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!
Season 2 Podcast Episode 24 Show Notes
About Monica Encarnación
Best Bilingual Spanish Toys
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.
"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.
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
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!
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
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."
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!
9. Edye App
My daughter loves Edye and I love i
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
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!
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.
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!
13. LEGO Classic Bricks and Animals 11011 Creative Toy That Builds into 10 Amazing Animal Figures (1,500 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.
14. LEGO Super Mario
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!
2020 Dolls We Recommend
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.
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
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.
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.
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 RecommendsAs 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.