other.
Some of my other favorites at Walmart are as follows:
Because what little girls these days are not fascinated with unicorns? Children can dip Myla’s magic brush into the butterfly palette to choose a color and then use it to paint her eyes, wings and horn a variety of colors. This is perfect for children who are obsessed with Mommy’s makeup and gives them the opportunity to practice mixing colors. I just added this Myla the Magical Unicorn to Chloe’s wish list and you should too!
I love toys that promote learning, which is why I was initially drawn to this toy. As kids guide the animals up the ramp two by two and onto the floating vessel, it becomes the perfect opportunity to introduce them to the beautiful biblical story behind the toy. And get this – the PLAYMOBIL Noah’s Ark actually floats so it can even be used during bath time!
I also love toys that bring awareness to global issues and send positive messages to our youth. When playing with the LEGO Friends Dolphin Rescue Mission Building Kit with Submarine, children will embark on a mission to rescue a trapped dolphin and find the hidden treasure throughout their underwater adventure! I just love how this toy teaches our children about the importance of caring for animals.
In a city where food trucks line the avenues, the Little Tikes Food Truck Play Kitchen encourages role-playing and gives children hands-on experience serving up the tastiest treats. I love that it fosters interactive play and encourages children to play together. Even with their relatively short attentions spans, I can easily see this providing hours of entertainment for my kids this Fall.
Never has another toy made me feel so nostalgic about my own childhood than the Lincoln Logs Classic Farmhouse. This toy encourages kids to think outside the box to create structures of all shapes and sizes and even introduces the concepts of spatial awareness and problem solving. I’m always amazed at how focused my children suddenly become when they’re building and creating!
My children are endlessly fascinated by the Empire State Building and other iconic landmarks of NYC that they see so frequently while growing up in this heaping metropolis. The prospect of constructing the LEGO Architecture Empire State Building Kit may seem overwhelming at first, but reinforces the importance of patience and working together to finish a task. Children will feel so proud when it’s complete!