Toy & Game Gift Ideas for Christmas

Christmas is right around the corner! With all the toy options out there, you may be wondering what in the world to get the kids on your list. We’ve compiled some of the hottest toys and games to help make your life easier! From STEM toys that sneak in a bit of educational learning, game room essentials like tabletop air hockey for the competitive kids, and wacky multi-player games that bring on a lot of laughs, these toy options are sure to entertain for hours of fun!

The Upside Down Challenge Game (for ages 8+)

In the Upside Down Challenge Game, players compete to do challenges like giving high-fives, writing their name, and catching a crumpled up ball of paper, all while their vision is flipped upside down, while wearing the upside down goggles. Even the simplest tasks become difficult when the world is flipped upside down! The game contains 1 pair of upside down goggles, 25 challenge cards, 5 create your own challenge cards, instruction sheet, and 1 pad of paper to draw on. You can even play friends on Zoom, provided that each person has their own Upside Down Challenge Game!

Chow Crown (for ages 8+)

Get the family laughing together with the Hasbro Chow Crown Game. The musical electronic crown in this game is fitted with six forks, and once it’s on the player’s head, the participant has to grab as many bits of food as possible without using their hands. Once the music stops and the crown stops spinning, it’s the next person’s turn. This Hasbro Chow Crown game is also an ideal way to introduce unfamiliar healthy foods to kids who are reluctant eaters.

Throw Throw Burrito (for ages 7+)

Throw Throw Burrito is what you get when you cross a card game with dodgeball. Try to collect matching sets of cards faster than your opponents while simultaneously ducking, dodging, and throwing squishy airborne burritos at one another! The cards you collect earn points, but getting hit by flying burritos loses them. Make sure you clear some space at home to play (and put away any breakable ornaments and antiques!)

National Geographic STEM (for ages 4+)

Your kids can become a shark scientist with the National Geographic Shark Tooth Dig Kit STEM Toy! Using the kit, they can identify teeth from the Sand tiger, Otodus, and Crow sharks and learn awesome shark facts with the included learning guide. Plus, they can dig and discover 3 real shark tooth fossils, each from a different shark species. This kit also makes a great homeschool lesson!

If your child is not into sharks, there is also the Break Open 2 Geodes STEM Kit. Geodes are naturally forming volcanic rocks that contain amazing crystal formations inside. The kit includes geodes that can be cracked open to discover beautiful minerals. Kids love these treasure-filled rocks, as it encourages an appreciation of nature and geology in your child with this extraordinary science kit. Plus, they can learn all about geodes and minerals with the full-color educational learning guide included.

Find our full selection of STEM and STEAM toys here.

Electronic Arcade Basketball (for ages 6+)

Race against the shot clock with Ambassador Electronic Arcade Basketball. Two baskets let you challenge friends to one-on-one competitions, and the electronic scoreboard keeps track of your points. The spring-powered basketball launcher makes it easy to take multiple shots in seconds. A loud buzzer lets you know when each round is over so you can bask in each victory. This Ambassador Electronic Basketball Arcade Game boasts a compact size for convenient tabletop placement. The game also features a large LED scoreboard display with countdown timer and buzzer, spring-loaded shooters, automatic point counter and cool sound effects!

Ambassador Tabletop Air Hockey and Football (for ages 6+)

Bring the fun of the arcade home with Ambassador Tabletop Air Hockey. The compact size fits neatly on a dining room table or coffee table, and the simple setup snaps into place for effortless assembly. Scoreboards on both sides let you keep track of goals throughout each match. This Ambassador wood tabletop air hockey game uses AA batteries to power the airflow, so there’s no need for power cords or a nearby wall outlet.

There is also Ambassador Tabletop Football. Traditional hand grips let you control the action for perfect goals, and the manual scoreboard makes it easy to declare a victor. A snap-together design makes assembly a quick, simple task. Colourful players and a bright green field add extra fun to each match. Both of these games make excellent addition to your family room, game room or basement!

Hauck Speedster Go Cart (for ages 4-8)

The Speedster Pedal Go Cart is the ultimate gift for the energetic kid on your list, as it encourages physical activity, builds strength, endurance and co-ordination. Along with the durable features and sporty design, the Hauck Speedster Pedal Go Cart gives an authentic driving experience and lets the driver control the pedal speed. The Speedster’s quick response and sharp handling will excite young racers. Features include sporty graphics on the front fairing, an adjustable bucket seat, four spoke rims with 10″ EVA wheels, a 3-point steering wheel, double touch Handbrake and a steel tube powder coated frame.

Craftsman Deluxe Game House (for ages 6+)

Have a board game lover in the family? They will love the Merchant Ambassador Craftsman Deluxe Game House! The convertible design lets you test your skills at chess, checkers, backgammon, mancala and six other iconic board games. Dice, ball markers and other playing pieces provide everything you need to set up each game, and the mahogany wood finish gives this set traditional beauty. Packaged with instructions, this Merchant Ambassador Craftsman Deluxe Game House makes it easy to master each board.

MD Sports Table Tennis & Air Hockey Table

For the older kids and teens on your Christmas list, the MD Sports Table Tennis is an awesome choice. It is an official tournament size table, measuring at 9 x 5ft, has durable 15mm thick playfield for consistent ball bounce, a sturdy 35mm diameter arch style legs with stability panel and lockable casters, and 35mm oversized apron with protective corner caps for additional support. Plus, it conveniently folds for single play mode and compact storage.

You also can’t go wrong with the MD Sports Air Hockey Table. This table contains a sleek overhead scoreboard with arcade sound effects, a reinforced frame construction for improved durability and stability, 120V AC Motor for strong and consistent air flow and has adjustable leg levelers for perfectly balanced play surface. It also includes two pushers and two pucks.

Squishmallows (great for all ages!)

Squishmallows are the softest, cutest, cuddliest plush around! They have a super soft, marshmallow-like texture and make great couch companions, and bedtime buddies. With a variety of characters, youngsters (and even adults!) can collect them, as each Squishmallow has its own unique name and storyline to add to the fun.

We hope this guide of toys and games was helpful in in giving you ideas for a holiday gift for the kids (or kids-at-heart-) on your list! Be sure to also check out our Christmas Toy Event, on until Dec 24, 2020.

Don’t forget you can order online and pick-up in store, or choose curbside or front door pickup at select locations.

15+ Easy, Cheap and Fun Indoor Activities for Kids

With the cold weather upon us, we know that extended indoor time can be a challenge. So here’s 15 ideas for entertaining the little ones within your four walls.We offer these ideas for entertaining the little ones within your four walls.

Giant Box Art

Have a big cardboard box taking up space in the house? Before you toss it into the recycling bin, take a handful of crayons or markers and drop them inside, add one toddler (or two if you have another on hand) and watch it come to life. We all know toddlers love to write on walls, and these walls are fair game. Older kids can join in the fun too with more elaborate creations on the outside–pirate ship, princess castle, space shuttle, airplane–the possibilities are endless! Speaking of endless, there are loads of fun and simple activities to do with cardboard boxes.

 

Escape the Volcano

This fantastic game is inspired by The Floor Is Lava, but it’s a little more involved. The planning is worth it, though, because it gets your kids moving and thinking with colour matching, exercise, riddles, and more.

 

Sponge Finger Painting

If your kids love finger painting but you hate the mess, keep it under control with sponges. Makeup sponges work great for keeping the paint in one place, and clean up is easy if you keep them on a plate or plastic tray.

 

Baking

indoor activities - baking

Baking is a great rainy-day activity for kids of any age. Not only do they get yummy treats at the end, but they learn a little about chemistry and where their food actually comes from. No worries if you’re not an expert baker yourself – try these super-simple recipes from Delish.com that anyone can master. Don’t forget to stock up on baking tools and supplies!

Yoga

Yes, your little ones can do yoga! There are lots of great DVDs to help your toddlers and kids get started with yoga, but our favourite videos are from Cosmic Kids. In each free YouTube video, likeable host Jamie walks little yogis through a new adventure, including favourites like Moana, Star Wars, Frozen, and other fun stories, while learning the basics of flexibility, balance, strength, and mindfulness. Move the coffee table, grab your mat, and get ready for some fun. Bonus–you can sneak in your own workout right next to the kids!

 

Indoor Picnic

If grilled cheese and baby carrots are getting a bit boring, inject some fun into lunch and have an indoor picnic! Pack portable containers into a basket, clear some space, put down a blanket or tablecloth, and voilà! For extra fun, add some “outdoor” details like homemade grass, flowers, trees (aka tall potted plants), etc. Don’t forget to invite the stuffed animals! You can also continue the fun into the night with an indoor campout. Especially fun for a sleep over!

 

Spy Laser Obstacle Course

A ball of yarn or string is all you need for this secret mission. Find a narrow passageway like a hallway or stair case, and wrap the string at different angles back and forth at kid-height (painter’s tape works well too, if you’ve only got walls to deal with). Little kids will have a blast trying to climb through the configuration, and you can take the challenge up a notch for older kids with spy backstories, timed races, secret maps, special treasure missions, or a spy movie shoot. More ideas and instructions at mykidsadventures.com.

Make Your Own Book

If you’ve read the 478th book to your kids, why not get them to make their own books? There are many tutorials online about homemade book projects, but we found a great place to start with this simple one, which is good for beginner crafters, or for a sweet gift for someone. All you’ll need is a few sheets of paper, scissors, and crayons or markers. You could also add magazine cut-outs to practice pre-schooler scissor skills.

Cotton Swab Blow Darts

Don’t be alarmed by the name! This game is as safe as it gets. For this one, you’ll only need some cotton swabs, bowls or small bins (even old yogurt containers would work!), number stickers or tape, and some drinking straws. You’ll foster some healthy competition with everyone in the family with this lively game. Full instructions at thatswhatchesaid.net.

Sticky Spider Web 

Painter’s tape, light, throw-able objects, and a doorway is all you need for this active game. Have fun looking for things around the house that will stick in the web, like balled up newspaper, balloons, small toys, etc, or make it a competition by adding points or a timer.

Masking Tape Race Track

A no-brainer if you’ve got a tub full of toy cars or trains. Make it colourful and fancy with washi tape like the one above, but regular old painter’s tape works well too (and is just as fun on carpet and furniture!). You can keep it contained in the kids’ room, or take it all over the house for an epic race. You can even add a souped-up garage or train station, like this one:

indoor activities - gas station

Want more ideas for fun and learning with just a roll of tape? Check out more ideas at Hands On As We Grow.

Minute to Win It

If you’ve got a house full of kids, Minute to Win It games are a surefire hit. Bring the popular game show into your living room with rip-roaring races like “Junk in the Trunk,” “Cookie Face,” or “Pong Tac Toe.” The entire family, neighbours, cousins and the mail carrier are all going to want to join in this one. More ideas for MTWI games at happinessishomemade.net.

Sewing Station

This indoor activity is perfect for 4-6 year olds to practice fine motor skills. You will need to pick up a few supplies, but it’s a creative and colourful project that your pre-schooler can be proud of. Full instructions at kleas.typepad.com.

 

I’m Bored Jar 

If you’ve reached your creativity limit, an I’m Bored Jar will be your best friend. Simply put, it’s a container filled with things for kids to do. Some people fill it with fun stuff, others mix in chores kids can help with around the house. You can get creative with the design using tokens, popsicle sticks or laminated cards, if that’s your cup of tea, or you can just write the activities on slips of paper and put them in a jar. Every time you hear a small person in your house utter the phrase “Mooooooom/Daaaaaad, I’m BOOOORED!”, you can bring them the jar and let it do its work. More ideas for jar design and activities at wellnessmama.com.

 

What’s your favourite activity for beating kids’ cabin fever? Let us know in the comments!

9 Fun Family Game Night Ideas

These days, when nearly everyone seems to have a smart device in their pocket, it can be tough getting the whole family to spend quality time together. But some things never change, and nothing brings families together quite like Games Night!

Happy family playing board games - London Drugs

Need some new ideas for Family Game Night?

Here are nine suggestions in three categories to get you started.

The Classics – with a twist!

 

Monopoly DealA twist on arguably the best known board game of all. Some would say a needed twist. Monopoly, after all, takes a while to play and has lots of pieces to keep track of. Monopoly Deal offers a brand new, streamlined experience. It’s fast, about 20 minutes, but delivers all the financial ups-and-downs and excitement you’d expect.

Star Wars Operation: We all know Operation, the classic game of carefully removing bones from a patient. That zzzz-zap sound still brings back memories, and now you can introduce the fun to a new generation. Star Wars Operation lets you repair Rey’s adorable companion, BB-8.

Ages: 6+ / Players: 1 or more

HedBanz – Act Out!: Charades, arguably the world’s oldest still-popular party game, dates back to at least the 1700s  in France. Your whole family will love this modern twist that sees players acting like the clue cards on each other’s provided headbands. Get ready for LOLs galore, IRL! It’s perfect for birthday parties, too.

Ages: 8+ / Players: 2-6

Board Games: The Next Generation

Ticket to Ride: Released to award-winning acclaim in 2004, this game sold 4 million copies by 2014. So it has laid more than enough track by now to be considered a true modern classic. Players race to establish train routes between major transit hubs, and to connect their own tracks onward in unbroken chains. Strategy. Secrecy. Subterfuge. This game has it all.

Ages: 8+ / Players: 2-5

Pandemic: The family that saves humanity together, games together (or something like that). Released in 2007, this game is spreading virally toward legendary tabletop status. Players assume the roles of globetrotting scientists, medics, and logistics experts, working together to stop not one global pandemic…but four. Finished it? Don’t worry, expansions are available to continue the story and the fun.

Ages: 10+ / Players: 4

Dixit: Want a game to set your imagination soaring and help develop your family’s storytelling skills, look no further than this fantastic game. Designed in France in 2008, it has since won multiple international games awards, and the hearts of players around the world. Basically, players take turns creatively describing a famous story and the others try to guess it using the cards in their hands.

Ages: 8+ / Players: 4-6 

Video Games…Can’t beat ’em? Join ’em

Just Dance 2018: The latest edition in a beloved series, it’s available on seven gaming systems. So if your family likes music, movement, or generally having fun: this one’s for you. It has variable difficulty settings, too. So even those with the freshest moves around can play with the rest of us. It’s also a great way to add some exercise to games night.

Rating: E10+ / System: Ps4, XBox One, Nintendo Switch, WiiU, PS3, XBox 360, Wii  

Splatoon 2: The follow up to the silly-but-serious WiiU stand-out, players race to splatter turf in ink of their team’s colour. Players also don sweet, swaggy street gear and use a variety of inky weapons and marvelous moves. Families can also play together over long distances with online play.

Really, this is just one of several great family games for the Nintendo Switch, probably the best bet overall current console for family game night.

Rating: E10+ / System: Nintendo Switch

 

NHL 2018: Take to the ice as your favourite team (or try out life as a member of the new expansion team, the Las Vegas Golden Knights). Play locally with family, or expand your competition to online play. You might be surprised at how much Mom enjoys throwing a check.

Rating: Pending / Systems: PS4, XBox One

E3 2017

E3 2017 is the largest video game trade show in the known world, and through the hustle and bustle of various demos and presentations a few steady themes start to emerge. Whether it’s how we play our games or what we’re using to play them, a few simple truths have permeated the industry and are slowly becoming the standard. Here are a few that we noticed during this year’s expo.

The eSports industry has seen tremendous growth through the last few years, but E3 2017 was the year that eSports and E3’s relationship grew to new heights. Competitive fighting game tournaments in games like Street Fighter V and Injustice 2 were taking place both on the show floor itself and just across the street in L.A. Live, advertising major upcoming tournaments with massive prize pools. Players unfamiliar with these games just passing by got a first-hand glimpse of the glory that eSports can bring, and more than a few might just pick up a fighting game and start to play.

If there’s one combination of letters and numbers that came out of every booth at the show, it’s “4K. 4K gaming has become the benchmark of console gaming, starting last year with the PlayStation Pro and Xbox One S and taken to new heights with the upcoming Xbox One X. Visuals in video games have never looked better than they do in 4K, so now is the time to invest in the technology before the hottest games start to launch this holiday season.

Virtual reality is certainly nothing new, but this year’s E3 saw a change in how VR games are being played. Previously VR focused more on the “experience,” being inside a virtual world and watching the events of a pre-determined scene play out as opposed to playing a normal video game outside of it. That tone has now shifted, instead focusing on playing games entirely inside the VR universe. Games like Resident Evil 7 set the bar for VR, but the selection of games coming to virtual reality in the future may raise it to new heights.

Minecraft made its presence known at E3 with a few new updates, but one in particular if implemented properly could change the entire industry. The Minecraft team announced at the Microsoft press conference that all versions of Minecraft will soon be able to play and communicate with each other regardless of format. Nintendo Switch players can team up with friends on PC, mobile players can talk to the Xbox One, and the list goes on. Should this Minecraft experience work the way Microsoft and Mojang intend, this could prove to be a major step in the unification of players on all gaming formats.

E3 2017 is in the books, but the trends shown at this year’s conference will continue into the coming months. Get ahead of the game at London Drugs today so you’re ready for whatever the gaming industry can throw at you.

Read More – Best of E3 2017

Read More – E3 2017

Read More – E3 2017 – Virtual Reality

Read More – E3 2017 – Call of Duty-WWII

Read More – E3 2017 –  Microsoft Xbox One X

Shop our New Games selection at London Drugs

E3 2017 – Virtual Reality

After a few years of focusing on the experience itself, virtual reality gaming is starting to sport an impressive lineup of games. Players thinking about taking the plunge into VR got some strong support from small indie studios and major publishers alike, meaning that VR could finally be taking its spot on the mainstream scene. Here are just a few of the titles coming soon to virtual reality.

Archangel places players in the pilot’s chair of a massive mech suit brandishing some serious firepower. A war-torn world is under threat from a corporation bent on world domination, and players will use the mech’s combination of machine guns, rockets, and arm shields to battle the evil and save the world. The studio behind the game Skydance Interactive is no stranger to game development, having developed scenes for Gears of War 4, Fallout 4, and XCOM 2, so Archangel is definitely a VR game to keep tabs on when it launches in July.

Ubisoft’s second major foray into VR after Eagle Flight, Transference is a collaboration between the major game publisher and Spectrevision, a film studio founded by actor Elijah Wood. The game tasks players with sifting through a man’s digitally reproduced memories in order to solve puzzles and discover the truth behind his deranged obsessions. Transference is a psychological thriller taking place entirely in VR, one that will delight those looking for some intensity in their gaming when it launches next Spring.

On the lighter side comes Moss from Polyarc Studios, an endearing tale starring a tiny mouse heroine named Quill. Players will control both Quill and The Reader, a spiritual being watching over the tiny mouse, as they solve puzzles and combat enemies. Quill takes on the bad guys of this world using adept swordsmanship, while the Reader can manipulate the world to create paths for Quill to traverse in order to advance. Moss will surprise players with its depth and unique challenges, making it an essential VR title when it launches during the holiday season.

Finally, if none of these titles can tip the scales in VR’s favor leave it to publishing titan Bethesda to provide the final word. Three of Bethesda’s most popular titles, Doom, Fallout 4, and The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, are coming to virtual reality in all its forms. Fallout 4 VR and Skyrim VR are new representations of the original games completely retooled for virtual reality, while Doom VFR plants the player in a series of rooms filled with enemies and allows them to move and shoot as fast as they can. With this trio of critically-acclaimed titles coming to the virtual space, it’s hard to no longer see the appeal of jumping in.

Virtual reality has been around for a little while now, but never before has a lineup of titles this strong been coming to this new frontier. Now is the time to get your hands on a virtual reality system, and London Drugs can make that happen today.

Read More – Best of E3 2017

Read More – E3 2017

Read More – E3 2017 – Virtual Reality

Read More – E3 2017 – Call of Duty WWII

Read More E3 2017 – Microsoft Xbox One X

Shop our New Games selection at London Drugs

E3 2017 – Ubisoft

When E3 2017 is long in the past, history may determine that the strongest lineup at the show belonged to Ubisoft. Every game at the mega-publisher’s booth has the potential to be a smash hit, offering everything from high caliber gun play in the hills of Montana to a vast adventure in ancient Egypt. Ubisoft came to play at E3 2017, and there’s plenty to like in every single offering.

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E3 2017 – Call of Duty WWII

The esteemed Call of Duty franchise is returning to its roots in Call of Duty: WWII. Gone are the bells and whistles of futuristic warfare, replaced with the grit and realism of the largest world war in our history. Developer Sledgehammer Games has employed a clear vision in an effort to create an authentic World War II experience, and the results have been impressive so far.

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