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Best Building: K'NEX Thrill Rides Web Weaver Roller Coaster at Amazon
"It allows kids to build huge roller coasters as tall as 2.5 feet high."
Best STEM: Think Fun Gravity Maze Marble Run at Amazon
"This award-winning toy comes with 60 challenges in levels that range from beginner to expert."
Best Remote-Control: EpochAir Remote Control Car at Amazon
"Not only can it do amazing tricks and turns on the ground, but it can climb walls, windows, and even drive on the ceiling!"
Best Outdoor: Razor Jetts Heel Wheels at Amazon
"Customers say the heels glide well, brake easily, and that kids love them."
Best Board Game: Gamewright Dragonwood at Amazon
"It’s designed for up to four players and is fun for the whole family."
Best Sport: Adidas miCoach Smart Soccer Ball at Amazon
"The ball comes with integrated sensors that track and analyze exactly how they’re kicking the ball."
Best Musical: Star Wars Millennium Falcon Bluetooth Speaker at Amazon
"The coolest part, though, is that it’s equipped with lights that glow for cool in-the-dark action."
Best Video Game: Osmo Genius Kit at Amazon
"This Genius Kit comes with a base, five games, game playing pieces, and containers to store everything in."
Best Building: K'NEX Thrill Rides Web Weaver Roller Coaster
Little thrill seekers will love building their very own amusement park rides with this roller coaster building set from K’NEX.
With more than 430 pieces, it allows kids to build huge roller coasters as tall as 2.5 feet high. Color-coded instructions come with the set to build one coaster, while online directions are available to build another. Glow-in-the-dark tracks make for ultra cool thrills when the lights go down, too.
Not only will kids have a blast building the coasters, but they’ll be building on important STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) skills as they do. Once the thrill rides are built, they can send the air-propelled, motorized coaster car (included) soaring around the tracks.
Best STEM: Think Fun Gravity Maze Marble Run
The good times will roll with the Think Fun Gravity Maze Falling Marble Logic Game that’s as challenging as it is fun. This award-winning toy comes with 60 challenges in levels that range from beginner to expert.
The object is to build a tower that will take the marble from the starting point designated on the challenge cards to the target tower. To do so, it takes spatial reasoning, visual perception, planning, and other important engineering skills, which kids will build as they have fun building these mazes.
The game requires no batteries or electricity, just concentration. All in all, this is an entertaining choice for kids as well as adults.
Best Remote-Control: EpochAir Remote Control Car
Crazy adventure awaits with the EpochAir Remote Control Car that literally takes fun to new heights. Not only can it do amazing tricks and turns on the ground, but it can climb walls, windows, and even drive on the ceiling!
An infrared remote control lets kids send the car racing forward, backward, and in 360-degree spins. Lights make for fun nighttime driving, too. It’s all the action of a traditional remote control car, with amplified add-ons that make it super cool.
The car has a built-in, rechargeable battery, while the remote control requires six AA batteries. Customers say kids love it, and it provides hours of entertainment and action. It gets many glowing reviews and is one of the best selling RC cars, so your 9-year-old is sure to be a happy young man.
Best Outdoor: Razor Jetts Heel Wheels
Get your kids up off the couch and out the door with these fun Heel Wheels from Razor Jetts. Simply strap them onto the heels of any shoes, and off they go!
For an extra cool kick, they also come with spark pads that leave a shimmering pop of flames in their dust. Kids can zip and zap around the neighborhood or local park with ease and look oh so cool while doing so.
Adults can even give them a whirl as they fit shoe sizes from youth 12 to adult 12 and will support up to 250 pounds. The spark pads are removable and refills are sold separately.
Customers say the heels glide well, brake easily, and that kids love them. They also note the low price, which is significantly less than shoes that have built-in wheels.
Best Board Game: Gamewright Dragonwood
For a board game that’s anything but boring, there’s Dragonwood from Gamewright. Full of mythical creatures, adventure, and enchantment, it’s designed for up to four players and is fun for the whole family.
The objective: To capture creatures and enchantments by rolling dice, collecting cards, and strategizing the best moves. Along the way, you’ll encounter angry ogres, giggling goblins, and other creatures that you must stomp, shriek at, or strike. It comes with 108 cards, six customized dice, and easy-to-follow instructions. Winning requires a good mix of strategy and luck.
Parents rave about this fantasy-themed game, saying their kids love it, and they love playing it with their kids. Over 450 people have reviewed it and it's a big hit with almost every one of them.
Best Sport: Adidas miCoach Smart Soccer Ball
For budding soccer stars, the miCoach Smart Soccer Ball from Adidas will kick their game up a notch.
The ball comes with integrated sensors that track and analyze exactly how they’re kicking the ball. All the information about their power, spin, strike, and trajectory is then delivered to an app that analyzes their skills and provides feedback to help them improve.
The size 5 ball is regulation weight, and it works with Bluetooth devices that use iOS (version 7 or later), Android (4.3 or later), or Windows 10. It comes with a charging base and takes about one hour to charge up, after which it will last for about 2,000 kicks.
Customers say it’s a great training tool that kids love, though they note that the ball must be standing still when it’s kicked to accurately record the stats. That means no dropkicks. But overall, they say it works well and provides accurate, helpful feedback.
Best Musical: Star Wars Millennium Falcon Bluetooth Speaker
Little dudes can jam out to their tunes "Star Wars" style with this cool Millennium Falcon Bluetooth Speaker. It will connect with any Bluetooth-enabled device, such as a tablet or iPhone, and also has a 3.5 mm headphone jack if they want to plug in.
The music plays loud and clear. The coolest part, though, is that it’s equipped with lights that glow for cool in-the-dark action.
It comes with a rechargeable lithium battery and charging cable, and it’s also equipped with buttons that allow kids to answer a phone call should one come in while the music plays.
Customers say it works well, produces clear, quality sound, and that "Star Wars" fans flip for it.
Best Video Game: Osmo Genius Kit
There’s screen time, and then there's screen time with this Osmo Genius Kit. It transforms an iPad into a powerful learning tool.
From math to spelling and beyond, this kit contains fun games that span a wide variety of subjects and bolsters many different skills. Kids will want to play it because it’s a blast. You'll want them to play it because they're studying.
This Genius Kit comes with a base, five games, game playing pieces, and containers to store everything in. Note, however, that additional Osmo games can be purchased separately and you will need your own iPad to play.