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The top toys of 2014

See five of the best toys of the year, voted by Parents magazine.

The November issue of Parents highlights the best toys of 2014. Credit: Provided The November issue of Parents highlights the best toys of 2014.
Credit: Provided

From "Frozen" toys to pet robot dinosaurs, the slew of new toys released released this year is hard to keep up with. To find out which ones are really worth buying, Parents magazine editors - with the help of kids and parents - tested all the new playthings for babies, toddlers, preschoolers and grade-school age kids that they could get their hands on. They reveal the 58 best toys of 2014 in their November issue.

“Our search for the best toys began last winter and lasted all through the summer," says Parents magazine entertainment editor Jessica Hartshorn. "We secured early samples of new toys and either tested them in our office with kids or mailed them to families to test. The editors did a fair amount of testing as well, making sure the toys behave as they're supposed to. We want toys that are genuinely fun and worth the money, and try to find toys that have a new twist of some sort. We tested hundreds to come up with our list!”We highlight some of our favorite picks here:

Vtech Kidizoom Smartwatch

The VtechKidizoom Smartwatch has four different styles to choose from. Credit: Provided The Vtech Kidizoom Smartwatch has four different styles to choose from.
Credit: Provided

Who needs the Apple Watch? This electronic watch for kids gives them plenty to do. Between playing games and taking pictures and videos, there's enough on this gadget to keep them busy. $59,99, vtechkids.com

Sign Language Alphabet

Teach kids sign language when they're young and chances are, they'll remember it forever. Credit: Provided Teach kids sign language when they're young and chances are, they'll remember it forever.
Credit: Provided

Kids learn things so quickly. Teaching them a new language when they're young has lifelong benefits. These wooden block set turns learning the American sign language into a fun game. On one side is the letter and on the other side is the sign for the letter, so kids can test each other - and you! - both ways. $21,99, Fat Brain Toys

Sesame Street Let's Imagine Elmo

Tickleme Elmo is so done. This year, it's all about Let's Imagine Elmo. Credit: Provided Tickleme Elmo is so done. This year, it's all about Let's Imagine Elmo.
Credit: Provided

Elmo continues to win over kids year after year and this year's reincarnation is Let's Imagine Elmo. Elmo takes on a different role depending on what hat he's wearing. If your child puts the pirate hat on Elmo, he acts like a pirate. The cowboy hat makes him sound like someone from the wild wild west. There are four interactive modes with songs, games and actions. $39,99, Target

Radio Flyer Cyclone

Unlike other scooters, the Radio Flyer Cyclone is reliant on arm strength. Credit: Provided Unlike other scooters, the Radio Flyer Cyclone is reliant on arm strength.
Credit: Provided

Designed for kids ages three to seven, the Radio Flyer Cyclone lets kids zoom and spin around, all powered by their arms. This self-powered toy lets them do 360 degree spins and go in reverse. $59.99, radioflyer.com

Wooden Stack & Count Parking Garage

This toy is colorful, fun and a learning tool. Credit: Provided This toy is colorful, fun and a learning tool.
Credit: Provided

If you're tight on space, you'll appreciate that this parking garage toy is built up and not out. But besides being compact and fun, it's also a helpful learning tool: the colors help reinforce counting. Don't you love it when toys sneak a teaching moment in there? $20, Melissa and Doug

Follow Emily on Twitter: @EmLaurence

 

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