From On Our Minds | Scholastic's blog about books and the joy of reading:

Scholastic Parent & Child® is excited to announce the winners of its fourth annual Gold Star Toy Awards. This year’s 32 winning children’s toys and games are being featured as a 2016 online holiday gift guide at scholastic.com/goldstartoys. In addition, Parent & Child will be hosting a daily giveaway for a chance to win the “Gold Star Toy of the Day”.

“Each year families look for children’s toys during the holidays that are both entertaining and educational—and the most consistent trends we’ve seen in 2016 are interactive toys that focus on STEM skills,” said Jamie Engel, Vice President and Publisher of Parent Content.“Our team of expert editors, family testers and readers assembled an incredible list of toys that kids will love to unwrap and parents will enjoy giving this holiday season.”

Winners of the 2016 Gold Star Toy Awards

For the little ones:

  • Budsies (Budsies, $89 (16” Regular size) & $118 (30” Supersize) / Ages 0 +)
  • Explore & More Amazing Arch Activity Gym (Skip Hop, $90 / Ages 0 +)
  • Go! Go! Smart Friends Enchanted Princess Palace (VTech, $59.99 / Ages 2–5)
  • Love2Learn Elmo (Hasbro, $59.99 / Ages 1.5+)
  • The Touch and Learn Activity Desk Deluxe (VTech, $54.99 / Ages 2+)
  • Count Along Register (LeapFrog, $24.99 / Ages 2+)
  • Melody the Musical Turtle (LeapFrog, $19.99 / Ages 2+)

For your energetic toddler:

  • Little Scholar Mini (School Zone Publishing, $129 / Ages 3–7)
  • ABC Dancing Dino (The Learning Journey, $34.99 / Ages 3+)
  • Talk-to-Me Mikey (Playmates Toys, $39.99 / Ages 3+)
  • The Farm A to Z Puzzle (BeginAgain, $40 / Ages 3+)
  • Doc McStuffins Toy Hospital Care Cart (Just Play, $49.99 / Ages 3+)
  • B. Rockestra (Battat, $36.99 / Ages 3+)
  • Hello Kitty Car (Dynacraft, $229.99 / Ages 4+)
  • Tall Tales: The Game of Infinite Storytelling (SCS Direct Inc., $39.95 / Ages 4+)
  • DC Super Hero Girls Action Doll (Mattel, Inc., $19.99 / Ages 4+)
  • Our Generation Sweet Stop Ice Cream Truck (Battat, $109.99 / Ages 4+)
  • Code & Go Robot Mouse Activity Set (Learning Resources, $59.99 / Ages 5+)

For your ever-growing kid:

  • Cut it Out! (TPF Toys, $24.99 / Ages 6+)
  • Not Parent Approved! (Not Parent Approved!, $24.99 / Ages 8+)
  • 3Doodler Start (WobbleWorks, Inc., $49.99 / Ages 8+)
  • Scientific Explorer Young Architect City Planner Set (Alex Toys, $60 / Ages 8+)
  • Inventor's Studio (Creativity for Kids, $19.99 / Ages 8+)
  • Virtual Explorer-Space Expedition (Uncle Milton, $49.99 / Ages 8+)
  • Minecraft RC Ghast (Mattel, Inc., $79.99 / Ages 8+)
  • Crayon Factory (Crayola, $34 / Ages 8+)
  • Air Maker Sprayer (Crayola, $29.99 / Ages 8+)
  • Smart Circuits Games & Gadgets Electronics Lab (SmartLab Toys, $49.99 / Ages 8+)
  • Real Cooking Ultimate Baking Starter Set (Skyrocket Toys, $29.99 / Ages 8+)
  • Mega Tracks Corkscrew Chaos (Lionel, $100 / Ages 8+)
  • Y Flyer (Yvolution, $180 / Ages 8+)
  • Mebo (Skyrocket Toys, $149.99 / Ages 13+)

After reviewing hundreds of submissions from toy manufacturers this year, Scholastic Parent & Child® sent their top selections to a panel of parents and children to test at home. The winning toys and games were selected based on the following criteria:

  • The toy must have: replay value for repeated engagement; cool, new, entertaining feature; mind-expanding or educational; user-friendly for both parents and kids; and an excellent value to the consumer
  • The toy must also be newly released for 2016 and available from a U.S. retailer
  • The toy must adhere to applicable safety laws, regulations and codes.

For updates on the daily giveaways visit scholastic.com/goldstartoys and, follow @ParentandChild on Twitter.

Little Scholar Mini Receives Scholastic Gold Star Toys Award