Toy Expert and Speech-Language Pathologist, Erika Cardamone, from

So much learning is happening at home these days. Today we’re sharing PAL Award winners that are sure to bring fun in a brain boosting way, this holiday season.

Mealtime Magic by Spin Master, 3+ ($58.99)

  • Role playing and pretend play starts at an early age. Kids love to initiate everyday routines, like mealtime!
  • Baby Maya recognizes and reacts to foods you give her
  • If you feed her too much, she might get a little fussy and need a burp.
  • Maya also loves tickles, being bounced on her knee, and rocked to sleep

Ecologic Puzzles and Ecologic Memory Game by Adventerra Games, 2+ ($16.50)

  • Preschool mini puzzles with Earth saving concepts
  • Create dialogue about practical ways to help save our planet by conserving water and then apply to daily routines.
  • Learn novel vocabulary words and play Animals at Risk memory game

Large Dinosaur Research Station by Schleich, 4+ ($99.99)

  • Incredible pretend play potential with 33 interactive pieces
  • 2 hand painted realistic dinosaurs
  • Each section of the station is a different story to tell.
  • Team of brothers operate the command center, stand on the viewing platform to shoot tranquilizer dart gun, put newly captured dinos in the quarantine room, examine the dinos and release them through a trap door to special enclosure

KidiZoom Creator Camera by VTech, 5+ ($49.99)

  • Kids can create their own videos with 20 animated backgrounds, green screen included!
  • Great for practicing their language skills by storytelling: My kiddo took on the director role and started assigning people parts and lines to create a story deep under the sea.
  • Video can be uploaded on to a computer with USB cable, saved, and sent to friends and family

How I Survived by MindWare, 8+ ($19.99)

  • Hilarious game of critical thinking and storytelling. Players create a survival plan in different scenarios.
  • Players have to quickly choose items that lead them to safety and describe how they would be used.
  • Great fun for the family
  • Kid humor

Rotating Word Tile Game by Jabuka, 8+ ($20.00)

  • Coffee beans with letter designs that can be twisted to create different word
  • Transform J’s into R’s, M’s into E’s and then W’s for all sorts of word combinations
  • Family friendly, play anywhere with storage bag