Celebrate The Best Toys for Kids 2013 with ASTRA!

We work with some big brands here on Lille Punkin', but - the truth is -- we LOVE seeing new and innovative ways to play, no matter how big the manufacturer or store is.  In fact, when we partnered with non-profit ASTRA (American Specialty Toy Retailing Association) last year to share some toys, it was one of our favorite posts of 2012.  This year, we were asked to share some favorite toys for 2013, and we coudn't say NO!

For those of you who aren't familiar, the American Specialty Toy Retailing Association (ASTRA) is a non-profit association dedicated to promoting creative and open ended playtime for children. ASTRA brings together specialty toy manufactures, independent toy stores and toy buyers to help encourage “smart” play and local toy shopping

Here are 3 toys that we were sent to try out (I'm hiding 2 for Christmas presents -- they are THAT exciting!):

The toys are:

Timeline - This fun card game asks players to correctly identify when events happened in what order.  Whether kids are guessing when coffee was invented or are picking the correct date for a world war, this game is fun, as well as education.  (We loved that everything fit nicely into a cool-looking tin, making it great for taking on the road or to overnight parties!)

Snap Circuits Sound - We already owned a Snap Circuits kit, so we were very excited to see this version.  Insert batteries into the board or attach it to your smart phone and watch kids (and adults)
learn and play by doing 185 exciting projects involving sound. It even has a voice changer!

RingStix Lite - We haven't had the kind of weather that allows us to play this yet, but I love the idea of this active game for getting kids outside and doing something!  Toss the ring between two sticks and give kids a reason to use up that big front yard!  I can see this as a great team-building exercise that helps develop hand-eye coordination and encourages physical fitness.

Want to see the rest of 2013's best picks?  Head over to the ASTRA website to check out all the toys in several exciting categories.  You can also check out a photo album of all the toys on Facebook. We're sure you'll find many ideas for this year's gift giving (and don't forget to stop by your local toy store to pick them up!) If you don't know where your local toy store is, you can use this nifty finder on yourneighborhoodtoystore.org.  You'll find a mom and pop shop that would love your business!  (ASTRA is also on Twitter, if that's more your thing....)

Wanna Win?  ASTRA is celebrating the I Heart My Neighborhood Toy Store campaign by giving away some AMAZING goodies.  Just visit this link to enter.  You have until November 8th to get your entries in!  Prizes include a family getaway and, of course, lots of toys!

*Samples were received to review and share. Opinions are 100% my own.