Everyone talks about the “hot” toys of the year. Turner Toys & Hobbies doesn’t believe in fleeting fads. That’s why we’ve put together our “Very Best Toy” gift guides. These are the toys we consider to be the most engaging and creative thinking toys out there. These have staying power and will surely get your kids off screens! Here is our 2014 list of the Best Toys for Tweens and Teens.
1. Remote-Control Machines (Ages 8-15)
This construction kit from Thames & Kosmos lets you build your own electric vehicles and machines and control them with a wireless remote control unit. How cool is that? The kit comes with designs for 10 different models such as a bulldozer, an antique car and a robotic arm. After you make those, then the sky’s the limit. A unique 6-button infrared remote allows you to control three different motors simultaneously, moving each of them forward or in reverse. 182 pieces, 10 models and a 48-page manual.
2. Roominate (Girls Ages 6-12 – boys can play with it, too!)
A dollhouse for kids to design, build and electrify! Roominate has come up with a great way to introduce STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) to girls. With Roominate, every girl is an engineer. Girls build their own structure (a house on wheels?), design their own beds, staircases and more. Then, they make their creations come alive with a working windmill, elevator, or merry-go-round! Roominate is available in both a basic and a deluxe size kit, a studio building set, an architect’s expander pack and a Roominate circuits accessory pack. Roominate was invented by female engineers from Cal Tech, MIT & Stanford and has won numerous of awards. The girl in your life will love it!
3. Candy Chemistry Kit (Ages 10-15)
What a delicious way to learn about science! This is not a toy which is why older kids will love it. Kids explore chemistry as they cook up candies and chocolates in the kitchen. They’ll learn about important physical science principles related to candy and cooking. With 25 sweet experiments to perform, kids can discover why sugar crystallizes to make rock candy or investigate the chemistry of gummy bears, to name just two. Kids can make gummy candies, chocolate shapes, and hard sugar candy using the special tools included. No hazardous chemicals or food items; you supply the safe ingredients from your kitchen. Comes with a 48-page manual.
4. Syclone (Ages 8-adult)
Like spinning tops? Like mazes? How about combining the two? The Syclone is a dexterity puzzle for kids, teens and adults alike. The precision-engineered top spins for over a minute. Once it’s spinning then you can navigate the ramps, jumps and sinkholes of the two 3D mazes before the top stops. The Scyclone was named 2014 Toy of the Year by Creative Child Magazine.
5. Ball of Whacks (Ages 14-adult)
One of our most fascinating and addictive toys! The Ball of Whacks is a clever and versatile puzzle invented by creativity expert Roger von Oech. It is made up of 30 magnetic pyramids that can be taken apart and rearranged in endless ways to form amazing creations: stars, polygons, creatures such as flying squirrels and turtles and more! But you don’t have to make anything – just pull the pieces apart and watch them snap back. It’s available in red or 6-colors. The maker recommends this for ages 14+ because it contains rare earth magnets.
Q-Ba-Maze is a 3D maze that is also a ball run. Colorful plastic cubes interlock to form a marble run. Arrange the cubes in an animal, geometric or any other design you can imagine. Marbles travel through the maze following a different course each time – the configurations of the cubes are almost unlimited!
The colored cubes add a different visual dimension that wood doesn’t have. A great way to teach kids about probability, gravity, symmetry, physics and art. Q-Ba-Maze also has add-on stunts: the Bounce Stunt Set and the Zoom Stunt Set.
Let us know if you have other gift ideas for your tweens and teens.