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2.24 Monica Encarnación - 2020 Toy Gift Guide - What to Get Kids for Christmas in 2020??

2.24 Monica Encarnación - 2020 Toy Gift Guide - What to Get Kids for Christmas in 2020?? - Mi LegaSi

Are you ready for Black Friday but still not sure what to get kids?  In this episode I have a Latina mom of 2, a content creator, blogger, digital parenting expert, and founder of nyctechmommy, Monica Encarnacion.

Join Janny Perez, The Latina Mom Legacy host and Monica Encarnacion as we talk toys!  We'll cover our must haves this holiday season from bilingual toys, educational toys, creative toys, games, and even dolls.  Plus, we'll let you know which stores have the bargains and find out which childhood toys we still love.  Plus, stay around 'til the very end for a very special message you won't want to miss.  Asi que no te lo pierdas!

Listen on Anchor or Listen on Itunes

Season 2 Podcast Episode 24 Show Notes

About Monica Encarnación

Monica Encarnacion is a Digital Parenting Writer and Consultant. She is the author of the blogNYCTechMommy,where her mission is to inspire families tolive simple, live fun, and live life with tech.Monica spent 12 years as an elementary classroom teacher in NYC and was a Technology Teacher for several years. Working with elementary school children and their parents inspired her interest in identifying digital platforms and other tech resources that would promote learning, language development, and help children make connections with the world beyond the classroom.
You can connect with Monica on Instagram @NYCTechMommy
Monica Encarnacion - NYC TECH MMMY


2020 Holiday Toy Gift Guide

2020 Holiday Gift Guide


Best Bilingual Spanish Toys 

Monica Recommends:

1. Leap Frog 100 Words Book and the 100 Animals 

Leapfrog Spanish

"Leapfrog toys have always been my favorite got-to toys for bilingual learning -- I even used to use them in the classroom when I was a teacher. Plus, my kids absolutely love any toy that's interactive. As toddlers, they were both totally obsessed with their LeapFrog toys. Since I love books, I absolutely love the interactive books the most --  like the 100 Words Book and the 100 Animals Book which is great for little learners. The 100 Words Book covers 12 categories of words about colors, foods, activities, opposites, outdoors and more. In the 100 Animals Book kids learn about animals from 12 habitats and environments. These fully bilingual books let kids hear words and sing songs in English and Spanish. Each picture in the book is also labeled with the words in English and Spanish right under it. It's perfect for learning!" -M.E.

Janny Recommends

2.Wordy The EnSALADa - English/Spanish Bilingual Playset for Toddlers (30 Pieces

  Wordy Toys Ensalada

My daughter loves playing in her pretend kitchen and anything with food.  I love this pretend salad set because it promotes language learning and using her imagination.  It is high quality and has words printed in English and Spanish.  This is a great one to have.

The Wordy quality all wood bilingual salad set is perfect. The Wordy EnSALADais much more than a toy, functioning on multiple levels to deliver a highly engaging learning tool your favorite little one will return to again and again. Feel confident with child-safe paints and inks. Promote healthy eating habits, encourage imaginative play, build social-emotional skills and gain cultural exposure. Ages 3 and up.

Monica Recommends:

3. NEW Echo Dot (4th Gen) Kids Edition

Amazon Echo
"Alexa is huge at our house -- The NEW Echo Dot (4th Gen) Kids Edition is a great option because you can set the language to Spanish and kids can talk to Alexa in Spanish, play music in Spanish, listen to stories in Spanish, a great way to learn and practice Spanish words! Even call abuela and other family members to chat it up Spanish and keep the language learning going!" -M.E.

Janny Recommends:

4.Lil' Loteria: A Lil' Libros Bilingual Bingo Game (English and Spanish Edition)


Lil Loteria

"Games are huge in our house and any opportunity to learn Spanish in a fun way is a must and we love the new Lil Loteria." J.P.

Lil' Loteria is a fun twist on a traditional classic that turns the game of bingo into a bilingual learning game! Kids learn memory and matching skills plus vocabulary words in English and Spanish. Once the game board is filled with the matching cards, they shout LOTERIA! The first to shout LOTERIA, wins. 

Janny Recommends

5.Hasbro Gaming Guess Who? Game Original Guessing Game for Kids Ages 6 and Up for 2 Players


 Guess WHo

Guess Who?is not a Spanish game, but in today's world of Facetime and What's App with los abuelos, I wanted to find a fun game for 2 players that could be played between my daughter and her abuela or abuelo that would help build her vocabulary and encourage her to speak more and ask questions.  I bought 2 of these, one for my daughter and one for her abuela.  The idea is to pick 1 mystery character and have the other person guess by asking yes or no questions.  I can't wait to see them start playing!

THE ORIGINAL GUESSING GAME: This edition of the Guess Who? game features classic tabletop boards, 24 Mystery cards and 48 Face cards

INTERACTIVE GAME FOR KIDS: Kids can have loads of fun as they use yes or no question to guess each other's mystery character

For more Bilingual Spanish Toy Ideas, check out our 2020 Best Toys to Teach Your Child Spanish

2020 Best Educational Toys

Now that many kids are learning at home, educational toys seems to be a huge trend this upcoming holiday season...


Monica Recommends

6. Learning Resources Botley the Coding Robot 2.0


Coding Learning Robot Botley

STEM toys are also huge, and have been for a few years now. I especially love toys that get kids learning coding skills early because it promotes critical thinking and problem solving skills. Learning Resources is one of my personal favorite toy brands and they make a great little coding robot named Botley that's perfect for homeschool for kids ages 5 and up. One of the reasons I love it is because it's screen-free! Our kids already get tons of time in front of screens these days so it's nice when you can find a toy that gets them interacting, learning, and playing without the use of a screen. Botley is a fun little robot -- great for learning early STEM skills, promotes critical thinking and problem solving skills too!


Janny Recommends

7. Osmo - Little Genius Starter Kit for iPad + Early Math Adventure - 6 Educational Learning Games - Ages 3-5 - Counting, Shapes, Phonics & Creativity iPad Base Included

Osmo - Little Genius Starter Kit for iPad + Early Math Adventure 

When the pandemic started, we had more increased screen time because, well how are you suppose to fill in all of those hours with the kids at home?  So, my daughter was gifted the Osmo Genius Kit and I love it.  It's a way that the kids can learn but it's also hands on, so it provides a great balance.  Plus there is one game in Spanish that encourages the Spanish language learning.  You can continue to add to it and it grows with your child.  

"Osmo is an Award-winning learning games let your child interact with tangible educational toys and an iPad, bringing their actions to life. A hands-on learning adventure awaits your little genius."

Monica Recommends

8. Fisher-Price Laugh & Learn Game and Pizza Party Gift Set -

Fisher-Price Laugh & Learn Game and Pizza Party Gift Set


Fisher Price always has fun learning toys for little kids. Right now I'm loving the adorable Fisher-Price Laugh & Learn Game and Pizza Party Gift Set, great for babies and toddlers! If your family is anything like mine, you're probably having lots of game and pizza nights now that we're all home. This is a great opportunity for little ones to participate in the fun too! This Fisher Price set comes with two game night-themed toys -- a pizza pie full of push button lights, buttons to activate songs and phrases about shapes, opposites and counting 1 to 10. Included in the set is also a pretend game controller that has 2 play modes, multi-color lights, and buttons that activate songs and phrases about shapes, colors, the alphabet and more. It's a great gift for babies and toddlers ages 6 to 36 months. So cute and makes learning, and pizza game night, fun for the littlest members of the family!

Janny Recommends

9. Edye App

Edye App

My daughter loves Edye and I love i

Edye App

EDYEis a safe haven that offers a selection of high quality content for children's created in collaboration with the world's most distinguished and well-recognized preschool series producers that give life to children's most beloved characters.  We love Edye, because as a parent, I know that my daughter is not watching content that she shouldn't be watching.  I love it because it is not jus entertainment in terms of shows, but with games, and books, it is an all in one platform and did I mention it is en Español?!  A fantastic addition to any bilingual family. 

Best Games & Puzzles For 2020

Monica Recommends

10. Grouch Couch Game 

Grouch Couch Game

Ever wonder what happens to those little items that go missing in your couch? This fast-paced, wacky game is fun for kids and perfect for family game night! You never know when this grouchy couch will eat or spit out Lost Goodies. Press the remote-control on the arm rest to see how Grouch Couch will react. He might grumble, chomp, burp and (hopefully) eat your treats! When he does, he’ll spit out the Lost Goodies and kids will want to collect them because the player with the most Lost Goodies when the Grouch Couch plays his victory song, wins!

Janny Recommends

11.  Eeboo and Mudpuppy Puzzles

During this pandemic year, puzzles has been so helpful and beneficial in our home.  They provide an opportunity for my daughter to focus to an opportunity to have quality family bonding time, cause they take forever, lol.  As a creative person, I love beautiful and pretty things.  My two favorite puzzle brands are Eeboo and Mudpuppy.  They are both high quality puzzle brands that can be used over and over again.  This year we bought the Eeboo Viva La Frida, the Mudpuppy  Hello From Around the World Animal Portrait Puzzle, but I love the new Search and Find aspect of the new puzzles like the Mudpuppy ArcticLife.

Monica Recommends

12. Kid K’NEX – Budding Builders Building Set 


As kids click the different parts together and discover how the building system works, they’re strengthening hand-eye coordination, fine motor skills, problem-solving skills, spatial awareness and exercising their imagination with this fun Kid K’NEX building set! My own kids love Kid K’NEX building sets and I love that this one comes in it’s own reusable plastic tub for easy clean up and storage. Instruction sheet included to help kids build a variety of models. Tap into natural curiosity and creativity and make connections to STEM learning with this Kid K’NEX preschool education toy!

Janny Recommends 

13. LEGO Classic Bricks and Animals 11011 Creative Toy That Builds into 10 Amazing Animal Figures (1,500 Pieces)

Lego Building Set 1500 Pieces

You simply cannot go wrong with classics like Lego.  I recently went to Walmart and came across the 1500 piece bucket in store for an astonishing $30, a total steal.  I know Walmart is rolling back prices and I found this 1500 classic Bricks and  Animal piecesfor a steal as well.  When in doubt, you can't go wrong with classics like Lego. 

Monica Recommends

14. LEGO Super Mario 

Super Mario Brothers
This NEW interactive LEGO building set featuring Mario, Bowser Jr. and Goomba figures is perfect for the little Mario fan that loves building with LEGOs. Plus, this set includes more than just LEGO bricks! The LEGO Mario figure included in this set has a color sensor, plus LCD screens in his eyes, mouth and belly to display over 100 different instant reactions to movement. Also included is a speaker that plays iconic sounds and music from the video game.
Little Mario fans can use the 231-pieces in this collectable LEGO Super Mario building set to imagine and build their own game level. LEGO Mario collects virtual coins as he runs and jumps from the Start Pipe to the Goal Pole via LEGO bricks, cloud platforms, the Question Mark Block and clashes with the Goomba figure and Bowser Jr., GAME ON!
Just Dance 2021 -

Janny Recommends

15. Ravensburger The Earth 540 Piece 3D Jigsaw Puzzle for Kids and Adults 

3D Ravensberger 3D Globe

As I mentioned before, puzzles were huge in our home this year.  Not only are they entertaining but they can provide an educational learning experience for the whole family.  Believe me, if you're "geographically challenged" like me, as my husband likes to say, then the Ravensburger The Earth 540 Piece 3D Jigsaw Puzzle for Kids and Adults  will get you feeling smarter again, lol.

Each is precision made so that every piece fits perfectly.  Individual pieces are so precisely made that you can actually hear a ‘click’ when you fit a piece into the correct place. This puzzle is meant to be displayed after it's built. It's 3D, and highly durable.  Ravensburger has been making products for the hand, head, and heart for over 130 years.  Love this!

Monica Recommends

16. 2021 Just Dance Video Game

Just Dance 2021
Who doesn’t love a good dance party?! Available for Nintendo SwitchX-Box One, and Playstation 4Playstation 5. Just Dance 2021 is the ultimate dance game, with 40 hot new tracks from chart-topping hits. The perfect dance party for the entire family, now that we’re all home. Including eight new kid-friendly songs and choreographies, perfect for a family-fun video game night! Get the kids, and the rest of the family, off the couch and just dance!

2020 Dolls We Recommend

Janny Recommends 

17. New Diverse Barbies

Barbie Fashionistas Doll #150 with No-Hair Look & Floral Dress

Barbie Fashionistas Doll #150 with No-Hair Look & Floral Dress

Barbie Fashionistas Doll #149 With Long Brunette Hair & Polka-Dot Dress

Barbie Fashionistas Doll #149 With Long Brunette Hair & Polka-Dot Dress

Barbie Fashionistas Doll, Brunette Hair with Wheelchair & Ramp

Barbie Fashionistas Doll, Brunette Hair with Wheelchair & Ramp

Boy, Barbie has come a long way since I had one and I love it because representation matters and gone are the days where Barbie was just a blonde hair, big boobed, and a size 0 doll.  Now you can find Barbie and Ken in all beautiful shades and different features and body types, truer to today's reality.  My favorites this year are Barbie Fashionistas Doll #150 with No-Hair Look & Floral Dress, the handicapable Barbie Fashionistas Doll, Brunette Hair with Wheelchair & Ramp, and the curvy Barbie Fashionistas Doll #149 With Long Brunette Hair & Polka-Dot Dress.  I also love that Ken is so diverse too, and my faves are Barbie Ken Fashionistas Doll #153 with Sculpted Dreadlocks Wearing Blue Animal-Print Shirt and the Ken Fashionistas Doll with Long Blonde Hair as my husband has really long hair and our daughter can finally play with a doll that reminds her of her daddy.


Monica Recommends

18. Baby Alive Baby Grows Up 

Baby Alive Baby Grows Up

Kids reveal one of two surprise dolls when unboxing Baby Alive Baby Grows Up + 8 accessories. Remove her from the package and she starts to wiggle! With her first bottle, she opens her eyes to reveal color. Remove her hat to see her hair color. After rocking and pretend bottle feeding, she kicks out of her newborn swaddle blanket! As a baby, Baby Alive Baby Grows Up talking doll sits up and says her first word. Kids can help her grow with pretend pouch feeding and bouncing movements. Hold her hands to help her stand. Now she’s a big girl who loves dress-up! Her hair even gets longer when kids brush her hair and pull to extend it! Kids will love watching their baby grow before their eyes.

Best Creative Toys for Kids in 2020

Monica Recommends

19.VTech KidiZoom Creator Cam  

Vtech Zoom Kids Camera

Empower your kids to become a kid creator with the VTech KidiZoom Creator Cam and make all their content creator dreams come true! Kids will have loads of fun shooting still photos and also creating awesome videos with this high-definition video camera kit for kids. It includes a built-in microphone, editing and creative tools, green screen features and more than 20 animated backgrounds. Kids can easily set up their own video shoot with the included tabletop tripod/selfie stick and use the easy on-screen editing and creativity tools to create trick shots and time-lapse videos to share with others. Photos and videos taken on the KidiZoom Creator Cam can only be uploaded to a computer via an included USB cable at a parent’s discretion, which makes it kid-safe since there’s not worry about them uploading pics and other content to social media without parent approval.

Janny Recommends

20. NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC Glowing Marble Run – 150 Piece Construction Set with 30 Glow in the Dark Glass Marbles

Nat Geo Glow in the Dark Marble Run

If your child loves to build and create, then the NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC Glowing Marble Run – 150 Piece Construction Set with 30 Glow in the Dark Glass Marbles is great game for them as it promotes STEM. The learning guide inside teaches about the physics of motion and aerodynamics.  Plus, what kid doesn't love glow in the dark?

This construction kit is designed to fit together snuggly, so your marble maze won’t fall apart while you play. With 9 sturdy bases, 26 exciting action pieces, and 85 clear smooth-run tube pieces, our kit has countless imaginative configurations. The marble run kit includes 6 different colors of glow in the dark glass marbles that shine bright as they zig-zag down the marble run. Also Includes UV light to quickly recharge the marbles. 

Monica Recommends


Nat Geo Mega SLime Kids SLime Toy

As a parent, I love that this kit includes pre-made slime and putty — magnetic putty, fluffy slime, glow in the dark putty, liquid slime, color-changing putty, snotty slime, bouncing putty, and 1 DIY glow in the dark slime lab. No mess to make and includes storage tins that make it easy to clean up and store away the reusable slimes and putties. Includes a full-color learning guide to help kids explore fascinating science behind slimes and putties, learning incredible facts about the obey and gooey world of squishy substances! The National Geographic Mega Slime Kit & Putty Lab is a fun STEM kids for boys and girls!


Janny Recommends

22. Play-Doh Ultimate Rainbow 40 Pack, Play-Doh Sparkle, Tools, (40 oz)

Play-Doh Ultimate Rainbow 40 Pack, Play-Doh Sparkle, Tools, (40 oz)

As a mom, I'm not a fan of messy toys, but I know children need t develop their sensory skills.  So this sensory toy is the one that I tolerate the most!  There's nothing extraordinary about this Play-Doh Ultimate Rainbow 40 Pack except that it's packaged Beautifully and as I said before, I love beautifully visual things and so do most kids.  They'll love having this huge assortment of colors and you'll be happy that they're not sitting in front of a screen.


Monica Recommends

23. Blinger Ultimate Set 

Blinger Set
Have a little creative kid at home? A little fashionista that loves to sparkle? The Blinger Ultimate Set Glam Collection comes with all the bling needed to make any creation sparkle, including fashion and hairstyles. Included are 225 adhesive gems, in multiple colors. The Blinger makes it easy to load, click, and bling — and add a little sparkle to your life! This totally safe and easy to use styling tools allows creative kids to add a little bling to everyday life and create striking looks. There’s no denying, we could all use a little sparkle these days!

Final Thoughts on The 2020 Holiday Toy Gift Guide 

We hope that this guide helps you in finding the right toy for your child, your nephew, niece, or that special child in your life.  Remember if you can, to donate a toy, especially during these times of stress and need.  Toys For Tots is a tried and true organization or your local church or community center.
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