Top Toys 2011: No Tech Toys Filled With Fun…Not Batteries

2011 Top Toys.  Top Holiday Toys for 2011

Why do they even sell 2 packs of batteries? That is sort of like selling toilet paper by the sheet. It seems that every toy we open requires at least 6 batteries. We easily go through a 24 pack of batteries before we finish a gallon of milk.

Here is the incredible thing – there are actually some toys that do NOT require batteries and are tons of fun! Yes, even in 2011, there were some awesome toys that could be played without requiring a portable power plant. Leave your battery club cards at home and let’s dive into our picks for No Tech Toys Filled With Fun…Not Batteries

This is part of our series – The Outsider’s Guide to the Top Toys for 2011. Please make sure to read the rest of the toy reviews in our Top Toys for 2011 Guide.

It’s Alive! This List is Growing Like a Weed

If you are reading this before December 24th, 2011 we are still searching for the best toys. This is a living, growing Holiday Toy Guide for 2011. Below you will see some of the top toys we have reviewed, but please check back often as we will continue to update our list as we review new toys. You can also see all of the toy reviews we have done by visiting our Toy section.

No Tech Toys Filled With Fun…Not Batteries

Best Bet for Kids Who Like Checkers and Skittles

Skippity by Mindware

Skippity from Mindware is one of those games that is so colorful it looks like it should be edible!  While you can NOT eat Skippity, up to 4 players can play this fun jumping and stacking game.   It may look like colorful checkers,  but it has a whole new strategy and scoring system.  Any player can move any piece and the goal is to jump, capture and stack pieces – but you need to make sure you have one of each color to get points for a set.  I know, it sounds complicated, but once you play it, it makes perfect sense.  I do suggest you have a bag of Skittles on hand in case you get hungry.

Full Review (and video) of  Skippity from Mindware

Price: $19. Good for kids ages 5 and up.

Top Toy For Kids Who Love to Play With Their Food

Snack Attack! from ThinkFun Jr

Snack Attack from Thinkfun

Tired of telling the kids not to play with their food? With Snack Attack! from ThinkFun, playing with your food is encouraged and rewarded! This fast paced game allows up to 6 players to play at once.  The goal is to match the snack tokens with the spaces on your snack platter.  Don’t take your eyes off the Chef, he is constantly serving up new snack tokens.  A simple, but fun game that a wide range of ages can play and enjoy.

Full Review (and video) of  Snack Attack from ThinkFun Jr

Price: $19.95. Good for kids ages 4 – 12.

Great Game for Giggles and Grammar

You’ve Been Sentenced! by McNeal Designs

You've Been Sentenced! review

I know what you are thinking – how can a game that is all about vocabulary, sentence structure and even grammar bring giggles??? You’ve Been Sentenced! by McNeal Designs is one of those games you need to play to appreciate.

Players are dealt cards with words and they then have to try to create sentences from the words they have. The fun part comes when players need to explain how their sentence makes sense. You will never believe how much you are laughing about made up sentences. Have a specific interest? Get one of the many add-on packs on a specific topic. We loved the NASA Space Terminology pack.

Full Review (and video) of You’ve Been Sentenced from McNeal Designs

Price: $19.95. Good for kids ages 8 and up.

Super Selection for Kids Who Love to Squeeze Spheres

Squishable Stuffed Animals

Squishable Stuffed Animal

Look at that Panda – don’t you just want to hug your computer now?  Squishable Animals are just that – completely squishable and huggable sphere shaped, over stuffed, stuffed animals.   There are over 40 different Squishable animals to choose from, in various sizes.  I have yet to find a child who doesn’t smile ear to ear when they hug the giant Squishable Panda!

Full Review (and video) of Squishable Animals

Price: Range $18 – $45. Good for kids (and adults) of all ages.

Best Bet for Kids Who Connect More With Jim Henson Than Steve Jobs

Folkmanis Puppets


I’m sorry, but if you don’t love Folkmanis Puppets you have a character flaw.  Folkmanis has a number of new puppets for 2011 like their Folk Monsters.  These two handed puppets are beautiful and just come to life when you slip them on your hand.  Your kids may not be asking for a puppet, but if he/she finds one under the tree it will be one of those toys that he/she plays with for years.

Full Review (and video) of Folkmanis Puppets

Price: $20 and up.   Good for kids (and adults) of all ages.

More Proof That Magnets and Hidden Math Rule

Fractiles-7 Travel Edition


Three colors, three different sized diamonds and a steel board does not exactly sound like a recipe for hours of fun.  However, Fractiles-7 Travel Edition proves that sometimes the simple things are the most fun! Kids (and adults) will have a blast making different designs and patterns or trying to solve some of the puzzle shapes printed on the box.  Just don’t let the kids know that they are actually learning about symmetry, patterns and the power of 7!

Full Review of Fractiles-7 Magnetic Tiles Toy

Price: $26. Good for kids ages 6 and up.

Best Toy To Prove That Marbles Rule!

Q-BA-MAZE 2.0 by Mindware

Q-Ba-Maze 2.0

As parents we all know that marbles rule…but sometimes it can be hard to convince the kids of the incredible play value of little silver balls. Now the Q-Ba-Maze 2.0 system from Mindware will have a whole new generation understanding how fun marbles can be!

These interlocking cubes allow children to build marble maze sculptures in the form of animals, geometric shapes or any other design. In addition to having fun, kids will also be learning about probability and physics, Long live the marble!

Full Review and Video of Q-BA-MAZE 2.0 from Mindware

Price: $26. Good for kids ages 5 and up.

More Top Toys of 2011

This is just the start of our 2011 Top Toy Guide. Here are the rest of the top toy lists…

2011 Top Toys

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