Fractus Learning Keeping educators on the cutting edge Thu, 26 Nov 2020 19:42:26 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Fractus Learning 32 32 Which Creative Building Toys Are The Best Building Toys for Kids? Thu, 26 Nov 2020 19:30:22 +0000

We all played with them.

Building blocks. They might have been Legos, K-nex sets, Mega Bloks, or just good old wooden blocks – but I cut my teeth on these great construction toys without knowing all the outstanding skills I was learning.

All I knew was I was having FUN.

These creative building toys are one of the best ways to learn STEM skills, motors skills, and problem-solving skills – all under the guise of “play”.

If you don’t tell your kid they’re learning – I promise I won’t.

We have compiled a list of the best building toys for kids aged from 6 months old to tweens. We spent over twenty-five hours researching and playing to create our list. Hopefully, you’ll find a creative toy that’s an ideal choice for your child.

Best Building Toys of 2020

1. Ideal Pick for Toddlers: Mega Bloks First Builders Big Building Bag

Mega Bloks First Builders Big Building Bag

The Mega Blok First Builders Big Building Bag is a well-made set of building toys for kids from age one-year-old to 5 years old. The building blocks are designed for small hands to comfortably grip and hold while stacking towers. The blocks are also safe for handling by a 1-year-old without accidentally swallowing a small part. The colors and shapes may grow with the child and keep them entertained up to five years old.

A storage bag keeps the blocks together and is a great way to store the block set in the cupboard or toy storage box. Your little one should be able to remove the blocks from the bag without any help from mom. The bag is also an ideal opportunity to teach your toddler how to clean up after play from a young age.

The set of 80 blocks are more than enough to build towers as tall as your toddler or other imaginative objects like castles, animals, buildings, or numbers. The bright classic colors appeal to toddlers, and the different shapes may inspire your little one even more. The building blocks are designed to help develop your child’s fine motor skills, hand-eye coordination, and multiple hours of open-ended play and fun while learning about primary colors, spatial planning, and counting.

Although the bags are in standard colors, the storage bags come in blue or pink for a little girl.

2.  Great Colorful Building Bricks: LEGO Classic Medium Creative Brick Box

LEGO Classic Medium Creative Brick Box in yellow storage box

With the LEGO Classic Medium Creative Brick Box’s 35 vibrant colors and 18 tires with wheel rims, there is no limit to what your four-year-old can create. LEGO is famous for its building toys for kids of all ages. This 484-piece creative kit is one of the best LEGO sets for a preschooler, and with lots of wheels, there is no stopping the imagination!

The green baseplates, measuring 3 inches by 6 inches, is a good-sized construction site to get things started for young children. Who knows what your child will creatively build on the baseplate with the wheels, toy eyes, windows, and ample bricks in the kit?

If building with LEGOs is new to them, a story starter idea should spark adventurous play hours. The unique pieces allow for building a windmill, flowers, and the train pictured on the storage box. Parents beware, if your story-starter means demonstrating by making something, you could find yourself hours later still happily adventuring with your kids. After all, it’s one of the best building toys for boys and girls for a reason.

The LEGO Creative Brick playset is compatible with all LEGO construction sets, allowing you to expand the sets as your child’s skills improve or they grow older and want to construct more elaborate projects. It’s a great gift to give your child.

3. Best 3D Creativity Building Set: PicassoTiles 60 Piece Set Magnet Building Tiles

PicassoTiles 60 Piece Set Magnet Building Tiles

The PicassoTiles 60 Piece Set with its clear 3D color magnetic building blocks may inspire your preschooler to dream big and complete artistic, architectural designs unique to your child. PicassoTiles are fun building toys that challenge your kid to explore their arty and creative skills.

Learning by playing is one of the best and, for sure, the most enjoyable way to improve skills. The clear but colorful 3D magnetic shapes inspire kids from three-years and older to explore building with 3D forms. It also teaches them counting, colors, and how polarities of magnets work.

The tile dimensions of the triangular and square-shaped building blocks are not all the same, which adds another educational element to the building toy. Teachers may use toys for building to teach children in a fun way about shapes, dimensions, number counts, and working with 3D forms.

It is frustrating if your little one enjoys a toy, and then parts break and are not replaceable. With these building blocks, parents have the option to expand their kid’s toy collection. The magnetic tiles are also replaceable, and there is no limit to enlarging the child’s toy building set for more intrinsic creations.

4. Best Marble Run: Ravensburger GraviTrax XXL Starter Set 

Ravensburger GraviTrax XXL Starter Set 

If your child is fascinated with a marble run, then the Ravensburger GraviTrax XXL Starter Set Marble Run is an excellent building toy for your child. The STEM toy is an excellent choice for children aged eight and up who enjoy creating engineering gadgets. It will help develop creative skills while providing a challenge for your gifted child . GraviTrax was one of the 2019 Toy of The Year Finalists and featured on the “Live with Kelly and Ryan” TV show as one of the best products at the 2018 New York toy fair.

The interactive track system allows children to build unique racetracks. While building intricate tracks for the marble ball to run, kids learn the effect of gravity, kinetics, and magnetics on the marbles. Children develop and strengthen spatial awareness skills, critical thinking skills, and their problem-solving skills as they develop the perfect track and means to propel the marble ball forward.

The XXL Starter Set comes with 240 track pieces, including three action accessories essential for propelling the ball forward, for crazy trick shots, and to stop the ball at the end of the track. Included in the package are 9 track designs with clear instructions and 24 fun challenges. Expansion packs are available for building even more astonishing, and elaborate marble runs.

5. Great For Developing Spatial Thinking: Viahart Brain Flakes Interlocking Plastic Disc Set

Viahart Brain Flakes Interlocking Plastic Disc Set

The Viahart Brain Flakes Interlocking Plastic Disc Set is one of the best building toys that teach kids how to solve problems using their spatial awareness skills. Famous people like Leonardo Da Vinci and architect Leoh Ming Pei were spatial thinkers. This creative toy set includes 500 interlocking non-toxic discs. Look for Brain Flakes to entice budding engineers, artists, mathematicians, designers, and kids who enjoy fun challenges.

Unlike many building toys that consist of building blocks, the Viahart Brain Flakes construction sets are made of interlocking discs that look like gears. The discs clasp together, and children from five years old should be able to lock the discs along with ease. Some three-year-old toddlers may also be able to build with this building set. Each disc measures 1.3 inches across and is 1/10th inch thick. Be mindful that the pieces could be choking hazards for younger kids.

Each set comes with an idea booklet, and the instructions on how to build a Brain Flakes ball is one way of getting your kids started with the new toy. The design possibilities, however, are endless and depend on your child’s imagination and creativity. The construction set is ideal for homeschoolers, daycares, school classrooms, and recreational fun at home.

The discs and storage jar are child-safe and designed from durable plastic that is BPA-free, lead-free, metal-free, and phthalate-free. The building toys for kids comply with ASTM and US CPSIA safety regulations.

6. Best Engineering Blocks: Klutz Lego Chain Reactions Science & Building Kit

Klutz Lego Chain Reactions Science & Building Kit

The Klutz Lego Chain Reactions Science & Building Kit is a STEM toy that inspires kids to build moving machines. The playset features step-by-step instructions to build 10 modules and is recommended for kids ages eight years and older.

Your child can use the easy to follow instructions to build some cool creations. These excellent building bricks are designed to construct a seesaw with a ramp, dominoes, slow spin, pulley with a bucket, elevator ramps, and more. It all depends on your little one’s science experience and desire to develop their STEM skills. The detailed instructions contain brightly colored illustrations, tips on how to fix problems, how to substitute bricks, and the physics behind each machine.

Although it is fun to build the models shown in the instructions, there are hours of fun to be had creating your own unique device with all the exciting components. With 33 LEGO elements, 6 LEGO balls, string, ramps, paper pop-up signs, a flag, funnel, and a bucket, the possibilities are nearly endless.

This is one of the most sturdy construction building block sets for kids. It’s an excellent toy that is entertaining, fun to play with, and educational. Children may enjoy and be entertained for hours while strengthening their tactile skills, hand-eye coordination, and learning to think outside the box.

7.  Best Construction Set: IQ Builder Stem Learning Toys

IQ Builder Stem Learning Toys

The IQ Builder Stem Learning Toys are educational toys focusing on STEM subjects to prepare children for their future. The playset places a strong emphasis on STEM learning and helps children develop their critical thinking, problem-solving, and reasoning skills in a fun but educational way.

The building toy design was inspired by teachers to assist children in elementary school up to adult graduate degree programs. Children learn about physics, mathematics, and geometry during play, varying from a beginner to an advanced level. The playset also helps with communication skills as children design and construct projects together.

Each ball has 26 connecting points, and with four different length connector pieces and shapes, children may design exciting toys. The flexibility of the connector pieces and the various difficulty levels of designs, the play set provides the options to produce any inspired creations for kids ages 3 and up.

The toy pieces and the container are tested for child safety. The tests were done independently by a CPSC approved laboratory in the USA confirming the items are BPA-free, lead-free, and phthalate-free. The storage container with a convenient carry handle is sturdy for storage and portability.

8. Best STEM Engineering: Brickyard Building Blocks 163 STEM Toys Kit

Brickyard Building Blocks 163 STEM Toys Kit

The Brickyard Building Blocks is a STEM play set that inspires construction engineering for one child or a group of kids. With more pieces and building tools, the 163-piece building toys kit is a great way for up to six children to experiment with their engineering skills together.

This high-quality construction set is designed to teach children science, technology, engineering, and math skills in a fun but productive way. A full-color guide includes 42 designs for kids to build from three-year-old toddlers to older kids. The six-building tools, including four dual-purpose wrenches, a child-friendly screwdriver, and a combination wrench, make it possible for kids to work on their design or work together as a team project. Children also learn teamwork, communication skills, social skills, and collaboration during their interactive play. The custom-designed bolts have a built-in screwdriver slot making it possible to use with the screwdriver or wrench.

The 163 pieces are manufactured from non-toxic materials certified as BPA-free, phthalate-free, lead-free, and cadmium-free. The durable storage box teaches kids ages 3 and up to clean up after play by packing the pieces back in the box for safe storage.

9. Best Imaginative Wooden Block Play: Melissa & Doug Standard Wooden Blocks

Melissa & Doug Standard Wooden Blocks

The Melissa & Doug Standard Wooden Blocks are one of the best building toys for boys and girls. The solid wood building blocks are designed for imaginative play while educating children. Kids may strengthen and develop their gross motor skills, math skills, and hand-eye-coordination while demonstrating their construction creativity.

Melissa & Doug’s wooden toys are high-quality toys, and this building set is no exception. The 60 natural-finished wooden building blocks come conveniently in a beautiful crate for storage purposes. The hardwood blocks are precisely measured, cut, and smooth-sanded for safe play. No splinters or uneven edges may scratch your little one or damage their clothing – our rating is this is safe for indoor and outdoor play. The smooth edges and wood quality of these construction toys may last for years providing joyous play for your toddler and perhaps your grandkids too.

Whether your toddler builds towers or knocks them down, the wooden blocks building toy is a great birthday gift for ages three to eight years.

10. Best for Elementary School: K’ NEX 35 Model Building Set

K' NEX 35 Model Building Set

The K’Nex 35 Model Building Set is will bring hours of fun for kids in elementary school while developing thinking skills, fine motor skills, and logical thinking techniques. These educational building toys challenge kids from ages 7 up to 12 years old to creatively construct interactive models that they can play with, take apart and reassemble.

The building set includes 480 classic K’Nex parts and pieces, including rods and connector joints attached to each other to inspire soaring imaginations. Snap-fit pieces stick together securely, ensuring your design does not cave in because of poorly fitted connections. The construction could collapse because of novice mistakes, which could motivate kids to solve the problem and improve their model.

Kids can create their unique models, toys, and figures or build one of the 35 models displayed in the easy to follow instruction booklet. The building toy allows for the construction of trucks, planes, spaceships, helicopters, dinosaurs, and tons of other imaginative objects and creations. Kids who like to play with their models may appreciate the movable parts giving movement to otherwise stationary objects.

A handy treasure chest stores all the building set pieces and parts in one place so that none are lost. These building sets are made in the USA.

11.  Best for Infant Play: Fat Brain Toys Tobbles Neo

Fat Brain Toys Tobbles Neo

The Fat Brain Toys Tobbles Neo stacking playset is meant to topple over. Curious 6-months old infants and young kiddos may delight in stacking a wobbly tower at strange angles that defy gravity. The pieces can be constructed in a straight tower too.

With the Tobbles Neo toys, kids learn how to balance items, nest them, and stack individual pieces on top of each other. This non-toxic toy is designed for little hands to effortlessly grip and stack, tilt, wobble, or spin. Your toddler ages six months and up will love the effect when the tower topples. The individual pieces spin adding another facet to the endless play

For little ones, too small to stack, each piece is easy to grip, comfortable to hold, and even seems to soothe sore gums. The pieces are made from ABS plastic, which is BPA-free and thoroughly safety tested since little ones younger than two years old are going to examine the toys with their mouths too. There are no rules when it comes to Tobbles, and unlike other games where blocks falling means you have lost, these brightly colored spheres are meant to tipple and topple, encouraging play and exploration.

12.  Ideal Choice For Hours of Fun: Tinkertoy 100 Piece Essentials Value Set

TinkerToy 100 Piece Essentials Value Set

Do these look familiar? Tinkertoy was created in 1913 after inventor Charles Pajeau watched children playing with pencils and empty spools of thread. It is a classic toy that brings the whole family together. Recently named one of the top retro toys and nominated into the National Toy Hall of Fame in 1998, the new and improved pieces snap together easily and stay together. Having celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2013, this building set encourages creative play and helps develop fine motor and problem-solving skills.

The variety in pieces allows a child to reproduce real-life creations like a flower, a house, or a windmill. Flags, rods, washers, end caps, and spools all snap and bend when building an item. The ability to bend pieces allows for exciting creations that could otherwise be impossible.

An instruction manual guides your little one to build things they never thought they could. When pieces snap together, it stays together; the parts do not come loose.

The Tinkertoy building playset is manufactured at a landfill-zero-waste green manufacturing facility in Hatfield, Pennsylvania.

13.  Best Sensory Stimulation Activity: Bristle Block Spinaroos

Bristle Block Spinaroos

The Bristle Block Spinaroos are made with small hands in mind, and because they are easy to put together and pull apart, little ones love them as much as older, more accomplished builders. Two twisty bases bend and mold into the shape your child wants, and one spin base spins 360 degrees with the characters on top.

Four faces representing different characters entice toddlers to create wildly imaginative bodies for the character faces. The building ideas booklet is included to inspire your toddler’s imagination. Spinaroos will keep your children, and you, entertained for hours, and they come with a re-usable storage bin for easy cleanup.

The soft, rubbery bristles interlock on colorful toy blocks at an angle. The shapes, bristles, and round corners may give toddlers sensory experiences, motivating them to discover each piece’s possibilities. The chunky Spinaroos easily snap together and pull apart for rebuilding into different shapes.


Guide To Building Toys for For Boys and Girls

Toys That You Can Build

All children go through a stage of stacking, breaking down, or constructing creations, but not all kids become engineers. Building toys are excellent gifts for children, but even more so for many kids who like to build things.

Building toys are designed to meet the needs of specific age groups helping them to improve, develop, and strengthen relevant skills at that age or milestone. There are ample building toys for your child at any growing age…for adults too.

A play set containing high quality building blocks helps develop and strengthen your little one’s gross motor skills and hand-eye coordination already from an early stage. At a noticeably young age, stacking blocks may fascinate children and more so kids who like to build. Blocks are not the only building toys to help develop gross motor skills and hand-eye coordination. Building toys that allow exploration like suction cups inspire logical thinking too.

The building toys increase complexity and sophistication for children in the older age groups and for the more advanced or experienced builders. Parents may find that their budding engineers play with their older sibling’s building toys because their age-appropriate building blocks are not as challenging to them anymore.

Although the traditional playset consists of blocks, some wooden and other ABS plastic, you will find building toys shaped like gears, rods, creation cubes, 3D clear shapes, and different forms to inspire the development of spatial, problem-solving, math skills, and other STEM-related skills.

Things Kids Can Build

Your little one can build anything with the right construction toy and their imagination. Children’s imaginative play is impressive. What looks like a stack of blocks to an adult is much more to your child. The things kids can build with a set of blocks are astonishing, from simple towers to complex moving machines.

The creation of children construct using building toys that contain wheels, and moveable parts may surprise parents even more. Children’s imaginative play with simplistic building toys consisting of blocks is just as enjoyable to see.

There is no limit to what your child can construct. Building toys allow them to build towers, vehicles, animals, figurines, buildings, and everything in between that their creative imaginations may produce.

How to Build Toys

Some children could be hesitant to play with their new construction toy. The container, which often functions as a storage bag too, shows building ideas as part of the design to stimulate children to play with the STEM toy. The example is a way to introduce children to the pay set and familiarize themselves with what they can create with the blocks. The package also contains instructions on how to build these toys.

Most of the more involved building toys include ideas and detailed instructions with images on how to create toys with these building blocks. It helps give children and parents ideas of what they can build. It is also a way to inspire imaginative children to design their unique toys to play at any age.

The package indicates how to build with the pieces. Some, like traditional blocks, the method is obvious, but other building toys with various shapes, sizes, and connectors could be more intricate to understand. Instructions should give examples of how these pieces connect.

Learning With Building Toys

Never underestimate the educational value of building toys for children of any age. Kids learn while they play.

Motor Skills

Six-month-old children develop gross motor skills as they learn to grip the building blocks to stack them. Toddlers and older kids improve fine motor skills when playing with smaller parts. Kids’ hand-eye-coordination is also developed and strengthened each time they play with the blocks.

Math Skills

Kids learn to count with the integrated numbers or counting the blocks they use. The various shape, sizes, and lengths also inspire geometry and other math skills when figuring out their design.

Spatial Skills

Spatial skills teach kids to visualize the shapes before construction. It helps kids understand how an odd shape can be changed into something usable. Spatial skills help create beautiful designs, but it also let us solve problems and allows for new creative and artistic results.

Science and Physics

Building a simple tower that does not topple over requires the need for understanding fundamental physics like gravity. Understanding the cause and effect of their building projects teaches children basic science principles.

Social Skills

Working together as a team on a project or having fun with a sibling or friend help kids develop social skills. They learn how to communicate openly so that others may understand them. It is a friendly way to develop and improve social skills and nurturing relationships. Language skills may improve as the children verbally communicate their ideas, solutions, and imaginative role play with the toys.


Success builds self-confidence. Even your kids creating their first tower with building blocks establish confidence when they see what they had constructed. Toys constructed with the building toy sets are the physical evidence of what the child has accomplished, and it motivates them to see what they produced.


Playing with building construction toys teaches patience to create something, and it also requires patience to try again when the child’s attempts fail. Kids with self-confidence tend not to take the mistake personally but will find a way to use problem-solving abilities and then build an improved model.

What beautiful creations has your child constructed with building bricks? Do they prefer building the models according to the instructions or to create something new? Which of these products is your child’s favorite building toy, or have we missed one – like Lincoln Logs?

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Best Ice Skates for Kids, Toddlers and Beginners Wed, 25 Nov 2020 12:43:19 +0000

Whether your child wants to learn how to figure skate, play ice hockey or have fun with their friends at the local pond or ice rink, there is a pair of ice skates that may fit your youngster perfectly. Famous brand designs that professionals wear also manufacture skates for kids and beginners.

If you are new to buying ice skates for your children, you may find this buying guide helpful. After days of researching the top brands and styles, we created a shortlist with information on the best ice skates for kids. The editor’s choice is the American Athletic Shoe Tricot Lined Ice Skates, made explicitly for recreational ice skating and beginner figure skaters. If your child prefers speed skating or an ice hockey game to dancing and twirling on the ice, then the Bauer NS Junior Ice Hockey Skates is a good pick. Bauer is one of the best brands for ice hockey skates.

Our list also contains the best ice skates for a toddler and the most adjustable pair of skates that adapts to the child’s growing feet. Each pair of skates have their unique features making it easy for parents to select the best pair of skates for their kids.

Top Ice Skates for Kids

Best Overall Kids’ Skates: American Athletic Shoe Girl’s Tricot Lined Ice Skates

American Athletic Shoe Girl’s Tricot Lined Ice Skates

The American Athletic Shoe Girl’s Tricot Lined Ice Skates are overall a great entry-level pair of kids ice skates for your child skating outdoors on the pond or indoors at the local ice rink. The ice skate is designed for recreational use giving maximum comfort and support at a reasonable price.

The high-quality boot is made for optimal performance combined with ultimate comfort. The exterior PVC material looks like leather but is lightweight, maintenance-free, and should keep your child’s feet dry while out on the ice. The excellent insulation of the boot will also avoid feet becoming cold.

The ankle boots are well padded with the multi-layer ankle support that fits snugly and gives beginner skaters the best flexibility in movement. The comfortable form-fitting padded split tongue also provides additional stability to the skater, making it easier for novices to balance and focus on their skating.

A small toe pick at the front of the blade adds to supporting the skater. The pick helps with more natural push off and the first few steps until the skater gains speed. It also helps kids to stop and is used when performing tricks. The nickel-plated blade is appealing to the eyes but is also a durable blade that is rust-resistant and wear-resistant.

The American Athletic Shoe series have ice skates for boys and girls. The pair listed above are girls ice skates – but if your child prefers a black boot to the white, then the American Athletic Shoe Boy’s Tricot Lined Skates should satisfy them. Just make sure to size them appropriately.

Best for Toddlers: Bauer Lil Angel Champ Skates

Bauer Lil Angel Champ Skates in blue with red accent

The Bauer Lil Angel Champ Skates are the best kids ice skates for toddlers from 18 months to 4 years old. The skates are designed for the smallest of feet, making them perfect for little kids and toddlers who want to start skating from an early age.

Designed by Bauer, a brand famous for ice hockey skates, parents will know their little ones are wearing beginner skates intended to protect the skater’s feet and with ample ankle support. The sturdy boot shell keeps the toddler’s feet steady while ice skating. Toddlers can concentrate on learning the skill without worrying about wobbling on the skates and losing their balance.

Kids’ feet will stay warm with a comfortable and warm one-piece nylon interior lining. Your little one’s feet stay warm with the inner liner while skating on the ice. Parents may appreciate the single ratchet buckle system that keeps the ice skate a tight fit. It also makes it easy to put the skates on and take it off; sometimes, parents need to get their toddlers quickly out of their skates.

If you are looking for a great pair of skates for toddlers, our advice is start your search here with the Bauer Lil Champ line.

Best Adjustable Size: Lake Placid Summit Boys Adjustable Ice Skate

Lake Placid Summit Boys Adjustable Ice Skate

The Lake Placid Summit Boys Adjustable Ice Skates are the best if you do not want to buy ice skates every time your child’s shoe size changes. It may become an expensive exercise when growing kids start skating at a young age. Buying skates one size bigger is not recommended; you make balancing and control of the ice skates more difficult for kids, especially those who are still learning the ropes. Neither do you want to buy ice skates every time your occasional skater wants to join friends on the ice?

Adjustable sizing is the solution. These boys’ adjustable ice skates expand to four shoe sizes allowing a comfortable and firm fit for growing children. The skates adjust quickly to the new shoe size.

All parents need to do, is loosen the bootstrap, push the bottom at the heel, and slide the toe forward or backward until the correct fit. Then release the button. By pulling at the toe, the skate adjusts one shoe size up, and by pulling the heel, it fits one size down. The sizes fit true to U.S. children’s shoe sizes.

The combination of a locking buckle, power straps, and laces ensure a secure fit wherever needed. The buckle and power strap close quickly provide a secure fit and ankle support. The laces, however, tighten the shoe more precisely around the foot. The hybrid style boot allows for a snug fit for fancy skating, and the deluxe comfort padding keeps your child’s feet warm for as long as they are on the ice.

The stainless-steel blades are hockey-style blades and require sharpening before the first use. The ice skates are designed for an indoor skate rink or outdoors and are among the best ice skates for kids taking skating lessons or ice skating for fun. The ice skates shown above are for boys, but the Lake Placid Girls Adjustable Ice Skate has purple trimmings girls may appreciate.

Best Beginner Figure Skating: Jackson Ultima Finesse SoftSkate Figure Ice Skates

Jackson Ultima Finesse SoftSkate Figure Ice Skates white iwth purple inside

TheJackson Ultima Finesse series are the best pair of skates for beginner figure skaters.

By selecting the right skate-size, adults, children, and even tots may learn how to figure skate at any age. The boot and the blade are designed for beginners giving the necessary ankle support.

Cold feet are not something parents have to worry about with these figure skates. The upper part of the ice skates has reinforced vinyl with a rolled padded collar and a padded covered tongue. The foam padding gives warmth to the feet, provides strength and extra support, and ensures a comfortable fit. The cushy padding protects the feet minimizing potential abrasions and tears while skating.

Teens and tweens may appreciate the fashionable design of the trendy figure skates. The stylish chromed inserts at the back of the boot and the grey PVC outsoles give the figure skates a sophisticated and chic look. The PVC sole does not require any maintenance.

The Jackson Ultima Mark I Blade has a less aggressive pick pattern than the Ultima Mark II figure blade. The Mark I is an entry-level blade, which is the perfect figure skates for beginners who have not mastered the more excellent skills of figure skating. The stainless-steel blade comes factory sharpened, and the stainless steel is easy maintenance and constructs a more durable edge.

The Jackson Ultima figure skates is a well-known brand and designed with the input of coaches, skaters, and skate technicians. These figure skates, from a starter skate to pro skates, are made for the best performance on the ice rink.

Best Beginner Ice Hockey Skates: Bauer Ns Junior Ice Hockey Skate 1052948

Bauer Ns Junior Ice Hockey Skate 1052948 in black with red trimmings

If your child is new to ice hockey, then the Bauer Ns Junior Ice Hockey Skate is

the best kid ice skate for recreational skating and having fun at an ice hockey game. These skates are designed for beginner ice hockey players. The unique boot construction with the ankle padding, footbed, and other features needed to play ice hockey provides the necessary strength and support.

The distinctive boot design ensures a better anatomical fit and 15% more ankle support with the AnaForm ankle padding.  A proper fit of hockey skates usually is 1 to 1.5 sizes down from the U.S. shoe size. For example, a size 6 pair of ice hockey skates should fit a 7.5 shoe size. The tongue is 30 ounces consisting of one-piece black felt, and the injected materials make the boot more robust and durable.  The EVA shaped footbed is comfortable and supports the foot, and the injected comp weave of the outsole is integrated into the boot.

The holder and blade are upgraded from the previous model. The Tuuk Lightspeed Pro II Holder gives better leverage for young players, stability, and greater control than the first-generation holder. The Tuuk S-Stainless Steel Runners are crafted from mid-grade steel giving maximum durability. The runners are not replaceable.

Best Closure System: K2 Rink Raven BOA Adjustable Skates

K2 Rink Raven BOA Adjustable Skates

The K2 Rink Raven Adjustable Ice Skates

omes with the BOA closure system, one of the easiest ways to take skates off or put them on. Parents may appreciate it when their child needs to go to the bathroom, which may happen often, and they must remove the skates quickly – only to put them back on a few minutes later.

Ice skates should fit snugly. This goes for beginners and kids too. A child’s feet need the support these snuggly-fit skates provide. That is why the lacing system on the K2 Rink Raven BOA works well.

It can be adjusted for a personalized fit for your child from the toes to the heel. The BOA closure system may override the effectiveness of the lacing system. By turning the knob on the adjustable ice skates, the Junior BOA cuff automatically tightens around the child’s foot, providing stability and precision ankle support. Your child may even adjust the fitting while on the ice rink without parental assistance.

The shoe is made of water-repellant materials that will help keep your child s feet dry. The Original K2 Softboot, with its brushed liner, is soft, comfortable, and designed to keep feet warm. An interlocked stainless-steel blade is pre-sharpened. It requires almost no maintenance, is wear-resistant, and corrosion-resistant.

FAQ About Kids Ice Skates

Which Ice Skates are Best for Beginners?

The best ice skates that kids should learn to skate with are ice skates that fit well but not too tight. Sizing is important for your little customer. The child’s foot should not move around in the boot because the parent bought a size too big for growing feet. Some skaters prefer starting with a double blade for more manageable balance, but many novices master ice skating with single blades.

Kids’ ice skates for recreational skating are made with sturdy boots for ankle support and better balancing. Hockey ice skates are often used for recreational skating. Hybrid ice skates that have toe picks may help kids who are interested in figure skating.

However, if your child is an occasional skater, switching between ice skates with and without toe picks may challenge their learning process and even demotivate them. Playing sports like ice hockey and figure skating requires diverse skating styles and, therefore, a different ice skate. Mixing the two types of ice skates may confuse beginners and young children.

What Age is Best to Start Ice Skating?

If you think your child is prone to technical skating, then starting them at a young age may benefit the child. Your child can be as young as five or six years old and learn to skate with toe picks. Decide early on if you want your child to skate with or without toe picks. The skating style varies, and you want your child to grow accustomed to one style first.

A child or adult used to skate with ice hockey skates, or recreational skates may find adapting to figure skating ice skates a challenge initially. Pressing the pick into the ice may cause them to stumble because they are not used to the sudden stopping technique.

What is the Best Brand of Ice Skates?

That’s not an easy question to answer. There are many great brands that manufacturer high-quality pairs of ice skates. The best brand of ice skates depends on the purpose of skating. Bauer is the leading brand in ice hockey skates, whereas Jackson Ultima, Risport, Graf, Botas, and Edea are more known for their figure ice skates with toe picks and blades designed for technical skating and spins.

Jackson Ultima and Riedell make ice skates for all ice skaters. Whether you are a beginner skater or skate at the Olympic level. These are not the only brands on the market that sell quality ice skates; there are multiple other brands too like American Athletic and Lake Placid.

How Do I Choose the Right Ice Skates For Kids and Toddlers?

Ice skates must fit firmly without being too tight, especially for sports like figure skating and for beginners. Buy ice skates according to the shoe size of the toddler or child and not a size bigger. Loose-fitting ice skates are challenging to control.

An excellent fitting test is placing a finger behind the heel before tightening the ice skates. There should be about a finger space between the heel and skate when the child’s feet are pushed forward. Another way to ensure the skates fit correctly is to have your child wear their skate socks when fitting the new pair of skates. Socks vary in thickness and may influence how tight or loose the skate will fit.

What’s Special About Toddler Skates?

Toddler skates are built to help combat the toddler problem of undeveloped balance. They might have two runners or blades on the blade mount or provide more support through better buckle closures.

Of course, toddler skates are built for your younger daughter or son’s proportions as well. They are smaller, usually are adjustable figure ice skates, and come in colors or themes children will love.

What is the Difference Between Hockey Skates and Figure Ice Skates?

Ice hockey skates are great skates for beginners. The sturdy boot, comfortable inner lining, and support for ankles and feet are all features that may help novices with balance and comfort while mastering their skating skills out on ice rinks.

The primary difference between ice hockey skates and figure skates is the blade shape and toe picks. Ice hockey skates have straighter blades designed for speed, and the skates are made with more excellent protection. Figure ice skates have a curved blade with additional toe picks at the front of the blades. The toe picks look like teeth and are used for technical spins, tricks, jumps, and clean starting and stopping.

Are There Any Differences Between Girl Skates and Boy Skates?

The only real structural part of skates that are distinct for girls and boys is the width and length of the skate. Much as with standard shoes, boys’ boots are usually bigger and longer in the same size as girls’ shoes.

This is true of skates, too. Girls’ colors and styles are more feminine with pastels and soft prints. Boys’ skates often seem to be powerful dark shades in blues, black, and brown that will better complement their simple dress colors.

Do Ice Skates Need To Be Sharpened When I Buy Them?

Yes, your skates will need to be sharpened before use. Ice skates are shipped with a dull blade to avoid shipment and product injuries. They must be sharpened to keep the child from having a rounded ice tip. A bad tip is going to make them slip constantly because the blades are not going to catch on the ice.

This is a common confusion among people who buy ice skates. Most people do not realize fresh skates must be sharpened.

Styles for very young kids sometimes do not require sharpening. These toddler skates are mainly meant to make the child stand and move a little on skates and are not really for ongoing use on the ice. All other types of ice skates need to be sharpened.

Are Adjustable Skates Any Good?

A good pair of adjustable kids ice skates will last you a long time. A cheap pair will leave you disappointed. We’ve mentioned a few great models in this article – like the Lake Placid Summit and the K2 Rink Raven.

How Can I Teach My Toddler To Ice Skate?

The easiest way to teach a kid to skate is to put on and tie the laces of the skates while still off the ice. Once out on the ice – challenge him or her to take major moves, including marching/big steps while maintaining as much balance as they can.

How About Used Kids Ice Skates?

Buying used kids ice skates is a great idea. You’ll need to do more work to make sure the used product is up to the high-quality standards of the best ice skates for kids – but if you stay with a well-known brand like Lake Placid or Jackson Ultima softec, you should be fine.


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The Best Squishmallow Plush Toys – For Gifts or Yourself Fri, 20 Nov 2020 02:31:48 +0000

For the past year, I’ve seen these cute, plush, stuffed-pillow things lying around the house.

First it was one…then two…three!  Eventually, I thought they were multiplying on their own!  For my own safety, I had to get to the bottom of this phenomenon.

It turns out, these adorable plush toys are called Squishmallows.  They’ve been available since 2017, and the product line now reaches well over 500 strong squishy lovable buddies.  This year, they are particularly hot gift ideas.   Our panel of Squishmallow fans has put together this list of the best Squishmallow plush toys in 2020.  Our review section will have fewer words than normal – because the appeal of these Kellytoys is their look and feel – better captured in a picture.

Whether you buy them on Amazon, from other retailers, or from, we wish you good luck in your shopping hunt. Considering how popular Squishmallows are this year, products move in and out of stock on a daily basis.

Remember: most of the following Squishmallows are available in a wide range of sizes.  While we link to a particular size, you can always select a different one that fits your needs better!

Best Squishmallows In 2020

Our Favorite Squishmallow: Squishmallow 20″ Baby Yoda The Child

Baby Yoda was a worldwide sensation when he hit the scene in 2019 – and this Squishmallow lives up to the hype.   Baby Yoda was already an adorable character – so when you see him in Squishmallow form you won’t be able to resist picking him up and giving him a BIG HUG!

We like the 20″ model because it’s perfect for younger children to use as a pillow or nap buddy.   It has the “marshmallow” softness you’ve come to expect from the product line which can help your child when it’s time to sleep.

Any Mandalorian (or Star Wars in general) fan would love to get this pillow toy as a gift.  Come on – everyone loves Baby Yoda!

Best Christmas Squishmallow: SQUISHMALLOWS Kellytoy 2020 Christmas 8″ Carol The Xmas Tree Plush Toy

We had some other contenders in this category – the Polar Bear in particular – but in the end, we all agreed: Carol the Xmas Tree is the best Christmas-themed Squishmallow.

A Christmas tree is one of the better-known symbols of the holiday.  It’s also the perfect shape for a great Squishmallow character.  Why?  The conical-shape is made to be hugged and squished.  It also looks great as a display piece.

Great Pug Toy: Squishmallow Kellytoy 12” Prince The Pug Super Soft Plush Toy

I love pugs.  Not my own pug – I’ve done extended time in my life dog-Uncling a bulldog, so I’ve had enough snorting, smelling and snoring from a live dog.

But this Pug Squishmallow – it’s got all the pug cuteness without any of the downsides.  And it is extremely cute.  Let’s face it – pugs are already a half-step away from a stuffed animal in adorable looks so it’s not a stretch to make them into a plush toy.

Top Dog Squishmallow: Squishmallows Shiba Inu Dog Plush 8 inch

We have a soft spot in our heart for this Shiba Inu Squishmallow – it was the first one our family had bought.  In my opinion, the real Shiba Inu is one of- if not the most charming dog breed in the world (just shallowly judging on looks here – can’t comment on personality).  It’s the number one companion dog in Japan.

However, I’ve 1) got a great dog already and 2) don’t hail from the Land of the Rising Sun.  It’s likely a stuffed Squishmallow Shiba is as close as I’m going to come to the breed in real life.  Luckily. it’s a great plush so I don’t feel too bad about the constraints life has placed on me.


Best Unicorn Squishmallow: Squishmallow Soft Plush Unicorn Purple Pillow

While not a unicorn authority, I’ve always felt the unicorns were way too angular, too muscular.   I’m pro-muscle by the way – but since the unicorn is mythical anyway, why not make it softer, less threatening.

In essence – a Squishmallow unicorn.

Now that I’ve seen it in the real world – I know I was right.  This unicorn plush toy is a real cutie – your kids will love the look.  The miniature horn is just delightful!

Cutest Squishmallow Groundhog: Gilbert The Groundhog – Fall 2020

2020 has made every day feel like I’m in the movie Groundhog Day, so why not commemorate it with this awesome Squishmallow Groundhog.   I’d much rather remember this year with the feelings of joy and happiness I get from this sweet stuffed rodent than…well most anything else from 2020.

It’s one of the more minimalistic Squishmallows, but it certainly is cute.

For Jerry Garcia Lovers: Squishmallow Sharie The Tye Dye Sloth Stuffed Plush Toy

I’ll be honest – I didn’t realize this was a sloth until someone told me.   I was thinking more baby seal.

But that’s ok.  What’s more important is I know how this Squishmallow makes me feel.  It’s hard not to smile when you look at the sloth’s face. It’s simply cute.   I think the tie-dye pattern is a nice touch – but even if this plush toy had been all white, it’d still be a winner.

Frequently Asked Squishmallow Questions:

What sizes Squishmallows can you buy?

Squishmallows come in a wide range of sizes from a 3 1/2 inch keychain all the way to two feet.  The exact sizes are 3.5” (keychain), 5”, 7″, 8”, 11″, 12”, 13”, 16”, 20”, and 24”.  Not all Squishmallow toys come in every size.

Can you use Squishmallow Toys as a pillow?

You certainly can use a Squishmallow as a pillow.  That’s one of the great features of this plush toy.   How comfy a pillow depends on the size of the pillow and of your head.  For example, I can’t imagine the keychain would make a great pillow for anyone.

I bought my Squishmallow at Five Below.  Why am I unable to register my Plush Squishmallow?

While Five Below is a fine store, they often have special deals with manufacturers in order to bring unique products to customers.  That’s the case here.  According to the company, Five Below Squishmallows can’t be registered because they do not have a name or a bio.    Don’t worry, they are just as huggable as any other in the lineup!

Can fans submit their ideas for the next Squishmallow Squad?

Of course! The company behind Squishmallows loves them as much as you do, and wants to develop the best Squads possible.  If you have an idea or suggestion, you can fire off an email to with the subject: Squishmallow Suggestion.  Otherwise, you can Direct Message them on Twitter at

Are Squishmallows machine washable, or do they need to be dry cleaned?

Squishmallows are made to be machine washed and dried.  One tip we learned to help keep your plush looking like new: put it in a tied pillowcase before throwing in the washer and drier.  It’ll help keep its fluffiness intact.

Are Squishmallows organic?

No, Squishmallows are not organic.  They are made of polyester fibers.  Polyester is a strong fiber that keeps its shape due to the fact it is resistant to creasing.  For something as fluffy as a Squishmellow, it’s a great fiber choice.  They don’t add any potentially toxic chemicals to the outer layer or the inside fibers.  The tradeoff for that is these toys are not flame retardant.


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Best Snowsuits For Kids Thu, 19 Nov 2020 11:54:32 +0000

Snowsuits are one of the best ways to keep newborns, toddlers, and older children warm in the winter. What are the best snowsuits for kids?

Buntings and one-piece snowsuits work well for newborns and babies; it keeps the baby warm and is convenient for diaper changes. Be mindful that too bulky snowsuits may not be car seat safe; the seatbelt may not be secured sufficiently around excess material, making it unsafe for the infant.

Toddlers who are independent and potty trained need to be able to undress quickly for bathroom emergencies. One-piece and two-piece snowsuits have their benefits, and often it depends on what works best for the kid and the purpose of the snowsuit.

We created a list of the best snowsuits by focusing on each snowsuit’s features and how it may benefit the wearer. You may find snowsuits that are water-resistant, with elastic cuffs, coverings for hands and feet, hoodies to keep ears warm, ankle zippers for dressing over snow boots, and various closures for easy diaper changes or putting on and taking off the outerwear.

Top Choices for Kids’ Snowsuits

Best Baby Snowsuit: Hope & Henry Layette Faux Fur Hood Romper

Hope & Henry Layette Faux Fur Hood Romper

The Hope & Henry Layette Cable Sweater Romper with Faux Fur Hood is one of the best one-piece kids’ snowsuits to take your newborn home from the hospital. The stylish design will have your baby ready for any impromptu photoshoot.

Environmentally conscious parents may appreciate the 100% organic cotton material used to make the snowsuit. The company believes in manufacturing sustainable garments that are durable and will last a long time; they also believe in using fabrics free from pesticides and insecticides, protecting your little one, parents, communities, farmers, and the earth.

The plush cable knits are beautifully designed, and the quality fabric is soft to the touch, for parents and against the baby’s skin. Faux fur trim on the hood outlines your precious baby’s little face while the hood protects ears and head against the wind and cold.

Little ones may stay warm dressed in this trendy snowsuit, and the buttoned front makes diaper changing easy. The snowsuit may keep your newborn warm in autumn and moderately cold winters.  The cotton fabric is machine washable.

Best for Infant Snowsuit: Simple Joy by Carter’s Baby Fleece Footed Jumpsuit

Simple Joy by Carter’s Baby Fleece Footed Jumpsuit

The Simple Joy by Carter’s Baby Fleece Footed Jumpsuit with its cute bear design may provide warmth newborns to 9 months old kids need on cold wintry days. The attractive bear design with fuzzy foot art and little bear ears on the hood is so adorable you may want to cuddle your baby in this snowsuit.

Made from 100% polyester, the fleece snowsuit comes with a zipper closer for convenient nappy changes and easy dressing and undressing the baby. Convertible hand covers function as mittens to keep tiny fingers and hands warm. Although not a baby bunting bag, the snowsuit can easily slip on over other outfits when going outside or taking a trip in the car to the grandma or the mall. The snowsuit keeps your baby’s body heat inside; the zipper is convenient for cooling little ones when indoors.

The adorable bear design baby snowsuits feature three colors, ivory with bear ears, a brown bear for a snug bear effect, or the grey one-piece suit with animal prints.

Best for Slim and Husky: Lands’ End Kids Waterproof Iron Knees Squall Snow Bibs Snow Pants

Lands’ End Kids Waterproof Iron Knees Squall Snow Bibs Snow Pants in green
If a regular size does not fit your boy or girl, then the Lands’ End Kids Squall Bib Snow Pants are one of the best snow pants that may fit your child and keep snow, wind, and water out. Like adults, kids vary in size and build; some kids are smaller than regular size, while others need that little extra space. The one-piece snow bib and snow pants come in standard, slim, and husky sizes that may fit two-year-old toddlers to teenagers wearing a size 20.

The adjustable straps feature clip-in buckles for a snug fit and extension; kids do not need pesky shoulder straps that keep falling off their shoulders when preparing for a snow fight or making snow angels. The adjustable straps can be lengthened as kids grow.

One of the snow pants’ best features is the reinforced iron knees and seat interior fabric patches for crawling, sitting, and playing in the snow. The durable patches are soft against the child’s skin and invisible from the outside. The windproof, waterproof outer material and 100 grams insulation inside keep kids warm and dry.

The snow bibs overalls come with a zipper and elastic waist and armholes for easy dressing and quick undressing for toddler potty breaks. Ankle zippers on the legs fit over snow boots already on or can keep snow out when placed inside the boot. Elastic ankle gaiters inside the legs also help block out wind, rain, and snow, keeping your kid’s feet and legs warm.

Best for Girl Toddler Snowsuit: Pink Platinum Baby Girls’ One-Piece Puffer Winter Snowsuit

Pink Platinum Baby Girls’ One-Piece Puffer Winter Snowsuit in pink
The Pink Platinum Baby Girls’ One-Piece Snowsuit is one of the best toddler snowsuits to keep kids warm in frigid cold winters. The thick poly-filled fleeced-lined material is designed for warmth when playing in the snow.

An asymmetrical front zipper in contrasting colors ensures your toddler is zipped up to their chin. If your little one needs a potty break, the zipper unzips down the left leg to quickly get out of the snowsuit. The long zipper is convenient for nappy changes too. The kids’ snowsuits come in sizes that may fit 3-months old infants up to two-year-old toddlers.

The plush polar fleece hood has a Sherpa trim and embossed logo. Optional mittens may cover toddlers’ hands against extreme cold or leave them free when the temperature allows it. Berry, plum, and blush are the three girly colors you can suit up your little princess in to keep her warm during the winter season.

Best for Wind and Water-Resistant Winter Gear: Arctic Quest Puffer Ski Jacket and Snow Bib Snowsuit Set

Arctic Quest Puffer Ski Jacket and Snow Bib Snowsuit Set

The two-piece Arctic Quest Puffer Ski Jacket and Snow Bib Snowsuit Set with its vibrant colors may entice any little girl to go outdoors for adventurous winter fun. The ski suit consists of a fleece-lined hooded puffer jacket and bib snow pants color-block design and contrasting colorful zippers.

Shoulders straps on the bib pants adjust to accommodate growth spurts. The ski pants fit with ease over winter boots, and boot gaiters keep warmth inside. The reinforced knee panels improve the durability of the snowsuit. It also ensures the cold stays out when kids kneel in snow and ice during play.

The jacket, with its colorful lining, comes with two side pockets. The sleeves have elastic cuffs protecting arms against wetness and cold. Sizes range from acute fit for 12 months old infants to toddlers, and little girl sizes up to 6X. The boys equivalent Arctic Ski Jacket and Snow Bib Snowsuit Set sizes range from 18 months infants to boys size 7. The water-resistant material is machine washable and dries quickly.

Best for Boys Ski and Snow Gear: iXtreme Boys’ Insulated Two-Piece Snowsuits

iXtreme Boys’ Insulated Two-Piece Snowsuits in blues

The iXtreme Boys’ Insulated Two-Piece Snowsuit may keep your kids warm while they explore the winter wonderland created by snow and ice. Whether it is keeping your kid warm on ski slopes, fort building, or a snow fight, the two-piece bib and jacket are one of the best kids’ snowsuits for cold weather.

Bright color combinations allow moms to keep an eye on their kids without them realizing it. The dungaree style bib with snow pants offer great movement, and the adjustable shoulder straps grow with your child. Ankle gaiters keep snow and wet out and fit snugly in the winter boots.

The polar fleece lining insulates the winter gear, and the water-resistant material keeps water and mud out. Designed to keep kids warm during their winter outdoor activities and adventures, the insulated hood protects their ears and heads. The elastic cuffs keep warmth inside and cold temperatures away from little ones’ arms. A robust zipper ensures durability with multiple uses. Kids can keep their hands warm in the jacket pockets or store some interesting but vital items in it.

Best for Girls Winter Coat: OshKosh B’Gosh Girls Printed Heavy Weight Winter Coat and Snow Pants

OshKosh B’Gosh Girls Printed Heavy Weight Winter Coat and Snow Pants

The OshKosh B’Gosh Girls Printed Heavy Weight Winter Coat and Snow Pants are girls’ winter wear designed for active baby girls and toddlers. The multi-colored jackets come in rainbow pink, neon, and royal variants with matching snow bibs.

Both the jacket and snow bib have front zip closures that may come in handy when your little girl needs to go to the bathroom. Adjustable buckle straps ensure a comfortable fit and allow for adapting as she grows.

The rainbow color-block jacket comes with comfortable flap pockets and an attached hood. The fleece lining is snug and warm against your child’s body; she may enjoy sledding and having fun in the snow without noticing the cold weather.

If you were looking for a snowsuit for your princess that isn’t too girly but fashionable and keeps the cold and wet out with insulation, cuffs, and gaiters, then the OshKosh B’Gosh snowsuit set is an excellent pick.

Best for Wind Resistance and Water Repellant: Columbia Kids’ Snuggly Bunny Bunting

Columbia Kids’ Snuggly Bunny Bunting
The Columbia Snuggly Bunny Bunting is the best baby snowsuit to keep newborns and toddlers dry and warm in wind and snow. If your toddler likes being outside, then the wind and water-resistant taffeta shell may protect them from getting wet and cold.

With a soft, down 450 fill power and a plush microfleece lining, Infants may stay comfortably warm when pushed in the baby stroller, and toddlers won’t even notice the cold. Arm sleeves and the interior hood features the snuggly down insulation. The fold-over hands-and-feet covers offer warmth and comfort to tiny toes and fingers.

Changing diapers or potty breaks are easy with the full-length zipper. The gussets cover the zippers protecting tender skin from accidental scratching.

The machine-washable bunting snowsuit comes in an array of colors, patterns, and sizes. Parents may cuddle their kid in bright colors, floral prints, or pretty animal prints.

Best Character Snowsuit: Carter’s Baby Boys’ Heavyweight 2-Piece Skisuit Snowsuit

Carter’s Baby Boys’ Heavyweight 2-Piece Skisuit Snowsuit

The Carter’s Boys’ Character Snowsuit is one of the best snowsuits for kids who enjoy dressing up. Boys should find an interesting theme among the multiple designs. Wearing a character snowsuit with scales at the back of the jacket may convince any unwilling toddler that getting dressed is a good idea.

The dinosaur print should appeal to dinosaur fans; most boys can’t resist the monster snowsuits in various colors. There are also camouflage designs for the adventurous, polar bears, and multiple color block combinations.

A thick jacket and snow pants may keep your little one warm on their role-playing excursions. Elastic cuffs at the arms and ankles keep the heat inside and snow away from your child’s warm body. Depending on which theme you chose, the two pockets are either at the front or sides with side gussets.

The ski jacket and snow bib are water and wind-resistant and come with zippers for easy putting on and taking off. Kids may wear it as a two-piece snowsuit or wear the pieces separately.

Parents can write the child’s name and their phone number on the tag stitched on the jacket’s inside. Your child’s snowsuit won’t easily be mislaid or confused with another kid’s ski jacket.

Buying Guide for Kids’ Snowsuits

Snowsuit Sizes

Some snowsuit brands run small or large; therefore, it is good to check the retail website’s sizing guide and consider customer experiences.

Dungaree style snow pants with bibs often feature adjustable shoulder straps to adjust as kids grow. Parents may also change the straps to fit kids who are taller or shorter than their age group.


Insulation in snowsuits vary. Some one-piece snowsuits have insulation in the hood and the top jacket part but is not fully insulated in the snowsuit’s bottom section. Make sure you purchase a snowsuit with insulation that correlates with the type of weather.

Zippers and Buttons

Full-length zippers, buttons, or button snaps make it easier to change diapers and to dress babies. Toddlers should be able to quickly get out of a snowsuit or snow pants for an urgent potty break.

Babies may scratch their chin against zippers that aren’t covered. Some snowsuits come with safety chin closures and gussets to protect the infant from rubbing against the zipper.

Hoodies and Hats

Most snowsuit hoods come with insulation to keep the child’s head and ear warm. However, not all hoodies fit snugly. Wearing a hat with the hoodie may provide the comfort, snugness, and warmth your child may need when building snow angels on snowy winter days.

Car Seat Safe

Snowsuit outerwear tends to be bulky, could be too warm inside the car, and is not car seat safe. The bulky material gives the illusion that the seat belt is strapped securely around your infant, but it is not. However, some buntings come with slips for the seat belt.

When indoors or in the car with a heater, it is best practice to take the outerwear off to avoid your infant from overheating. Seatbelts fit better over warm onesies that aren’t made from bulky fabric.

Mittens and Booties

Many infant snowsuits come with fold-over covers that work like mittens and booties to keep feet and hands warm. Elastic cuffs at ankles and wrists also help keep the cold and snow away from the child’s body.

These fold-over covers may work well for infants, but with active toddlers and older kids, you may need extra gloves and snow boots.

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Funny Christmas Card Messages Mon, 16 Nov 2020 18:40:41 +0000

Every year people receive and send Christmas cards to family, friends, colleagues, and loved ones. Most of the Christmas cards contain traditional Christmas wishes, messages about the New Year, or happy holiday season sayings.

If you were looking for something different than the traditional Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year message in your Christmas card this year, here are some funny Christmas card messages and quote ideas. You may find funny holiday season sayings, Christmas card sayings for family, about Santa Clause, funny quotes you may use in your Christmas card, and general witty Merry Christmas and Happy New Year messages too.

Funny Holiday Card Wishes

  • May your holidays be wreathed in joy.
  • Have a sleighful of fun this holiday season.
  • Give me an H! Gimme an O! Gimme an H! Gimme an O! Gimme an H! Gimme an O! What’s that spell? HO-HO-HOLIDAY CHEER!
  • I hope this holiday season sends you over the rainbow and under the mistletoe.
  • Enjoy this season of unbridled consumerism, nonsensical customs, and rampant overeating.
  • May you be at peace, at least until your next credit card statement.
  • Happy Holidays! May your holidays be as lovely as they look on social media.
  • Season’s Greetings to those we hold dear, from our home to yours, whether far or near.
  • Good times, good cheer, and a happy new year!
  • May the season be festive, and the laughter be contagious.

Funny Christmas Card Sayings

  • That warm feeling is not just the Christmas spirit; you left the oven on.
  • This Christmas, may your heart be light and your stocking heavy.
  • You know those commercials where the present is a brand-new car with a big red bow? Yeah, we are not doing that.
  • Have a cool yule and swell noel.
  • I put so much thought into your gift that it is sold out. Merry Christmas anyway!
  • Here is wishing your stockings are filled with something other than coal.
  • May your fun be large, and bills be small this year. Merry Christmas!
  • The only app I would like for Christmas is a “hAPPy holiday.”
  • Remember that Christmas is about more than presents. There are also cookies.
  • I dream of a white Christmas, but I know I’ll be in red before it’s over.
  • Bring on the joy! Bring on the cheer! Bring on the present swap game.
  • Christmas calories do not count!
  • Christmas is the season when you buy this year’s gifts with next year’s money.
  • Christmas is a season of magic and mystery. All your savings for the year will have vanished, and you will not even know it. How awesome!
  • I have finally found the true meaning of Xmas; it’s for those people who can’t spell Christmas!
  • Only an accountant understands the real meaning of Christmas.
  • Merry Christmas, nearly everybody, and a Happy New Year to all!
  • Christmas is a state of mind and that special feeling that only comes with an empty bank account.
  • Have a holly jolly Merry Christmas.
  • Christmas is a race to see which gives out first – your money or your feet.

Funny Santa Clause Card Messages

  • Christmas is Claus for celebration!
  • Staying on the Nice List, I trust?
  • Is it too late to be good?
  • Santa saw your social media posts – you’re getting a dictionary this year!
  • Did you hear that? It is either the magical jingling of eight flying reindeer pulling a miniature sleigh, or it is holiday tinnitus…
  • Happy Christmas. May you never be too grown-up to search the skies on Christmas eve.
  • Do not try to borrow any money from elves; they are always a little short! Have a Merry Christmas!
  • Santa told me you had been very good this year; I told him it was just a lack of opportunity. Merry Christmas!
  • Santa left batteries under the tree with a note that said, “Due to cutbacks, toys and gadgets not included.”
  • Remember to clean your chimney before Christmas, lest Santa finds it un-soot-able.
  • Keep your nose and chimney clean this Christmas season.
  • I think Santa must ride a plane instead of sleigh so that he can reach me faster. I often fell asleep waiting for him.
  • Santa Claus has the right idea. Visit people only once a year.
  • I left Santa gluten-free cookies and organic soy milk, and he put a solar panel in my stocking.
  • Dear Santa, for Christmas I want a fat bank account and a thin body. Please do not confuse it as you did last year.
  • Dear Santa, I was good all year, well most of the year… right, sometimes… at least a few times… OK, I’ll buy it myself.

Funny Merry Christmas and Santa Puns

  • But first, let me take an elfie.
  • Christmas has me feeling extra Santa-mental.
  • Santa can’t take a nonstop; he has to take a sleigh-over
  • Sleigh what?!
  • Do you know your alphabet?
  • “Say it to me face, I deer you.
  • Home, home on the rein… where the deer and the antelope play
  • I’ll never fir-get you.
  • Lighten up; it is Christmas!
  • One, Two, Tree!
  • Have a dill-lightful holiday
  • I am so egg-cited about the holidays
  • It is Christmas Thyme

Funny Family Merry Christmas Messages

  • Christmas is a time for remembering family and trying to guess everyone’s sizes! Have a Wonderful Christmas!
  • Wishing you all the wonders and joys of a child on Christmas morning.
  • Home is where the Christmas cookies and presents are!
  • I am writing a unique and personal message in each of my Christmas cards this year. So for you, I’d like to say: Whoever you are, Merry Christmas to my friend/family member who is really special.
  • What do you call a kid who will not sit on Santa’s lap? Claustrophobic!
  • Everyone knows the most important part of the Christmas celebration is spending time with family you do not get to see very often. Then you have an excuse to neglect them for the rest of the year.
  • He who has now not Christmas in his heart will on no account find it beneath a tree.
  • Anyone who believes that men are equal to women should see a man trying to wrap a Christmas present.
  • I wanted to send you something AMAZING for Christmas, but the mailman told me to get out of the mailbox.
  • Christmas (noun). The only time of the year in which one can sit in front of a dead tree and eat candy out of socks.
  • Oh, what fun; the Christmas season has begun! May your blessings astound you and your loved ones surround you. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
  • May your Christmas be filled with lots of happiness, peace, and love… ooh and lots of presents.
  • It is the time of year of eggnog, candles, cakes, songs, reindeer, Christmas carol, laughter – and most importantly, LOVE. Merry Christmas
  • They say that Christmas is just around the corner. How can it be when the world is round?

Funny Christmas Quotes

  • You can tell a lot about a person by the way they handle three things: a rainy day, lost luggage, and tangled Christmas tree lights. – Maya Angelou
  • Mail your packages early so the post office can lose them in time for Christmas. – Johnny Carson
  • Nothing is as mean as giving a little child something useful for Christmas. – Kin Hubbard
  • There are three stages of man: he believes in Santa Claus; he does not believe in Santa Claus; he is Santa Claus. – Bob Phillips
  • Keep your friends close, your enemies closer, and receipts for all major purchases. – Bridger Winegar
  • Never worry about the size of your Christmas tree. In the eyes of children, they are all 30 feet tall. – Larry Wilde
  • Christmas is like candy; it slowly melts in your mouth, sweetening every taste bud, making you wish it could last forever. – Richelle Goodrich
  • From a commercial point of view, if Christmas did not exist, it would be necessary to invent it. – Katharine Whitehorn
  • I wish we could put up some of the Christmas spirit in jars and open a jar of it every month. – Harlan Miller
  • The best of all gifts around any Christmas tree: the presence of a happy family all wrapped up in each other. – Burton Hillis
  • The Christmas season has come to mean the period when the public plays Santa Claus to the merchants. – John Andrew Holmes
  • Christmas is a time when kids tell Santa what they want, and adults pay for it. Deficits are when adults tell the government what they want, and their kids pay for it. – Richard Lamm
  • A lovely thing about Christmas is that it is compulsory, like a thunderstorm, and we all go through it together. – Garrison Keillor
  • The best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear. – Buddy the Elf, Elf

What is your favorite funny Christmas card saying?

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The Best Lego Technic Sets and Toys for STEM Learning Fun Wed, 11 Nov 2020 20:42:15 +0000

Lego Technic, the advanced version of the classic colored building blocks, takes the fun to another level – and kicks the learning up a gear or two! Budding engineers and technicians will marvel at the awesomely immersive construction process, where they can learn all about how the machines around us work. Revealing the secrets of engines, hydraulics, suspension, steering, and more, Lego Technic offers a truly engaging challenge to children of all ages – and adults, too!

These best Lego sets are fantastic for helping eager minds develop the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) skills that are so heavily in demand in the modern world.  What I love most about Lego Technic building kits are the way adults and children, parents and kids can work on these Lego sets together in a way no screen or app can match.

Ready to get those cogs turning? Here are our picks for the best Lego Technic sets available today!

Best Lego Technic Toys

LEGO Technic Mobile Crane
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LEGO Technic Liebherr R 9800 Excavator
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LEGO Technic Chevrolet Corvette ZR1
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LEGO Technic Bucket Wheel Excavator
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LEGO Technic Fast & Furious Doms Dodge Charger
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Lego Technic Fire Plane
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LEGO Technic Rough Terrain Crane
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LEGO Technic Mercedes-Benz Arocs 3245 42043 Building Kit
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Lego Technic Dragster 42103
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The Top Lego Technic Sets Reviewed

Best Overall Building Kit: LEGO Technic Bugatti Chiron

Lego Technic Bugatti Chiron Race Car Building Kit

The Lego Technic Bugatti Chiron is our top pick for the overall best Lego Technic set. It’s got the right mix of art and engineering that provides not only hours of fun building this 1:8 replica of the world-famous Bugatti Chiron, but also makes you appreciate the beauty and craftsmanship of the build well after you are done.

It’s also the closest most people are going to come to seeing one of these cars, since only 250 of them have been made in the entire world by this French luxury supercar manufacturer. Don’t worry, the Lego Technic version won’t leave you feeling short-changed.

From the moment you open the box, you’ll know the LEGO Technic Bugatti Chiron super car is going to be a special and unique set. You wouldn’t think the way the inner boxes work are designed could have such a powerful effect – but they really do. At this price point, you should expect an entire experience – and LEGO delivers. Heck, each car has it’s own unique serial number (take a look under the hood).

Lego designers went all out with the Chiron – you’ll follow the actual build process that is used on a real Bugatti Chiron as you put together the model. First, you’ll create the 16-cylinder engine and the fully-functional 8-speed gearbox separately – then mate them together in the rest of the body. Seriously – you’ll be amazed by the precision that’s needed to fit everything together in this set.

You’ll get double-digit hours of enjoyment building the Chiron – one of the rarest of the supercar genre. The set includes 3599 pieces. Our only complaint was there is no way to “motorize” this Lego model. It would have been awesome to be able to hook up a motor out of the box – but there’s nothing stopping you from engineering a solution on your own!

Best New Crane Set For 2020: LEGO Technic Mobile Crane

Lego Technic Mobile Crane Building Kit

Your construction fan will love the Lego Technic 42108 Mobile Crane. It’s tons of fun to play with and is one of the best Lego sets for people looking to go from building to play in one day. In my opinion, it’s one of the “purest” Lego models to the original Technic ideal at a quite reasonable price.

It’s not the biggest set nor does it have the most pieces. What this building kit does have is an exceptionally clever design. As you are building it you will likely wonder how exactly the turning mechanism is going to function when it’s all put together. I won’t spoil the surprise but be assured it does work in an elegant fashion. You also get a very long linear-actuator to extend the crane arm out to over 30 inches long. The crane systems actuator is great to have not only in this project but for when you are building your own creations down the road.

Overall this Lego Technic set features eight-wheel steering, independent outriggers to lift the crane off the ground when activated, full 360-degree crane rotation, and working crane arm boom and hook. I think it’s a great introductory Lego kit to bring both kids and teens into the world of Technic sets.

The Best RC Excavator Kit in 2020: LEGO Technic Liebherr R 9800 Excavator

Outstanding LEGO Technic Liebherr R 9800 Excavator 42100 Building Kit

There’s a new Technic excavator on the market to buy in 2020! The real-life Lego Liebherr R 9800 mining excavator is almost too massive to imagine: while the real thing weighs in at over 810 tons, you can now experience the engineering miracle in your own living room!

This is one of the best Lego Technic sets for adults – though a highly motivated kid or teen could tackle this building kit as well. The excavator is remote controlled through your smartphone or tablet running the Lego Technic CONTROL+ app. The Lego set features two smart hubs to control the seven motors (3 XL and 4 L-sized) to drive this behemoth of a machine. You’ll need to provide your own power – the 6AA batteries that bring the juice aren’t included. If that annoys you, look on the bright side – the real Liebherr uses hundreds of gallons of diesel fuel per KWhour of work!

Using the app, you will be able to drive forward and backward, rotate the superstructure in both directions, move the boom, and tilt the bucket. The bucket and boom are moved by linear actuators – something you don’t see every day. Don’t expect this giant to move fast – once again it’s staying true to the original. Then again, did you expect a Lego model that has 1000 steps to complete to be a speed demon?

Here’s a tip to avoid some hassle: when building this Lego Technic model, you will be asked to test the mechanics as you build. If you are having trouble getting the app to connect during a test (usually the second hub), plug all the motors into the second hub just for the test. It should work, and you can move on with the building process.

Best Lego Technic Muscle Car: LEGO Technic Chevrolet Corvette ZR1

LEGO Technic Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 42093 Building Kit (579 Pieces)

I’ll admit it – I’m not much of a car guy. Sure, I wouldn’t turn down a Porsche 911 GT3 RS if you gave it to me for free, but having the best or newest cars on the block doesn’t do it for me.

However….even I can get into the LEGO Technic Chevrolet Corvette building kit! The sweet orange + black color scheme and kickin’ spoiler really does make this model look like the muscle car we all know and love.

To begin with, this is a relatively quick build of a cool American classic. You can probably finish the Corvette during the time you’d normally watch an NFL football game. For that little time investment, you’ll get one of the best Lego Technic Sets for illustrating how an engine and driveshaft work together.

The V8 engine has moving pistons that work in tandem with the rear axle. Since this is one of the non-motorized Lego Technic sets, you move the pistons by pushing the car. However, I have seen people show off builds where they added their own Power Up Contol+ or other motors from existing technic sets. It seems like a great idea.

It’s also a sneaky-deaky, 2 in 1 model Lego set. You likely won’t find it in the printed instructions, but if you grab the Lego Building Instructions App for your smart device you’ll find directions to create a hot rod style race car with these pieces.

Best Starter Lego Technic Model: Lego Technic Dragster 42103

LEGO Technic Dragster 42103 Pull-Back Racing Toy Building Kit, New For 2020

First introduced in 2014, the Lego Technic Record Breaker was traditionally the best starter Lego building model. Now that it’s been discontinued, prices on that set have risen so it’s not as great a value as it once was.

Luckily Lego has come out in 2020 with the Lego Technic Dragster to fill that void. This is among the best Technic sets for beginner builders – both for ease of build and fun pull-back motor design.

It doesn’t have a ton of pieces so it’s not intimidating to a kid or beginner adults. That doesn’t mean you can’t do a lot with those 225 pieces. On the contrary, this is a 2 in 1 build – you get two dragster models in one set.

With its fully functional pull-back motor, the Lego Technic Dragster lets you shoot off at breakneck speeds and set new land speed records! A pull-back motor works just as it sounds – and in this model you can have it speed away or pop a wheelie upon release.

The sturdy design means that it can take quite a bashing without falling apart – but if it does, you can always put it back together again. You have multiple ways to access the instructions – either through paper or through the Instructions Plus app.

Ages: 7 and up

LEGO Technic Bucket Wheel Excavator 42055 Construction Toy

This is one HEFTY Lego Technic set! Weighing in over 7 pounds when complete, the Lego Technic Bucket Wheel Excavator is living up to it’s real-life namesake. This is one of the best Technic sets for teens and adults looking for a challenge. The instruction manual features 669 steps to complete the main machine!

This is a motorized, 2 in 1 model. Once you finish creating the bucket wheel excavator you’ll be able to move it with power functions on the built-in remote control (such as forward and backward motion, move the boom on the rotating bucket wheel, and turn on and off the conveyor belt transporting your “excavation”.) When you feel the need, you can take this model apart and use the building kit to create a Mobile Aggregate Processing Plant.

A bucket wheel excavator is used in large mining operations. It’s quite powerful, but due to the enormous size it also moves slower than you’d expect. The real life machine this model is fashioned off of only reaches top speeds of less than 0.4 mph. That is replicated in this building kit – it’s not the speediest Lego model you’ll ever see, but that’s by design. The attention to realism is one of the selling points of Technic sets.

One of the added bonuses of this set is not only the raw number of pieces (over 3900) but the type of Lego bricks included. There are a ton of square frame and other moving parts which are great for replay value – they really come in handy when coming up with your own designs in combination with other Lego Technic sets.

This model was originally introduced in 2016 (when it was the largest set by the number of pieces) and is now a retired product. At the time, it probably was the best Lego Technic Set manufactured. Since it is retired, that means you can still find the sets brand-new from some retailers but there aren’t plans to make more. What exists today is the last of these Lego Technic sets. If this mechanical marvel seems like a challenge you want to take on, my advice is to buy it sooner rather than later.

Best For Fast and Furious Racing Car Fans: LEGO Technic Fast & Furious Dom’s Dodge Charger

 LEGO Technic Fast & Furious Dom’s Dodge Charger 42111 Race Car Building Set, New 2020 (1,077 Pieces)

You don’t have to admit it to me. But I’ll admit it to you – I made my son watch most of the Fast & Furious movies just so I’d have an excuse to watch them myself.

So when I saw the Lego had dropped a LEGO Technic Fast & Furious Dom’s Dodge Charger building kit, I was a little excited. The good news is, it’s a cool Lego Technic set on it’s own – even if you don’t love the movies.

The Dodge Charger R/T of the 1970’s is an iconic automobile. With the V8 engine and air blower hanging out of the hood, you’d likely recognize it driving down the street. At 15 inches long, this building set doesn’t fail to represent. You might start to feel a little more like a real mechanic when you are done with this build.

It’s among the best Lego Technic sets for street race car enthusiasts – and you get a lot of features in this kit. For one, the moving pistons, timing belt/chain, and air blower all operate without battery power. Others have rigged it up to motors from other sets, but you don’t have to. There’s a full working suspension – it’s hard to find that in other Technic Lego sets at this price range.

You’ll find some pieces not found in other lego model sets – always a bonus for improving your future creative potential. If you or your children are into cool classic cars, this is a top choice for the best Lego Technic building kit for you.

Best Technic Lego Set For Aviators: Lego Technic Fire Plane

LEGO Technic 42040 Fire Plane Building Kit

Unleash your inner firefighter with this amazing airplane! The 2-in-1 Lego Technic Fire Plane comes with some seriously cool features. The propeller spins as you wheel it along before take-off. You can control the wing flaps and elevators with the included yoke. And best of all, you can open the cargo hold to drop Lego water onto raging forest fires! And that’s not to mention the intricate two-cylinder engine!

Feel like a change? Take it all apart and reassemble the 578 pieces into its alternate design: an amazing high-speed Jet Plane! It’s a 2 in 1 model. This design features many movable parts – including a retractable cockpit, elevators, air brakes, and landing gear. Whichever model takes your fancy, get building and take to the skies!

The Lego Technic Fire Plane was among the best Lego Technic sets introduced in 2015, but it has recently been retired from production. I hope Lego decides to introduce some more airplane sets soon. Flying a Lego model is an American tradition, dangit! If you are on the fence about buying or collecting this building kit – you should make your decision soon. LEGO isn’t manufacturing any more of these sets so supply is limited.

Ages: 9-16

Great For Heavy-Duty Construction: LEGO Technic Rough Terrain Crane

LEGO Technic Rough Terrain Crane 42082 Building Kit (4056 Pieces)

I’m not sure what it is, but some of the most popular 2 in 1 Lego Technic sets are model cranes.

Yes, cranes. Double the popularity if there are remote controlled.

I guess it’s the fact that when you are done, you know…actually move stuff with these Lego sets. In this regard, the Lego Technic Rough Terrain Crane is a stellar performer. The remote control allows you to take charge of the upper and lower functions of the crane. You can drop or raise the stabilizers, operate the lifting winch, or extend the boom more than 3 feet high. There are a lot of rc moving parts with this model, including a separate gearbox for the upper and lower portions.

It’s a bit of beast to put together at 4056 pieces and 1170 steps, but like all Technic sets the build itself is a good part of the fun. The product guide is clear which is helpful when you need to break up the assembly sets into different days. Nothing is worse than not being able to tell where you left off in a building kit – that’s not an issue with this model.

It’s also quite nice to look at. The red and black color scheme is fitting, and there’s something about the proportions that just makes it look sturdy. As one of the flagship Technic sets of 2018, it’s designed to not only be played with but put on display. No matter what path you choose, this model will work.

Two Awesome Construction Vehicles In One Set: LEGO Technic Mercedes-Benz Arocs 3245 42043 Building Kit

LEGO Technic Mercedes-Benz Arocs 3245 42043 Building Kit - Best Mercedes-Benz Technic Truck

The ultimate Lego Technic building experience! With 2,793 individual pieces, the Lego Technic Mercedes-Benz Arocs is a genuine engineering project. In fact, for those with an interest in how things work, it is one of the best lego technic toys out there!

The finished battery-operated toy can do everything a heavy-duty truck with a hydraulic crane can – and you can learn how it all works by putting one together yourself! It has an incredibly authentic internal system, and it’s a dream to play with. What’s more, when you’re ready for a new challenge, you can take it all apart and use the same pieces to create a fully functional Articulated Construction Truck!

Under the hood (actually, the cab tilts to reveal the engine but still) you’ll find a 6-cylinder engine with moving pistons. There’s twin axle steering through the Mercedes-branded steering wheel. It comes with not only a motor but an entire pneumatic system – as far as I know it’s the only Lego Technic building kit with air pressure.

The black, white and grey color scheme is true to the original truck colors. The Mercedes Benz Arocs was among the best Lego Technic sets introduced in 2016, but it has recently been retired from production. If you are looking for a great building kit to collect, or just want to build and play with it – you should hurry. LEGO isn’t making any more of these sets.

Best Technic Motorcycle Set: Lego Technic Ducati Panigale V4 R

Much like a monster truck, everyone loves the idea of motorcycles – but not everyone wants to own or drive one. For the less adventurous among us, the Lego Technic Ducati Panigale motorcycle set gives us the chance to bring the cycle fantasy to life without much real commitment – just 646 Lego pieces and some of your spare time.

Much like the Ducati Panigale, this Lego Technic set on its own is a groundbreaker. It’s the first Technic motorcycle to include a 2-speed gearbox. Among the working moving parts featured on this build you’ll find working front and rear disc brakes, and functioning independent suspension. That type of precision means it’s not the easiest of the Lego Technic sets to build. It’s best for someone looking for a challenge.

It’s a beautiful build to look at. The Italian red color is a Ducati classic and really calls attention to the creation. Even the engine design is fun to see. True to the Technic tradition, you can create and put on display this Lego set with the included parking stand.

Best Technic Jet: Lego Technic Display Team Jet

Best Technic LEGO Aircraft - LEGO Technic Display Team Jet 42044 Building Kit

The Lego Technic Display Team Jet is an awesome 2-in-1 model plane toy at an affordable price. It comes with 113 Lego pieces and instructions for how to build them into two different models: a display team jet and a stunt plane.

In its jet form, a retractable landing gear means that you can have an aerodynamic design in-flight, and then pop out the wheels for a smooth landing. And in its plane form, a flick of the propeller really makes it spin. Either way, this Lego Technic build is perfect for daring air show displays!

As a retired Lego Technic model, Lego is no longer build new sets at their facility. See the section below on retired Lego sets for more information – but make sure you are price conscious when shopping for this building kit. The price can move quite a bit in a short period of time. Of course, if you are made of money, don’t let me stop you from buying this Technic set – it is one of the best.

Ages: 7-14

Lego Technic Arctic Truck

 LEGO Technic Arctic Truck (42038)

One of the things I LOVE about Lego Technic sets is how they allow people to build machines and vehicles they might not ever be able to use in real life. The Lego Technic Arctic Truck is one of those Lego sets – I have no desire to visit the Arctic. It’s cold enough where I live!

Nonetheless, this snow crawler is a cool Lego set to build. It’s one of the 2 in 1 Lego sets, so you get more play for your dollar. With 913-pieces, this Lego Technic set comes loaded with authentic features, like fully functional crawler tracks, an incredible suspension system, and hand-operated crane and cargo. You can change the crane to battery power with an additional motor set. The alternate design option is a Quad Track Pickup Truck with an attached trailer and satellite link-up device. Both designs use the same Lego bricks and pieces – how cools is that!

It’s not that complicated a design, and the crane has been a source of contention since this building kit was introduced in 2015. It’s a retired product these days – so LEGO isn’t making any new ones in 2020 and beyond. This building set is fun on it’s own, and might be worth picking up just for the snow crawler track pieces to use in your own creative build.

Other Top Technic Lego Sets We Should Mention – The Retired Ones:

Lego has a habit of retiring Lego Technic sets when you least expect it. They have a page explaining why on their site.

That does mean some of the fan favorites from one year are no longer manufactured in the next. You will still be able to buy those Technic sets – either new or used – from places like Amazon or EBay for years to come.

But should you buy these Lego Technic sets?

As with most things in a semi-free market system, when the supply dries up with demand staying the same, the price will rise until demand falls. This same phenomenon happens with retired Technic Lego sets.

The bottom line for you: Many Lego Technic sets that have been recently retired will sell at a substantial premium to the old list price. This happens even more so for the best lego sets. Sometimes they move in and out of stock quite quickly. Therefore, we’ve put together some shorter reviews of these absolutely great retired Technic building kits that you’ll want to make sure to check the price on before ordering. In the end, only you can decide if the market price is fair for your set or not.

Lego Technic 6×6 All Terrain Tow Truck

It was a sad day for both Lego fans and tow truck lovers when Lego announced the retirement of their best Technic 2 in 1 Tow Truck building kit. The truck is powered by two motors which can be controlled by remote control. Power functions include crane and winch, extendable outriggers, steering and direction.

You can also create a research vehicle with this Lego set. It’s not for a beginner but from the gearbox to the crane, it’s a high-quality building kit. The high profile tires look good too. I guess you’d need them on an all terrain tow truck. The set consists of 1862 pieces to put together.

Lego Technic Heavy Lift Helicopter

Best Helicopter Set - LEGO Technic Heavy Lift Helicopter 42052 Advanced Building Toy

Another Lego technical marvel, the Lego Technic Heavy Lift Helicopter comes with multiple battery-powered functions. These include power functions such as contra-rotating rotors, opening cargo bay doors, and a fully functional winch. Its design is not only stylish but sturdy, too. In other words, you can swing this Lego Technic set through the air without fear of it falling apart!

Its 1,042 individual Lego pieces present an immersive and rewarding building challenge that lets you learn all about the inner workings of real life helicopters. It’s among the best building helicopter sets you can find. And when you’re ready to roll your sleeves up again, you can check out the alternate Technic design option: the stunning and fully functional Tandem Rotor Helicopter. Honestly, with this outstanding Lego toy, the sky’s the limit!

Ages: 10-16

Lego Technic Compact Crawler Crane

This is a big crane - REALLY big

The Lego Technic Compact Crawler Crane isn’t technically retired, but it is often sold out at most retailers (including LEGO itself). Targeted at younger (10+) builders, this 2 in 1 model can be rebuilt into a Compact Tower Crane. I can see kids having fun picking up other toy cars with this Lego set.

When fully extended this crawler crane set can take up a lot of space. Luckily, it can be retracted into “travel” mode which makes it much more manageable. The original design has brought some complaints about the boom hitting the outrigger legs. What’s great about this Lego Technic model is, like all Lego sets, you can make modifications to improve the build.

Lego Technic Dozer Compactor Building Kit

You know what a Dozer Compactor is, right? The large construction vehicle that smushes anything in it’s way – be that soil, gravel asphalt, cars, limbs (wait – what?) It’s also called a road roller – and man, are they AWESOME!

Of course, I’ll never drive one. But Lego has brought some of the heavy-roller fun to the table with the Lego Technic Dozer Compactor. It has all the necessary features – including a driver’s cab, heavy blade and steering, and tough compactor wheels.

It’s also a 2 in 1 Lego Technic set. If you get bored of the compactor, you can build a pretty sweet articulated truck to play with. It comes with a manageable 171 pieces – so kids as young as 8 can have fun putting together this Lego Technic building kit. It’s in the running for the best Lego Technic construction machine ever made – so if the price is right give it a look.

Lego Technic Street Motorcycle

Get ready for the best motorcycle ride of your life! The 2-in-1 Lego Technic Street Motorcycle is the epitome of stylish construction. Its sleek and curvaceous three-tone design oozes class, and its mechanics are spectacular. Remove the side panel to see the inner workings of the motorbike’s engine and reveal how it gets the machine moving. With realistic steering, a movable kickstand, and awesome front and rear suspension, the Lego Technic Street Motorcycle model is a joy to construct – and to play with! The 375 individual pieces can also be used to create the alternate design: an amazing Retro Bike. Just choose your style, follow the clear instructions, and you’re all set to hit the road!

Age: 9-16

Did we leave out your favorite Lego Technic building set? Or have you got any tips for making your own Technic designs? Let us know in the comments section below!

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Why Are LEGO Sets So Expensive? Wed, 11 Nov 2020 08:15:01 +0000

LEGO sets and bricks are not cheap, and your kid’s Christmas or birthday gift list probably contains some LEGO toys. According to National Geographic Kids, about 28 LEGO sets are sold each second during the Christmas season despite being an expensive toy.

People may happily pay more than a car’s monthly installment for one of the best Technic LEGO sets. The LEGO Vintage Airport Shuttle Monorail is priced at $3,988 on Amazon. LEGO Duplo Feuerwehr-Haputgquartier costs $3,151, and the Ferrari LEGO 1/17th F430 Spider sells at about $3,000. Why are the best LEGOS so expensive, and are we paying too much for LEGO toys?

Why the High Price for LEGO Products?

Attention To Detail

LEGO is known for its precision engineering and attention to detail. Each mold is precise; it is accurate within 0.004 mm, which is ten times narrower than a single human hair. Each LEGO brick has three numbers that indicate the mold’s position and which mold was used to produce it. With the numbering system, a faulty mold is quickly discovered and fixed. The accuracy level is so high that only about 18 bricks in every million manufactured do not meet the company’s exceptional standards.

That is why LEGOS from different sets are compatible with each other. Even a LEGO brick from 1958 is well-matched with LEGO bricks bought today. If a piece breaks or is lost from your favorite LEGO set, LEGO can replace that one element. It is not like a jigsaw puzzle with a noticeable gap where the missing piece should go or a toy that no longer functions because of the missing piece. You do not need to purchase a complete set again, only the missing piece.

Manufacturing millions of LEGO bricks and elements that fit together is something competitors need to overcome. The price tag may be high, but considering that the expensive LEGO toys parents bought their child as gifts will still be playable for their grandchildren and grandchildren’s kids to enjoy.

Size of LEGO Sets

The number of pieces in a LEGO set influences the cost and, therefore, the price you pay. The price of LEGOS has decreased since 40 years ago. In 1985 a LEGO brick cost about 40 cents per brick; today, it averages 10-12 cents per brick. LEGO sets were also smaller; the content averaged between 500 and 800 pieces in the 1980s compared to the gigantic sets available today.

LEGO Architecture, LEGO Star Wars, and other themes have LEGO sets that contain thousands of pieces. The hard to find Taj Mahal consists of 5923 LEGO pieces and costs about $400 brand new, whereas the 4,016 pieces LEGO Death Star 75159 is sold for about $500.

Brand Building

Receiving LEGOS as a gift is not just getting another toy; it is an adventurous and delightful experience, with educational value, that keeps kids entertained for hours. LEGO is probably the favorite toy brand in the world for many kids…and adults too.

In 2015 LEGO overtook Ferrari as the world’s most powerful brand, according to BrandFinance. LEGO’s excellent marketing has made them the #1 toy brand globally, with an estimated $7.51 billion brand value.

Their marketing secret may be good experiences and happy stories people associate with LEGO. Ask any AFOL (adult fan of LEGO), and they will have a story to tell about their first LEGO experience.

LEGO is dedicated to its mission of inspiring and developing the builders of tomorrow.

Licensing Fees

Produced in 1979, LEGOLAND Space was LEGO’s first theme, and Star Wars was their first licensed theme. LEGO collaborates with highly popular brands like Star Wars, Indiana Jones, Winnie the Pooh, Toy Story, Harry Potter, and Marvel, which means high licensing fees.  Although licensing fees may form part of the cost the end consumer pays for their LEGO set, most costs come from the number of pieces in a set.

Exclusive rights to brands like Star Wars also means if you want to build a Star Wars building blocks model, it is only available in LEGO. These licenses offer kids the opportunity to develop their favorite stories and relive the movie adventures with roleplaying fun.

High-Quality Material

LEGO is made from thermoplastic, which is known for its strength and durability. The specific plastic, acrylonitrile butadiene styrene, is a petroleum product. It means the raw material pricing is related to the price increase or decrease of crude oil.

The LEGO molds are designed to endure multiple assembling and disassembling without losing its functionality. You only need to step on a LEGO brick with bare feet to experience its sturdiness.  They are pretty easy to clean as well.

At the Open University, engineers put a 2 x 2 LEGO brick in a hydraulic press to measure how much pressure it can take before it breaks or changes its form. Dr. Ian Johnston discovered that a LEGO brick could withstand 4,240 Newtons, equivalent to 953.1899-pound-force or 375,000 LEGO bricks. Theoretically, the bottom LEGO brick should withstand a LEGO tower 2.17 miles high.

Resale Value

LEGO does not lose its value as a secondhand toy. It may even increase in price.

Are LEGOS Worth More Than Gold?

According to “The Toy of Smart Investors” study by Russia’s Higher School of Economics,  secondhand LEGO may yield a return rate of 11%, which was higher than gold or stocks in 2015. LEGO retires LEGO sets every two years. When these sets are no longer available, their prices in the secondhand market increases, sometimes higher than the retail price the LEGO was sold. The most popular LEGO sets are from the movies, franchises Star Wars, Marvel, and Harry Potter.

The most expensive LEGO brick worldwide, according to the Mirror, was auctioned in 2017 for 12,000 pounds (which is about $15,500).  Only a few of these 14-carat solid gold LEGO bricks exist in the world. Shaped like an original brick, it is compatible with other LEGO sets.

According to Catawiki, some expensive LEGO sets are still selling at high prices. Released in 2007, the LEGO 10182 Modular Buildings Cafe Corner was auctioned for 1,400 Euro (about $1,600). The original Star Wars 10179 Ultimate Collector’s Series Millennium Falcon was auctioned for 4,700 Euro (about $5,500) in 2015; its original price tag was 450 Euro (about $525).

How Much Should You Pay For Used LEGOS?

Used LEGO sets in good condition are generally worth between 50% to 75% of the retail price. Bargains are to be found, and you may even pay as little as 10% of its original price. You may find great buys searching online sites; you may even find that rare LEGO treasure.

If you are buying a batch of unsorted LEGO, you should find LEGOS pricing at $15 or less per pound. If the pack contains multiple elements and desirable pieces, you may pay more. Buying a used collection and taking the time to sort the pieces into complete sets may be worth your while. If a critical brick or element is missing, you could purchase that individual piece from LEGO.

Is There A Cheaper Version Of LEGO?

MegaBloks and KRE-O are the closest competitors to LEGO. Although LEGO is pricier than its competition, it is not that great a price gap. Considering the precision to detail where every LEGO brick fits another LEGO brick, people know what to expect when buying a LEGO set. It may not always be the case with a competitor.

The competition also followed LEGO’s footsteps in acquiring licensing deals, which increased their popularity and prices. MegaBloks owns the rights to the video game Halo, Thomas the Tank Engine, Hello Kitty, and Barbies, whereas KRE-O acquired licenses for Star Trek and Transformers.

LEGO toys may seem expensive, but it is worth every cent if you consider the quality, variety, durability, and joy. What is your favorite LEGO story?

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The Best Chrome Screenshot Extensions and Screen Recording Options in 2020 Sun, 08 Nov 2020 12:21:22 +0000

Google Chrome screenshot extensions allow users to take screenshots of a partial or full web page. It is a convenient tool for the classroom, business, or individual use. A screenshot of your desktop, a web page, a social media post, or a screen recording video help show or demonstrate to colleagues, peers, or students what you want to convey by using these images or videos. Technicians may often request you to take screenshots of the issue to understand the problem they need to solve.

You may take screenshots using the computer keyboard shortcuts (Cmd + Shift + 4 on a Mac and PrtSc button on Windows). However, it could be frustrating capturing the menu buttons in the webpage screenshot or a screenshot of the visual screen when you wanted a full-page screenshot, including the entire article without ads. It would help if you had an additional editing or snipping tool to fix the screenshot.

Who has the time for such a laborious process when the Google Chrome web store offers Chrome extensions that can do what you need within seconds? Here is a list of the best Chrome screenshot extensions with easy to use features to select the best productivity tool for your needs and task.

Top Screenshot Extensions Review – For Chrome

 Best for Quick Screenshots: Lightshot (Screenshot Tool Chrome Extension

Lightshot, as the name indicates, is one of the fastest screenshot apps for capturing a screenshot. Novices and users who quickly want to capture a screenshot may appreciate the easy to use interface.

By clicking on the Chrome extension, the screenshot opens in a new tab where you select the section of the page you want to capture. Use the editing tool for instant editing before saving the screenshot to your computer or cloud storage. If the saved image is not to your satisfaction, you may always edit the online editor’s screenshot.

The Lightshot Chrome extension also features the option to search for similar images online and share your captured screenshot on social media.

Available For: Windows, Mac, Chrome, Firefox, IE, Opera

Best For Screen Recorder: Awesome Screenshot Screen Chrome Extension

With over 2 million users, the Awesome Screenshot Full Page extension is one of the best screenshot extensions with video screencasting features. It does not limit the screenshot to the part of the web page the user sees on their screen. The ability to scroll and take webpage screenshots of the entire page makes it an awesome screenshot extension.

Awesome Screenshot is also a screenshot screen video recorder that record screencasts you may use for tutorials, demonstrations, and other uses. After saving the screenshot or screencast to the Awesome Screenshot website, it is instantaneously available to share. Use the unique shareable links to share the videos or screenshots to your team on project management tools like Asana, Trello, Jira, GitHub, or Slack or on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Gmail.

With the free version, the number of project folders is limited, and you can only save the screenshots to Google Drive. The premium version, however, gives you the option of saving screenshots on Google Drive, Box, or Dropbox. Annotation tools, project folders, the number of screenshots per project, and video recordings are unlimited with the paid versions.

Available For: Chrome, Desktop

Best For Full Page Screenshot: GoFullPage Chrome Extension

The GoFullPage Chrome extension captures a full-page screenshot with one click. By scrolling the web page, it effortlessly screenshots the entire page and saves it as an image. The advanced screen capture technology ensures the accurate capturing of full web pages, including complex pages with embedded iframes and inner scrollable elements.

The image opens in a new tab to export it as a JPEG or PNG image, download the screenshot as a PDF document or drag it to your desktop.  Users may crop, annotate, or add their favorite emojis to the screenshot with the premium editor.

The one-click full page screen capture tool was developed in 2012 and called initially Full Page Screen Capture. The name was changed in July 2020 to GoFullPage.

Best for HTML Editing: Print Edit WE Chrome Extension

The Print Edit WE screenshot extension features saving an edited web page as a single HTML file or as MHTML, the archive format of a web page. The file can be viewed and edited in the Chrome browser too.

Edit the contents on a web page before printing or saving it as an HTML file; you may customize the page by keeping or deleting individual HTML items. Users may hide, delete, or format elements on the web page, changing it according to their needs. It also removes unwanted sidabars and ads. The preview shows you how the page will look when printed.

A screen capture screenshot or printing of the page may take a little longer than some of the other screenshot Chrome extensions.

Available For: Chrome, Firefox

Best For Built-In Webcam: Nimbus Screenshot & Screen Video Recorder

Nimbus Screenshot Capture is a Chrome extension complementary to Nimbus Note, a workplace organizer tool. By recording videos or capturing desktop screenshots, you may instantly share content with customers or colleagues. The editing and annotation tools help you present your explanations with greater clarity and effectiveness.

The Nimbus Google Chrome extensions capture full-page screenshots or sections of the web page. The premium version allows you to add a watermark on the screenshot for branding purposes or security against copying your screenshots without permission.

Create screencasts by screen recording videos or with a built-in webcam. You may customize the frame rate and screen resolution. Before sharing the video, use the annotate features to clarify your message with arrows and shapes.

As a Nimbus premium member, you have access to more features; you may crop, edit, add a watermark, and convert the video from WebM to MP4 and GIF format. You may publish the screencasts to YouTube. You can also upload the videos to Dropbox or Google Drive.

Available For: Chrome

Best For Built-In Editor: Take Webpage Screenshots Entire Page – Fireshot Chrome Extension

The Fireshot screenshot extension was awarded “The Best Free Google Chrome Extension” by in 2013. Over 2.6 million users capture screens with Fireshot in their favorite web browser. The built-in editor gives users greater control when annotating, cropping, and editing the screenshots.

The friendly user interface helps you customize screenshots of the entire web page or partial sections; you may even include the date, time, and page URL. You may store and organize the screenshots in OneNote, as a downloadable PDF, or save it as PNG, JPEG, BMP, or Gif images.

Available For: Chrome, Firefox, Edge, Opera, Chromium, Pale Moon, Tor, Vivaldi, Yandex, Internet Explorer

Best For Automatic Full Page Screenshot: Blipshot One Click Full Page Screenshot Chrome Extension

Take a screenshot with the Blipshot Chrome extension automatically; it is one of the best screenshot extensions for someone in a hurry. When you click on the Blipshot toolbar icon, it captures the full-page screenshot immediately, not just the web page’s visible part.

The entire page screenshot appears as an image to the right of the page. Save the image in PNG or drag and drop it to your desktop. The captured screenshot is saved with a date, time, and page name for convenient reference.

Available For: Chrome, Flash, Windows, Mac, and Linux

Best For Editing Before Screen Capture: 1-Click Webpage Screenshot Chrome Extension

Before you take a screenshot of your current webpage, the 1-Click Full Page Screenshots allows you to edit the contents by temporarily changing the metadata. Edit the text or titles and annotate the webpage with lines, circles, and customized text.

Create PDF documents, thumbnails, or save the image as a PNG to your computer. The screenshot extension offers unlimited storage to store the screenshots online.

Available For: Chrome

Best For All-Rounder Productivity: ClickUp Chrome Extension

ClickUp is more than a screen capture extension; it is a productivity platform incorporating five separate apps in one Chrome extension. Users may take screenshots with the extension, create tasks, track time, capture emails, use the notepad, and bookmarks.

Create tasks with due dates, add assignees, save a website as a task, or add attachments. Improve your productivity by tracking the time it takes you to complete each task. When you bookmark a site as a task, you have the option to capture a screenshot and attach it for reference. You may capture the entire browser tab or part of a webpage to edit, mark up or annotate.

The Chrome extension allows you to capture emails and generate it as an HTML record or attach the email to the task; capture and add comments to the screenshot, or adjust existing edits on the screenshots.

ClickUp is one of the best Chrome extensions if you enjoy having your productivity tools together as one extension.

Available For: Chrome, Linux, Windows, Mac

Best For Sharing Current Browser Screenshot: Good Annotations Chrome Screenshot Extension

Good Annotations is one of the best screenshot extensions for taking a screenshot of your current Chrome browser tab and sharing it immediately with friends or colleagues. Capture the screenshot by using hotkeys Ctrl + shift + V or click on the screenshot button. Instead of waiting for the image to upload in your message app, create a shareable link, and send it to relevant parties for easy access on any device.

The editor offers editing and annotation features allowing you to add shapes, text, arrows, borders, and markups to draw the reader’s attention to something specific on the captured screenshot. You may also upload saved images on your computer to the Good Annotations online tools to edit and add elements to the image.

Available For: Chrome

Best For Twitter Screenshot: Twitter Screenshots Chrome Extension

Twitter Screenshot Chrome extension takes screenshots of Twitter posts inside the Twitter website. If you like saving your favorite tweets as a screenshot, you may enjoy using the one-button tweet capture tool.

The screenshot extension adds a camera icon to every tweet. When pressed, it saves the tweet as a screenshot without being captured in the screenshot. The tool converts the tweet into a high-resolution PNG screenshot.

Available For: Chrome

Best for YouTube Screenshot: Screenshot YouTube Chrome Extension

The Screenshot YouTube Chrome extension takes a screenshot of the current video playing. The button is situated on your YouTube video player. Click on the button marked “Screenshot,” and it automatically captures the screenshot.

The screenshot is saved as a file; it can also be copied to the clipboard. The Chrome extension extracts the frame without the player control buttons.

Available For: Chrome

Best For Content Manager: Evernote Web Clipper Chrome Extension

Evernote Web Clipper Chrome extension effortlessly captures screenshots to the powerful Evernote content manager app. The extension helps you save exciting web content to your Evernote account.

You may capture screenshots of complete web articles with the formatting intact or in a simplified version. Evernote Web Clipper allows you to save the screenshots in specific notebooks relevant to the topic and add tags for better identification.

With cloud sync, the screenshots and notebooks are accessible on all your devices. If you do not want to capture a screenshot of the entire website page, you may bookmark the articles with a URL link and a short description of the webpage.

Available For: Chrome

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How To Clean LEGO Bricks Fri, 06 Nov 2020 16:00:30 +0000

How to clean LEGO is the last thing on your mind when buying a brand-new box of LEGO bricks. However, from years ago or bought secondhand, LEGO needs cleaning before you want your kids to play with it.  With some LEGO sets being quite expensive, it’s good to treat them right.  This article discusses the best way to clean LEGOs and other ways users clean in bulk or gets rid of foul-smelling LEGO bricks.

How To Wash LEGOs

According to the LEGO official website, there is a specific way to clean your LEGO. They recommend cleaning your best LEGO set parts by hand using a soft cloth or sponge.

Water should not be hotter than 104 degrees Fahrenheit (or 40 degrees Celsius). If the water is too hot, you may damage the LEGO. Although LEGO does not recommend adding LEGO to fish tanks and aquariums, some LEGO are designed for water play and may even float. Water does not harm standard LEGO bricks, but it is unsafe to immerse LEGO electronic parts like motors, lights, sensors, and battery boxes in water; you may damage the electronics.

You may use a mild detergent or dish soap with warm water. Rinsing correctly is vital to avoid discoloration.

Dry each LEGO piece with a soft dry towel or allow it to dry naturally. Do not dry LEGOs in the microwave, oven, or hairdryer; it may change the LEGO shape and become ineffective.

Despite LEGO’s recommendations on how to clean LEGO bricks, users may attempt other cleaning methods. Here are some do’s and don’ts to consider.

How Do You Clean And Sanitize LEGOs?

If you bought a bunch of slightly used LEGO online or at a garage sale, you might want to clean and sanitize the LEGOS before your kids start building LEGO creations. Be warned; LEGO bricks take a few days to dry, so set enough time aside.

  • Sort and disassemble the LEGO pieces.
  • Remove all electronic parts.
  • Divide the LEGO into two groups, those with stickers and LEGOS without stickers.

Cleaning LEGO With Stickers

  • Do not immerse stickered LEGOS in water; the stickers may come off or damage.
  • Clean stickered LEGOS with a soft cloth or toothbrush. Be careful; the toothbrush may scratch it.

Cleaning LEGO Without Stickers

  • Sort and disassemble the LEGO pieces.
  • Remove all electronic parts.
  • Divide the LEGO into two groups, those with stickers and LEGOS without stickers.
  • Use a mild soap detergent like dish or clothes detergent to wash the LEGO.
  • Stir the water with your hands to agitate the detergent. If the water is too hot for your hands, it is too hot for the LEGO bricks.
  • Filthy pieces should soak for at least a couple of hours or overnight in the mild soapy solution to get rid of grime and dirt.
  • Sanitize the LEGO with a ¼ cup of white vinegar to every cup of hot water. Alternatively, use a ¼ tablespoon of bleach to every gallon of warm water. Soak for about 10 minutes.
  • Rinse thoroughly. Make sure there is no residue left. Use a colander to help with the rinsing process.
  • Dry each piece by hand or place the LEGO on a towel in front of a boxed fan; stir and turn over every couple of hours. Sunlight and bright artificial light may discolor or fade the LEGO bricks.

How To Remove Permanent Marker and Glue from LEGO Bricks?

Permanent Marker

Use 99% Isopropyl alcohol to remove Paint Pen and Permanent Marker on LEGO bricks. Although nail polish remover contains isopropyl alcohol, the percentage is too low. It takes longer to evaporate, which means you may damage LEGO bricks with sensitive dyes.

Be careful not to use too much isopropyl alcohol; it may fade the plastic. Wipe the excess immediately with a tissue. A Q-tip type of cotton swab may help spread the alcohol evenly, preventing excess spillage.

Removing Glue

Sometimes LEGO bricks are stuck together tightly, or maybe somebody glued pieces together. Use a dental pick to remove the glue or loosen the brick parts.

How To Remove Smoke or Urine Smells from LEGO?

Create a paste by mixing baking soda and water. Try and cover the LEGO with it. Then spray the LEGO and baking soda paste with 100% white vinegar. Make sure you are not close to grass or flowerbeds; vinegar kills plants.

When the vinegar touches the baking soda, it starts to foam. Leave it and repeat the process until the smell is gone—mix 50-50 water and vinegar. Add the LEGO to the mixture and scoop out with a metal strainer.

Lastly, rinse thoroughly with water and allow it to dry.  They will be like new. Their near indestructability is one of the benefits of Legos.

How To Make Clear LEGO Pieces Shine?

Andy Taylor at The Brick Blogger has a suggestion on how to clean scratched and dull LEGO cockpits, windows, and other clear LEGO pieces made from acrylic plastic.

The liquid acrylic self-levels and fills in tiny scratches when you dip the LEGO in it. When dry, polish with a light cloth, and the piece may pop and sparkle again. He recommends using Pledge with Future Shine (aka Future Floor Polish). According to him, it is what hobbyists use.

How Do You Disinfect LEGOs In Bulk? Can You Put LEGO In The Washing Machine?

LEGO recommends not to clean LEGO in a washing machine or dishwasher.

However, people do attempt the machine option as an alternative to washing hundreds of LEGO by hand, one at a time. They handle the LEGOS like delicate laundry, washing using a mesh bag to protect the LEGO.

Ensure you use non-bleaching detergent and a heavy rinse cycle to rinse all the detergent off the LEGO parts. Then you may air-dry the LEGO.

More Resources:


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Some Surprising Benefits of LEGO Fri, 06 Nov 2020 00:08:26 +0000

Most children enjoy playing with LEGO bricks, but is there more to LEGOS than just being a fun toy that keeps kids occupied for hours? If you think about it, you may see the educational and developmental benefits of LEGO for kids.

In this article, we list the top benefits of playing with LEGO bricks. Check it out; there could be some compelling reasons you want your children to continue having access to LEGO building blocks and other construction toys. The skills children learn from the best LEGO sets may benefit them as adults too. Adults, who guiltily enjoy building with LEGO bricks, may find reasons in the list to support their LEGO enthusiasm also.

Fine Motor Skills

Developing fine motor skills may seem an obvious benefit, but did you know children need the same muscles and skills when learning to write? Connecting the bricks with precision and detail strengthens fine motor skills and improves hand-eye coordination.

Picking up LEGO pieces with their fingers builds muscles and skill your child may need when holding and controlling a pencil to write or draw. Just make sure you know how to keep Lego’s clean.

Planning Skills and Overcoming Failures

LEGO creations do not just happen; they are constructed by connecting one LEGO brick with another. Children learn to plan their building projects, especially if a haphazard construction falls apart. Playing with LEGO bricks is a safe environment for failures and kids learning to plan better with their next attempt.

A LEGO tower that collapses is part of the fun; kids do not mind rebuilding it repeatedly until they reach success. They may happily try new ways and enjoy learning from their mistakes and experiencing a sense of accomplishment with a successful LEGO creation.

Learning from their mistakes builds a child’s self-confidence, which may help them grow up and function in the adult world. Children who have self-confidence are not afraid to try something new; they see failure as part of the learning process and do not take it personally.

Problem Solving and Lateral Thinking

Planning skills and a building strategy form part of the problem-solving process. Young children learn that it takes more than having ideas to create a LEGO masterpiece at an early age.

Construction play also requires patience, endurance, and sometimes lateral thinking to find the solution. Kids also discover that there is more than one way to solve a problem and that different approaches could end with the same or a better result.

Grasping the idea of different approaches to a problem help kids and adults appreciate colleagues and peers’ point of view. It gives them an open mind and teaches them to listen to others’ ideas; colleagues or peers may have a better way of reaching a solution.

Adults also benefit from improving their problem-solving techniques. The construction process may help them with strategic and lateral thinking at work and at home.

STEM Skills and Spatial Awareness

Developing and creating an interest in STEM-related topics is one of the top benefits of LEGO play. It may even lead to potential STEM careers.

Research has shown that playing with puzzles and building blocks helps develop kids’ spatial skills essential for STEM-related tasks. The ability to think 3D, visualizing shapes in your mind’s eye are indispensable skills architects, engineers, and artists need.

Playing with LEGOS is so much fun that parents may not even realize their children are strengthening their STEM skills.

  • Science is having an idea and proving it. LEGOS stimulates a child to come up with ideas and develop it creatively.
  • Technology uses new techniques to complete a task. LEGO bricks are raw materials kids use to accomplish complex objects and things in new ways.
  • Engineering skills blossom with LEGOS. The simplicity of constructing something like a building, one of the best LEGO architecture sets, or a city kit requires figuring out how to create these LEGO works of art successfully.
  • Math skills flourish with LEGOS. The shapes, sizes, and counting of LEGO bricks come naturally when constructing an item. Kids count, add, and subtract consistently when they play with LEGO bricks.

Instructions and Creativity

One of the best benefits of LEGO is sparking the creativity and imagination of your child. Place a box of LEGO bricks in front of a child, and soon the child starts playing with the LEGO bricks. If a child hesitates, parents often cannot resist the temptation to help them get things started; it’s just too irresistible not to pick up a LEGO brick and another…

Following instructions is another LEGO benefit. All LEGO toys come with an instruction booklet on how to build the item. Often the box includes instructions to build various objects with the same bricks. These blueprints may inspire creativity in children and adults; it may spark an innovative design the manufacturers did not consider.

Communication Skills and Social Skills

All may benefit from good communication. When children play with each other, they learn to communicate and play together. The ability to communicate efficiently and with verbal clarity helps avoid misunderstandings and miscommunications—traits that may benefit them in the adult work environment and relationships.

Most LEGO themes come with Minifigures and accessories that inspire children’s imagination and roleplaying adventures. Whether your child is playing alone or with siblings and friends, LEGO bricks and accessories encourage social interaction. Language skills automatically improve as children create dialogue for the Minifigures or chatting with each other.

Language development is essential for good teamwork. When building a LEGO project, children learn the fundamentals of working together as a group. With plenty to do, children learn how to contribute, share, negotiate, and accept responsibilities.

Is LEGOS Good For Learning?

LEGO Education would agree that students learn through LEGO play. They provide learning solutions and lessons for the classroom, homeschoolers, or online virtual training.

Children who are having fun with LEGO for recreational purposes also benefit from the educational benefits, as seen in the list above.

  • Fine motor skill development prepares preschoolers for writing and drawing tasks.
  • Children practice creativity and imagination without the fear of making a mistake.
  • Roleplay with LEGO projects, Minifigures, and accessories help with language skills development and social skills, resulting in better communication.
  • Coping with frustration and learning persistence empowers children to endure until they overcome challenges.
  • LEGO play improves a child’s self-esteem when they complete a project.

Do LEGOS Help Your Brain?

The short answer is yes, and a quick scan of the benefits mentioned above is enough proof of LEGO’s advantages in cognitive improvement.

  • Creating a LEGO project requires focus and concentration. Children learn to pay attention and to stay focused on the task at hand.
  • LEGO stimulates creativity and thinking out of the box. Imagination and ingenuity lead to innovative thinking and the discovery of new ideas.
  • LEGO play is a productive hobby that helps you relax.
  • Using LEGO pieces to construct objects requires various brain skills like planning, problem-solving, lateral thinking, spatial awareness, and STEM skills.

Is It Weird for Adults To Play With LEGOS?

About 20 years ago, the LEGO company didn’t take their loyal adult fans seriously. According to them, LEGOS were for children, and they did not know what to do with adults sharing their LEGO creations online.

During the Christmas season of 1999-2000, their largest sellers, Toys R Us, Walmart, and Target, told LEGO they did not know their customers. It woke them up, and since then, LEGO appreciates their adult LEGO fans.

The Azusa Pacific University conducted a study where LEGO bricks were used to educate the next generation of leaders. Lego Serious Play (LSP) is used as an innovative tool to inspire creative confidence.

When watching families having fun around a LEGO table, you realize that LEGO is for everyone, from toddlers, building with DUPLO bricks, to adults, constructing a model consisting of thousands of pieces.

Why Do People Love LEGO?

Admit it, we all enjoyed LEGO as children, and many of us have not outgrown our LEGO infatuations… Why?

LEGO is fun!

LEGO stirs your creativity, even those who say they are not creative. Whether you create your unique LEGO model or follow the blueprint instructions, the result is a satisfying experience. The one stirs the imagination, and the following instructions may help you relax after a busy day.

Building with LEGO is a fun family activity inspiring your kids and setting the child in you free to create, play, and enjoy.

Creating a successful LEGO piece builds confidence and gives you that sense of accomplishment of a task well-done. You are as proud of your achievements as you are of your kids’ LEGO creations.

LEGO has no limits on building a LEGO City, a LEGO theme, a model for your collection, or merely constructing, taking it apart to create something new with the same bricks.

Why do you love LEGO, and what do you think is the most significant benefit for your children to play with LEGO blocks?

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