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Fun Finds: Best of 2011

Our picks for this year's best toys.
 

Learning Benefits

1. All-Season Dollhouse
Arrange, rearrange, and decorate to your heart’s delight. This eco-friendly, modern dream house provides endless play possibilities. All furniture included.

Educo, $200. Ages 3 and up.

 

2. CityBLOCKS Stacking Blocks
Create cityscapes with these 10 lightweight, oversized board blocks. Not only do they stack, they nest inside the largest skyscraper (12" x 4" x 4"). Makes a perfect backdrop for action figures and dolls.

Chronicle Books, $22. Ages 3 and up.

 

3. Rainbow Whirls Peg Game
Chunky, colorful rings that little fingers can stack in myriad ways make this pegboard an eye-popping winner. The beechwood board is 7" x 7" and comes with 32 pieces.

Haba, $35. Ages 2 to 6.

 

4. Nahji Doll
Explore cultures across the globe with the Hearts for Hearts Girls collection. Nahji from India stands 14" tall and comes fully outfitted. Dolls from Ethiopia, Belarus, the United States, Mexico, and Laos are also available. A portion of the purchase price is donated to children’s causes in the doll’s country of origin.

Playmates Toys, $30. Ages 4 and up.

 

5. Classic 12" Cruiser
Ready to ride, but not quite steady yet? This classically stylish and sturdy steel-frame two-wheeler comes with removable training wheels, an adjustable seat, and a ringing bell.

Radio­flyer, $100. Ages 3 to 7.

 

6. Circus 123 tower floor Puzzle
Make way for elephants, lions, and more! All of the big-top classics appear in this large and colorful 39-piece ensemble (1' x 4' when complete).

Crocodile Creek, $18. Ages 4 and up.

 

7. Who What Where? Jr.

Players are dealt “who,” “what,” and “where” cards, then must illustrate the zany scene that the combined cards describe. Imagine Santa eating ice cream on the moon. An excellent imagination starter. For 2 or more players.

University Games, $25. Ages 7 to 12.

 

8. My Busy Town
Packed with activities to keep your wee one well engaged. From mazes to spinners to peek-a-boo doors, you’ll get good mileage here. Measures 16' x 12' x 12.'

Alex, $110. Ages 12 months and up.

 

9. e-moto
This little bamboo motorcycle satisfies both the cool and carbon-footprint conscious. Light and durable with speedy wheels. Measures 9" x 6.5" x 4".

Hape, $25. Ages 3 to 7.

 

10. Modern Art Memory Game
Matisse, Warhol, Munch, and more—discover 36 modern artists with this twist on the classic mind challenger. Comes with foldout art history booklet.

Ammo Books, $17. Ages 6 and up.

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