See the Top 10 Brilliant Toys for Open-Ended Play

This holiday season, my kids have been driving me nuts with requests for toys that I'm pretty sure they'll use one time, and never get out again.  My desire is that they'll love toys that enrich their world and help them to grow in some way (and also be played with time and time again.)  

The folks at toy store chain Brilliant Sky Toys & Books must share my desire, because 5 years ago, they had the wisdom to begin researching 10,000 high quality kids products that fill their retail shelves (in 17 different locations) and came up with their list of the best.

These precious picks were named winners of their "Brilliance Awards"! I was fortunate enough to try out 3 of the 10 products on 2014's winner's list, and they are all battery-free and kid-approved!  We actually spent days with these products.  Here are the ones we were able to enjoy, along with the full list, below.

Plus-Plus Mini-Basic (480 pieces)

This play set is addictive and crazy tiny!  Little "plus" signs can be snapped together to create just about anything. My boys play with this set almost every day.  It's one that has replaced their other favorite "building block" toy. I love that they are learning to make 3D creations with the set!

Paint Your Own Porcelain Bowls

This set is pretty self-explanatory.  3 high-quality porcelain bowls, paint and paintbrush are included in this set, along with instructions for prepping, painting, and curing your bowls.  My sons really got into this.  The finished products would make a great holiday gift!

Doodle Quest Game

Unlike any other game we've played, this is a creative redo on the "draw a path through the maze" games we did as kids.  There are two levels of difficulty, so kids and parents can play together.  It's a very simple game to set up and play, even if you're short on time!

The full list of winners includes:

· Squigz Starter Set (24 pieces)
 · Plus-Plus Mini-Basic (480 pieces)
 · Lottie Dolls
 · Doodle Quest
 · Create Your Own Storybook
 · Super Stadium Baseball Game
 · LoopDeLoom
 · Sew Cute Sets
 · Illustrated Adventure Stories and Illustrated Fairy Tales
 · Paint Your Own Porcelain Bowls

Find a complete listing of all 17 specialty stores across the country from Tennessee and Iowa to Texas and North Carolina at their website,

*Samples received to try. Opinions are our own.