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The ultimate toy guide 2014: 30 toys for preschoolers

Looking for new and great toys for your little one? The search is over. Put to the test by real Canadian families, here are 30 toys for preschoolers.

By Leah Rumack

The ultimate toy guide 2014: 30 toys for preschoolers

Toy Guide 2014 Preschool

Best toys for preschoolers

From imaginative play to science experiments, we've rounded up the best toys of 2014 for your little preschooler. 

Read more: The ultimate toy guide 2014: 19 toys for babies and toddlers>

A version of this article appeared in our November 2014 issue with the headline "The ultimate toy guide holiday 2014," pp. 63-86. 

The ultimate toy guide 2014: 30 toys for preschoolersIllustration: Gary Davidson

Barbie Life in the Dreamhouse - The Amazing Chase Glam Camper

u001fThis fab camper features a detachable hot tub, a grill (turn it over and you’ve got a table), a ufb01re pit and enough beds for Barbie and her friends. When the party’s over, pack it all up for easy storage.

Barbie Life in the Dreamhouse—The Amazing Chase Glam Camper by Mattel, $120

Where to buy: walmart.ca> 

The ultimate toy guide 2014: 30 toys for preschoolersPhoto: Tony Lanz

Berry Grove School

Perfect for kids who love to pretend play, this Calico Critters set features more than 50 pieces of furniture and accessories. (Critters must be purchased separately.) Clock requires one AAA battery.

“The schoolhouse and furniture are very well-constructed. No detail was left out; the desks can store books and the clock hands move in the classroom.” —Lara, mom of Molly, 4

Berry Grove School by International Playthings, $90

Where to buy: mastermindtoys.com> 

The ultimate toy guide 2014: 30 toys for preschoolersPhoto: Tony Lanz

Chet the Cat and Friends Toddler Money

Teach youngsters about money with these durable, oversized coins and bills.

“It adds a level of realism to our play-store time. (My son asks for some pretty inufb02ated markups!)” —Theresa, mom of Iggy, 3

Chet the Cat and Friends Toddler Money by Educational Insights, $16

Where to buy: netscanada.org> 

The ultimate toy guide 2014: 30 toys for preschoolersPhoto: Tony Lanz

DIY Dream House

This stylish wooden dollhouse includes 32 pieces and tons of customizable features. Draw your own designs on chalkboard walls, attach furniture and accessories to magnetic walls, and insert your own artwork into the frames. 

“We loved the picture frames and TV that you put your own pictures in.” —Michelle, mom of Oliver, 5, and Simon, 2

DIY Dream House by Hape, $220

Where to buy: indigo.ca> 

The ultimate toy guide 2014: 30 toys for preschoolersPhoto: Tony Lanz

Doc McStuffins Walk n' Talk Doc Mobile Doll

Got an injured toy? Send Doc McStuu0019ffins and her friend, Lambie, to the scene! Doc walks, talks and even sings along when you press the siren button on her mobile clinic. Requires three AAA batteries (included).

Doc McStuffins Walk n' Talk Doc Mobile Doll by Just Play, $60

Where to buy: walmart.ca> 

The ultimate toy guide 2014: 30 toys for preschoolersPhoto: Tony Lanz

Dream Cakes

Spin the dial and choose from a varietyu001d of diu001cfferent cake pieces, stands and toppers in this game for two to four players. Spin the wheel to determine what u001d type of pieces (and how many of them) you need to pick up, and use them to build cakes. u001fThe game picks up speed when you have more than one cake on the go. Once a cake is complete, measure it using the accompanying measuring stick—that will determine how many ribbons your cake has won! The play continues until all ribbons have been awarded. Whoever has the most, wins. 

"I love making a different cake every time we play." —Addyson, 5

Dream Cakes by Ravensburger, $20

Where to buy: amazon.ca> 


The ultimate toy guide 2014: 30 toys for preschoolersPhoto: Tony Lanz

PlushCraft Fancy Fish Pillow

Explore the softer side of creativity with this easy-to-make-plush-pillow-craft. 

PlushCraft Fancy Fish Pillow by The Orb Factory, $17

Where to buy: toysrus.ca> 

The ultimate toy guide 2014: 30 toys for preschoolersPhoto: Tony Lanz

Frida's Fruit Fiesta Game

Put your kids’ alphabet skills to the test with this fun and fruityu001c letter game. Kids will need to use their letter-identiufb01cation, and ufb01ne motor skills as well as strategic thinking to match four letters in a row on their cards in order to win.

Frida's Fruit Fiesta Game, $27

Where to buy: educationalinsights.com> 

The ultimate toy guide 2014: 30 toys for preschoolersPhoto: Tony Lanz

Furnished Shopping Mall

Get ready to shop 'til you drop! This mini mall includes seven figures, a variety of retailers (from a sporting goods store to a bridal boutique) and even an elevator. Each shop features different outfits and accessories the dolls can try on and mannequins to dress up. 

Furnished Shopping Mall by Playmobil, $200

Where to buy: playmobil.ca> 

The ultimate toy guide 2014: 30 toys for preschoolersPhoto: Tony Lanz

FurReal Friends Pom Pom, My Baby Panda

Pom Pom is the newest addition to the FurReal Friends family. This responsive plush panda will walk to you when you shake her rattle in front of her, and makes happy sounds when you cuddle or feed her. Requires four AA batteries (included).

FurReal Friends Pom Pom, My Baby Panda by Hasbro, $60

Where to buy: hasbro.ca> 

The ultimate toy guide 2014: 30 toys for preschoolersPhoto: Tony Lanz

Geosafari Jr. My First Microscope

Kids can examine nature (think rocks and ufb02owers), toys or whatever else they like with this functioning microscope. Requires three AAA batteries.

“This is a great product with no set-up and lots of educational qualities." —Monica Julie, mom of Bryan, 3

Geosafari Jr. My First Microscope, $22 USD

Where to buy: educationalinsights.com> 

The ultimate toy guide 2014: 30 toys for preschoolersPhoto: Tony Lanz

Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site: The Game

Fans of the popular book will love this easy-to-play board game.

“It doesn’t feel tiresome or ‘educational’ to play, yet it makes counting real in a way that no book or flashcard ever will." —Theresa, mom of Iggy, 3, and Sabine, 2

Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site: The Game by Pressman Toy, $20

Where to buy: indigo.ca> 

The ultimate toy guide 2014: 30 toys for preschoolersPhoto: Tony Lanz

Hello Kitty Dance Time

Hello Kitty loves to dance. Stand this plush toy upright or use the suction cups on her paws to attach her to any smooth surface, then turn up the music and watch as she bops along. Requires three AA batteries.

Hello Kitty Dance Time by Blip Toys, $40

Where to buy: toysrus.ca> 

The ultimate toy guide 2014: 30 toys for preschoolersPhoto: Tony Lanz

Thoroughbred Horse and Saddle-Up Stables

Fans of Our Generation dolls will love this 20-inch horse and stable. u001fThe horse comes with a saddle, bridle, blanket, lantern, bucket, canteen, brush and sponge. The stable has everything you need to feed, groom and “ride” your horse.

“The extra-large size of these toys means that they are full of great details." —Rick, dad of Jillian, 3

Our Generation, Horse $45, Stable $140

Where to buy: mastermindtoys.com> 

The ultimate toy guide 2014: 30 toys for preschoolersPhoto: Tony Lanz

Imagine I Can Fashion Friends

This modern take on paper dolls features eight models on four different backgrounds and 85 outfit components. All of the pieces are magnetic, including the handy tin carrying case. It's the perfect toy for your budding fashionista. 

“Ben loved making up cute outufb01ts for the girls, plus the handy storage tin made it a great pack-and-go toy for Grandma’s house.” —Leah, Mom of Benjamin, 3

Imagine I Can Fashion Friends by Manhattan Toy, $25

Where to buy: amazon.ca> 

The ultimate toy guide 2014: 30 toys for preschoolersPhoto: Tony Lanz

Imaginext Lion's Den Castle

Are you brave enough to enter the lion’s den? This lion-themed castle has features like light-up eyes and roaring sound eu001cffects, and includes a disc launcher, a dragon, two guards (equipped with helmets, axes and shields) and a ufb01erce lion. Requires two AA batteries.  

“I like that both boys and girls enjoyed this toy." —Cinzia, mom of Jaxson, 4

Imaginext Lion's Den Castle by Fisher-Price, $65

Where to buy: walmart.ca> 

The ultimate toy guide 2014: 30 toys for preschoolersPhoto: Tony Lanz

Lego Juniors Batman: Defend the Batcave

The Joker is trying to break into the Batcave using his catapult. Can Batman and Robin catch him and lock him up?

"I really like the characters—especially the capes!" —Julian, 4

Lego Juniors Batman: Defend the Batcave, $30

Where to buy: shop.lego.com> 

The ultimate toy guide 2014: 30 toys for preschoolersPhoto: Tony Lanz

Lil' Speller Phonics Station

u001fThis educational toy is a great tool for helping kids learn how to spell simple three-letter words. Includes four games, 30 letter blocks and plenu001dty of interactive features like rhyming ditties and animated pictures. Requires two AA batteries (included).

“Ben calls this his ‘computer.’" —Leah, mom of Benjamin, 3

Lil' Speller Phonics Station by Vtech, $25

Where to buy: vtechkids.ca> 

The ultimate toy guide 2014: 30 toys for preschoolersPhoto: Tony Lanz

Lite Brite

u001fThis classic toy is back and brighter than ever! Kids will love the 200 assorted pegs (including new shapes), six reusable templates and special eu001bffects like blinking lights. Parents will like the handy detachable storage container to keep all the pieces together. Requires three AA batteries.

Lite Brite by The Bridge Direct, $25

Where to buy: toysrus.ca> 

The ultimate toy guide 2014: 30 toys for preschoolersPhoto: Tony Lanz

Mack Granite Timber Truck

u001fThis heavy-dutyu001d logging truck is well equipped for long hauls and hard work. Use the loading crane’s log grabber to move the logs
on and offu001b the truck’s bed.

Mack Granite Timber Truck by Bruder, $110

Where to buy: mastermindtoys.com> 

The ultimate toy guide 2014: 30 toys for preschoolersPhoto: Tony Lanz

Micro G-Bike + Light Balance Bike

This balance bike is specially designed for young kids who want the feeling of riding a bike but aren't ready for pedals. It's lightweight (it only weighs 3.2 kg!), adjustable and comes in a variety of bold colours: green, pink, yellow, orange, blue and purple.

Micro G-Bike + Light Balance Bike, $150

Where to buy: kickboard.ca>

The ultimate toy guide 2014: 30 toys for preschoolersPhoto: Tony Lanz

My Tape Party

Who knew tape could be so much fun? Get creative with this craftu001a kit, featuring enough tape, stickers, paper shapes, pipe cleaners
and more for ten projects.

“Creative and colourful. I love toys like this that encourage concentration and quiet time.” —Catherine, mom of Zoe, 3

My Tape Party by ALEX Toys, $22

Where to buy: indigo.ca> 

The ultimate toy guide 2014: 30 toys for preschoolersPhoto: Tony Lanz

Planes Fire and Rescue U-Commander Firefighter Dusty

Dusty to the rescue! Fans of the Planes franchise will love this remote-controlled toy. Make this non-flying plane (it zooms around on wheels—ideal for indoor use only) talk and move with the remote's joystick, or choose from one of the preprogrammed commands. Dusty also makes motion-activated airplane sounds and has a working propeller. Requires six AA batteries (included).

“This is by far one of the best toys our family has owned. It’s extremely durable and has been through daily abuse. All the pieces are intact and it’s still going strong!” —Vicky, mom of Connor and Cameron, 4

Planes Fire and Rescue U-Commander Firefighter Dusty by Disney, $70

Where to buy: toysrus.ca> 

The ultimate toy guide 2014: 30 toys for preschoolersPhoto: Tony Lanz

Play-Doh Launch-O-Rama Game

Mould, load and launch with this action-packed aiming game. The first player to sink three balls wins! Requires one AA battery.

Play-Doh Launch-O-Rama Game by Hasbro, $20

Where to buy: hasbro.ca> 

The ultimate toy guide 2014: 30 toys for preschoolersPhoto: Tony Lanz

Primary Science Colour Mixing Set

Explore the chemistry behind colours with this mixing kit. The set includes test tubes with lids and a stand, glasses with swapable coloured lenses and a kaleidoscope (but be sure to have food colouring and other ingredients like baking soda or salt, which are required for some projects, on hand if the kids are planning to rock their inner Mad Scientist first thing Christmas morning).

Primary Science Colour Mixing Set, $30 USD

Where to buy: learningresources.com> 

The ultimate toy guide 2014: 30 toys for preschoolersPhoto: Tony Lanz

Vehicles Tap Tap

This simple wooden toy includes a variety of parts and tools for piecing together all kinds of vehicles. Kids can follow directions on the cards provided or design something themselves. 

“My wild and crazy boys quietly, patiently and meticulously tap-tapped, making some fun little vehicles that they were proud of because they used ‘adult’ tools." —Vicky, mom of Connor  and Cameron, 4

Vehicles Tap Tap by Djeco, $37

Where to buy: learningtoys.ca> 

The ultimate toy guide 2014: 30 toys for preschoolersPhoto: Tony Lanz

Wonky Wheels

The beautyu001d of this goou001cfy car is its simplicityu001d. Press the button at the top and watch as it twists and turns in unexpected ways—no two routes are the same!

Wonky Wheels by PlaSmart, $10

Where to buy: mastermindtoys.com> 

The ultimate toy guide 2014: 30 toys for preschoolersPhoto: Tony Lanz

Zano Bow

Ready, aim, fire! This slingshot-meets-bow-and-arrow makes target practice fun. The handheld toy is small enough for indoor use and the suction cup tips of the arrows stick to any flat surface without causing damage.

Zano Bow by Zing, $13

Where to buy: amazon.ca>

The ultimate toy guide 2014: 30 toys for preschoolersPhoto: Tony Lanz

Max Traxxx 16-Foot Tracer Racer Set

Ready, set, go! This set comes with two cars and 16feet of track. Race along a flat surface like a hardwood floor, or suspend the track from a doorknob so the cars zoom downhill at top speed. Because of the tracks' flexibility, you can angle it any way you like. The best part? The whole set glows in the dark. 

Max Traxxx 16-Foot Tracer Racer Set by Skullduggery, $33

Where to buy: toysense.ca>

The ultimate toy guide 2014: 30 toys for preschoolersPhoto: Tony Lanz

Junior Trampoline

A jumper that's the perfect height for your toddler and comes equipped with an easy-grip handlebar he can hold on to while he bounces up and down all day long. Keep it inside, or move it outdoors on a sunny day; its steel frame and tough mat are waterproof!

Junior Trampoline by Galt Toys, $80

Where to buy: playfulminds.ca> 

The ultimate toy guide 2014: 30 toys for preschoolersPhoto: Tony Lanz





The ultimate toy guide 2014: 30 toys for preschoolers
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