There are all sorts of ways for kids to be creative: high-tech, low-tech, or no-tech. Here are a few of our current favorites that fit into at least one of those categories.
This brand new addition to the Skylanders universe is the best one yet. Once again, the evil Kaos is causing problems in Skyland, and Eon needs your help to defeat him. With Imaginators, players can create their own Skylanders, customizing their appearance, sounds, and even appendages. With the help of “senseis” who specialize in one of ten different techniques, you can also train your Skylander to defeat Kaos and his minions. You create your Skylander on the fly within the game through a series of easy-to-navigate menus. Each level is also littered with items that can be used to build and rebuild your character. The gameplay is your typical hack and slash, where exploration is encouraged and villains are colorful and unique. Each level has a theme and an end boss who must be defeated to progress. Imaginators is compatible with all pervious Skylanders. The starter set includes a portal, the game itself, and at least two senseis and an Imaginator crystal to make (and save) your own Skylander. It retails for $74.99 and is available nationwide.
LEGO Dimensions (LEGO)
The LEGO brick-themed multiverse game is constantly expanding, and now includes the worlds of the children’s favorite “Adventure Time,” the generational favorite “Dr. Who,” and the TV classic “The Simpsons,” just to name a few. Each pack is jammed full of fun with levels, characters, and of course the LEGOs themselves, which come with digital instructions on how to build some characters. Once put together, the characters fit right in with all the other LEGOs you have at home. Adventure Time has tons of characters and interactions with authentic voices. When combining the level pack with the character pack, you can play as the duo Finn and Jake, who both cause mischief and save princesses with the help of BMO and Lumpy Space Princess. At first, we didn’t much care for Lumpy Space Princess, but her animations and interactions are so spot on and funny, that she became one of our favorites. The Simpsons brings your characters into Springfield to solve various quests and requests by locals. There are playable levels as well as free play modes, where you can just go exploring to find all of the game’s nooks and crannies. Prices vary by pack and size. www.lego.com/en-us/dimensions
Playmobil Haunted House Playset (Playmobil)
You know how much we love Playmobil, and they just released one of our favorite sets ever, which besides being adorable, is perfect for this time of year. It comes with two Halloween themed figures (Dracula and Frankenstein’s monster), mice, a skull, a raven, vials to make spooky concoctions in your lab, and more. The lab also closes, making clean up, storage, and portability a breeze. It’s only $18 at Walmart; prices vary at other stores. http://www.playmobil.us/
Bluebee Pals (Bluebee)
What a great way to combine relaxation and interesting play. Kids can prop up a laptop, tablet, or smart phone on their Blubee’s lap or just plug in the device and watch what Bluebee can do. There are five options: Riley the Zebra, Sammy the Bear, Hudson the Puppy, Lily the Lamb, and Leo the Lion. These soft and sweet learning tools connect to any Apple or Android device and move their mouth when they talk, sing, or read to your child (using any app that has sound). Really. We even tried it with a Japanese heavy metal band; the results were hilarious. Bluebee has a built in speaker and microphone and can also be used as a telephone. Bluebees retail for $64.99 and come with a rechargeable battery and micro-USB cable. www.BluebeePals.com