2015 Holiday Gift Guide—Toys and Learning

Screen Shot 2015-12-02 at 10.50.34 AMJunior Explorers

Junior Explorers is an award-winning learning platform that teaches kids about wildlife and nature. 

With the holidays approaching, this program is a unique gift that is perfect for any child, given almost all kids love animals!

Junior Explorers is a hybrid program that combines both a physical and digital experience with huge educational value parents love. Through our monthly adventures we introduce kids to sensitive topics like climate change, but we do it in a fun and engaging way with the intent to inspire kids to love and protect our planet.

A bit about Junior Explorers

  • We were touted as a favorite company in a distinguished Silicon Valley accelerator: TechCrunch.
  • We are the only product on the market that teaches kids about what is happening to wildlife around the planet and how they can make a difference.
  • We send kids on monthly virtual adventures to different ecosystems around the planet, from the Arctic to the Amazon, the Everglades to the Great Barrier Reef. 
  • Beautifully designed product kits are sent to homes with fun collectibles, activities, and learning.
  • Inside the kits, a “secret code” sends kids online where they join our characters Kia and Kyle to solve a mystery in nature. (Think, reuniting a missing mother polar bear with her cubs.)
  • At the end of every mission, kids donate earned points to support a frontline project helping the animals of the ecosystem they just visited, which Junior Explorers converts to a real $1 donation.

You can learn more about our program and how we’re inspiring a new generation of environmental stewards in this 1 minute video here.


From popular children’s television show SPACE RACERS® comes the Space Racers Parents & Educator’s Toolkit. Developed in cooperation with WNET Education, the toolkit includes a DVD with 13 animated episodes, 4 live-action segments, and a CD-ROM filled with corresponding STEM Lesson Plans and Family Activities. These resources are ideal for kids in grades Pre-K through 3rd grade.

Space Racers Storefront: http://www.tmgwebstores.com/spaceracersstore/

MSPR: $14.99 


SPACE RACERS® is an original animated TV series that provides young children with exposure to key aspects of the science, technology, engineering and mathematics, or STEM, curriculum. Produced in collaboration with NASA experts, the series follows a group of talented young spaceship cadets at the Stardust Bay Space Academy. Kids will travel with speedy Eagle, strong Hawk, smart Robyn, brave Starling and competitive Raven as they soar through the Solar System learning about the power of scientific investigation and observation, the wonders of space exploration and the importance of working as a team.  Space Racers airs on public television stations across the country and streaming on Netflix.   The show also airs in over 50 countries around the world.


Babbel is the leading language learning app that helps users become conversational in any of its 14 different languages.

Babbel will make the perfect gift for someone at any level of learning a language, from beginners to those looking to brush up on an already learned language before a trip; along with those looking to better themselves in 2016 or meet people through a new new skill!

Babbel’s vision, that anyone can learn languages, has driven its success through high-quality, professionally curated courses from a team of education experts, authors and language teachers, combined with modern technology. Babbel, a market-leading app for online learning, makes it easy for independent learners to access 14 different languages, ranging from English to Indonesian, either from home or on the go, with a smartphone or tablet.The service is available worldwide at Babbel.com and on iOS and Android mobile devices. Corresponding to the user’s mother tongue, Babbel offers its courses in 7 “reference languages”, which are used as the display language on the platform.

For more information, visit www.Babbel.com.

CloudPets by Jay at Play

CloudPets – Adorable and cuddly soft tech plush that is app-powered and Bluetooth-enabled. Utilizing BTLE technology – the same technology that powers the Apple Watch and Nike FuelBand – CloudPets come to life. Users simply download the free app to a compatible smart device, register their CloudPets plush and invite family and friends. Once activated, the toy pairs with the designated device within 30 feet. To record and send a message, the child simply presses the toy’s right paw. When a message has been received, the CloudPets red heart lights up to let the child know, and with a gentle squeeze of its left paw, the message will play. CloudPets from Jay at Play was designed as a cuddly soft tech plush that can bridge the miles between family members, especially grandparents and active-duty military. Ages 3+, SRP $29.99 each for Teddy, Kitty, Puppy, Bunny, and Unicorn.


Ravensburger (www.ravensburger.com)

My Favorite Horse and T-Rex – These XXL Puzzle + Digital Games feature 100-pc puzzles that are assembled in the traditional way and then come to life with a free app, available for both iOS and Android. Once they download the app, puzzlers activate the camera function on their smartphone or tablet and point it at the finished work to access three different games.

In My Favorite Horse, kids can play a memory game, enter the tack room to dress their horse and upload a photo of their face onto the character in the puzzle. T-Rex challenges kids to find interesting facts about the dinosaurs pictured in the puzzle scene, take a quiz on what they’ve learned and adjust the size of the image for a large, panoramic view of the scene. Ages 6+, SRP $13.50 each

3D puzzles with 216-pc sets, each made of precision-cut plastic flat, hinged and curved pieces that click perfectly into place. The puzzles may be assembled by the numbers on the inside of the piece, by the exterior design or both. For ages 12+, the offerings include:

Lighthouse by Night – A stunning replica of a traditional lighthouse, with working signal lights! Powered by two LEDs that pulsate when the sun goes down. SRP $36.99 

Eiffel Tower by Night – The world-famous landmark comes to life like never before, lighting up the night with five electrifying LED colors – red, yellow, green, blue and purple – to showcase the iconic building’s amazing metalwork structure! SRP $36.99

Eiffel Tower, Mickey & Minnie Edition – The famed Eiffel Tower decked out in Mickey Mouse & Minnie Mouse artwork and a little Disney magic. SRP $28.99 

Buggaloop – The follow-up game to the hugely successful Bugs in the Kitchen, Buggaloop features an entertaining HEXBUG® nano V2® from Innovation First, which hides in the hidden places of the 3D game board, popping out unexpectedly to interrupt regular game play. Ages 6+, SRP $29.99


Hundreds of Horses – Players must use their imagination to match 100 horse tiles with eloquent stories, phrases, and awards. Ages 6+, SRP $14.99

Monkey Beach – An adventure game of pirates and treasure-seeking for the preschool set. Pirate players must feel for the hidden treasures and move them to the correct opening in the fabric island. Ages 3+, SRP $19.99

Wanted! – Quick-reflexes and a fast eye are key in this action-packed game! Players must perform speed-based tasks when certain cards are laid on the table. The last player to do so is penalized with having to take the discount pile. The first player to get rid of their cards wins! Ages 7+, SRP $13.49

Linko – It’s a race to be the one with the fewest negative points in this quick-play game of strategy! Players compete to lay down as many cards as possible to collect points on each turn and be the first to use all of their cards. The person with the most points wins! Ages 10+, SRP $13.49

Inside Out – Movie fans can now let their imaginations run wild with a range of puzzles that capture all of the emotions in the Disney • PIXAR hit movie Inside Out. The new puzzling offerings feature Joy, Fear, Anger, Disgust, and Sadness in full color so that young puzzlers can assemble scenes from the movie. Among the offerings:Inside Out: Emotions – an extra-large 200 pc panoramic puzzle with an up-close look at all of the characters. Ages 8+, SRP $13.99

Glow Edition Aquarelle – A watercolor painting system that includes two canvases with imprinted designs and glowing image outlines with plenty of glow-in-the-dark paint to make masterpieces shine – day and night. Ages 8+, SRP $9.99 each. The new selection includes: Unicorns, Dolphins, Birds, and Fairies.

Anchor Bay Entertainment

Chuggington: The Big Freeze”! The latest release in the popular DVD collection is jam-packed with six fun-filled adventures – including a never-before-seen holiday special episode from the top-rated Disney Junior series. SRP $14.98

Entertainment One

Peppa Pig: Cold Winter Day” – Available November 11 on DVD and digital download, the release features 10 hilarious “peppasodes”, based on the popular Nick Jr. series that follows the adventures of Peppa, a loveable, exuberant little piggy who lives with her brother George, Mummy and Daddy. SRP $14.98