Queens Holiday Toy Picks 2010

Looking for a cool toy to gift this holiday season? Whether you are celebrating Hanukkah, Christmas or Kwanzaa, here at Queens Mamas, we’ve got some cool holiday toy picks for you.

Leapfrog Tag Map Pack

If your child already owns a Tag reader, they’ll love the new Tag Map Pack ($34 for US and World Map together or $20 per Map). These colorful maps fold out and are chock full of map skills, geography, landmarks and facts about famous places and animals.  45 activities are included and it’s aimed at children aged 4-8. We were impressed with how much fun our five year old had while testing it – he tested the USA Map and loved hearing about children from all over the US with their regional music, customs, etc… It also helped with fine motor skills – children have follow directions and lines to play the games. For ages 4-8. Find it at Barnes & Noble at Utopia Center, 176-60 Union Turnpike, Fresh Meadows.

Dinosaur Train InterAction Roar ‘N React Dinosaurs

Fans of the PBS KIDS Series will love the InterAction Roar ‘N React Dinosaurs (price range $30 – 40). Choose from many of the popular characters on the show.  We love the technology (called Smart Talk) that gives Boris the ability to recognize and interact with other dinosaurs in the line and have roaring contests with your kid. Press the button on his back for chomping action or press his interactive button to hear him share tons of dinosaur info. His mouth makes chomping sounds and he roars when his tail is pressed down. Children will love acting out the show by using the poseable head, legs, arms, and tail. This was our almost 3 year old’s favorite toy – she also acted out scenes from the show with them. FYI: Boris the T-Rex is large — if your child scares easily, Tank the Stegasaurus may be a better choice. Ages: 3 and up. Find it at Toys R Us, 66-26 Metropolitan Avenue, Middle Village.

Magic Tricks Kit

We loved the vintage inspired Magic Tricks Kit ($20). Kids will love learning how to do simple magic tricks (and gain confidence doing them),  plus no batteries are needed. Each trick comes with fully illustrated instructions, secrets, and tips for putting on a great magic show. Included are Magic cards, rope trick, miracle dice, thumb tip trick, and multiplying balls. These kits comes packed in metal tins. Imported from the UK. For ages 3 and up. SITE, 3290 36th St, Astoria and http://www.shopsiteonline.com.

Melissa and Doug Handpuppets & More

This year you can pick up some cute Melissa and Doug Toys from St. Jude’s online shopping site and support a deserving cause. Choose from insanely cute hand puppets for $2o, ABC Plush Blocks (comes in a carry bag) for $24 or magnetic puzzle games ($14 each). Choose from Fishing game, which features a magnetic fishing pole that can “catch” 10, colorful sea friends on a wooden game board or a Tow Truck game, which features a magnetic truck to “tow” numbered cars on a wooden game board. For ages 3 and up. Get it at St.Jude.org/shop.

Zhu Zhu Pets Magical Princess Castle

We were late to the Zhu Zhu Pets Phenomenon and now are huge fans. They’ve got some new items, and our testers loved playing with them. We’re digging their new Royalty line — check out the Magical Princess Castle ($56 ). It’s in a fairytale style with pink and purple and has 7 turrets and one main large room with a pink and black checkered floor. For more fun, attach it to the Princess Crystal Ballroom ($44) –  which includes a little piece that lets the Zhu Zhu Pets dance together – which was so cute! The Royalty line also includes dress up items for your Zhu Zhu Pets, like tiaras and dresses. You can find Zhu Zhu Pets at many retailers in Queens or order online through Amazon.com.