Nintendo Wii U – Super Mario Maker, $55.28
Kids still like Mario, even after all these years. This time, they get to create their own levels (aka “worlds”, using almost any Mario Brothers tool or bad guy or power from four different Mario games), or play levels created by players from around the world.
Nerf N-Strike Modulus ECS-10 Blaster, $39.99
This super fun nerf gun from Hasbro is motorized and comes with lots of removable parts so kiddos can customize their own blaster in over 30 combinations. The blaster can launch darts over 90 feet away, which makes it great for target practice.
Dixit is part card game, part bluffing contest. It’s a great choice for kids with good imaginations, and encourages players to get creative and become wild storytellers.
Aquapod Bottle Launcher, $30.15
My nephew got one of these for his birthday and we all had a blast launching it in the middle of the park. Basically it’s just a bicycle pump and an empty soda bottle, and it launched like 100 feet into the air! In addition to the exciting blast, it’s a great way to teach kids science.
Here’s another awesome (and addictive) game I learned about from my cool niece and nephews. Kind of like UNO meets Scrabble, this tile game requires players to match colors or shapes in different patterns in order to score points.
Photo: Growing Tree Toys
Ideal 100-Trick Spectacular Magic Show Suitcase, $30
Kids can learn awesome magic tricks through an instructional DVDstarring magician Ryan Oakes, and then wow friends and family with their dazzling new tricks. The set comes with tons of cool props, plus a magic hat and wand.