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very best toys for tweens and teensEveryone 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.

 6.  Artterro Creativity Kit   (Ages 7 – Adult)
This kit is a beautiful collection of hard-to-find handmade papers, wool felt shapes and glass and wooden beads and more for you to create with.  The kit gives suggestions of what you can make (greeting cards, bookmarks, ornaments, gift tags, small sculptures and collages), but you can make anything that inspires you!  The materials have been sourced from India, Thailand, Nepal and the US.
7.  Q-Ba-Maze  (Ages 6-14)

Q-Ba-Maze 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.






Baking Soda Science Toy Rocket Car Science Kit

Scientific Explorer Rocket Car

Happy National No Housework Day!  Why not use some baking soda science to power up some toy rockets?

Baking Soda Science & Toy Rockets

In an earlier post, Turner Toys Has Model Rockets, we highlighted our line of Estes Model Rockets. Now, we have some toy rocket kits that use baking soda science as fuel.  Like other flying toys (see earlier posts on flying toys and science toys), these double as science toys.

These kits are a great way to learn about chemistry and physics.  The baking soda and vinegar starts a chemical reaction in the fueling module.  Experiment with different proportions of vinegar and baking soda or even types of vinegar (balsamic, anyone?) to see how it affects flight.   These rocket kits have received awards and accolades from Family Life Magazine, Parent’s Choice and Discover Magazine.

Bear in mind that these toys are projectiles and require adult supervision.


Scientific Explorer Rocket Car Kit

Remember those images of vintage land speed record cars?  Recreate your own with the Scientific Explorer Rocket Car kit from Poof Slinky.  Powered by vinegar and baking soda it can travel over 200 feet on a smooth surface. Fueling module can be adjusted to desired power level to accommodate student drivers and seasoned veterans. Some assembly is required, completed car measures over 15″ long. Ages 9 and up.


 Baking Soda Science Scientific Explorer Meteor Toy Rocket Kit Scientific Explorer Meteor Rocket kit

This colorful rocket can fly up to 100 feet powered by its patented baking soda fuel system.  Fueling module can be adjusted to desired power level to accommodate beginning flyers and seasoned veterans. Some assembly is required, completed rocket measures 17″ tall. Ages 9 and up.



What are your childhood memories of baking soda and vinegar experiments?

To coincide with today’s blog on Image Aeronautics & Flying Toys for Younger Children

Turner Toys is offering 15% off all Ready-to-Fly Toys.

Just use the code FLYING at checkout on our website  Sale runs through Sunday, March 3rd.

Happy Flying!

Children can never have enough opportunities to learn about their world.  Science experiments help kids learn about the world around them.  Turner Toys is proud to carry a wide variety of science toys and kits that will spark your child’s interest in science and make your gift giving easier this year.

Here are some toys that explore optics, physics, gravity, engineering, aeronautics and more.


How does a radiometer work? It spins when the sun warms the dark vanes and is reflected by the white vanes. It’s the original demonstrator of the potential of solar energy.  I had one of these as a kids and liked seeing it go faster on sunny days.

Precision Gyroscope

GyroscopeThe original Gyroscope toy, defies gravity, demonstrates scientific principles, inertia, angular momentum, kinetic energy, physics. Watch it balance on the rim of a glass jar or tie it to a string and observe it hang at a right angle to the string.  Still made in the USA.

Refraction through Prism is easily demonstrated with this 2.5″ Crystal Prism. Natural sunlight is refracted into a full spectrum of colors – Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo and Violet. ROY G BIV is the mnemonic I learned to remember the correct colors in the correct order.

KaleidoscopeChildren’s Kaleidoscope will bring many hours of fun viewing different patterns. Kaleidoscope comes in a gift box.

Science Kits

Science kits guide children through experiments, provide all the materials and instruction needed so you don’t have to be the expert.
From the makers of Slinky:
Fingerprint Science KitPower Putty Science KitSlippery Slime Science Kit
Poof Slinky Fingerprint Files Science Kit  Everything needed to collect fingerprints using the same methods as the Police and FBI is included.

Poof Slinky Power Putty Slime Science Kit    Corn starch slime has met its match. Slime holds a special attraction for kids and this Poof Slinky Power Putty Slime Kit will let them make both bouncy and stretchable slime.

Poof Slinky Slippery Slimes Science Kit  Slime for kids because there is no such thing as too much slime. Slippery Slimes Science Kit lets kids make Sewer Slime (doesn’t smell like a sewer) and a slime that switches between being a solid and a liquid.

Here are four science kits that explore magnets, gears, physics, and recycling.


Magnet Lab Science Kit

Mag Lab Science Kit   Magnets are an endless source of fascination for kids. The Mag Lab Science Kit includes 12 great experiments to let young scientists explore the world of magnets.


Gear Lab Science Kit   The Gear Lab Science Kit has 4 fun experiments to teach children how gears work to multiply force or slow down the speed of a motor. Gear Science Kit

Egg Drop: Gravity & Physics

Egg Drop Science Kit  Egg drop test experiment made fun and easy with the Egg Drop Science Kit.  Kit includes 4 egg protecting contraptions (parachute drop, balloon armor, spine shield and straw cell).  Learn everything you need to keep an egg (not included) together when it hits the ground. Egg Drop science kit


Recycling Science Kit
Recycling Science Kit   Science projects like the Recycling Science Kit let kids explore what happens to the items you recycle. Make recycled paper, learn about different recycling codes, pledge to be a super recycler and make a water filter.

In upcoming blogs, we’ll feature other science toys such as 3-D and 4-D puzzles (engineering) and flying toys (aeronautics). What science toys or experiments did you like when you were a child?  I loved my chemistry set!

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