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The ultimate toy guide 2014: 17 toys for big kids

Hard-to-buy-for older kids will love this roundup of crafty, high-tech and brain-busting gadgets.

By Leah Rumack

The ultimate toy guide 2014: 17 toys for big kids

2014 Toy Guide Big Kid

Best toys for big kids

It can be tricky finding gifts for big kids. That's why we scoured the shelves to find the best new toys and games for kids eight and older, relying on our trusty testers to tell us which ones were a hit. Here are 17 of our picks. 

Read more: The ultimate toy guide 2014: 30 toys for preschoolers>

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: 17 toys for big kidsIllustration: Gary Davidson

Battle Spider

These battery-operated creepy crawlers are designed to go to battle with each other, so buy two. Control each spider with a remote, and marvel at its realistic movement and futuristic sound effects. Requires five AG13 batteries.

Battle Spider by Hexbug, $30

Where to buy: hexbug.com> 

The ultimate toy guide 2014: 17 toys for big kidsPhoto: Tony Lanz

Darn Yarn

u001fThis kit includes a loom with hook, a needle, visual instructions and enough yarn to make a scarf. The handy drawstring tote keeps it all together.

Darn Yarn by Fashion Angels, $17

Where to buy: toysrus.ca>

The ultimate toy guide 2014: 17 toys for big kidsPhoto: Tony Lanz

Jenga Quake

A shaky twist on the classic wooden game features a battery-operated moving base for an added challenge. Steady hands and plentyu001d of luck are required to win! Requires three AA batteries.

Jenga Quake by Hasbro, $25

Where to buy: toysrus.ca>

The ultimate toy guide 2014: 17 toys for big kidsPhoto: Tony Lanz

Boho Bands

u001fThis make-your-own bracelet kit includes a weaving loom and enough beads, charms and twine for 10 bracelets.

Boho Bands by ALEX Toys, $15

Where to buy: indigo.ca>

The ultimate toy guide 2014: 17 toys for big kidsPhoto: Tony Lanz

Kanoodle Genius

Fans of Kanoodle will enjoy this next-level puzzle. Choose one of 200 two- and three-dimensional challenges and put your brain to the test. 

“It’s great for long car trips, because it’s portable and fun to do on your own. It’s awesome!”—Madeleine, 10

Kanoodle Genius by Educational Insights, $15

Where to buy: indigo.ca>

The ultimate toy guide 2014: 17 toys for big kidsPhoto: Tony Lanz

Logiq Tower

Puzzlers unite! Stack curved pieces around the central column to build a perfect cylinder. Start at level one, which uses just six pieces, and work your way up.

“I like that there are many different solutions, so even if you solve it once you can still play the game again and again.” —Braydn, 12

Logiq Tower by Great Circle Works, $25

Where to buy: mastermindtoys.com>

The ultimate toy guide 2014: 17 toys for big kidsPhoto: Tony Lanz

Hyperspeed Hangtime Roller Coaster Building Set

u001eThis high-speed toy requires a lot of assembly—and that’s the fun part! Kids will love the challenge of putting this two-and-a-half-foot roller coaster together. When it’s complete, watch as a battery-powered motor sends a roller coaster car along 18 feet of track. Requires three C batteries.

Hyperspeed Hangtime Roller Coaster Building Set by K’NEX, $70

Where to buy: toysrus.ca>

The ultimate toy guide 2014: 17 toys for big kidsPhoto: Tony Lanz

MIP Robot

Kids will love controlling this cool two-wheeled robot with their hand motions alone. Plus, download the free accompanying app for more games and ways to interact. Requires four AAA batteries. 

MIP Robot by Wowwee, $110

Where to buy: bestbuy.ca>

The ultimate toy guide 2014: 17 toys for big kidsPhoto: Tony Lanz

Nerf Rebelle Agent Bow

Fans of The Hunger Games will love this bow-and-arrow set. Send secret messages via one of three foam arrows. There's even a built-in aiming guide to help you hit your target. Requires two AAA batteries.

Nerf Rebelle Agent Bow by Hasbro, $40

Where to buy: toysrus.ca> 

The ultimate toy guide 2014: 17 toys for big kidsPhoto: Tony Lanz

Not Just Knots

What do ufb01shtails, banana splits and braids have in common? u001eThey’re all names of knots that can be turned into styu001dlish bracelets with this DIY kit. It comes with instructions for seven diu001cfferent knotsu001d styles, enough stretchy cord to make up to 12 bracelets, plus cute decorative beads featuring all kinds of fun pictures and characters.

Not Just Knots by Fashion Angels, $20

Where to buy: toysrus.ca>

The ultimate toy guide 2014: 17 toys for big kidsPhoto: Tony Lanz

Imaginista Paint n' Lace Jewelry

Make one-of-a-kind jewellery with this DIY kit. Paint, cut and attach lace to earring hooks, bracelet chains, necklaces and more to create cute, custom accessories.

Imaginista Paint n' Lace Jewelry by The Orb Factory, $15

Where to buy: indigo.ca>

The ultimate toy guide 2014: 17 toys for big kidsPhoto: Tony Lanz

Pyramix

Exercise your brain with this three-sided strategy game. Players take turns removing low-value cubes from the pyramid, betting that better cubes will be revealed underneath, in an attempt to accumulate the most points. But beware: You lose points if you encounter a cobra cube!

Pyramix by Gamewright, $25

Where to buy: scholarschoice.ca>

The ultimate toy guide 2014: 17 toys for big kidsPhoto: Tony Lanz

Simon Swipe

Simon says this game will keep your kids occupied, whether they’re on their own or with a group of friends. Repeat each action as demonstrated by the toy, tapping and swiping as long as you can. u001fThe game starts slow but advances quickly, so focus is a must! Three AA batteries included. 

Simon Swipe by Hasbro, $25

Where to buy: toysrus.ca>

The ultimate toy guide 2014: 17 toys for big kidsPhoto: Tony Lanz

Sky Gliderz

It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s…Skygliderz! u001eThese high-ufb02ying foam planes reach up to 120 feet when launched from the handheld Rip-Zip bungee launcher—they even perform loop-the-loops and other stunts.

"These were a hit as soon as they came out of the package. I like that it got the kids outside." —Judy, mom of Elliot, 8 and Natalie, 6

Sky Gliderz by Zing, $16

Where to buy: amazon.ca>


The ultimate toy guide 2014: 17 toys for big kidsPhoto: Tony Lanz

Sky Viper Stunt Qaudcopter

Take this battery-operated quadcopter to new heights. Use the remote to control the steering and then, when you’ve mastered ufb02ight, alter the shape for new ufb02ying challenges.

“Ruby liked that as she got better at it, she could adjust it to make it more challenging.” —Amanda, mom of Ruby, 12

Sky Viper Stunt Quadcopter by Skyrocket Toys, $80

Where to buy: amazon.ca>

 

The ultimate toy guide 2014: 17 toys for big kidsPhoto: Tony Lanz

Sushi Go

Who’s hungry for sushi? Each card features a roll, dumpling, sashimi or other sushi favourite, all of which are worth a different number of points. Pick up the perfect combination—the player with the most points at the end of the game wins.

“We love this one. It involves matching, taking turns, strategy and math.” —Jessica, mom of Charlotte,8, and Claire, 6

Sushi Go by Gamewright, $12

Where to buy: boardgamebliss.com>

 

The ultimate toy guide 2014: 17 toys for big kidsPhoto: Tony Lanz

Tic-Stac-Toe

Traditional tic-tac-toe enters a new dimension with this fun stackable game. Win by linking four of your pieces vertically, horizontally or diagonally.

Tic-Stac-Toe by Pressman Toy, $25

Where to buy: indigo.ca>

The ultimate toy guide 2014: 17 toys for big kidsPhoto: Tony Lanz

The ultimate toy guide 2014: 17 toys for big kids
This article was originally published on Nov 04, 2014
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