Toys for the Girls (6-10)
By: Lauren Keith
By: Lauren Keith
My second Toy Test takes us back into Mrs. Kim Chism's first grade class at Alma Schrader in Cape Girardeau. This time, we focus on toys geared for girls in this age group. Once I set them loose, we immediatley have some problems.
"She's not moving when she's supposed to!" says one little girl.
Uh oh! We already have some tattling on the toys! However, this is a time when grandparents and parents will want to hear these remarks, especially if it saves you some money this holiday season.
These girls have two models of Barbies to choose from. First, we have one of the 12 Dancing Princess Barbies. It's supposed to dance right alongside your child, but our Barbie malfunctioned a bit at first. We obviously had too many hands pressing on the buttons all at once. After we gave Barbie some "down time", she easily starts twirling alongside the girls, one at a time. You just put on remote-controlled wrist and ankle bands and dance away!
Now to the other Barbie. This is the "Fashion Fever Grow 'n' Style" model. Her hair actually grows at the press of a button. One look at this Barbie, and you can see her hair is a tangled, matted mess, simply because these girls love her so much! They can't take their hairstyling hands off of her! No offense, Barbie, but I've never seen you look worse!
Meantime, once the fun of Dancing Barbie wears off, she's left alone, and the crowd gathers around the Holly Hobbie Snow Cone Maker.
"The Snow Cone Maker is hard to turn. They need an adult to play with it," says Mrs. Chism.
Once, Mrs. Chism figures it out, the kids are thrilled with the tasty treats--that's despite the fact that the snow cones have enough bite--- well, for a doll!
"I also saw a lot of activity around the Polly World all of the time!" said Mrs. Chism.
I'm personally glad to hear that. "Polly World" comes with about 39 very tiny pieces, and it took me an hour and a half to assemble!
"They each got to have a piece in their hands," points out Mrs. Chism.
The girls loved Rockin' Polly and her concert stage, even when the tiny dolls malfunctioned.
"It was too hard, and I couldn't figure it out, but I liked dressing her up," mentioned one little girl.
Besides Polly, Holly and Barbie, there's another chick on the scene. In fact, she's one of the "My Scene" Fab Faces dolls. This one actually makes different faces, after your child presses a button the doll's back. The girls loved it.
If all of these girl toys have you seeing pink---think again. Remember the $100 TYCO INSECT placed on the other side of the room,with the boy's toys. Well, the girls quickly made their way over to inspect it. They also loved the darts it shoots, and equally waited their turn in line to play with it. In fact, one week later when I returned to the classroom, almost all the kids said their overall favorite toy is the Tyco INSECT. So, keep that in mind when you're shopping, and also remember these grades.
The $50 dollar interactive Dancing Princess Barbie didn't too well at first in the classroom setting, but Mrs. Chism says the girls started playing with it more, one on one, as the week progressed. The girls even chose it as one of their top favorite toys. So, this Barbie dances off with an A minus, but she bows down to her partner. The Grow 'n' Style model styles up an "A."
The other doll proves her "fab face" is grade A-worthy, too. The My Scene doll isn't pouting about that good grade. As for Polly and Holly... well, they're playsets are tough to put together, tough to operate at times, and it's tough to keep track of all the little parts, but they're very, very popular. So, the $40 Polly World rocks out with a "B-".
The Holly Hobbie Snow Cone Maker gets somewhat icy remarks, especially after none of the kids could actually turn the handle and make the snow cones themselves. I'll have to agree with Mrs. Chism here. "C+," she says.
Finally, the best doll of all was the one stuck inside an interactive game. The $25 "Pixel Chix Love to Shop Mall" can work on its own, or you can buy other accessories and plug them together. The little computerized doll inside "jumps" from store to store, controlled by your child. It would by awesome to have both in the car and at home. It gets an "A+".
Now a final word on this year's girl toys---
"Keep lots of baggies around to store all of these tiny little parts," advises Mrs. Chism.